Elise Ledsinger, online fundraising manager at HSI, was generous enough to share a few more data points that drove home the value of mobile optimization.
First, she reported that when HSI optimized its donation form, conversion rates doubled from year-end 2012 compared to year-end 2013. In 2012, 3.1 percent of mobile website visitors converted to donors, and in 2013 that number grew to 6.2 percent. Impressive, for sure. Plus, online fundraising, in the year since the organization switched forms, increased by 76 percent.
When we talked to Ledsinger, the story became far more interesting. You see, HSI, the international arm of the Humane Society of the United States, not surprisingly does work and has constituents in other countries. However, more than half of its supporters are based in the U.S. So while some of the lift might be attributed to the large presence of international supporters, it certainly is not the primary factor.
For HSI, this created additional layers of complexity for its mobile forms. The organization needed to ensure that when a donor read an email on her smartphone (and wanted to take action), she could make her gift in her country’s currency and the donation would be allocated to a restricted or unrestricted account depending on the campaign. The donation also would be directly deposited into the corresponding HSI country office’s bank account, depending on the currency the donor was giving in. HSI worked diligently to design a form that switches bank accounts on the back end dependent on currency but gives the donor a seamless process from start to finish. It gives even the most sophisticated marketers pause.
Working with a Web developer, over the course of six weeks, HSI went from concept to launch on its very complex forms and processing. Using responsive design, every HSI form now automatically formats depending on the screen size — regardless of whether it’s a smartphone, desktop or something in between. Plus (those of us who love sustainers will grin a bit here), HSI included a monthly giving option on the same form as a one-time donation and with the option as a “pop up,” helping increase sustainer conversion to 36 percent of