Helping Nonprofits Communicate

message. solicit. impact.

Mobile-Friendly Website Needs To Be Your Next Goal

Last week NPEngage released their 2014 Nonprofit Stats.  All 50 are really interesting, but these two stood out for me:

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….that means that there are 62% of your donors who are currently unable to gift because your website doesn’t support it or make it simple on their mobile browser. OUCH.  That’s bad news, friends!  Should this be a 2014 goal? Absolutely.  Is it possible? Potentially… if you have a cost-effective designer or are hosting on WordPress all it takes is a “quick” switch to a ‘responsive’ design.  If not, you may need to start small? Best way to begin – make your emails mobile friendly.

Constant contact published a great guide on making your emails mobile friendly (we are making the switch, ourselves)

1. Be as concise as possible in both design and content

Having a clear and concise message should be a staple of any email, but it’s even more important when designing for mobile. Screen real estate is very valuable on mobile (this is going to be a common theme), so keep the design very clean and simple and focus on the essentials.

2. Use a single column template

Because of the limited real estate you get with a mobile device, it’s generally better to use simple layouts. Often times with multi-column layouts (2 columns and more) your readers will have to zoom or scroll on their smartphone to see everything. This can make it difficult for them to navigate the content of your email and the call to action. Using a single column template will make your content much more flexible for all screen sizes.

3. Use a single, clear call to action

Make sure to include a clear call to action, and put it near the top of your email. Multiple calls to action often make things a little complicated on mobile (remember—you want to be as concise as possible!) Tell your readers what you want them to do, and make it really easy for them to do so. Want them to visit your website or buy now? Make sure that link or button is easy to find and click. Whatever the action you want them to take, just make sure it’s loud and clear. And remember—with mobile, the finger is the new mouse, so make sure it’s really easy to click.

4. Avoid tiny fonts

Make sure your text can be read easily. Use a minimum of size 11pt font for body text and 22pt for headlines.  We also recommend using a strong contrast of colors, like dark text on a light background. Many people turn down the brightness level on the mobile device to help conserve battery—and they are often reading on the go outside in the sunlight—so a strong contrast of colors will be easier to read.

5. Take it easy on images

Only use the images that are essential to your email. Here’s why: Apple’s iOS automatically enables images to display by default, but many other mobile device platforms—like Android—turn images off by default. You can’t assume your images will be displayed. If your email has a bunch of images in it, they might just look like chunks of white space. Because of this, we always recommend including image descriptions (also known as alt text) to let people know what the image is even when it’s not being displayed. A good tip is to always preview your email and make sure it still looks great, even if none of the images are displayed.

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