More and more of your supporters and program participants are using their smartphones to look at your website and to read the emails you send them. It’s time to make sure your content is mobile friendly. In her first guest post for us, Tonia Zampieri of The M Gen shares what you need to be doing now. Watch for details soon on more training and resources from Tonia. ~Kivi
Guest Post by Tonia Zampieri of The M Gen
If you aren’t thinking through how your online efforts are being seen on the mobile web, you are missing out and eventually hurting the very mission you set out to support with your web content and email. With nearly 50% of all mobile sales now being Smartphone sales, developing a mobile strategy is critical today to remain sustainable. Americans from every walk of life, location and demographic are jumping on the Smartphone band-wagon. Compelling stats can be seen in a post I published last week.
The following are important questions every nonprofit marketing professional must ask themselves as they analyze their efforts, along with easy steps that can be taken to ensure your marketing efforts are making the biggest impact:
- How many of your visitors are accessing your website via a mobile device? Most of us use Google analytics to determine web traffic. They make it easy to view what percent of your web traffic is coming from a web-enabled phone. Set it up, it’s easy!
- How does your existing website look on several mobile devices? Test on several different devices, such as iPhone, Android (there are several different makers) and Blackberry.
- Is it easy to read, navigate and click through to calls to action? Can you see your donate button? (hint, if you are pinching and zooming, do you honestly think your overwhelmed and busy supporters are going to do this or simply disengage and make an empty promise to themselves that they’ll go back when they get to a desktop?) Not sure how your website fairs on mobile devices? Try out Google’s Free Assessment tool to simulate a mobile view and learn more about easy steps to go mobile.
- Open your email newsletter on several mobile devices – iPhone, Android, Blackberry. Is it easy to read, navigate, click through to calls to action?
- Are your email calls-to-action mobile-optimized? If you are asking your audience to register for an event, an advocacy campaign or make a donation – would they be able to easily do so from their mobile device? The same rule above applies. Again, put yourself in your supporters shoes. If you don’t have a Smartphone, find a staff person or other trusted peer who does and ask them to be honest.
- Does your email provider have specific templates that are mobile friendly? Start playing around with single column newsletters vs. the fancy multi-column ones. Reading this from a mobile device will be much easier than having to scroll one’s finger back and forth. Avoid using lots of different images in your templates – less is more on mobile.
- Who are your primary audiences and how are they using their mobile devices?
- Do you serve a community who might not even have access to a desktop computer, but is now only accessing the internet via their Smartphone? If your donors, volunteers and/or clients are accessing the bulk of their information on mobile, and your communications and technology doesn’t account for mobile, you may lose your audience sooner than later, negatively impacting your results and your sustainability.
Expectations are rising, and quickly, for a mobile-optimized experience. If you found that after going through the exercises above that your website is indeed not mobile optimized, or easy to take action from via a mobile device, it may be time to look into making small investments to change this. Mobile landing pages and simple mobile websites such as that of Soles4Souls are great examples. These types of solutions are not difficult to implement, nor are they expensive.
The mobile web and Smartphones are not a passing fad. Embrace this convenient and timely channel that the masses of us are adopting. If you can capture and connect with them on this highly personal of devices, you will likely have them for life.
Tonia Zampieri is the Principal and Founder of The M Gen, LLC, a firm that offers mobile products and services to the nonprofit sector , effectively delivering the mobile generation. She has nearly 10 years of digital fundraising and marketing and launched one of the very first nonprofit iPhone apps, Tap-n-Give on iTunes in 2009. She tweets regularly via @iheartcharity and can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org