So I attended a workshop last week and the speaker stressed that any online content we had not optimized for mobile device viewing was not going to be seen by our audience. Same for email. Truth is, I heard this twice last week in two different forums.
I decided to check the facts and went to a trusted source: Litmus.com, experts in the email marketing space. Turns out, 53% of emails opened in 2014 were read on a mobile device.
Litmus based their findings on data from 12 billion worldwide email opens in 2014 and has been studying trends in behavior over the last 4-5 years that correspond with new mobile product introductions to the market.
The shift in device preference since 2011 has been rapid, but these are the facts. Content that is not mobile optimized is simply not going to reach your audience.
Click on the graph above to read the article from Litmus.
I recently read a white paper on the Marts&Lundy blog. The opening paragraph described how the private sector automatically conducts market research as a matter of procedure before formulating ideas for product development, advertising campaigns or go-to-market strategies. Then I came to this sentence and had to read it twice.
It’s sort of embarrassing, but I have to admit Mr. Mathias is telling the truth. You can read his entire report by clicking on the image above.
He walks us through 3 case studies where M&L applied research techniques (like surveying constituents and analyzing facts) to make observations. Then they figured out how to drive improvements based on the findings.
My favorite example of a finding was from the first case study. The team surveyed non-donor alumni at a university and discovered a surprising number were unaware that the university was a not-for-profit. Consequently, they formulated a plan to target this segment of alumni with a particular campaign message: why the university should be a top philanthropic priority. Very smart. And it yielded results.
This was particularly revealing and I wonder whether this type of mistaken assumption is widespread among many of our constituents? A provocative question indeed.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my alumni organization called and I finally made a gift. Finally. After they asked. Then the next day I got an email thanking me for the gift. I didn’t even open it until I started writing this blog post. It was a pretty standardized message. That’s all I was really expecting. Until now.
Today I read this article by Ann Green who is compelling us to add just an ounce of creativity and heart into our standardized thank you messages. And seriously, why not? How could that possibly hurt anything?
Clue: it can’t hurt. So include an engaging video, photo montage and links to stories or news items that will create a better experience.
I was in a meeting with a brilliant colleague the other day who reminded me that stewarding our donors’ gifts is just one part of the multi-faceted donor relations experience. Our challenge is to relate to them and make them feel awesome about their involvement with our missions.
Michael Schrage, research fellow and faculty member at MIT’s Sloan School of Executive Education asks: What is the most important argument your organization is having now?
Organizations that are paying attention to external influences, changing conditions, new opportunities and internal metrics are trying to think of ways to change, to grow, to get better. And organizational debate is part of that process.
image via theguardian.com
Last week I was on an uncomfortable conference call. One party on the call inquired about being able to quantify the benefit of pursuing a particular project effort. The truth is, in order to measure actual uplift, we would need to modify our approach in one or two business areas. In order to modify our approach, we would need to have sufficient motivation that our current performance is weak and could be easily remedied. We’d need some solid facts.
But I digress. Sort of.
I was reading this article from Juice Analytics. They indicated that one of the hallmarks of a data fluent culture was the ongoing practice of asking questions, inspired by examining data. This is so aligned with the kind of culture that Michael Schrage discusses. Read more about that here.
Examining data touches my job. It touches all of our jobs. Our jobs are to measure, to verify, to inform, to recommend.
Back to the conference call. It’s hard to draw a straight line from an idea to a possible (optimistic) outcome. However, the conversation made me realize there are some things I could be doing a lot better in my job to keep my organization informed. I could openly communicate more information about our donor segments, striving for as much data transparency as possible. I could pose more questions to our constituent data, and deliberately search for opportunities for improvement. I could fearlessly make recommendations from my unbiased position based on my own analysis.
I’d like to hear your thoughts about keeping your organizations informed. Or about establishing a culture of data fluency and important arguments.
If you are like me, you are constantly struggling with ways to improve the style and visual impact of reports, presentations and online communications. Pictures and illustrations can make a huge impact. Today’s bookmark is a free set of icons designed by Print Express, courtesy of Smashing Magazine.
These icons represent work tools for web designers. But seriously, the illustrations are completely transportable. Just click on the image above to examine more previews and download the icons to help ramp up your reports!
Are phonathons still relevant? Maybe another way to ask the same question is to inquire whether communication is still relevant?
I received a call from a young graduate working in the call center at my alumni organization last week. Let’s preface this by saying that I’m not an engaged alumna and in the million years since graduating, I’ve made just 1 gift. Not the best prospect when evaluating the flat facts.
But I get this call from Hillary and I love talking to her. Never mind that she didn’t know what I meant when I asked her to mark my name “do not exchange.” Obviously they need a little training in their call center. But still, when the conversation got around to asking if I’d be interested in making a gift, I already had my credit card out.
Communications experts will say there’s a much better way to spend your money on personal touches like this and it involves our old friend segmentation. Here’s some recent insight regarding call center results around particular segments when called prior to the NCAA Basketball tournament versus after the tournament was under way.
Ruffalo Cody compiled results of telephone outreach efforts for a variety of donor/constituent segments at 22 schools involved in the 2014 NCAA tournament last year and is kindly sharing their insight. Click on the image above to read the results!
The University of Chicago’s Science of Philanthropy Initiative (SPI) recently published an insightful article on psychological thought processes that can make one ask more attractive than another.
After last year’s amazing ALS fundraising campaign, it is apparent that certain psychological tendencies (the fear of missing out) was a contributing factor as the campaign played out across social media. SPI took a closer look at perceptions of giving and perhaps more importantly, examined some distinctive perceptions among wealthy individuals.
The article chronicles six ideas for structuring more effective asks — here’s the first. Click on the image to navigate to the original article. And if you missed Monday’s related blog post, click here.