Tag Archives: communications

Mobile compatibility is a requirement

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.

 

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Strategic value of constituent research

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.

M&L

 

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.

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Digital Adoption survey – share your input!

NTEN is partnering with Mobile Citizen to explore how organizations use online services and programs to help their constituents connect.

 

Click the NTEN logo to enter the survey 🙂

 

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Trendline: personalization

We’re all in agreement on applying personalized greetings to the correspondence we send to our donors, studying our website visitor demographics to craft appealing content and even generating different versions of our outbound email communications depending on the recipient segment.  These are all best practices in personalization.

 

Imagine my surprise when I read about a creative way to deliver an annual report with a fun, personalized flourish!  Yes, even the dry annual report can become a vehicle to engage and inspire our constituents with a bit of creativity.  BigDuck Communications highlighted the idea in a recent blog post that you can read here.  The innovative organization who created the report was Warby Parker, the uber popular maker of eye glasses.

 

But the fun doesn’t stop there.  After you customize your report, you get the choice to post it to the social media channel of your choice, and in the case of the BigDuck reader, the Warby Parker social media team interacted with her via her social media channel after she made her post.  Which of course, would make anyone feel extra special.

 

So what about it?  Sign me up!

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A heart-felt thank you message

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.

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The most important argument

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.

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Nonprofit Communication Trends for 2015

NonprofitMarketingGuide.com surveyed 1,535 nonprofit staff members in November 2014 regarding their channels and frequency of outbound communications and their perceptions about important communications content and success.

Overall, nonprofits are communicating more often, in both electronic and print channels, but struggle with the workload associated with creating compelling content and finding ways to engage communities.  Here’s a snippet from the results.

nonprofit_communications

 

If you’d like to check out all of the insight the report provides, you can download the 2015 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report here.

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