Getting connected via technology may seem daunting, but it can sure make life easier once you get the hang of it. Club 48 in Vancouver is taking advantage of user friendly, cost effective ways to enrich our communications with our membership by using digital online tools.
We started down this path three years ago when we switched from paper mail, to manually emailing notifications to our members, to finally migrating to an online messaging service. Called Mail Chimp, it’s features and integrations allow us to send promotional emails, automated messages, and targeted campaigns to our members. It also provides detailed reports that help us keep track of current email addresses, how popular a message is (number of opens) and more. In fact, we now use the data-management feature in Mail Chimp to house our membership database. We love it because it’s easy to use, and our members can update their profile whenever their information changes.
Mail Chimp’s e-newsletter service is free to users with less than 2000 contacts – that works for us. And each recipient gets what feels like a personalized one-of-a-kind message! You can add in your logo, images, and hot-links. In fact, we will use it to congratulate our club President, Jake Power on winning the Hoo-Hoo Challenge at the International Convention in Cairns. That man is an apple bobbin’ fool!
This system worked great for getting the word out about events, but with a large membership, our next hurdle was dealing with registrations and payments! We solved this with another e-tool called EventBrite. This powerful and easy to use platform allows us to manage ticket sales for our events and collect payments in a number of forms (all major credit cards, cheques, payment at the door, etc.).
Allowing you to create posters and announcements about events, you can then post a link to an online registration page where members can buy one or more tickets. Through EventBrite we collect participants’ names, groups (for events like golf), and we can process credit card payments, track registrations, print check-in lists, and much more – it takes the hassle out of event management. What we also learned was that our non-profit status in British Columbia qualified us for discounts on user fees!
Lastly, this fall we updated our website—again using a nifty online tool. Rather than pay a programmer to build you a site, you can take advantage of “you-build-it” online programs that use templates and drag-and-drop to create stunning websites. You can do it all for free, or for the cost of buying a domain name and paying for hosting, you can upgrade to a paid site that lets you have your own URL (domain name, www.hoo-hoo48.org) and additional features. We chose Weebly.com. It was easy to learn, fun to use and we think the new site is fresh and engaging.
Three simple tools, Mail Chimp, EventBrite and Weebly and Club 48 looks like a million dollars! Try it yourself!
Submitted to the Log & Tally