Hello Tendenci Community, happy month of October, especially for those up in the Northeastern side of the United States, where the leaves are just beginning to change.
Don’t miss out on our quarterly newsletter, subscribe today and stay in the know. This month we have some pretty cool stuff to share, from learning how to Run Campaigns with your Tendenci website to our SEO services and our $500 OFF Coupon!
First – let’s talk about the NOW. Newsletters are back in Tendenci 6!!
Tendenci’s Open Source Integrated Newsletter Generator
A lot of long time clients have resisted upgrading to the responsive-mobile-first-open-source-version of Tendenci 6, or even the responsive designs in Tendenci 5, because of one killer feature in Tendenci 4 (the old Microsoft version) and that was NEWSLETTERS.
We listened. We heard you. It’s back.
The ability to communicate with your membership by study group, by event attendees, to only the board of directors, etc. We heard you loud and clear and the newsletter generator is back in full force in Tendenci 6. To prevent the tragedy of the commons (e.g. another client blacklisting a shared email server) we are requiring clients to use either their own SES or a product like Mailgun.com for the newsletter. This will offload the sending to the third party and each client can manage their own newsletter statistics for the first time.
This also alleviates another area of pain. If one client out of 500 ish purchased an email list and the bounce rate was too high, well, then EVERYBODY got slammed and nobody could even do a “forgot my password” request because another client blacklisted the mail server. It’s just the way the Internet works. Why can’t we all just get along, right?
If you are on Tendenci 6 (not an automatic upgrade from T4 or T5 because we pushed more of the design to the front end … um…. where it belongs and the designers can do their thing. Rock on you artsy folk who make software look awesome. More freedom for you. (just please no comic sans, ok?)
If you are on T4, which is approaching end of life very quickly as I type this (Microsoft, not Tendenci dictated these dates so please don’t send email asking if we can secure something Microsoft isn’t patching anymore).
Turn a negative into a positive. Now is a great time to consider a mobile first bootstrap 3 theme that integrates with Tendenci 6! They’re smart, mobile first, responsive, and make you a rock start. Check out www.wrapbootstrap.com for bootstrap3 themes. They’re kinda awesome like this:
Just one of the many new functional mobile-first capabilities that have been built into open source tendenci since we started the rewrite in 2009. This is functionality we have been able to bring back with the help of the Tendenci community.
After 17 years we know the functionality the people who use the site to register for events need, as well as the needs of the people on the board-of-directors and the person functioning as Executive Director. It just takes a while to rewrite 10 years of code in a completely different technology. And we’re just getting started!
Check the help file for the Tendenci Association Newsletter Sending Tool for more detail and edits over time.
As summer approaches, my inbox is filling up with event invitations to different organizations I participate in. This time of year is really busy for event marketers as you try and boost participation before your members head out to the beach for summer vacations.
It is tough for me to decide what to say YES! and RSVP to and what to respond with my regrets to and I’m sure for most event planners, you want to know how to get your core volunteers, sponsors and supporters to say Yes! to your event instead of other events filling up email inboxes.
So, I thought I would share 10 things you can do that will increase the chances that people will click to register for your event instead of one of the other hundred events going on in your community. Then, in honor of our upcoming Google+ for Business webinar and Google+ for Nonprofits Houston NetSquared June Meet-up, there’s +1 more tip to boost your event ticket sales.
10 +1 Tips to Increase RSVPs
1) Send Shorter Invitations
More and more people are reading their emails via their mobile phones. Keep your initial email invitation short and sweet with the basic event details: when, where, what and most importantly include why this event is important to your registrants and how much it will cost.
2) Link to the Event Summary
Instead of sending all the details of your event in the invitation, just include a link to your Tendenci Event page where people can go to click and learn more. Use Campaign Monitor’s reporting tools to track who clicks for more details and measure against your registrations to follow-up on those who read more and don’t register.
3) Include an Obvious Call to Action
In this case, you want intended guests to register for your event so include an obvious clickable button that someone could click from a mobile touchscreen and go to register and pay for your event.
Here is a great article from Smashing Magazine on how to design better Call to Action buttons that you can add to your email invitations.
4) Show Your Sponsors They’re Loved
Include your sponsors logos and a link to their site in your event emails. Then, use the link tracking reporting tools included with Campaign Monitor to measure and generate reports to your sponsors that show them who and how many event attendees are clicking from your email to visit their website. This demonstrates the value of supporting your organization and you can use this data to increase future sponsorship dollars.
5) Segment and Personalize Your Invitations
Segment your subscriber lists to send personalized email invitations and event announcements and post-event summaries.
Customizing event emails increases the chance that the recipient will open and register for your event.
Here are some different suggestions you can use for segmenting your subscriber lists:
- Segment Guests who attended from those who didn’t attend the event
- Segment by the role each person has in participating for the event: Staff, Volunteers, Attendee, Sponsor, Board Member
- Segment by the event type that each guest attends more often
- Remember that you can include one person in multiple list segments if they fall into multiple categories
Wondering how to create and use segments in your email marketing? Check out this great Help File from Campaign Monitor.
6) Send Regrets to Those Who Can’t Make it
Check guests in at the events and then send separate post-event updates based on those who made it versus those who didn’t make it to the event. Keep track of who has registered leading up to the event and boost last minute registrations by sending those who still haven’t RSVP’d an email with a special discount code.
7) Make Paying Really Easy
Once a recipient has decided to click through your email to register – make sure they can easily pay for and register for the event. Integrate your Tendenci website with one of our online merchant payment gateways to accept credit cards. Use a shorter registration form for them to register and pay that takes the basic details. Then send more information in follow-up emails about your event along with the registration confirmation.
8) Ask Invitees to Bring Their Friends
Make sure you include social sharing links and a “Forward to a Friend” call to action button to make it easy for your guests to share the event invitation with their friends, family and colleagues. Tendenci’s event registration form includes options for people to register guests – let people know when they register in your email invitation to encourage them to bring a friend.
9) Take Photos and Video of Your Events
We can’t say this often enough – take photos and record video at your events and share them on your website to show people what your organization’s events are like. Link to past event wrap-ups with digital media embedded in your email invitations to boost registrations. Send event attendees the photos and videos from events afterwards to increase engagement and build your relationships with your guests so they’ll keep coming back to future events.
10) Optimize Your Event for Search
Add keywords related to your event page on your website and your event will show up to new people who may not know about your event or be on your email or member lists. Here’s an easy 3-step way to figure out the best keywords for search engine optimization:
- Think of what your event attendees might use to search for an event like yours
- Go to Google’s Free Keyword Tool and enter in your search terms to get even more ideas for keywords related to your event
- Then add your keyword phrases to your Tendenci Event on the Edit Meta Page to drive organic traffic to your event registration
+1 Drive Registration from Social Media Networks
Add social share buttons on your event page and share the event on your organization’s social networks. Tweet, post on Facebook, and +1 on your Google Plus Page with calls to action to register for the event.
Don’t forget to share it on your own personal networks and encourage your staff and volunteers to share the event details on their social media sites.
If you’re new to using Google+ Brand Pages, check out this great blog post on the Shipul blog talking about why Google+ is great for driving traffic to your website. And please +1 and follow Tendenci’s Google+ page: https://www.tendenci.com/!
And don’t forget to RSVP for our upcoming Google+ events and other web marketing and website training events on the Tendenci Events Calendar.
Talk to Us!
Do you have any great tips on boosting event registrations? Share your comments and questions below or shoot us an email and tell us how you are using email, social media, and your website for event marketing.
We made some new updates to our Tendenci software for association website management this week.
- Added Payment Method as a Field Label on custom forms.
- Added Two new search filters for user profile search, allowing administrators to search users to view all users with a specific level of permissions and view all users capped at a specific level of permissions.
- Updated some of the base template code to prevent page display errors when admins forget to upload media to custom page templates.
- Updated the corporate membership module to allow more design option in custom template designs for corporate memberships.
- Updated membership entry approval email that goes to administrators with more links to the membership applicant data.
- Added more information on corporate membership renewal notification.
- Improved credit card payment verification process for corporate memberships.
- All memberships now require a membership type at the database level to ensure content validity.
- Moved the Corporate Memberships Tendenci Navigation Tab to the Membership Entry Application Page, replacing the News Tab.
- Administrators will now see the Total Number of Memberships when they search Membership Entries.
- Added a balance to membership entries, which links to the member’s invoice. This will help administrators better manage their association’s finances and account receivables.
- Updated the Jobs Module to prevent duplicate URL slugs from new job postings that are very similar to previous job postings.
- Improved indexing for the Jobs Module to increase relevancy of Job Board search results.
- Add two new search filters for jobs search to allow you to search job postings by their Category and Subcategory.
- Added a new email notification that will send trial/self sign-up customers an email notification 1 week prior to their trial expiration period to inform them their trial period is ending.
- Currently – trial/self sign-up customers will not have their site disabled when their 30-day trial is over. We will receive a notice and send them an email the day their site has expired and will update them when the Beta testing has ended at least 2 weeks before we would disable their trial website.
Click Here to learn how to improve your email marketing using Tendenci’s Newsletter Marketing Dashboard integrated with Campaign Monitor’s email marketing software and find other resources for email marketing success!
Questions about these Updates?
Should You Make Room in Next Year’s Budget for a New Website?
We’ve made a lot of changes with our newest version of Tendenci this year including re-coding certain key modules and features in Python and Django. As you prepare your marketing and IT budget for next year – you may be considering whether or not it is time to update your Tendenci website CMS software to the latest version and wondering what the changes we’ve made will change for your website.
A few of you may not need to update just yet and your organization’s website doesn’t require all of the cool new bells and whistles we’ve piled into Tendenci this past year. Most of our clients find they accomplish better results with their online marketing initiatives when they update their website every 2 years or so. When to update also depends on your online objectives, the purpose of your website, how large your organization is and how fast it is growing.
Change is a Good Thing
If you are curious about the changes we’ve made in Tendenci – we invite you to come learn more about them through one of our Tendenci Training webinars or call us to schedule a demo for your staff. We have been getting a lot of questions from clients trying to understand the costs and the work involved in migrating from your existing Tendenci website to the latest and greatest. Our programmers are adding incredible new functionality almost daily to our Tendenci Online Membership Management Software and we know you’ll just love the new changes as much as we do!
Most importantly, we want you to have all the information you need to clear up any confusion about the process involved with a Tendenci website migration. I want to clear up any confusion and answer your most common questions today so you will have all the details to add a website upgrade in your 2012 budget. I also encourage you to Contact Us if I don’t get to your question in this post.
How much will it cost to migrate?
Migration costs will vary from client to client depending on the complexity of your website Design and Layout. An initial Tendenci migration project can cost anywhere from $2500 to $5000. This is an average range to tell you what you can expect and we would be more than happy to provide you with a specific quote for your organization’s website – just ask us and you’ll have an exact dollar amount to budget for within 2-3 business days.
We have completely revamped our monthly software and hosting fees alongside the changes in our software’s programming language. The new pricing plans are month to month, and will flexibly adjust based on the amount of actual traffic and your website asset usage. You can check out our new monthly software and hosting plans and just ask us if you have any questions.
Will I lose my data from my existing website?
Your data is protected and backed-up throughout the migration process. In rare cases, something from the old version may not translate in the original format to the new version and may require a change in format. During the migration, your old website remains live and your visitors and members won’t experience any disruption.
What about my members, events, invoices, etc?
The migration of content will move your member and user databases, events, invoices, files, and other data from your current Tendenci website to your new website. Some of our modules have been redesigned to include more customization and better functionality. Memberships, for example, now offer a ton more options and customization and your Project Manager will work with you to help you determine if you want to keep your membership types the same or select to update and take advantage of the new features during the migration. The event calendar and event types has a brand new look that we think you’ll prefer over your old version.
What is so awesome about this new version anyways?
Our Tendenci Programming team has made so many new feature changes even we are having trouble keeping up with all of them. Take a look at the still-growing Full List of Tendenci Features and check out what these associations are doing with their new Tendenci websites for some examples.
Should I update my website design also?
The short answer is Absolutely!
New innovations in web design come out almost every day, site visitor behavior changes over time, and then there is compatibility with different browsers and mobile devices that didn’t even exist a year or two ago. A redesign will freshen up your association’s online Brand and ensure the best possible user experience for your members and online community. Migration to the newest version will address and update certain things, like better search engine optimization and improved navigation and user accessibility features.
These updates are your “under the hood” features that your website visitors will experience without really knowing it. A full redesign is like getting a spiffy new paint job on each of your website’s page templates. If your website hasn’t been touched in more than 2 years, you will definitely want to consider adding this into your budget for 2012.
For clients who want the newer software and just don’t have the budget for custom design – we understand completely. We have added new TendenciApp Themes that you can customize color-wise and add your organization’s logo to at a much lower cost than a custom redesign. Check out our theme gallery and tell us which ones you like best.
Can you make my life sending email newsletters easier while you are at it?
You betcha! We were feeling the same frustration all of you were with our older email newsletter module in Tendenci. Our newest version of Tendenci software comes integrated with Campaign Monitor’s Email Marketing Software and gives you the tools you need to create, send, and manage your email newsletters.
In addition to how easy the new email marketing tools are to use, Tendenci’s newsletter integration offers you all the reporting and measurement tools you’re marketing team has been dreaming of – just in time for Christmas. And the best part is – wait for it – create your email newsletter campaign and schedule it to send any day and time of the week you want and it is sent IMMEDIATELY when it is supposed to. (Yea – you all know what I’m talking about… ) 😉
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