Mobile marketing strategy for nonprofits: Q&A with Darian Rodriguez Heyman
In April, BetterWorld Wireless launched its innovative Phone for Phone™ mobile service, which provides digital access to people in need by donating a mobile device for every qualified new U.S. mobile customer. During the launch, I was introduced to Darian Rodriguez Heyman, Co-Founder of BetterWorld Wireless and had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about mobile marketing strategy for nonprofits. Darian has kindly shared his answers in the post below, touching on why nonprofits need a mobile marketing strategy, the dangers of operating without one, as well as where – and how – to get started.
What are the benefits of a nonprofit mobile marketing strategy? What are the dangers of operating without one?
Mobile represents yet another channel through which nonprofits can reach potential and current donors, volunteers, clients, and staff. It offers huge benefits for all aspects of nonprofit operations, including fundraising, marketing, and advocacy, and since 30% of web traffic currently comes from mobile, it’s key to at least have a mobile-optimized website. Without that, potential supporters will have a poor experience and are unlikely to come back.
What are some important elements of a strong nonprofit mobile marketing strategy?
Step one is making your website mobile-friendly, meaning optimizing it for mobile devices. Part of that is making it “responsive” to ensure it appears correctly on smaller screens, but also separating out lengthier processes like donating is key. The more innovative nonprofits have thrived by launching mobile fundraising and text2give campaigns, leveraging mobile for auctions at their events, and creating apps to better engage their constituents. Since the field is new, embracing mobile is a great way to help your nonprofit shine. For tips on how to make it happen, check out my recent blog for Beth Kanter, Top 6 Tips for Taking Your Cause Mobile.
What are the biggest mobile marketing myths and misperceptions?
The main one is that mobile doesn’t matter, and that our nonprofit can wait and deal with it later. Folks are already accessing your website and email newsletter on their phones and tablets, so if you don’t meet them where they’re at, you’ll lose their support and attention.
How should a nonprofit go about integrating mobile into their existing marketing strategies and plans?
Start with your goals in mind. I recently wrote a blog for NTEN focused on exactly this, including a useful template to get nonprofits started. Check out the Mobile Matrix and Mobile 101: How Your Nonprofit Can Harness the Power of Mobile and always remember that form must follow function; mobile is a tool, but you have to know what you want to use it for before its potential can be unlocked.
What advice would you give to nonprofit marketers feeling too overwhelmed to take on mobile marketing? Where should they start?
Again, start by making your website mobile friendly, since your supporters are already accessing it that way. The articles and blogs mentioned above all include simple, practical tips to get you started, and remember that just like social media, mobile is a tool. Don’t think of it as something separate—it’s just another means for achieving your goals.
Darian Rodriguez Heyman is Co-Founder & Chief Development Officer of BetterWorld Wireless, which serves U.S. nonprofits with calling, texting, and data plans powered by Sprint, and donates a free phone or tablet to women and girls in need for every customer. Nonprofits can save 5% and get a free phone via their special TechSoup offer. Darian is also the former E.D. of Craigslist Foundation, Co-Founder of Social Media for Nonprofits, the only conference series devoted to social media for social good, and the best-selling author of Nonprofit Management 101 (Jossey-Bass).