You have a hunch about how your organization is doing, but a gut feeling is not going to cut it. You need to look at specific data to see what's working and what isn't. Don't just jump in and start measuring absolutely everything. Pro tip: First focus on these three crucial reports ─ email tracking, invitation history, and levels reports.
1. Email tracking report
Even the busiest membership manager needs to track ─ at the very least ─ email rates. With all the email campaigns you create, it’s helpful to see whether the messages are benefiting your constituents… or not.
Here’s a look at three email rates to keep your eye on. These key performance indicators (KPIs) will let you know whether folks are actually receiving, opening, and reacting to your emails:
Based on a recent email benchmarking report, the average open rate for nonprofits is 25.5%.
The report indicates that the clickthrough rate for nonprofits is 4.10%.
One report cites a 0.5% bounce rate for nonprofits, although a popular email service provider reports a 10.25% bounce rate for its nonprofit customers.
To view opens, bounces, and clicks to your email campaigns on memberplanet, hover over Emails in the left navigation sidebar, then click Email Tracking Report in the submenu. Any type of email marketing service (even the ones that let you create an account for free) should provide these basic metrics.
For the date range selected, your email campaigns will be displayed with corresponding metrics.
2. Members invitation email history
You've worked hard to boost membership. If you implemented a membership drive or promotion, you probably emailed prospects to join your organization. What were the results? If you're using an association management system (AMS) or membership management system, it should track that.
On the memberplanet platform, you can view your membership email history to track who was invited and how they responded. It’s a best practice to periodically send out invitations to prospects. To become members, recipients only need to make a membership payment or provide info to sign up for a free membership, if you offer the option.
A membership invitation history report shows which admin sent the invitations and when, who opened it, and whether the recipient accepted the invitation. To view your group’s member invitation history on memberplanet:
On the left navigation sidebar, hover over Members and click Invitation History in the submenu.
3. Membership levels report
Sometimes, in a rush to drive membership, managers and admins forget to look at overall membership tiers or levels activity. If you’re only looking at new prospects who signed up for a free membership level, you might not quite get the complete picture.
Most organizations have different levels of membership, including free and multiple paid levels. An AMS should have a levels activity report readily available, which will save you a ton of time. The alternative is viewing manually updated reports in Excel. A membership levels report gives you a bird’s-eye view of how many members are on each level, as well as a granular view of the history of each member’s level.
Are you finding that a lot of members have downgraded their membership level? If that's the case, you'll know which members and levels to cater to more frequently. You may need to review member benefits to ensure each level offers the value they’re willing to pay for. You can also target members on a specific level and influence activity by creating events and content to keep members engaged.
Here's how to view the membership levels report on memberplanet:
2. On the levels tab, click the gear icon for the membership level you wish to view
3. Select View Members from the dropdown menu
All this business intelligence will help you become a better, more informed membership manager or admin. You also can look at other metrics, such as survey results, donations, payments, events, RSVPs and so much more – we have reporting for just about everything on the platform. If your organization has chapters or components, staff can benefit from a customized membership dashboard, aggregate reports and ad-hoc reporting, too. Visit memberplanet.com to learn more.
Updated since original publication on 03/02/2018.
Discovering email marketing is like finding out your kid won first place in the school science fair — and got a scholarship because of it! Not only would it have any parent or teacher beaming with pride, it’s news they’d want to share with family, neighbors, and even the grocery clerk. Email marketing simplifies PTA communication in a way that’s engaging, effective, and budget friendly. If you’re not all in with email, you’re missing out big time.
Email spurs your members to act
Email is a powerful tool deliver a message that incites action. You can include a lot of great information (member spotlights, past event photos, and the like), but don’t forget to include clickable calls to action so your members can actually do something with the info you’re providing. Here are some topics you might include in your PTA newsletter coupled with an appropriate call to action and link.
Say goodbye to printing costs
Go green by cutting out printing costs. Instead of printing out a couple hundred flyers, why not send an email newsletter that can cover a range of topics? (And who has time to hand out flyers these days?) No funds are needed for postage, paper, ink or other print materials. Some organizations pay an extra fee each month for a service that allows them to send mass emails, but – here’s a kicker – mass emailing is already included for free in your memberplanet account! Spend your budget on more important things.
Track and target your messages
Another huge benefit of email marketing is the tracking capabilities. Lucky for you, this feature, which can be quite pricey with other email providers, is free with your memberplanet account. We recommend tracking these key metrics:
An average open rate for nonprofits and charities: 30.88%
An average click rate for nonprofits and charities: 4.31%
A decent bounce rate across all sectors: 2.5%
Once you have an idea of these three metrics for the emails you’re sending, you can further target your message to your specific audience. memberplanet provides open rate, clicks, and bounces – great email marketing tools at your disposal so you can measure how effective your messages are. To further target your emails to recipients based on the data collected on the platform (member levels, event RSVP, donation level, etc.), check out our Smart List feature.
Log in and take advantage of the email tools at your fingertips.
The all-new All Payments report has an updated look and feel that makes it cleaner and more user friendly. The report provides administrators with a bird’s-eye view of their organization and more detailed way to manage transaction-level data. Admins can easily view and manipulate data – without having to export to Excel (which you can still do, of course). If your organization has child groups, such as chapters or clubs, you can also see and sort transactions from your child groups in the same report. This report and its features are available on all subscription plans.
Powerful search functions
Quickly parse organization data by utilizing search options like payment amounts, partial names like a last name only, and payment source. Every field displayed is searched, so if you enter in "30" in in the search box, you can rest assured that whether it appears in the date, is part of a string in reference numbers, or is shown in any other field, it will be listed in records returned.
Enter your search terms in the search box located in the upper right side of your report, then click the magnifying glass icon to return results.
Comprehensive accounting summary and functions
The report displays all your organizations transactions, and where admins have the permissions, they have convenience of issuing refunds from the same screen. Filter by payment type, and view payment details such as schedules of recurring and installment payments by simply clicking on a record. A detail screen will appear on the right-hand side. From there, an admin can view the status of payments without having to navigate away from the initial report.
In one location, you can view complete running totals for payments, fees, and total transaction amounts for your entire organization.
Totals for your transaction data for the date range selected (not just page totals) is located at the bottom right of your All Payments report.
Improved date range search
Date parameters default to "any time," which is the time your organization began collecting funds on memberplanet to the present, so you start off by seeing the complete transaction information for the history of your group. The dropdown menu allows you to modify the date range, choose from other options, such as the last 30 days, or enter a specific date range.
Click on the dropdown menu labeled Any Time at the top of the report to adjust date range.
These filters provide the ability to display payment activity by type of payment (installment or recurring) or memberplanet service such as events, donations, membership, and more to give you specific transaction details by source.
Click on the Quick Filters dropdown menu at the top of your report to check off any combination of filters.
The column data of your All Payments report is also configurable so you can show and hide data fields according to your viewing preference. Drag and drop columns to customize your report layout, and set column data to sort by ascending or descending. You can also lock columns to make it easier to view data as you scroll horizontally.
Click on Choose Columns along the top of the report to add or remove column data, and to lock columns.
Organizations that have a child groups such as chapters, clubs, or units, can now view all data for their child groups in one consolidated report. The All Payments report default setting is Activity in My Group, which will isolate your group’s records. To view all records, including activity in your child groups, select Activity in My Organization.
If you wish to view the former All Payments report, don't worry it's still available to you. Just click on the Former All Payments report link near the top of the page and you'll be directed back to it.
Log in to check out the new report or visit our Support Center to view the full All Payments report documentation.
Updated since original publication on 8/21/18.
How Northern California Contest Club Boosts Paid Membership by 57% for an ‘Old Timey’ Hobby
Northern California Contest Club (NCCC) is a group of radio operator enthusiasts and is an affiliate of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association for amateur radio operators in the United States. In the world of ham radio, amateur refers to operators who must pass an exam to communicate non-commercially over the radio frequency spectrum. The contest-oriented club relied on manual processes to record and track membership, which was time consuming and resulted in inaccurate record-keeping. With members demanding transparency and online payment options and access to information, NCCC needed a system that members could use to view their own membership status and payments.
Since teaming with memberplanet, NCCC has maintained accurate records (in less time) and provided a dedicated, online membership portal for its members to view payment history and stay updated with club activities. As a result, NCCC has enjoyed a 57% increase in paid membership and 37% boost in dues collected in just one year.
Small Club, Big Challenges
For a club whose members are mostly over 50 and involved in a hobby that includes a fondness of Morse code, attracting younger demographics and recruiting new members in order to thrive may seem like a unique struggle. There are many small social clubs, however, that have fallen behind on meeting the demands of a new generation of members, including providing access to information online, offering convenient payment methods, and effectively communicating updates. Clubs that still heavily rely on paper filing systems and manual processes face the time-consuming challenge of keeping accurate financial records and managing members.
It became clear to NCCC that it needed to upgrade its manual processes and combat its dwindling membership – or face radio silence.
Manual Processes – Over
In 2016, NCCC began using memberplanet to keep its database organized and up to date. “We really didn't know how many members we had prior to memberplanet. It's sad, but true,” Ian Parker, NCCC’s Secretary, explained. The club’s manual reporting processes included interactions between the secretary and treasurer, a lot of paperwork, and time. Sometimes members who missed payments went undetected. “We now have a good grasp on the number of real members. With memberplanet our data is kept accurate – and timely.”
Club admins have enjoyed the platform’s turnkey features, such as automated membership reminders and convenient payment options. “We also have more up-to-date member information and auto renewals. These were the primary reasons for moving to memberplanet, which has been one hundred percent successful,” Parker said. The membership insights available in the support site and the time freed up from admin tasks are now directed to engaging members.
A Closer Look at NCCC’s Online Results
Admins have used the platform’s event sites and RSVPs to manage and track attendance. Parker believes that memberplanet’s payment reporting, event invite templates, and email campaign features have dramatically improved their efficiency. Members can log in to a dedicated portal, view club announcements, connect with other members using the interactive directory, and update their own profile. “We have received many positive comments,” Parker continued. “Overall, it has been a huge plus and now folks can also see when they last paid!”
When NCCC started using memberplanet in 2016, it had 100 paid memberships. That number rose to 157 by the end of 2017 – a 57% boost. The club also saw a 37% increase in membership dues. Parker noted how more members are engaging with the club, converting to paid membership status, and how the hassle-free process of joining the club is contributing to an increase in membership overall. As of January 2018, NCCC had 350 members total.
Broadcasting a Bright Future
Parker reveals NCCC has recently obtained 501(c)(3) status for nonprofits, and plans to fundraise and open an online NCCC store are in the works. Growing paid membership and engaging members remains a focus for the club, which was founded in 1970. Now that NCCC personnel find it much easier to manage and interpret data, communicate with members, and increase engagement, they expect that their club for radio aficionados will remain on the air for much, much longer.
Contact memberplanet today to learn how the platform can help your organization simplify membership.
Have you ever looked at your email campaign tracking and wondered why a percentage of your emails were "sent" but not "delivered"? Our member database now features a failed address warning adjacent to undelivered addresses, and enables you to manage and re-add faulty email addresses.
First, there are a few reasons why mail to some email addresses isn't delivered:
While you can't re-subscribe a member, you now can manually edit and/or restore invalid or bounced emails. When you open a "bounced" member's page on the new membership database you will see a "!" symbol by their email, along with the word "bounced" and a blue link "restore". Restoring the email will remove it from the bounced list so that it will be included once again in future sends. However, if the email bounces again, it will again be disabled and the "bounced" status will reappear in the member's contact page.
Capterra ranked memberplanet as one of the “Top 7 Free and Open-Source Membership Management Software Products” available today.
Capterra is a service that helps millions of people find the best business software to fit their needs. So we’re proud to announce that the software-comparison firm has awarded memberplanet a five-star rating and ranked us as number four in its listing of the “Top 7 Free and Open Source Membership Management Software Products.”
memberplanet prides itself on supporting organizations and their members by meeting all of their needs in a single, user-friendly location. It’s one thing to strive for this goal and another to be recognized for it. Capterra highlighted the advantages of using memberplanet, including our donation campaign capabilities, integration with QuickPay, online surveys, and the range of support options available, “among quite a few other options.”
It is a special honor for memberplanet to be recognized. We strive to provide powerful solutions for any and all kinds of groups, including nonprofits, religious organizations, schools, boosters, parent-teacher associations, and Greek and alumni organizations. memberplanet aims to promote awareness and participation for your specific cause and make communication and integration seamless. That’s why our web-based software is an affordable option for organizations of any size.
To really understand how our membership management software can solve your organization’s problems, you have to try it for yourself! Create a free account today and take the first step towards simplifying and empowering your group.
So you’re thinking about joining memberplanet? Awesome! We’d love to have you. Or, maybe you've just made an account and have to get started? Welcome! We promise it’s easy to use and you’ll get your group organized on it in no time!
With so many great tools provided by the site it’s easy to think, “Where to start, and how?”
As a recent user of memberplanet, I will be the first to say I was nervous since technology is not my forte. However, the site is created to be user-friendly and has helpful guides that provide you with step-by-step instructions.
Check out how I got started on my sports team site below!
At first I wasn't ready to complete all of these steps since my soccer team was new. Don’t worry! All of these steps can be updated or completed at any time. The steps are easy to located on the side of the main screen under the ‘Getting Started’ guide. This easy guide will help turn you from a memberplanet newbie to a pro before you know it! It helped me create everything I need to manage and organize my soccer team to be the best team around!
What are you waiting for?! Add your group now!
group. members. activities. events. registrations. communication. life. simplified.
New Feature: Smart Lists!
We’ve just released our newest feature - Smart Lists!
What is a smart list? And why should you be excited about it? Good questions!
We describe Smart Lists as self-maintaining distribution lists that let you easily target specific subsets of members based on their status or actions they’ve taken on the system. Still confused? For example, you can create a targeted distribution list of everyone who donated over $100 to your Donation Site, or of everyone who submitted a specific form, or of all current “active” dues-paying members, without pulling the data and manually identifying those individuals each time. Get ready to save a ton of time!
Gone are the days of downloading a spreadsheet of form responses only to re-upload it to create a new distribution list! This eagerly-awaited update makes it really easy to connect and draw member data from your account, like an Event RSVP list, and use it to generate a distribution list for an upcoming email.
Smart Lists stay up-to-date:
Smart Lists can be created in seconds (what's better than that?), and continue to refresh over time automatically, so members will be added or removed from the list as their relevant status changes. For example, even if more members submit your form after you create the list, they will subsequently be added to your Smart List. There is no need to worry about constantly updating the list on your own. At the time you click “send” your list will be 100% accurate.
Smart Lists can be saved and reused:
Smart Lists can be saved and reused as 'Saved Smart Lists'. Smart Lists continuously refresh, so they can be reused again and again without becoming outdated. For example, this is ideal for lists pertaining to member status, which may change significantly over time, with both additions and deletions.
Smart Lists integrate with every module on the system:
You can create Smart Lists for donation activity, form submissions, member types, member level, member status, admin roles, event replies, email and broadcast activity, etc. Check out all of the features! Each option is described in more detail below!
Interested in reaching out to your top donors? Create a list for donors based on their donation action, including their giving level, donation threshold amount, or if they started a supporter page.
Create a list for all users who purchased a certain amount or more on a payment form. (This can be $0.00 if you'd like to capture everyone who submitted the form even without making a purchase).
Create a list for all users who have submitted a survey form.
As always, we are thrilled to bring you another feature that delivers huge value to your group and makes your life just a little bit easier. Keep your eye out for Tech Update emails to stay up to date with each new feature. We love working to make life simpler one step at a time!