Why Nonprofits Should Care About Mobile Users

Why Should I Care?

So, you’re a nonprofit with limited marketing resources, and you want to know if mobile marketing is worth your time and effort? Mobile marketing may be the wave of the future, but statistics show that it’s already got staying power:

  • 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action, with over half leading to purchase (Google, 2012)
  • 27% of all emails are opened on a mobile device (Econsultancy, 2012)
  • During the holiday season in 2011, mobile purchases rose to 11% of ecommerce sales, up from 5.5% in 2010 (Seattle Times, 2012)



How Do I Mobilize My Marketing?

Now you understand the importance of mobile marketing, but how do you make your current marketing efforts more mobile-friendly?

Email Marketing

Let’s start with email. You’re likely already sending out marketing emails, so now you just need to make them more mobile-friendly. According to Econsultancy, 42% of users say that mobile emails are too difficult to read because there’s too much scrolling, and 29% say that there’s too much content. Want to make your emails stand out from the rest? Here are some mobile email best practices:

  • Write shorter emails that are simple: reduce the number of categories, sub-headings, links and images
  • Limit your calls to action and make them obvious
    • Also ensure that any links or buttons are large enough to be easily clickable – make them finger friendly!
  • Try to limit each email to one subject
  • Make the subject line strong and make sure all the essential information is in the first 30 characters 
  • Stick to one column of content

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Consider your audience on mobile devices. In her blog post on Search Engine Land, Mona Elesseily suggests that mobile PPC advertising works best for inexpensive products and less well for larger ticket goods or services that require more thought and consideration. (i.e., it’s easier to sell movie tickets than flat-screen TVs). For nonprofits, that means trying different strategies. Test different donation asks, or try the effectiveness of asking people to sign a petition in a click as opposed to emailing their congressperson. Overall, test everything – this is a new world where you need to learn new rules.

Now that you’ve determined your strategy, try some best practices. Create separate campaigns within your AdWords account for mobile ads. That way you can test out different budgets and strategies specific to mobile users and accurately see the data separately from your desktop campaigns. Use Google phone extensions, which allow you to add your organization’s phone number beneath your normal PPC ads. Google’s click-to-call feature allows users on a mobile device to click your number and call you instantly (great for nonprofits that take donations over the phone!).

Landing Page Design

Don’t forget about the all-important landing page! Whether you’re landing users on a specifically designed landing page, or just your website, make sure it’s mobile friendly. Many of the best practices of designing landing pages for mobile devices are similar to designing emails:

  • Keep it simple. You don’t want too much content that overwhelms your users, and you don’t want so many columns that users have to zoom in to find what they’re looking for.
  • Make it finger friendly! All links or buttons should be large enough to be easily clickable. No one likes when they try to click on a link and miss it, or worse, click on the wrong link!
  • Test, test, test. Always try out different strategies (new colors, bigger buttons, different call to action) so that you can continuously optimize your mobile landing pages.

There you have it – mobile marketing in a nutshell! Have a question, or a really great technique that worked well for your organization? Leave a comment below.

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