One tiny thing letting your nonprofit’s email down

13 Aug

tiny donate

I find myself at a bit of an impasse with this week’s blog. I have written here about ways to improved email performance for your nonprofit. I have read the musings of the gurus and experts in the nonprofit space about improving email and yet despite all this effort we still get stories like this:

In 2012 online donations via email dropped 21% due to donate pages not being mobile compatible.

Depending on what stat you believe, anywhere from just over 50% to 70% of email is opened first on a mobile phone. This grows daily.

The initial open of your nonprofit’s email appeal is the first impression for the opener. Is your email easy to read on their phone? This is one item that really should be an easy one to solve. It is paramount that you make your nonprofit’s email fast to load and easy to read on the recipient’s phone.

I think we all agree on this point and yet heading into the highly important holiday season of giving I still see A LOT of email that is not readable on my phone without pinching and swiping to make it readable.

The presumption that I will “read it later” is just that – presumptuous and highly unlikely. An opportunity has been lost to gain an interaction and a potential donation.

And it is this latter subject – donating via an email ask – that is the one tiny thing letting your email down. Somewhere in the tiny print is the word “Donate” as a hyperlink. Under no circumstances in an email communication with an ask should the Donate link be so small and hard to find as to require the would-be-donor to have to hunt for it.

The goal of the appeal is to let the donor easily express their generosity to your nonprofit and at no point should you make them work to do this. It’s oxymoronic if you take a step back and be honest about this situation.

But let’s say that the donor is determined to make their gift. God bless those that are because they help nonprofits survive.

The donor taps on “Donate” and oops – they’re now being taken to a PC donation experience that is slow to load and as tough to navigate as your appeal email. Now the donor is again pinching and swiping to complete your PC donation form on their phone.

Why make donors do this? It is SO EASY to have a fully responsive, fully mobile-optimized donation experience to give donors. The nonprofit’s brand can be placed in a bad light  due to being seen as not ready for mobile-only or mobile first supporters. The number of mobile-only and mobile-first supporters to your nonprofit stand at 25% and 34% respectively and are growing at a rapid rate. Not being ready for these supporters can ding your nonprofit’s brand and like I said, it’s super easy to solve for this TODAY.

So here’s my advice. Do one thing to make your email better so you don’t experience the drop in donations in the stat from above. Make the Donate button and/or hyperlink in your appeal emails BIG and make it RESPONSIVE and do this NOW before the holidays.

Why frustrate would-be donors and why make it hard to give? If you make it easy for a donor to express themselves financially to your nonprofit chances are increased that they will do it more often. Time to stop presuming they only use their PC to open email and to give.

Dale Knoop is part of a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a great platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. Any cause can create an content-rich mobile presence, share it through text messages, social media, QR codes, advertising and more and best of all-quickly and securely process donations from motivated supporters. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting and negative QOS.

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