Archive | June, 2015

Summer’s here so it’s time to think about holiday giving?

24 Jun

santa

Once upon a time, I worked with a gal who was known for her Christmas in July parties. She was the kind of person that liked to celebrate. I think Christmas in July for her was partly celebration but also good measures of decorations around the house and the novelty of Christmas in July.

Hopefully your nonprofit is like this gal I once knew-you’re thinking about the crucial holiday giving season. Plans are being made now, hopefully, and I’m here today to suggest getting serious about adding frictionless mobile giving to your nonprofit’s options for giving this holiday season.

Here’s 3 reasons why.

#1 – There’s the eventuality of mobile

In the car, on the street, in meetings, in theaters…….mobile is everywhere and not going to go away or become any less of a lifestyle and giving game-changer.

At some point, and why not now for this holiday season, your nonprofit will have to embrace easy ways to take large donations on mobile phones.

I know what you’re thinking. Online giving is still small, direct mail still works, so why would I look at spending time and energy on mobile? Well, it’s like the Bible verse that reminds us that we know neither the day nor the hour.

In this same vein, not to burst your bubble, but your nonprofit will not know the precise moment when mobile will matter (TODAY!) but rest assured that day is coming and much sooner than you think.

#2 – The holidays are the “giving season” and mobile giving can help you tap the impulse to give

Everyone knows the holiday season is about giving to those you love and those you care about. It’s about last-minute tax deductions too. The media, the mail, social media and on and on are full of the giving spirit.

When the spirit touches a donor, what’s at arms length in that very moment?

Their phone.

Not their checkbook. Not their laptop. Their phone is right there. Let them give in that moment easily and without friction via their phone. You will likely be surprised by the results.

#3 – It’s a great addition to your direct mail

This one overlaps a bit with #2 but it really has more to do with putting as many giving options in your direct mail as possible in order to gain a donation.

With additional options in your direct mail your nonprofit can, over time, see which options your supporters respond to. And here again, you might be surprised to see supporters who you thought were too old to use their phone to give start making gifts to you via their phone.

As we enjoy the summer I encourage all nonprofits to give our platform a try. We don’t have a contract and it’s super easy to get started. We see large gifts to our customers on a regular basis. For the reasons above and many more not listed, give your own nonprofit the gift of frictionless mobile fundraising this holiday season.

Don’t make us tell Santa that you won’t.

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a powerful 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 with a minimum of friction. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting, negative QOS and a mnemonic device QR code alternative.

Don’t “Bart Simpson” your donors

10 Jun

This is the 100th RAZ Mobile blog.

bart

We recently had a customer let us know that they had deployed their brand new, responsive design mobile site and that they would no longer like to use their RAZ Mobile site for engagement, fundraising and all the other cool things we offer nonprofits like unlimited text messaging and crowd-funding.

When this happens I must admit that I immediately go to the site of the nonprofit to see what they have done.

I look to see if the site is just a landing page with links to PC content in it. This is not a best practice.

I look to see how much content is on the site and how it is arranged. In this case the nonprofit in question is leveraging their PC site for content so there was too much content and too many drop downs to navigate.

As we have always written here, mobile visitors to your site, responsive or not, will give you about a minute to get to the point. Too much content and too many drop downs may be fine for PC visitors but it’s too much navigation for mobiles. “Less is more” should be your mobile content mantra.

Then I got to the clincher-what’s the donation experience like? I’d like to share their mobile donation “journey” with you.

To set the stage, I searched for this nonprofit (in this case a museum) and when I found them I tapped on their primary domain URL.

Their landing page loaded and then……

  • I had to tap on “Menu” in order to expose more of the site. My first scroll found no mention of how to donate on the landing page.
  • However, “Menu” did open up a “Support” drop down which was below the fold (below the bottom of the screen)
  • I tapped on “Support” to open it up and that opened another menu
  • Donate did not appear on this page so I scrolled down
  • Scrolling down showed “Donate Now” which I tapped on
  • I scrolled down some more and also saw that the page overlapped to the right. So the page went up/down and left/right. This is not a best practice either.
  • I was able to see preset donation amounts and the ability to “Donate with Card” which I tapped on. There was no listing of cards accepted. (This is important since I use my Amex for points and many nonprofits don’t take Amex because of the fees.)
  • I did not want to make a donation using the preset amounts (they were too high) so I tapped on “Donate Custom Amount”
  • When I did this the custom amount field was pre-populated with $50.00 which, in order for me to enter an amount, I had to delete the $50.00
  • As I am deleting the $50.00 entry so I can enter $20.00 the numpad has not been brought up which means I have to open it. (PLEASE-if a text entry field is all numerics open the numpad for the visitor-it removes friction!)
  • I entered $20.00 and tapped on the “Continue” field which re-directed me to Stripe (a popular credit card processor) and then Stripe tells me that there was a problem loading the page and that I should try again later.

I don’t think so.

As I am going through the above process, I hear Bart Simpson in my head saying, characteristically, “ARE WE THERE YET!”

The stark reality for this museum is that I would have been done with my donation had they used RAZ Mobile for their donation process.

The donation journey shared above was/is fraught with friction and ended in total failure. It cost the museum $20.

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a powerful 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 with a minimum of friction. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting, negative QOS and a mnemonic device QR code alternative.

 

Email opens up but actions down? Let me explain.

3 Jun

email

The good folks over at M+R have released their 2015 Benchmarks Study (get it here-I recommend it) and in it they report this:

MR

Email opens are up and yet actions taken are down. Why is this so?

In a follow up email from M+R they offered 3 theories and their first one is the right one.

More and more emails are being opened first on a mobile device.

What’s driving this? The immediacy and the impulsivity of mobile.

91% of the time we have our phone at arms-length. It follows then that we can all pretty much open email anytime and anywhere (whether we like it or not!).

Also driving the open rates, M+R suggests that the email copywriters are getting better at catchy subject lines and that very well may be the case. Lord knows in our world of short messages with bad grammar and spelling to match we could use some great copywriters.

So, I think we’d all agree that the increased email open rates are a mobile-driven thing and that’s not going to reverse course. Ever. Mobile email is here to stay and mobile open rates will only get closer to 100% as time goes by.

But what about the low action-taken figures? Before I share my explanation I want to explain what an action is by explaining what it is not. I differ with the folks at M+R in this regard.

It’s not clicking on a link in your email. That’s an intention in my book. It’s as if the viewer is saying to you “I intend to learn more about something in your email that piqued my interest.”

An action is doing something like donating or volunteering or registering for an event or any of the plethora of things nonprofits engage in as they pursue their mission.

I’ll get to the point-actions are down because your action has to be fulfilled on the email viewer’s phone via a web page meant for a PC.

Try it yourself with any PC page on your phone. Navigation is a pain to say the least and PC pages take WAY MORE time to load than mobile-optimized pages. Simply put-folks give up on PC pages on their phone.

Even more to the point is that your PC donation page on a phone is a lost donation. So much has been written about this in places like the Chronicle of Philanthropy and here in our blog where we cite 3rd party data about this very thing.

Still further-why is your “Donate” text the same size as your “Unsubscribe” text in your emails?

The M+R folks have pointed to the future-email is a great channel for nonprofits. All they need to do now is maximize this trend with a great mobile/responsive experience (donating and engagement) and enjoy the benefits of matching the supporter experience to the device in their hand-all the time.

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a powerful 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 with a minimum of friction. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting, negative QOS and a mnemonic device QR code alternative.