Analytics are showing that not only has Pinterest exploded in growth over the last year, but also that users of this site tend to purchase things they share on it more than any other social network… which means revenue for marketers who can take advantage of this tool!
According to Comscore, Pinterest buyers spend more money, more often, and on more items than any of the other top 5 social media sites.
81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from Pinterest.
The most popular categories of sharing are Food & Drink, DIY, and Home Decor (source)
Most Popular Categories Shared on Pinterest
80% of Pinterest users are Women
50% of Pinterest users have children
28.1 percent of Pinterest users have an annual household income of $100,000. (source: Ultralinx)
Monitoring Pinterest Brand Activity Online
So you got it: Pinterest rocks and you’ve started using it as part of your social media strategy. You’ve created branded boards, added Pinterest Sharing widgets to your website, and are reading everything you can about best practices for Pinterest marketing (I recommend this great post from HubSpot: “The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Pinterest for Marketing“). Now what?
With all of the new Social Media Tools out there, it is getting more and more difficult to keep track of all of things people are saying about your brand online.
We recently discovered the tool PinAlerts – an easy to use tool that sends you updates when content from your domain is pinned on Pinterest!
Getting Started with Pinterest Brand Monitoring in 3 Easy Steps
Step 1 – Create an Account
The form is really simple – just a name and email and you can get started.
Step 2 – Add Domains
Add as many domains as you like, separated by a comma, that you want to monitor Pinterest posts for. You have options to receive emails once an hour, one a day, once a week, or as it happens (similar to Google Alerts).
Click “Create a Pin Alert”
Step 3 – Receive Emails!
PinAlerts will send you emails at your specified frequency. The emails contain the image that was pinned, the name of the person who pinned, and a link. The nice thing about this is that on Pinterest people use their real names – so you can figure out who your influencers are fairly easily (instead of having to decipher usernames).
Note: I did notice that the first email came through with some older things that it discovered for the first time when I signed up.
Sample Email Alert:
Manage Your Alerts
Log back in to edit, add, or remove alerts you have set up. The interface is really easy to use – so you can add and edit your alerts as much as you like!
What other tools and resources are you using to aid in your Pinterest efforts? Share them in the comments below!
Each year in January, I spend time researching different market reports from 2012 to identify the upcoming trends within the technology industry. I use this information to predict what technology and marketing trends will most likely matter to the nonprofit association and open source community so I can give you insight without having to spend the time researching all of this data yourself.
I’m really excited about 2013 because I see a dramatic shift coming this year in the way we all interact with and think about information technology. Knowledge that was once proprietary or extremely difficult to gain is being pushed out onto the web in a volume that we can’t consume fast enough.
Take Coursera.org, for example, where you can take courses from Universities like Stanford, CalTech, and John Hopkins. For Free!!
Coursera is just one of dozens of online education platforms that have free (or nearly free) classes on virtually any topic. Add to this the important details that because the classes are offered through your web browsers – you also can access them anytime and any place with the added bonus of an online community from connecting with the other students who’re taking the class. Personally, I prefer the learning experience I get when I’m on Lynda.com or Codeacademy to that I received back in college. I predict that as more people gain access to the web through cheaper and faster mobile devices, more people are going to these online learning sites instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars in tuition.
Knowledge is Freedom
Knowledge is power when someone else knows how to do something you need done and don’t know how. When you know how to manage your own website, for example, then you can choose whether or not you want to pay for someone to manage your site. You also have the choice of how much you want to manage and how much you want to outsource.
Schipul Technologies has always believed that education is key, and provides tons of free training and resources for our employees and our community. This year, we’re really ramping up our training opportunities for clients and web developers looking for more Tendenci training. Keep an eye on our Events Calendar to find new webinars, in-person workshops, and other classes we’ll be adding this year. We’ll also be sharing more nonprofit website success stories and technology tips and tricks in our email newsletters and here on the blog.
What topics do you want to learn more about? Tell us in the comments below or send us an email. Now, here’s the 3 tech trends I predict will be the biggest nonprofit boosters in 2013.
Avoid the “ooh shiny!” Syndrome in 2013
All three of my top trends are going to be familiar to you. There’s no surprise tech hidden in this blog post… and that’s because 2013 is going to be the year we all focus on simplification and education. Marketers are overwhelmed trying to produce enough content and users don’t have time to read it.
This year, instead of creating a new account for every “next big social media app” – spend time looking into your analytics to see what’s not working that well and cut it out. That’s why each of my predictions include some of the things to consider before you jump into the newest web trend. You’ve got a lot on your plate this year if you’re going to change the world, so be selective with your time.
Trend #1 – Online Video Becomes Mainstream
In the 2012 report released by the NPD Group, 45% of people in a survey said that the TV was their primary screen for watching online videos. In 2011, that figure was 33%. The report also discovered that online video viewing from PCs is declining, because more people are watching internet videos on their TV’s, instead of watching traditional television and cable programs. It’s pretty obvious to me that in 2013, we’ll see that number rise well above the 50% and online video becomes something families watch together.
Google’s been preparing for this for years and you can apply for the Google for Nonprofits program to get a premium YouTube Brand channel that offers additional tools to customize and promote your stories through video. If you already have a YouTube Brand Channel and are trying to figure out how to better utilize it, then check-out this cool YouTube Brand Channel Interactive Show And Tell Google and TED developed. Download the Playbook Guide: Youtube for Good to get started with Youtube for your nonprofit with great tips, examples, and advice specifically developed for nonprofit’s seeking to boost their engagement online through videos.
Should You Focus on YouTube This Year?
Videos are a great platform for telling engaging stories and driving action from people and are a perfect tool for nonprofits. Videos also take time, money, and a fair amount of expertise with filming and editing. Before you dive into a YouTube Brand Channel, you’ll want to evaluate your resources and compare them to the costs involved with managing the production process to create new and engaging videos regularly.
Large organizations probably want to get serious about allocating a portion of your budget for video marketing and make this the year you commit. Smaller and mid-sized organizations who haven’t done any online video marketing yet may want to start with making one video that they can embed on your website and share on your Facebook page to get an idea of what an ongoing video campaign would entail.
I wrote about nonprofit video storytelling in a blog post last year with great advice that still holds true. In addition though, new online video tools have been popping up almost daily that are inexpensive and easy to use. Here’s a few video apps I recommend that will introduce you to online video production and marketing:
Animoto – I love how EASY it is to use Animoto and they offer free upgraded features for nonprofits. Check out the Animoto blog to watch other nonprofit videos created with Animoto.
GoAnimate! Videomaker – Sign-up for their basic plan (it’s free) and try your skills at making animated videos. GoAnimate also has a ton of Video Maker Tips on topics like selecting animation software and directing voice overs in your videos.
Wistia – Host your online videos here instead of YouTube when you need to keep your videos privately accessible by members or specific people. Wistia has a free plan that includes 5 videos, and integrates with other tools you’re already using like Salesforce, Google Analytics, and many social sharing sites, including Facebook.
Trend #2 – Leave Your Wallet at Home, Just Remember Your Smartphone!
Mobile Payments just might be the biggest disruptive tech in 2013. This technology is changing the economy in Africa at a pace never before seen, and Africa isn’t the only economically disadvantaged country that’s benefiting from mobile technologies. Ironically, the U.S. is one of the slowest countries to adopt mobile payments technology, primarily because the US banking industry already had a very large technical infrastructure in place that wasn’t compatible with mobile payment tech.
Americans are gradually adopting mobile payments, and Starbucks, in a partnership with Square, is leading the pack of businesses who’ve discovered how to profit from mobile payments, with a reported 7 million users paying for their morning cup of coffee with their smartphones. Mobile and web merchant account providers have been learning from the early adopters, like Starbucks, that the key to increasing consumer adoption of mobile payments means designing a better experience via “virtual wallet” apps for iOS and Android devices.
Square, for example, offers a free mobile wallet app that includes features for earning and tracking loyalty points from participating vendors, sending and receiving virtual gift cards, and reporting tools on how you’re spending money. Square wants to increase adoption of mobile payments by creating that emotional connection between a consumer and their virtual wallet; evident when you visit their website:
“A wallet holds credit and debit cards, half-punched loyalty cards, wrinkled checks, and ancient receipts. But a wallet should do more. It should help you discover great places and earn you rewards. It should help you build relationships, not just pay for things.”
A wallet that helps you build relationships? That sounds exactly like the kind of wallet a great donor is going to have, and that’s why nonprofits should start incorporating mobile payment options that go beyond the web page.
Things to Consider Before Jumping into Mobile Payments
Of the three trends I list here, mobile payments is the one that you definitely shouldn’t ignore. Why? Because it’s relatively cheap, easy to set-up and manage, and you don’t want to ever miss a donation opportunity. Gen Y and Millenials are growing up and growing ever more attached to their mobile devices, and they don’t have the barriers towards adopting new technology.
If you haven’t been taking online payments through your website, then this could be a great opportunity to jump into digital payments for donations. That being said, you still want to do the research to determine if and how your organization can benefit from mobile payment adoption. Here’s some tips to help you evaluate mobile payments:
If you aren’t able to or don’t need to accept financial contributions, then it’s probably safe to say you don’t need mobile payments.
You probably don’t need to spend the money to have a custom mobile app designed, however if you’re looking for options then you might want to check out LevelUp’s white label option which saves you time and money by giving you a custom designed app built on a pre-existing platform.
Sixrevisions has a great article that provides an overview of online payment processing including definitions of commonly used terms and reviews of 10 most common online merchant account providers.
Trend #3 – Tablets are More than Just Mobile, They’re Everywhere
Many nonprofit organizations have been using tablets for engaging with their constituents over the past couple of years. Museums, like the Smithsonian and Children’s Museum of Houston, incorporate tablets into their exhibits to increase interactivity with their members. Humanitarian organizations, like the Red Cross and FEMA, are using tablets for their mobile staff who need access to email and online tools while working in remote locations or regions that have had their infrastructure destroyed from natural disasters.
Even though many nonprofits have readily adopted tablets for mobile engagement efforts, most haven’t taken a look at how their own .Org’s website looks on a tablet, or more importantly, tried to complete their online donation form from a tablet. This past year, tablets were repeatedly out-purchasing smartphones, and I’m predicting that nonprofits will miss out on potential fundraising opportunities if their websites aren’t donation-friendly for tablet users.
What does your website look like on an iPad? How does it look on a 7″ screen vs 9″ or 10″? These are the kinds of questions you should have been asking in 2012, because there’s a great chance that visitors are looking at your website from a tablet now more than their smartphones. If you’d like to see some examples of great mobile sites for nonprofits, check out Nonprofits.org’s article on “Three NonProfits Pioneering Responsive Web Design.”
Tablets give you a faster browsing experience and longer battery life compared to smartphones, without sacrificing their portability. In addition to providing a better mobile experience than smartphones, tablets also tend to have lower prices for features than smartphones. You can spend $600+ for an iPhone5 or you can spend $400 for a Google Nexus and get a higher performance tablet that comes with more storage, longer battery life, and a bigger screen. Tablet prices are dropping fast too, with $100 prices being touted at CES this year.
Granted, the tablets don’t come with the ability to make phone calls – but who cares? We can download one of the numerous free (or nearly free) apps that allow us to have voice over IP chats and just hunker down in the nearest Starbucks or McDonalds for the free wi-fi. Check out Viber’s app, for example. I find it interesting that the only “downside” I can think of to a tablet versus a smartphone is the size – and if we go back to trend #1, you’ll recall that we’re rapidly moving our online video experience to the larger tv screens. We want the larger screen.
Tablets seem to have found their niche as the perfect balance between mobility, performance and screen size.
Should You Invest in Tablets and Mobile Tech?
I highly recommend you head over to Beth Kanter’s blog to find the in-depth answer to this question in the post: How and When Should Your Nonprofit Organization Invest in Mobile. It recommends you look at your site’s traffic sources and if you’re getting more than 20% traffic from mobile devices, then you should prioritize getting a mobile-friendly website design. If you’re getting less than 20% mobile traffic but the vast majority of your online community is reporting issues with using your site on mobile devices, you might also want to look at a redesign.
Tablets come with an entirely different interface from other devices, navigating the web using gestures. Finger swipes and taps interact with web pages different than a mouse and keyboard. Most websites, even those with responsive or mobile stylesheets, weren’t designed to engage with visitors that way. A recent survey done by Compuware.com on tablet user web experience expectations shared that not only did tablet users expect a website page to load in 2 seconds or less, tablet users also expected their tablet to perform as well as their laptops.
If you don’t own a tablet, I recommend heading to your local Best Buy or Fry’s and playing with some of the different models. Find one that has access to websites and go look at yours and other sites and try clicking through the sites and performing the same functions you would normally perform from your PC and Smartphone. In particular, try making a donation on your website from a tablet and see if you run into any roadblocks.
Did you run into problems testing your donations form using a tablet? If so – you probably will want to look at updating your site to a responsive designed theme. Want to go more in-depth with tablet design for websites? Here’s some great articles I recommend:
Find out the “Do’s and Don’ts” for tablet website design in this article on 1stwebdesigner.com, which includes tips like keep your website design simple, don’t use flash animation, and consider the information tablet users are looking for when they visit your site so you can highlight this on your homepage and in your site’s headers or footers.
Webdesign.tutsplus.com has a great article that teaches the 6 tips to remember when designing for tablets. The article gives realistic advice like how to design for fingers instead of mouse clicks, and designing for multiple orientations.
Check out the results of a 2013 Consumer focused survey by Accenture which evaluates the devices that are going to be the most popular, and shares the best tactics to use based on your audience’s preferred devices – download the PDF of the Survey and Read the Full Article on TechCrunch.com.
What Trends do You See Coming in 2013?
My predictions are based solely on my experience and research, and you most likely have a different perspective that I haven’t thought of yet. What trends do you see coming in 2013 that nonprofits should be paying attention to?
UPDATE: Final Results and Congrats to our Winner Kelly!
Below are the results of the poll!
We picked a random participant using Random.org and the winner is Kelly P.!
The Big Game is on Sunday and whether you’re in it for the football, the commercials, or the real-life drama of two brothers coaching against each other in the Super Bowl for the first time ever… over 100 million of us will be watching (111.3 million last year set a new record!).
In support of our Silicon Valley California Office we are pulling for the San Francisco 49ersÂ in the big game on Sunday – And we want to know who you are rooting for!
Who will you be rooting for in the Super Bowl Sunday?
Vote in our poll and we’ll send one participant something sweet!
Tendenci has come a long way since it was started in 2001. I didn’t have a choice back then so thus began (at the time – we are now open source) a proprietary system. But we work mostly with Associations and Non Profits. They/You (and I can attest first hand after volunteering with several nonprofits over the years) don’t want proprietary – you want OPEN SOURCE!
So what is our roadmap for Tendenci, now completely open source, for donor management?
I have to say we weren’t feeling the urgency on the donor management part until recently. Why? Because Blackbaud (Nasdaq BLKB) acquired Convio and removed the only viable option. And now they are shutting down Common Ground. Not cool. (Side bar: Word is Convio used to advertise “Common Ground, because we’re not Raiser’s Edge.” If that is true or not, it’s still funny and was always a comment that came up at NTEN or Techsoup meetings over the years.)
Tendenci is written in Django and Python and will remain open source. We are adding a basic GPL CRM with modifications for donor management first. More importantly we are integrating Tendenci with the Salesforce Foundation and the Non-Profit Starter pack through their open source connectors and well documented API.
We are prepared and qualified. We have a former employee who now works at Salesforce, we use Salesforce ourselves, and quite frankly they seem to care about the non-profit world. We at Schipul are “all in” as they say as are Tendenci powers the majority of our clients are non-profits.
What can you do now to get ready?
If you want to get ready to fully integrate your Tendenci site, hosted with us or self hosted with the open source community version, a good jumping off point would be to read up on the great work the Salesforce Foundation does for Non Profits. Sign up with the Foundation to get your free licenses even if you just want to play around with it.
I’ll try to keep everyone more up to speed on our roadmap, it’s been a crazy year. But make no mistake, we are building an open system that will reduce the costs of advocacy and non-profit associations and foundations by a factor of 10 compared to Raiser’s Edge. There is hope. (Programmer? – join us on github! http://github.com/tendenci/tendenci ) And in case you can’t tell, I’m excited about this!
UPDATE 1/22/2013 7:15 PM – All sites should be now functioning with a normal load time. Timeouts have ceased and the firewall will now allow FTP connections and allow payment gateways to post to Tendenci. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. We will continue to monitor server connections. Thank you.
UPDATE 1/22/2013 5:30 PM – We are still working on this issue with our service provider this evening. Some clients are reporting issues with the email server as well on Tendenci 4 sites. This means that email sent from the website (such as password resets) may be delayed. We will update with more information as we have it.
Thank you again for your patience, we apologize for the inconvenience.
Our Tendenci 4 servers are currently experiencing a heavy increase of traffic, which has limited our connections to T4 sites. Your data is NOT at risk. This does not effect visitor’s ability to access your website or admin’s ability to log in. It does effect FTP connections (FTP connections may time out) and merchant account connections.
We are working on the issue and will update here as we have more information.
Tendenci 4 Merchant Account Connections May be Interrupted
Any payment gateway that is posting back to Tendenci 4 may be interrupted. Payments are being processed normally at the Merchant Account (i.e Authorize.net), but for some clients the approval confirmation is timing out before it is reported back to Tendenci.
If this happens, you will get an Error Message that payment was approved but there was an error in reporting the transaction back to the website.
Below is a sample timeout Error Message from Authorize.net:
If you get this error or reports from your customers of this error, please contact our support team and we walk you through how to verify the payment was processed correctly and update your invoices in Tendenci.
The beginning of the year is a great time to take a step back and evaluate our habits, both off line and online.Â With 2012 in the rear view mirror, we’re looking forward to 2013 by putting together some resources to audit your online efforts in 2013. Think of it as New Year’s Resolutions for your website!
In this first post we’ll start at home base – your home page. Your homepage is the doorway where most people will enter your website, and from there they’ll decide if they want to go any further. Below are 7 recommendations for improving your homepage in 2013:
Your 2013 Homepage Audit | Resolutions for your Website Part 1
Note: Try your best to be objective as you go through this list. Websites are living things that need to evolve to stay current and interesting, so it’s natural that things will need to change over time to keep your site providing value. Every new year is an opportunity to make your website work even harder for you!
1. Do a Squint Test
Pull up your homepage and give yourself 2 seconds to determine “What does this organization do?“
It should be clear what your organization does, and ideally also what differentiates you from other organizations. Whether you are a large company and can provide the benefit of a network of partners, or you are a small company and provide the agility and personal service of a small team – think about how you stand out in the crowd and make sure it is clear on your site. For nonprofits, you may stand out because your cause effects a wide group of people, or that it is a niche issue that needs more support for education.
Don’t feel like your homepage is quite communicating those elements? Some things to think about changing in 2013:
Revisit The Headline – (see #2 below)
Update the images – A site can feel fresh and new just by updating the main large banner image. Test different images in this spot.
Add a video – Some organizations have a complicated or highly visual product or industry this is hard to sum up in short copy. Video is a powerful way to communicate a complex message on your homepage.
Feed in dynamic content from other places –Â Feed in content from your blog, photo albums, articles feed, etc. – so visitors always see something new that showcases your expertise in your field.
2. Re-Evaluate your Headline
Your headline is one of the most important elements on your page.It should give your audience an idea of who you are and intrigue them to spend more time on your site. It takes humans aboutÂ 3 secondsÂ to decide if they are interested in something, and you want to make the most of that time.
There are three types of headlines:
Benefit headlines – Showcase the benefit of your product/service/cause
News headlines – Communicate the latest and greatest from your organization
Curiosity headlines – Pique their curiosity into learning more
Getting Started – Brainstorm! When we are writing headlines, we’ll often brainstorm 100 or more before we start narrowing down. Write down anything that pops into your head, even if it seems silly. Ask for input from different departments for ideas to get a wide range of perspectives. And when in doubt – Test, test, test!
Schipul has a free Keyword Density Analyzer Report SEO tool that analyzes which keywords and key phrases are used the most on any one page. Enter your homepage URL and check the results to see which phrases you use the most within your homepage content. These top phrases are what you are communicating to the search engines that your site is about.
Focus on the two word and three word phrases. One word terms are so generic that they’re not only hard to rank for, but are probably more generic than what your target audience would search for (the average Gooogle search is 3-5 words). When looking at this report, really hone in on those 2 and 3 word keyterms.
Look at your two and three word keyphrases and you should see:
Your brand name (this may be in the one word column)
Your geography (if you serve a target geographic area)
Your top product/service (or industry if that is a better descriptor of what you do)
If Â any of those items are missing, update your page to incorporate those terms in more places across your site. Think about the Title Tag, Meta Description, within the Tagline, in alt tags, headers, or of course the content of the page.
4. Update your Title Tag
Your title tag is just a few characters, but is one of the top things the search engines look at when attempting to determine what your page is about. Make sure your title tag follows the following:
It is accurate – a lot can change in a year, and maybe you are marketing yourself using slightly different terminology than you did last year, or have prioritized your service lines differently. Your title tag should reflect these changes as well.
It includes your brand name, geography, and top product or service –Â Like your top keyword list, your title tag should display who you are, where you are, and what you do.
Keep it short – ideally 70 characters – Google only displays the first 70 characters of your title tag in search results, and you’re not guaranteed that Â they will index any more than that (many SEOs believe this limit is actually getting smaller in 2012). Bing may index more, but only shows 60 in search results. Keep your title tag short and the most important key terms toward the front.
It does not include the word “Home” – Don’t waste space in your Title Tag with words that aren’t helpful to either a search engine or a visitor of your site. We know it’s the homepage… leave it out of the title tag.
Tip: Put your brand name at the end. You should rank well for your brand name without really trying because you are the best answer for that term (and it is probably written all over your site). You are going to have to work a little harder for your other keyword terms – put those first so the Search Engines give them some extra weight.
5. Re-Evaluate your Navigation & Footer
Because your navigation and footer display on every page of your website, these places are prime real estate for cross linking between your pages. Here are some things to think about when evaluating your website Navigation & Footer:
What does your target audience really need? Make sure to include content that meets their needs first.
Think of other places to cross link new content – Sometimes we’ll add new content and get excited and put it in the navigation just to make sure people see it, even if it really doesn’t belong there. Think of other places you can cross link to this content, like in sidebars or within the content of other heavily trafficked pages. Or maybe it deserves its own homepage rotator.
Consider a “Mega Nav” or “Monster Footer” for better usabilityÂ – These design elements give you much more space than a traditional Navigation or Footer single row of links. If your site is complex, consider giving your Header and Footer even more real estate to fit more content to help visitors get through the site.
Monster Footer examples
6. Is your site Mobile & Tablet friendly?
The importance of the mobile web is growing. As of 2012, 7.96% of all US web traffic is mobile traffic (Source). AÂ study released just a few days ago found that sites withÂ mobile optimized and rendered content are getting more mobile organic traffic from Google. Is your site mobile ready?
Test your site on various devices – iPhone, Android, and iPad are the most popular (more mobile stats by device). Look at your site’s Google Analytics to find which devices your specific audience views your site on the most.
Can Visitors Contact you from your Mobile Site?Â -Â Does your contact form work from a mobile phone? Is your phone number in text so it is clickable from a mobile device? Pay special attention to these elements.
The Rise of Responsive Design – 2013 is already being called “The Year of the Responsive Design.” A responsive design is a layout that adjusts to the size of your browser automatically. There is only one stylesheet that adjusts instead of flipping to a separate template or different URL completely. This means that the search engines only have to crawl one site, and you don’t have to remember to update content in multiple places. It also gives you the flexibility of multiple screensizes on the same device (i.e. Horizontal iPad vs Vertical iPad).
Provide mobile content – Mobile trends that are growing include Location Based Tools, Organization Tools, & Social Integration. Think of how your organization can provide content in those areas on your mobile site.
Example Responsive Design
7. Re-visit the Web Marketing Fundamentals
Ed Schipul wrote the Web Marketing Fundamentals back in 2003, and they still apply to all of the websites we create here at Schipul. It is always good to refresh yourself on these fundamentals and ask yourself questions like:
Are there other ways you can establish credibility on your site? Think about adding partner organization logos or testimonials
Is it easy to contact you? Is your phone number clear and contact form easy to find?
Measure your Results!
It is important to also look at the results of the changes you’ve made to your homepage this year. Remember that it can take Google time to recrawl your pages, so keep an eye on these metrics over time to determine if your efforts are making a difference on your site:
Homepage Bounce Rate – The Bounce Rate is the percent of people who landed on the page and then left without clicking anywhere else (bounced). We like to see Bounce Rates for a site in general less than 50% (this means that over half of the people who came to the site found something interesting to click on next). If you are providing more enticing content on your homepage, your Bounce Rate should go down throughout the year as more of your visitors have a reason to explore your site.
Traffic from Search Engines – We like to see traffic from Search Engines above 50 or 60% of your total traffic. As you optimize your homepage, you should see more traffic to this page from Search Engines.
Engagement of Mobile Visits – In Google Analytics (and probably in most of analytics tools as well), you can filter to just visits from mobile devices. Keep an eye on these stats throughout the year – how long do these visitors spend on your site? Which pages do they visit most? Is this changing over time as you make improvements to your mobile site?
We posted 66 blog posts this year on the Schipul blog about topics ranging from web marketing tips and tools, social media strategy, nonprofit marketing, and general geeky fun! Our top posts of 2012 cover topics from web analytics, new social media tools, client spotlights, and some Geek Love. We’ve put together a list of the top ten posts of 2012 for you to enjoy again!
Coming to Tendenci Websites in 2013: Event Management and Registration Features You’ll Love for Your Festivals, Galas, and Fundraising Events!
2013’s going to be a Big Year, and Tendenci’s working on new updates to your online calendar and event registration module because we want to make sure this is your biggest year yet!
On the 12th Day of Christmas, Tendenci’s Gift to You: Twelve New Updates to the Events Calendar Module!
Here’s 12 new featuresand updates we’re making this year to the Tendenci Events Calendar module to help you manage online registrations for your association programs and fundraising Gala’s.
** We’ve got even more event module updates planned for Tendenci’s 2013 Roadmap, and this list is just to give you a taste of the delicious treats we’ll be adding to Tendenci in 2013!
You’ll Love Creating New Events With These New Features
1) Import and Export Events
We’re super excited about this feature because it will make it faster for you to create multiple events simply by importing all of the text and dates in a spreadsheet, instead of having to create and type in all of this information manually for each event.
2) Default Custom Event Registration Forms
Now you have the choice of using the default event registration form, or our improved custom event registration forms. We listened to your feedback this year and the new custom registration forms now have predefined fields that integrate with the website’s database and user records for reporting and simplify the time it takes you to create and customize a new registration form.
If you want to use a custom registration form now, you already will find a default form with the standard contact information handy to add or remove to your form simply by checking a box. You can also customize which fields on the custom form also display on the event roster. Now you can ask what t-shirt size or special meal requests your guests have without the time involved with creating a brand new form.
3) Schedule Automatic Email Reminders to Attendees
When you create new events, you’ll find a new option that enables you to send email reminders to your attendees that you create and schedule. Tendenci will automatically send the reminder for you, so you don’t have to remember to remind your registrants!
4, 5, & 6) Three New Ways to Promote, Search and Display Your Events
4) More Search Options
We’re adding more searchable field filters to the events module so your members can find the events most relevant to each of them. You’ll be able to search your events by date, event type, membership and user group permissions, and more!
5) New Priority Event Feature
You’ll soon find a new Priority checkbox on your new event forms. When you check this, Tendenci will keep your events on top of your events search list, and add a Star icon to your month view calendar. Now you can highlight your main events each month to help your members decide which events to attend.
Here’s some fun ideas on how you can use the new Priority Event feature:
National Associations can feature a different Chapter’s programs and events each month to increase engagement from your different local chapter members!
Use the Priority events to promote membership engagement and offer prizes for those who attend every featured event this year!
Increase Corporate Sponsorship and Corporate Membership dollars by offering to add your supporting partners’ events to your calendar with the Priority feature setting for higher level packages.
6) Group-based Permission Settings for Displaying Events
This feature will enable you to designate certain events as “belonging” to certain user groups or membership types and allow you to do some really fun things with how events are displayed on your website. For example, one of your study groups could have their monthly study meetup on your event calendar and you’d assign the event to their study group.
Then, you could create a sidebar or box that would only display upcoming events from your event calendar that are assigned to that study group on the study group’s main information page. Members of the study group could visit the study group page and also see upcoming events specific to the group and you only have to add the event once to your calendar to share it in multiple places on your site!
Better Registration Experience for Your Users!
You want your website to be fun for your users and members in addition to your staff, and we’re making big changes across our website to provide better user experiences for your online community members. Here’s some of the ways we’re making registration for events simpler for attendees.
7) Fewer Steps to Register and Pay for an Event
We’re streamlining our registration form so that event registrants can go through as few clicks as possible when purchasing tickets and RSVP’ing for your association events. For most events, your users will be able to add multiple event attendees, select member versus non-member pricing, and view their total all from one registration page.
Adding new registrants is as easy as clicking a button – literally! Just click “Add Another Registrant” and a new section for the registration form will appear below the first registrant. Click to add as many registrants as you need and then submit just once to register and pay for everyone.
8) Your Users Can Find and Manage Their Events for You!
With the new “My Upcoming Events” option, your members and regular event registrants can now search for events they’ve signed up for, update any of their registration information, cancel events, and add the event to their calendar using the Event ICS option from one place.
Bonus for You and Your Staff: this empowers your members to manage their own event registrations, view outstanding balances, and make payments on your website. This means your event manager doesn’t have to handle as many of these admin tasks and she can focus on all of the important tasks!
9) Updated Email Template for Event Registration Confirmations
We’ve made a few small updates to the default system email template that your website sends to registrants and confirms their registration along with their receipt for paid events.
The new email template includes an image and uses more of the formatting from your events’ description fields to give your event confirmation emails a look and feel that more closely matches your website’s Event Page. We’ve also made some updates to the helpful links section of the email to ensure your event registrants can find all the information about your event details as well as manage their outstanding balances and registration information.
10) Your Event Roster Now Tracks Attendance
Your event roster has a new “Attend” checkbox where you can mark who attended an event from the roster on your website. If you don’t have internet and a web browser at your event, then you can also print the roster with the Attend checkbox. After the event, take your printout and update the roster on your website with who attended so you can better track and measure attendance for your events.
This is a huge benefit for large events where you have a team of volunteers handling check-ins. They can all be logged into your website and click to check off the people who they’ve confirmed at the event simultaneously! The next day, you can log into your site and see at a glance who attended and didn’t. You can even view what time they were checked in.
11) Search and Manage Event Registrants Individually
The Event Roster is more intended for you to use to manage all of your event registrants in a batch, and when you need to find a specific registration to cancel or edit – you’ll be seeing some updates here also. We’re adding more information about the registrants to the view, and we’re integrating the event registrant’s contact information and site activity with their user profile on your website.
12) Improved Batch Management for Events
On the 10th Day of Christmas, we shared our updates coming to your site’s Admin Backend. You’ll love the updates we’re making that enable batch filtering, editing, and deleting event types, custom event registration forms, and discount codes from the Admin Backend.
Here’s a preview of a new feature that will let you reassign event types:
You can quickly change all of the events of one type to another type. Most associations experience lots of changes as they grow and we see features like this helping you keep your website fresh and reflecting the latest changes without demanding lots of time from you and your staff.
Sign-Up for Tendenci 2013 Updates
Keep an eye out on the Tendenci Events Calendar because in 2013, we’re adding new training and workshops for our Advanced Tendenci users. We’ll also start posting scheduled maintenance and software updates, speaking events, and major announcements to help keep you in the loop with what we’re doing at Tendenci.
We are constantly exploring new ways to keep you in the loop with what we’re changing here at Tendenci. Let us know how you like to find out what’s going on here at Tendenci!
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM TENDENCI!
We’re celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas with daily previews of the all new Tendenci Features coming to your association website in 2013! Join us each day to “open new gifts” filled with feature updates for your website! Visit our Twelve Days of Christmas Main Page to find new gifts for each day from now until January 5th!
We love to hear your questions and comments about Tendenci, the open source CMS for Association’s – leave a reply below in our comments section or send us your thoughts via email to email@example.com.