Are the days of the desktop computer numbered? They could be — according to ComScore, just 40% of time spent online in 2014 happened on a desktop or laptop computer, with the rest — a whopping 60% — happening on a mobile device.
Political and non-profit email programs must adapt to this shift — or risk being left behind. Here are three tips for making your email program succeed in an increasingly mobile world:
1. Mobile responsive templates:
If your email template isn’t built to be mobile responsive, you’re missing the boat. Users might have been willing to squint and zoom and scroll when they got their first iPhones back in 2007, but these days, templating that makes email content look native to each device isn’t a bonus — it’s expected.
And it doesn’t stop with the email template: Any landing page linked to from an email should be designed to be responsive as well.
2. Shorter, scannable messages:
Viral content sites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy have already gotten the message: Brevity and readability are key if you want users to engage on mobile.
That doesn’t mean your emails have to be cat listicles (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but it does mean that keeping it short, bolding key sentences, and using bullets or numbering where appropriate will keep readers engaged — even when they’re thumbing through emails on a crowded bus.
3. One-click donate:
No two ways about it: Filling out tiny donation forms with your big dumb fingers is HARD. While this challenge is not entirely avoidable (for now), it can be dramatically reduced by aggressively moving users to one-click donate systems.
These systems boost response rates (especially on mobile) by saving users’ payment information – much like one-click ordering on Amazon. Then, contributions can be made with the tap of a finger. In fact, these systems make mobile contributions so easy that yours truly had to politely ask her husband to disconnect one-click functionality in 2012 after he’d made more than one post-happy-hour $100 donation to the Obama campaign on his phone. You win some, you lose some.