The corner office has spoken: “We need to raise more money online. Get on it!”

Oh my … what to do?!

Here are three choices the pressured online fundraiser might consider …

1. Make our fundraising emails ‘mobile friendly’.

2. Take a fresh look at our Facebook and other social media presence.

3. Improve the conversion rate on our website (and generate more traffic to same).

Which of these should take priority? Or is it something else altogether?

Personally, I would probably look at my email fundraising first, and make sure we were delivering our appeals in a mobile-friendly way. Most of your online dollars are already generated from email appeals, but as The Agitator has been reporting, more and more emails are being opened on mobile devices … probably more than half in your case.

Then I’d look at my website and its presentation of solicitations (and any other calls-to-action or offers), strive to make them more compelling, and streamline/simplify the conversion process as much as possible.

Why? Read this very useful article (and check out the splendid infographic) from MarketingProfs, titled: Consumer Psychology and the E-Commerce Checkout. When it comes to product shopping online, consumers determine whether to purchase within 90 seconds. If a page takes three seconds to load, 57% of online consumers will abandon the site. And visuals are super-critical — 93% say visuals are the top influencing factor affecting a purchase decision. This is the commercial context that has shaped consumer expectations by the time your fundraising appeal arrives!

Only when I felt I had seriously improved my email and website marketing would I turn to my social media presence.

Why? As this overview article from the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports, citing Blackbaud, only 1% of all online fundraising can be attributed to social media. 2% of US nonprofits raised $10,000 to $25,000 through Facebook over twelve months; 1% raised $25,000 to $100,000. Get your online fundraising priorities right.

And what action might I take that could improve all my digital fundraising?

Use video.

The MarketingProfs article mentioned above cites a number of findings that support the importance of video in influencing online purchase decisions — for example, 44%  of consumers say they purchase more products on websites that allow them to learn about the product via video. Consumers stay on video-offering websites longer and return to them more often.

This analysis from market research firm Aberdeen Group (courtesy of Brightcove, a leading online video marketing firm), supplements the case. It reports that the average conversion rate on commercial websites using video is 4.8%, compared to 2.9% for sites without video. Obviously this translates into significant cost-per-acquisition advantage — Aberdeen calculates companies using video require 37% fewer unique site visits to generate a marketing response.

Dig deeper into online video if you wish with this white paper — Awesome Video Strategies — from another video marketing firm Limelight Networks.

OK, you get my point. An investment in online video could help you on all fronts — email appeals, mobile impact and website conversion.

Not a bad response when your boss demands,  “We need to raise more money online. Get on it!”


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