In October 2013, Litmus.com reported that 48% of email is first opened on a mobile device. Then, in January of this year, VentureBeat reported that 65% of email is first opened on a mobile device. Sure, there are likely differences in the methodology of the two reports but the trend cannot be denied. Mobile email open rates will continue to climb and there are major impacts of this trend to your nonprofit. Here are 3 things this trend will drive your nonprofit to address should you want to continue to use email to engage and fundraise.
Number 1 - Responsively formatted emails
When you get an email from a source that has not taken the time to make sure the email is formatted properly for a phone screen and which causes you to pinch and swipe to try to read the email you likely get frustrated. Inversely, as your frustration rises with trying to read something not formatted for your phone, your interest in engaging further drops. This is how relationships suffer and end. Make sure that the email system your nonprofit is using recognizes the device opening the email and presents an optimized view. Same thing applies to your primary domain but that’s another conversation.
Number 2 - Calls-to-action
Let’s say that your email renders well and is easy to navigate. You’ve covered number one above. But now you have a link to a call-to-action to check out some content on your PC website. Assuming you are like the majority of nonprofits and you do not have a mobile-optimized version of your primary domain like Google STRONGLY suggests to protect your search rank, the experience of waiting, pinching and swiping in number 1 above is repeated. There is a wealth of research available that suggests people will wait in line for a burger longer than they will for your PC site to load on their phone. Your call-to-action in this situation is very likely going to go unseen. The solution is a mobile-optimized version of your PC domain. With this you can solve the Google SEO issue and properly engage the population that opens your email on their phone first.
Number 3 - Donation processing
We have many customers now who place a “Donate on your mobile phone here” link or button and a “Donate on your PC here” link or button in all their emails (see image below). If they do this in an email like that suggested in Number 1 above, the email will be quick to load and easy to navigate and the donate button intended for mobile email viewing supporters will be easy to see.
Many times giving is an impulse and nonprofits need to make it very, very easy to fulfill that impulse via the device that’s with your supporter at arms length 91% of the time-their mobile phone. Recognizing two paths to make a donation, PC or mobile phone, increases your nonprofit’s chances for a gift and maybe a new donor. And again, the donation form has to render quickly and be easy to complete. Even better, like our customers enjoy, donors can save their information securely which makes repeat gifts spurred by your email ask happen in as little as 20 seconds. Email, like direct mail, isn’t going away for nonprofits any time soon. However, all nonprofits need to recognize that supporters and donors are now ONE with their mobile phone and your calls-to-action and donation requests will be seen first most of the time on a mobile phone. Just as it is in real life, how you treat donors that open your email on their phone is like making a first impression. A good one bodes well for the future and the future will be all about how you treat your supporters with the experiences you offer them via their mobile phone. About the Author: 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 a 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.