Case Study

The Nature Conservancy

Sometimes the greatest successes are inspired by first coming up short. That’s exactly what happened to Ethan Kearns, Mobile Manager at The Nature Conservancy, who didn’t quite meet his 2015 mobile goals.

“We had a target in 2015 to grow our mobile list from 5,000 people to 15,000 people. At the end of the year, we were at 8,000,” Kearns said. “we were all pretty disappointed by such small results.”

As a result of missing the mark in 2015, Kearns and his team set a more modest goal for 2016: to reach just 10,000 subscribers, a growth of only 2,000 people.

But by August of last year, they had already reached 20,000 people. And now, at the start of 2017, The Nature Conservancy has over 43,000 mobile numbers. 

How did Kearns achieve such rapid growth? It all came down to one small change on the organization’s forms.

Adding Mobile Numbers to Forms Makes Good Financial Sense

Kearns knew that requiring mobile numbers on opt-in forms would dramatically increase the subscriber base. But The Nature Conservancy was naturally hesitant to add additional fields to their forms. They didn’t want to hurt conversion rates.

So Kearns set out to prove that mobile numbers were worth that risk.

“The value of the donor was substantially higher if they had a mobile number on file.”
– Ethan Kearns, The Nature Conservancy

“We took a snapshot of all our donor profiles in our donor database, and evaluated them based on who had a home line on file, who had no number on file, who had a mobile number on file, and who had both,” he said. “And what we came up with was the value of the donor was substantially higher if they had a mobile number on file.”

The Nature Conservancy saw that the average donor with a mobile number was giving significantly more than the average donor without one.

The Result: 800% List Growth with No Drop-off of Conversion Rates

Because of their analysis, The Nature Conservancy decided to include mobile numbers on their opt-in forms. For example, when activists sign pledges in their Online Action Center, they are now required to enter their phone number.

With that one simple change, The Nature Conservancy grew their list of mobile numbers by about 25,000 in a single month. In just a few short months, The Nature Conservancy’s mobile list has grown from 5,000 members to 42,000 members – an 800% increase.

Best of all, the change to The Nature Conservancy’s forms did not hurt conversion rates. One simple change, with no downside, has given The Nature Conservancy a new base of passionate supporters to contribute to their cause.

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