Yesterday’s free webinar entitled Five Reasons Why Your Nonprofit Should Prioritize the Mobile Web in 2013 was attended by 433 nonprofit professionals. To some, that may sound like a good turnout, but my free webinars usually hit the maximum of 1,000 attendees, so 433 was low – not surprising, however. In general, its been very difficult to get nonprofits to prioritize the Mobile Web. My blog posts on mobile technology are always the least trafficked, least retweeted, least liked and my regularly scheduled webinar on mobile communications and fundraising is the least attended of the entire series of ten webinars. There are nonprofits out there boldly pioneering the Mobile Web, but unfortunately most nonprofits haven’t put much though into how their online communications and fundraising campaigns are affected by the rise of smartphones and tablets.
My guess as to why is that many nonprofits are still trying to master the Social Web and all its tools. Mobile websites, group texting, mobile fundraising, and smartphone apps can feel daunting and are often relegated to a far off, in the future “To Do” list. There’s also a common misunderstanding that adopting mobile technology is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s not “Free!” like social media, but it doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars. That said, nonprofits can’t postpone adopting the Mobile Web much longer without damage to their online communications and fundraising strategies. To illuminate why, below are the notes sent to yesterday’s webinar attendees:
1. The Mobile Web Will Rule by 2014
- As of May 2012, 20% of web traffic in the United States and Canada occurs on a mobile device through a mobile browser (such as m.bing.com) or a mobile app (such as NPR Music). 14.6% of the mobile traffic comes from smartphones, 5.6% from tablets.
- By late 2013 or early 2014, the Mobile Web will surpass desktop.
- Priority #1: Launch a new website/blog that is responsively designed so it can be viewed on mobile devices.
2. Mobile Email is on the Rise
- As of September 2012, more email is read using a mobile email client than using a desktop email client (such as Outlook) or via webmail (such as Gmail). 38% of email is now opened on a mobile device, with 33% for desktop and 29% for webmail.
- Priority #2: Redesign your e-newsletter to ensure that is compatible with mobile email clients.
3. Most Social Media Will Soon Be Viewed on Mobile Devices
- According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, as of August 2012 40% of Americans access social networking sites using a mobile device and 28% do so daily (not including tablet browsing).
- Likely within the next few months the majority your fans, followers, and friends will be viewing your posts on a mobile device and linking to sites designed solely for desktop consumption will significantly reduce your Social Media ROI.
- Priority #3: Purchase a smartphone for your communications and development staff!
4. Group Texting is a Tool Still Unmastered
- The majority of the nonprofits that are pioneering group texting and/or text-to- give do not have mobile websites and have not yet mastered group texting. If you are linking to a desktop site in a text message, you are doing it wrong. (View CDC Text, CDC Mobile Website)
- Priority #4: Start collecting mobile phone numbers and launch a group texting campaign.
5. Mobile Giving is the Future
- Mobile wallet technology will transform online and mobile fundraising.
- Priority #5: Download and acquaint yourself with mobile wallets. Google Wallet is a good starting point. For point-of-sale transactions you must use an Android phone – not the case with donating online.
Conclusion: Nonprofits pioneered the Social Web, but are woefully behind on the Mobile Web – an unfortunate result of nonprofits becoming accustomed to “Free!” tools and a lack of paid communications and fundraising staff that can make mobile communications and fundraising a top priority.