How much money are you leaving on the table? A lot.

I’m probably not the only one you have ever heard say that you are leaving money on the table by not optimising your websites. But no-one has ever really said how much money. And not knowing turns this money into an abstract that we can’t really relate to, leading us to not act on it. I want to do something about that, starting by sharing some numbers.

As you may know, I started up as a consultant in September of last year. As such, I was lucky to work with a number of different Christmas appeals in 2014, and I can now compare the numbers to tell you exactly how much money you are losing out on.

A small disclaimer before I dive into the numbers; this would of course not hold up as scientific evidence – I don’t have enough data for that. But it is a very compelling example. I have anonymised the charities in mention, as it is unimportant who they are in this regard. They are aware, though. I will not be sharing all numbers to keep confidentiality. But what I do share, should be more than enough to shake you a bit. 

Two of the Christmas appeals were quite comparable, as they both had very direct asks, which led to a landing page where the actual donation would take place. As such, anyone clicking their links were full aware that they were now coming to a donation page, with not much else to do there. Their traffic sources were also very similar. Conversion rates should therefore be comparable.

One of the campaigns, let’s call it Charity A, had a landing page optimised for mobile, and where the donation forms followed best practice. The other, now Charity B, had not yet optimised their page (but were already working on it), and the page and form were not adapted for mobile.

Both campaigns were very successful. But there is a big difference in conversion rates.

Charity A – the optimised one – had a total conversion rate of more than 10% – meaning 10 % of everyone who visited ended up making a donation. And the conversion rate of mobile visitors was more than 8%.

Charity B – the non-optimised one – had a total conversion rate of about 6,5%. But here, mobile conversions were just 2,5%. Essentially, this means that a lot of the mobile visitors gave up on donating.

This is extremely important data, especially if you are using Facebook to draw traffic – a lot of the visits from Facebook are from a mobile.

So what does this mean, money-wise? Well. I compared the two conversion rates, and calculated how much more Charity B would have made with a well optimised page. I did this by taking their average donation and multiplying it with the number of donors they would have had, had they had a better conversion rate. I won’t show you the full calculation, since some of these numbers are confidential, but here are the results:

Moderate estimate (5% mobile conversion)

Charity B would have raised €16.000 / $18.000 / £12.000 more on their Christmas appeal from mobile users.

High (but realistic) estimate (8% mobile conversion)

Charity B would have raised $36.000 / $40.000 / £27.000 more on their Christmas appeal from mobile users.

Now, I would like to remind you that Charity B ran an extremely successful appeal. They raised a lot of money. And still. Look at those numbers!

Even with my own experience of how much the Norwegian Cancer Society improved their digital income after the redesign, it was a bit of a shock to see the numbers spelled out like that.

If you want to check how much you are losing out on, here’s how: 

  • Find your conversion rate from a campaign page or donation page. The number should be as close as possible to the donation moment as possible, to isolate the effect of your form / landing page.
  • Multiply your number of mobile visitors with the conversion rate you want to compare with (5% is a moderate estimate of what conversion should be). You are then left with the number of donations this conversion rate would have given you.
  • Find your average donation amount online.
  • Multiply the number of donations found in the previous step, with the average. You now have the donation amount you would have raised.
  • Subtract your actual donation amount from the number you just found. You now know exactly how much money you left on the table.

P.S.: Need help? I am happy to help you find those numbers, if you would allow me to save them for analysis and sharing (anonymously of course) with my readers later on. 

P.S 2: Done the calculations and decided you are done throwing money out the window and want to fix it? I can help. 

Money on the table



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