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ActBlue Profitably Tweaks Mobile Giving

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, December 20 2010

Back in June, the Democratic online fundraising clearinghouse ActBlue rolled out a mobile version of its website. Seven months later, ActBlue's Adrian Arroyo is back with a self-reported peak into what they've seen happen since. Mobile traffic is still but a small slice of the activity is ActBlue is seeing, but it's growing an a good clip -- going from 2.6% of visits to ActBlue back in May, reports Adrian, to 5.6% increase by October of this year. And that's why, writes Arroyo, that it was extra important for the company to tweak their mobile donation form to be easier to navigate and complete.

It seems to have worked:

That simple fix lead to a 160% increase in the conversion rate. That's crucial because as more and more people get smartphones, more and more people will be check their email on their phones. And, since email fundraising is still the gold standard in online politics,  a 160% increase in the conversion rate for mobile users is nothing to sniff at.

There's more to do in this area, and we're hard at work on it. It's just another way we're keeping Democrats ahead of the curve.

Mobile is clearly on the rise. A mobile expert recently quoted on GigaOm predicted that mobile traffic will top one exabyte by the end of this year. (And here's me not even knowing what an exabyte is.) For more on that fact's implications for politics, check out this guest post from Katie Harbath on what she has seen exploding on the mobile front from her perch at the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.

It's interesting to keep in mind that when it comes to online political donations, the plain ol' World Wide Web is where we're likely going to see innovation, at least in the near term. Apple, as we've noted, doesn't let donations happen through any of its apps, saying that political donations are incompatible with their 70/30 model by which the company takes the latter percentage as a cut of whatever gets processed through the iOS apps that run on iPhones and iPads. And the Federal Election Commission recently put the kibosh on the idea of the collecting donations via text message.

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