Archive | November, 2013

Giving thanks for the mobile cornucopia of fun facts about mobile!!

25 Nov

mobile

This Thanksgiving holiday I am reminded of all the great food prepared with loving care that my family and I will enjoy on Thursday. At the same time I am reminded that our table of culinary delights will not be enjoyed by all. When each of us sits down with family and friends on Thursday please count your blessings.

Part of my Thanksgiving ritual is to view all the dishes and plot what will be on my plate with the first pass. A taste of this and a taste of that also prepares me for the questions when we go home from my wife about what leftovers I favor. She’s so good to me.

It was with this same process of looking over the dishes that I reviewed Hubspot’s recent slides on 50 Amazing Facts About Mobile Marketing. (You can view it here on SlideShare.) They offered a cornucopia of fun facts about mobile for me to choose from. I perused their carefully prepared slides, found the juicy items for nonprofits to feast on and have presented them here for your consumption. There’s a lot here so make sure to chew slowly and make room for seconds.

Dish One91% of adults have their phone within arms reach 24 X 7. If you had asked me to name this figure I would have guessed this high but only because I would have been trying to be wildly optimistic. What this means for nonprofits is that the first device or payment mechanism your supporters have within arms reach is their phone. It’s not their PC nor their checkbook. If you are a nonprofit and you do not think this will matter much faster than you can possibly imagine you are risking your relevancy going forward. There’s no easy way to slice this turkey.

Dish Two25% of Americans use ONLY mobile devices to access the internet. This dish combined with the one above are like the taters to the turkey on your plate. For a nonprofit this further emphasizes the large population you either are or aren’t reaching. And, just like a tasty tater dish, there’s more of this to come. The number will grow and grow. It’s growing so quickly there are certain segments of business where they are being advised to not spend any more money on their PC site since it won’t see traffic growth…..ever again.

Dish Three – This one’s a simple dish and it’s one we all know. I consider this the bread item at the table. There are 5X the number of cellphones in the world than PCs. Cellphones are everywhere. They are a staple of life like bread. All nonprofits have to accept this fact, especially their boards.

Dish Four – Brands using text messaging reach 95% of all phones and 90% of text messages are opened with 3 minutes of receipt. This one’s an interesting  dish reminding me one of my favorites, broccoli/cheese casserole-they’re quite tasty together. Why would a nonprofit put this on their plate for engagement and fundraising? With stats like the this the better question is why not and when? These figures are too good to pass up on adding text messaging to your supporter communication mix.

Dish Five – It’s the finisher-pie with ice cream. I know what you’re thinking-it should be pumpkin pie with Cool Whip. I went non-traditional for a reason on this one. 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action and 70% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour. Why do I consider this non-traditional for nonprofits? It’s as simple as pie a la mode and delicious too. Google’s recent change to search rank gives you better search rank with a mobile-optimized site alongside your main PC site at your home page URL versus having no mobile-optimized site. Google’s search rank change favoring mobile means you can no longer risk losing relevancy in mobile searches. This is especially true when you consider what happens with they do find you-they act on what they find right away.

I hope that you have enjoyed my mobile fun facts as Thanksgiving dishes and that you and your families have a wonderful, safe and fun Thanksgiving. Here’s to hoping that your nonprofit spies these great dishes in the mobile cornucopia and that you get your fill of them for many Thanksgiving Days to come.

Some important mobile stats

19 Nov

site stats

That Google is a behemoth company and basically “owns” the internet is nothing new to any of us on Earth. When Google changes something they do to suit their business needs or to prepare for the implementation of a new strategy everyone-individual, organization or business-needs to take note. It follows then that nonprofits need to take note of Google recently re-tooling their approach to search engine optimization to deal with, and prepare for our mobile-dominated world.

First, a couple eye-popping stats from the recent Hubspot presentation, 50 Amazing Facts About Mobile Marketing.

25% of Americans use mobile devices only to access the internet.

90% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour of the search.

Considering the newness of the mobile internet these stats should give pause to every nonprofit out there. This is blistering growth in search on mobile devices and in taking action on mobile devices. Chances are very high that this holiday season millions of people wanting to make year-end gifts will be searching via Google for causes to make those gifts to. The question Google is now forcing your nonprofit to answer is: “What will they see on their mobile phone when they find you?”

Google has taken note of this growth and its staggering pace and earlier this year they re-tooled their SEO algorithm (the way they rank your site in search results) so that it favors having a mobile-optimized version of your PC site for mobile searchers and visitors.

This is from a June 18, 2013 article in Mobile Marketer about the change and its impacts.

“The future of search is in mobile experiences and interactions,” said Antonio Esposito, global SEO specialist at iProspect. “It is the strongest growing market with the highest future potential and it has yet to mature.

“Since Google provides so much traffic to sites they have found themselves in a position to dictate site design best practices,” he said.

“Google is taking this seriously and they are enforcing best practices that not only help their engines crawl your site, but make sure that search users arrive on useful and relevant content.”

The upshot of this for nonprofits competing for attention, engagement and donations is that without a mobile-optimized site alongside your PC site Google will not penalize you per se, but the intent is clear-they will reduce your relevancy in their search results. Clearly this is not a good thing for a nonprofit of any size.

Google now looks for slow load times of PC sites on mobile phones.

Google determines if your PC site content is relevant for a mobile device.

Google looks for broken links and “page not found” errors and broken redirects.

Based on Google’s direction for their SEO, It should be readily apparent that mobile is no longer a wait-and-see option for nonprofits. You could be spending a truckload of cash on redoing your PC site when all along having a mobile -optimized version of your PC site could be way more important in reaching Google searchers.

There is good news though.  Any nonprofit can have a mobile-optimized version of their PC site in under an hour by using some of the open platforms that are available. There’s really no glory to owning your website code any more when there are platforms that are easy to use to create a mobile site and offer many great features intended to make it easy for your supporters to engage and give. They also get you going with a mobile-optimized site for a mere fraction of what it would cost to have a developer create one for you.

Using one of these platforms means you’ll be well-positioned for people searching for you on Google via their mobile phone and you’ll be providing a fast-to-load and easy-to-navigate experience when you are found via a Google search on a mobile phone. Even better is when they do find you and you’ve made it easy to give, you’ll be increasing your odds for a gift and maybe a brand new donor.

Google’s signaled the way with their SEO changes focusing on mobile experiences. All nonprofits need to take note and make today the day you get a mobile-optimized site.

Grab your (business) partner and do the nonprofit dosey-doe!

13 Nov

dancing

No, I haven’t lost my mind nor have I been listening to too much country-western music.

So what the heck-fire am I talking about?

It’s simple-all nonprofits need to grab a business partner and dance with them.

Dancing, in this case, means partnering with them in a bigger, ongoing way that transcends just them having their logo on your walk-a-thon tee shirts.

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Before the advent of online giving, partnering with any business, large or small, by nonprofits large and small, meant the business wrote a check once a year or (gasp!) placed a clear plexiglass receptacle at the check out register for patrons to drop change into.

Now that mobile online giving is truly here, more can be done to reach a larger audience by the business working with the nonprofit. Social media makes the audience grow because of the nature of social networks-word can spread fast and new donors can be added to your donor files.

One of our customers had a recent campaign yield 50% new donors! How? They worked with a business, they leveraged social media and they leveraged in-the-moment-giving that mobile offers. No excuse to “give later” when the giving channel is in the palm of your hand. No pinching and swiping to figure out what the heck is on a page that’s slow to load and even harder to read. RAZ Mobile donation forms are fast to load and easy to complete in the moment.

So how to does a nonprofit do the dosey-doe with business partners? This dance has 4 steps so put on some Buck Owens and hit the floor!

Step 1 – target business owners you know, like and that you think would work with you. Don’t be bashful-ask them to help you.

Step 2 – create a campaign(s) with them, for them so they 1) have something to share with their employees, customers email contacts, social media followers via email, social media, printed materials and 2) so you can track their results in real-time. Give them online and offline giving tools they can easily integrate into email, social and printed materials. Track and share the results with them.

Step 3 – build a year-long, we-do-this-every-year calendar with these businesses and let them work to bring you donations and new donors. And……

Step 4 – let them be a sponsor on your RAZ Mobile site and ask them to pay for their presence on your RAZ Mobile site.

We’ve seen campaigns work using this dosey-doe dance and this moves the dance from the once-a-year mode to always dancing mode!

New donors and others working for you to spur giving plus elevated brand awareness are waiting for you.

Now get on the floor and do the dosey-doe!

My easy 5 for-profit tactics for nonprofits

6 Nov

cart

Much is written and many debates occur around the issue of “should nonprofits behave like for-profit companies”. I read most of the articles and follow the debates. Most of the talk and debate centers on how much should be spent and invested in a nonprofit’s pursuit of their stated mission.

If a nonprofit spends too much they are seen (rightly so when you hear of a nonprofit spending 90% of donations received on “administration”) as unworthy no matter how noble their mission may seem. Spend too little and you will likely endure high employee turnover, low brand awareness and perhaps find yourself with few donors and a mission yet-to-be accomplished, if ever.

I look at this and were I to interject myself into the debate I would ask if how much is spent is the only gauge on which this issue of a nonprofit acting like a for-profit hinges on.

So, here I go. For me, this isn’t the only metric-far from it. You see, for-profit entities have a stable of social and mobile tactics they rely on that can be easily adopted by any nonprofit.

Here are my 5 easy for-profit tactics for nonprofits living and adjusting to our new mobile-centric, social media-infused, digital age.

1. GO SOCIAL

If you are not using social media do as Beth Kanter says: “Make time.” Do it now. If you are worried about somebody saying something bad about you guess what? Social media can help avoid this by helping you project your mission, tell success stories and engage all supporters no matter what they have to say. In the vacuum of you not being on social media your message gets made up for you. Better to be there than not being there. This is why for-profit businesses use social media to great effect.

2. SERVE MOBILE SEARCHERS

This one’s a big one. Google’s algorithm now takes into consideration if you have a mobile destination when it presents your search rank to mobile users. The upshot is that without a full optimized mobile destination your search rank will suffer. The tactic that the for-profit world uses is a redirect of mobile traffic that comes to their PC site. They direct mobile traffic to their PC site instead to their mobile site. (We love mentioning that this should be a RAZ Mobile site.)

If you don’t do this there is a wheelbarrow full of research that suggests mobile visitors to your PC site won’t wait for it to load and they really don’t like spending their time pinching and swiping around the screen to figure out what’s on your page.

The for-profit world serves mobile visitors with a great experience since they know they stand a way better chance at engagement and a sale. For nonprofits this means more loyal supporters leading to (hopefully) more donations.

3. BE YOUR OWN CUSTOMER

In the for-profit world they ask themselves “what are we making our customers do to engage and buy from us? What makes their experience a great one?”

Many nonprofits I’ve talked to have never seen their PC site on a mobile phone and they certainly haven’t asked themselves “would I give via this page I can’t read on my phone?”.

I’ve seen page after page of fields to complete on PC donation pages I’ve examined on my phone and it reinforces the metric stated in one report that 50% of potential donors give up when trying to give via their mobile phone to a site meant for a PC. It’s too hard is what they say. Don’t make it hard to be a supporter. Put yourself in their shoes.

Please look at what you ask your supporters do and ask yourself if you would do what you ask them to do.

4. EMPOWER YOUR SUPPORTERS

A constant goal for a for-profit is to have customers become brand “ambassadors”. They want their customers to say nice things about their business. Apple gives out stickers of their logo. Others make it easy to share where you’re shopping like 4square.

Point being is that if research says your supporter’s ask is 90% more effective than yours you had better be inviting them to be your nonprofit’s brand ambassadors. Add to this the datapoint that 70% of millennials WANT TO FUNDRAISE for you with their friends, family and social network. This can be some of the easiest donations you’ve ever generated and chances are most of these could be brand new donors. WOW!

5. EXPERIMENT

Now is the time on the mobile and social age we live in to find out what works and doesn’t work because, and you have to accept this, our world is already very much dominated by mobile and social. Very soon, if you are simply relying on what appeals to senior donors you will not have the knowledge set of mobile and social at hand when you need it.

Other causes are competing for new, hopefully-about-to-become-high-net-worth donors of the future and without mobile and social skills and tactics you’ll be playing catch up.

In summary, watch business tactics and not the never-ending debate about your nonprofit’s cost structure. By adopting these 5 easy for-profit tactics you’ll be a hero to your cause and the concerns about the other metric will become less nettlesome for your nonprofit. Your success in mobile and social will dominate the conversation and position you very well for the future that’s already here.