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    June 8, 2008

    Everyone, and I mean everyone, is doing it

    There were three interesting items I saw this week that I did not have a chance to blog about earlier, so I figure, what's better than one interesting news item? Three interesting news items!

    The first two come to us from eMarketer: and both tell us that no matter what generation, people are moving to the web. And if they are on the web, they are very likely to make purchases through the web.

    The first report is very near and dear to many of us nonprofit marketers-it is about seniors, our beloved donors we can always count and ones we cannot seem to imagine nonprofit life without. "Seniors Underserved by Online Merchants" notes that as seniors become increasingly web-savvy, merchants (and fundraisers) need to learn the unique preferences of seniors online and how to market to them as as web consumer.

    "In 2006, there were 17.6 million Internet users in the US ages 62 and older. By 2011 that number will increase to 25.4 million. That is a 7.6% average annual growth rate—more than twice the 3.1% growth rate eMarketer forecasts for the entire US Internet population."

    (all graphs in this article from eMarketer)

    For those of you still wondering about e-mail, wonder no longer. Even your traditional donor file is moving to the web.

    Among other concerns, the report notes that seniors on the web are concerned about security, a common concern for web purchasers, and by proxy, web donors.

    "Making customer service easy to reach and having a quick, simple checkout process are also essential. Since security is a major concern for older consumers, Web retailers should engender trust by posting a secure site certification and putting a human face on their Web businesses. A good way to add the human touch is to use an "About Us" page to tell the story of who is behind the business and how it got started."

    How many of us nonprofit marketers have discussed security with our credit card processor? How many have really asked the tough questions, provided a secure-verified site, made sure this was prominently displayed on our donation pages and made donation security a major priority of our investment roadmaps?

    The second article, "Gen Y Comes into Focus", confirms the building spending power of Generation Y. Our income is projected to rise to nearly $4 trillion in less than 10 years, outpacing that of Baby Boomers.

    So, given for Generation Y checking email is like breathing air, and for Seniors email and the web are increasingly becoming a tool they are comfortable with, what are some tips for communicating with our donors to ensure we don't 1) upset them 2) stay relevant 3) create urgency and 4) don't end up in the Spam folder?

    This week the marketing guru Seth Godin himself provided us with an "Email Checklist." My very favorite tip that I think we should all pretty much live by:

    If I had to pay 42 cents to send this email, would I?"

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