Setting up online giving forms can be so exciting… so many options! Recurring and matching gifts, multiple fund designations, tributes, sources, giving levels, the possibilities and combinations are enough to make a giving form that truly appeals to every type of constituent under the sun. Unfortunately, this same flurry of options is also enough to make a mobile user say “forget it”.

Your intentions were good – give the people what they want, options galore. What you did not take into consideration was the attention span of the mobile donor. The most effective mobile giving site undone by its key piece of functionality, and you are left scratching your head.

I run into this situation all too often – a mobile campaign, or brand new mobile site, and the mobile giving does not correlate with the mobile traffic. Thankfully, it’s an easy fix, and with the following tips, you can drastically increase the effectiveness of your mobile giving forms.

Mobile Users have ADD

Do you have a smartphone? Then you are a mobile user. And, as patient as you think you are, I can guarantee you have lost patience with a website you were accessing via your smartphone and went somewhere else more than just a few times. Modern smartphones make navigating via touch a snap, and at the same time, slow down typing to a crawl. So, is it any surprise that when an experience is offered up that is neither touch friendly and requires a lot of typing, that the user in question quickly taps to go somewhere else? Mobile users spend far less time working with an interface than a desktop user. If they can’t move through the interface quickly, they will just go somewhere else, and if you are lucky they will make a mental note to revisit your site once they are on their laptop at home. The first step to fixing this problem is to recognize that your mobile user base behaves differently from your desktop user base.

Keep it Simple

The solution? First, keep your form simple. Sure, you have all these options at your disposal, but you will want to resist the urge to use them all. The more options you put in the form, the more the chance grows that the user gets frustrated and leaves. Sure, there will always be your dedicated users that stick it out and finish the process, but there will also be those that give up, make a mental note to come back on their desktop, and then forget to come back. Just like that, you’ve lost a constituent. A large part of mobile giving is spontaneity, and you need to empower your users to be spontaneous. So, with that in mind, keep your form trimmed down to these key elements:
1) the giving amount
2) the user information
3) the billing information

If you need to have multiple funds, then create multiple slimmed down forms, each pointed to a different fund, and use the interface of your mobile site to drive the user to the correct form. Do the work for your users, make it easy, and they will not get frustrated.

Make it Touch-Friendly

Lastly, you want to make your mobile users feel at home. The more “app-like” your form, the more at home they will feel. As such, anytime you have the ability to use app-like interface elements – large touch-friendly buttons, select lists that open their options below the page, auto-populating text fields, etc., your users will be more delighted by the experience. Again, the key is to make the form fast and easy to use.

With mobile becoming more and more the web experience of choice for many users, you need to be ready to cater your site to them. There will also be a place for complex forms, just do not rely on them for your mobile campaigns.

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