Why do you need Event Management Software?

It probably has taken you a lot of money and energy to plan and promote an event. Why do you still need to spend money on Event Management Software?

The answer is very easy. Event Management Software can simplify and facilitate your event registration and promotion process and allow you to manage multiple events at the same time.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

●  It is easy to use!

     Thanks to the user-friendly interface of Event Management Software, it is usually very easy to set up an event page and a registration form. Instead of creating event pages from scratch, you can select different kinds of event page templates based on your event types. Whether you are hosting a donation drive or ticket sale, you can always find a template to fit into your campaign with good Event Management Software.

●  Event Registration process is faster

     You can customize your registration forms and set tiered registration fees based on registration date and membership level. With Event Management Software, you no longer need to collect payments manually. Payment collection is automatically online! Most of the Event Management Software allows people to pay by credit card or PayPal.

●   Good Publication

     Event Management Software provides you with stylish and professional looking event pages which will help you promote events. You can promote the event on social media and emails by posting the event page link.

●   Who doesn’t like tracking metrics?

     After you publicize your event page and registration form, Event Management Software will provide you with tracking metrics such as the number of registrations, and payments.

     After reading all these benefits, are you now considering Event Management Software?

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Thoughts about Email Marketing in the Holiday Season

Did you launch an email marketing campaign during the holiday season? How was it?We all know Christmas and New Year are the perfect time for marketers to boost sales and connect with consumers. However, if you do it wrong, the result may turn out to be bad.

You should use this kind of picture in your holiday emails.

You should use this kind of picture in your holiday emails

After looking over several email marketing campaigns, here are some thoughts about email marketing in the holiday season:

It is all about the subject line
Subject lines create the first impression. Make the subject line concise and clear. If you offer an exclusive discount, say it directly in the subject line to create excitement and incentives for consumers to open your email.

Make sure emails are mobile friendly
According to Ashley Twist, about 48% email is now opened on mobile devices. You need to make sure email messages and designs are optimized for mobile.

Do not over send emails
Consumers will get annoyed with too many promotion emails. Over-sending emails will lead to more consumers to unsubscribe from your email lists. Also, another way to keep you customers on the email list is to provide more subscription options. For example, in the unsubscription page, you can also add “receive fewer emails ” as an alternative to
completely unsubscribe from your email lists.

Holiday season templates
Use red or some bright colors in your emails to make the promotions exciting! Marketingship provides several holiday season templates to choose from. Here is the link for our free email templates: http://www.marketingship.com/email-templates/

Measure the effectiveness of email marketing campaign
Do not forget analytics! Some important metrics to look at are: open rate, bounce rate, click-through-rate, forward rate and unsubscribe rate. Check out our past blog post to know more details: http://bit.ly/1hsGzYl.
Continue reading

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Benefit of a one-for-all management tool for non-profits and association

people-circleWhether the goal of your organization is to change the world or simply get together for a hobby, you always want to represent, serve and promote the common interests of your membership as best you can. The question then is how effective are you at that job. Do you find yourself facing a familiar challenge such as:

1.      Your organization is spending a lot of time in manual data input.

·         You spend time detecting and deleting duplicate member records in your database.

·         You manually perform member segmentation for event-related metrics like event participation frequency by physically collating multiple event signup sheets;

·         You collect membership renewal fee on site at events, and manually update membership status later in the spreadsheet.

2.      Your organization is experiencing problems with pre-event planning and communication, event payment reconciliation, or post-event tracking and follow-up. 

·         You are unable to seamlessly link event notification with event registration just by sending newsletters.

·         You use mailed-in checks to collect payment and donations, and perform most of the processing manually.

·         You solicit feedback from members but response cards and other methods don’t seem generate the response you need.

3.      Your organization is having trouble in preparing and conducting effective email campaigns

·         You send out emails and event fliers to your correspondents, but cannot track the delivery status, open rate, click through rate and bounce rate.

·         You feel frustrated every time you have to prepare your newsletters from scratch and your emails do not have the desired professional look.

·         You can’t send email to all your subscribers at one time due to the email limitations placed on your internet service provider.

imagesIf you are nodding your head and find yourself in the similar situation, it may be time for your organization to adopt a one-for-all management tool, a single application that can complete all the planning and organizing tasks, and save you time, effort, and money.

 

Here’s a checklist of features that you definitely need to consider and evaluate when choosing your options:

·         Ability to create stylish and effective emails using professionally designed templates

·         Email tracking to ensure delivery, confirm readership and gauge recipient reaction for each newsletter

·         Sort and Search for emails and members to have the right information at the right time

·         Professional event registration forms with a large selection of templates; registration link embedding into websites and newsletters

·         Tiered registration fees based on registration date and membership level; collect payments automatically

·         Scheduled reminders and updates to event registrants and attendees

·         Comprehensive Activity Histories to track member interests and perform member list segmentations

·         Intuitive search functions to find members in moments by sorting information fields; search members by events and relevant details

·         Automatically gather new registrations and update registration status

·         Invitations, registrations, payments, and actual event attendance tracking, all in one interface

·         Your organizations’s own customizable and member portal, accessible from anywhere via the web.

·         Online sharable storage you can upload your organization’s entire knowledge base to; Connect it to your Member Portal to build and share information with members based on different membership levels

Marketingship integrates all these features into its web-suite products- MailCraft, EventCraft and CommunityCraft, serving for email marketing, event planning and community management respectively.

“I noticed the difference in our event lifecycle right after our debut with Marketingship. People talk. They talk with smiles.” One of our user says. “…they told me how much they like our professionally designed newsletter. They find the content more informative because we attached a video of the guest speaker’s bio into the event homepage…the users enjoy the flexibility of managing their information on the member portal, the ease of renewing and upgrading membership by themselves, and the sense of engagement by having access to the membership directory.”

Check out this case from NCCBA.

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What to track in an Email Campaign?

Email campaigns are a cost-effective way of engaging with your customers and attracting quality leads. It is important to monitor how well each email performs and track your return on investment. What are the key indicators you should look after? What should be included in an email campaign report? In this post, we will introduce some important metrics in Email marketing and give some tips for better email performance

Open rate: is the percentage of emails opened in an email marketing campaign, or the percentage opened of the total number of emails sent.

open please marketingshipYou can have the greatest, most relevant content in your emails, but if no one opens them, then it all goes to waste. Nowadays, recipients have become savvier in managing their email inboxes, and more particular about what they open and respond to. Based on the data extracted from some popular email marketing service providers, the average open rate ranges from 17% to 28%, depending on industry and type of organization.

Tips:

  • Test and improve your subject lines.
  • Segment mailing listd to make each email more meaningful to recipients
  • Make yourself recognizable in the “from” address. 
  • Schedule the right time to send.

 

Bounce rate: is the rate at which your emails are not delivered. There are two types of bounces, hard and soft. A hard bounce is the failed delivery of an email due to a permanent reason like a non-existent, invalid, or blocked email address. A soft bounce is the failed delivery of an email due to a temporary issue, like a full mailbox or an unavailable server.

bounce-rateHigh bounce rate of either type will negatively impact sender reputation and have a damaging effect on deliverability. The average bounce rate for industries with 25-499 members is 2%, for 500-999 members, 1.6% and for 1000 or more members, 1.2%. These results may seem counter-intuitive, but note that larger organizations with those larger mailing lists usually have a well managed and therefore a more refined mailing list.

Tips:

  • Monitor your bounces closely. If some addresses continually bounce, it may be time to remove from your mailing list and keep your list healthy.
  • Understand the reason behind bounces. 
  • A double opt-in list signup ensures that the email addresses on your list are correct.
  • Allow members to unsubscribe or update their preferences so that your list remains up-to-date.

 

Click-through-rate(CTR): is the number of unique individuals who click on one or more links in your email expressed as a percentage of total tracked opens.

CTRYour CTR depend on many factors: whether you send to a business or consumer audience, the kind of email content you create, how relevant the message is to your audience, how often you send, how many links in your email and dozens of other factors. Certain verticals perform far better than others, for example, Education has the highest unique open rate, followed by retail, travel and leisure. Business to Business email newsletters typically range from 5% to 15%, Business to Customer promotional email campaigns often range from about 2% to 12%. Trigger or behavior-based email campaigns are often in the 15% to 50% range.

Tips:

  • Improve email design and layout.
  • Give your audience reasons to click, such as time sensitive offer, giving a limited supply, showing articles in partial preview, etc.
  • Raise your open rate and bounce rate. If few people read your email, fewer recipients have a chance to click.
  • Make it clear to your members what type of email they will be receiving at the opt-in process.

 

Forward rate: is the number of times the campaign was forwarded.

Many email service providers offers an easy way for subscribers to forward the email to their network. This feature is a great way to expand your marketing scope and reach customers you might not have found yet. While it is important to look at the overall number of forwards, it is even more important to capture the email address that your subscribers forward the messages to. Not only they can become leads to your company, but also if the person converts you will know the exact marketing source that generated the business.

spreadTips:

  • Encourage people to forward your message.
  • Build up a referral rewarding program.
  • Track how many people have actually spread the word.

 

 

Unsubscribe rate(opt-out rate): is the rate at which members choose to no longer receive your email communications, and request removal from your mailing lists. It is legally required that you provide a clear way to opt out in every email you send.

It is crucial to monitor the rate of unsubscribes from your mailing list to understand what is and isn’t resonating with your audience. A less than 2% unsubscribe rate is typical for most industries.

unsubscribe-button1Tips:

  • Map your content, organize which content to send to a list segments.
  • Ask your subscribers how often they like to be emailed
  • Survey unsubscribers for feedback. 
  • Even they are ready to unsubscribe, they might love your content on other channels like social media, RSS and blog. Let them know.
  • Make sure your emails don’t load slowly

 

Don’t have time to manually analyze all these metrics? Don’t fret. Marketingship can help track your emails and allow you to view the results of the above listed metrics in an automated tracking report. You can also pull out the infographics provided by Marketingship and include it in your own report. Here’s some video guides of our report tracking feature: http://www.marketingship.com/demo.html

 

 

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7 Reasons Explain Why Email Marketing Trumps Direct Mail Marketing

We live in exciting times. Digital and mobile technologies have changed how marketers engage with clients and how consumers relate to brands. Direct-Mail1Email Marketing is for all intents and purposes the online version of direct mails. Instead of sending fliers to a customer’s home, Email Marketing can send them digitally to an email inbox instead. While a wealth of research has proved email marketing to be one of the most efficient ways to bring real income into a business, a lot of organizations out there still rely solely on direct mailings to deliver loyalty coupons, invitations, surveys, and catalogs.

Why should you change your practices to email marketing? In this blog post, I will compare 7 major aspects of direct mails versus those same aspects for email marketing.

1. Email Marketing is less costly

For direct emails, printing and mailing fees can be a large investment if you have a considerable number of contacts, not to mention the cost for creating a stunning design and the money put into tracking campaign results. By contrast, email marketing delivery costs are usually minimal, or even nonexistent if the right tool is chosen. Marketingship- a top notch email marketing services company- even provides free account services if you have under 3000 contacts.

2. Email Marketing requires less time to plan and execute

The contact list of email marketing can be updated every time you anaylyze campaign results, while direct mailings require time to confirm and reconfirm the right addresses, names, and other details, and segmenting lists based on customer feedback is even more time consuming. Delivery of Email marketing is always one click away, for every single contact, a feature that direct mails simply cannot match. With all your contact information and delivery tools accessible online, it is much easier to start an email marketing campaign than a direct marketing campaign.

3. Email Marketing can be more personally relevant

Email marketing tools like Marketingship provide features like adding the name of your contacts from the list into the body or subject of an email automatically, giving customers a feeling that you are talking to them personally, and that they are valued by your company.

4. Email Marketing gets you better customer insights

Email Marketing lets you Test.

Segmenting your contact lists into multiple email-marketingtest beds and using different subject lines,
layouts, pictures and phrasing lets you see what message and packaging is more attractive to your customers by comparing the number of opens, bounces, CTR(click through rate), and other indicators without having to commit to an entire campaign. While this same method can be applied to direct mail marketing as well, recovering the data from the physical campaign is far hard to retrieve than the instantly available feedback provided by email marketing.

Email Marketing also lets you Track.

Tracking tools can tell you who actually “opened the envelope”, each time that they read the content, whether they clicked the links included in the letter, and even which links were clicked. You can use this data to determine which customers who have more interest in your message and thus your business. These customers can be further segmented into new contact lists with additional programs and offers to feed their appetite.

5. Email Marketing Schedules Delivery

Promotions are often seasonal or event-oriented, and are by nature highly time sensitive. Have you ever encountered situations that you’ve received a coupon for using on a special date, but you end up forgetting about it by putting it in your stack of newspapers? Direct mails can come to your customers earlier or later than you expected, depending on local mail carriers. However, in email marketing, scheduling an exact date and time to deliver the message and having it arrive exactly at that moment is the industry standard.

6. Email Marketing helps spread the word

It is human nature that people like to share the excitement with others. People who are excited by your emails will oftentimes forward your message onto their family, friends and anyone else they can think of when they open your emails. With direct mailings, a customer would have to physically pass coupons or catalogs to another potential customers, and most would prefer to keep them to themselves. With email marketing, the email can be forwarded and copied endlessly, so there is no limit to how far your messages and offers can reach.

7. Email Marketing puts mobile in mind

With the hectic schedules of modern students and professionals, most people do not want to wait to get home in order to stay up to date with the world. Rather, they rely on their mobile devices to connect to the internet or to check for incoming email, meaning that your customers will receive your message wherever they are the moment it is sent. Additionally, coupons delivered via direct mail are more likely to be left at home, but an email coupon is always available via a customer’s phone, and can be displayed and redeemed without having to carry any physical coupon at all.

You can clearly see for yourself that email marketing trumps direct email marketing. No matter how big or small your business is, it is time to make a move and sign up for email marketing with Marketingship and begin reaping its benefits today!

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Free Webinar Invitation: Essentials of Online Marketing Tools

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If you are reading this post, we feel honored to invite you to our webinar on “Essentials of Online Marketing Tools: How to benefit from Email Marketing, Event Marketing and Membership Management

This webinar is designed to enlighten you about the growing trends in online marketing industry. It will provide you with help and information regarding major online marketing resources: Email Marketing, Event Marketing, and Membership Management services.

The webinar will take you step by step through these platforms, starting from registration to creating your own marketing campaigns. This webinar is purely informational and is aimed to help any and all kinds of small businesses, non profits, and other organizations create top notch email marketing campaigns, interest catching events, and informative portals to create a real dialogue with their customers and members. Marketingship proudly commits itself to provide top notch online marketing resources and services.

Date: Thursday, September 5, 2013

Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT

Sign up here:  goto-button

Mark your calendar, and please help us spread the word to those you think who might also be interested in this webinar. Everyone is invited!

More details on our company and services can be found on our website (www.marketingship.com).  Feel free to contact us (clin@marketingship.com) if you need any help.

See you all on Sep 5th!

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You’ve got everything you need in Email Marketing

According to a recent research done by analytics platform Custora, customer acquisition via email has quadrupled over the last four years while the customer life cycle value of customers acquired through Twitter is 23% lower than the overall average. This means that Email marketing is still more efficient than social media marketing. However, to small organizations that do not have the human resources or budget to invest in adding on to their marketing functionality, this task may seem daunting with HTML editing, Email list building, content writing, results tracking and the other required aspects of an email marketing campaign.

It may come as a surprise then, if we tell you that you already have every skill and resource needed to start successful email marketing campaigns regardless the size of your organization. Let us break it down for you:

  1. You understand your customers

IMG_3315You’ve been delivering a quality experience to your customers since the first day you started your organization. You’ve been already talking to them, at your “brick-and-mortar” stores, your fundraising events or your community activities. You understand their needs and what they want to see in your organization. Email Marketing is nothing different from what you do offline. Compose your email message in a personalized tone, and imagine how you would be talking to your customers face-to-face, avoiding common pitfalls like hard-sell phrases and techniques.

2. You have an email list to start

People who shopped at your stores, who visited your website, who helped introduce you to their friends and family, ask them if they would like to opt in your email list. You probably have a list of people in mind already. Take this starting opportunity to let them feel that you still care about them and to provide them incentives to help spread the word.

email-list-building

Once you’ve got a big list, you should always remember to sort it and break it down to a couple smaller lists to segment your customers, to better target your messages to those they will be most relevant to . Email Marketing tools like Marketingship help you set up different customer lists, getting your contacts sorted and ready to use.

3. The technology is easy, and you are already familiar with it

technologyAfter signing up to Email marketing services providers, the processes of typing your content in the textbox, selecting fonts, and formatting the email are all pretty much similar to the basics of writing in Microsoft Word. With the help of Email Marketing templates, you can easily put your perfect picture in just the right spot and add your logo to every email. Managing your email contact lists for a marketing campaign is just as simple as managing it for Outlook or Gmail. Email marketing services companies can save you a lot of hassle of writing your own code and creating layouts.

4. Tracking results is just a click away

trackTo understand a campaign better and to improve your Email Marketing strategies, you will need to track and analyze your campaign results by monitoring opens, clicks, forwards, unsubscribes and bounces, but you don’t need to do it all by yourself. Once you set up your email lists and start your campaigns with an Email Marketing tool like Marketingship, their system will automatically track your campaign results and generate intuitive infographics for you. You can include these charts and diagrams in your reports, compare your A/B test results, and excel in your next round of Emails.

To conclude, you already have all the things needed to navigate your Email marketing campaigns. You don’t need to hire another technical person, graphic designer, or data analyst to start communicating with your customers via Email. Our Email marketing video guide will help you get your campaign up and running in mere minutes. At Marketingship, you can even manage 3000 contacts for free!

 

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