Message Boards. The Real Discussion.

People talking on your Memberize.com website.

iStockphoto.com

If you’re running a membership website chances are part of it’s purpose is to offer or share private information with your membership.  Another purpose is probably to foster communication among your membership about common ideas associated with your Membership.  I’m talking about ideas or topics that are more focused on what your organization is all about and why your members – are in fact – members in the first place.

Being social in places such as Facebook are… well… less then private but are great places to inspire new membership for your organization.  All this is fantastic but part of the end goal is getting these people to your website where they can communicate with other privileged members right?

With your Memberize message board forums you can facilitate discussion on a private (members only) OR public level.  You can direct the topics of discussion or allow your members to participate in that process.  From here it’s all about membership retention and this particular feature in the Memberize tool set has that kind of power.

If you’re not a Memberize customer give it a trial run.  It won’t cost you anything. ;-)

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Public vs. Private Newsletters

Newsletter Access Options.  Public, Members Only, RestrictedWhen you create a Newsletter Subscription list one of the first questions you need to ask yourself is this: How do I want people to subscribe (get on the list) to this newsletter list? You have one of three basic choices. You can make your lists Restricted, Members Only, and Public.

Restricted means that only newsletter adminis trators can add, edit, and delete email address information from the list.

Members Only means that the administrators can add, edit, and delete email addresses and information from the list BUT… Members who login to our website can also manage their Members Only newsletter list subscriptions. They do that by going to ‘My Info’ and ‘My Subscriptions’. All Members Only and Public lists will be there for logged in members to subscribe or unsubscribe to.

Public lists are open to visitors of your website. They don’t have to be logged in to subscribe. Once you create a Public subscription list a subscription form box will appear under your left hand navigation in the public area of your site. This will allow visitors to subscribe. That’s assuming that you are hosting your public area of your website on the Memberize system. If not then this is N/A. You would have to provide your own links to the public subscription area. Give it a try. Create a subscription list and make it Public. Then go see if there is a new subscription box on the left hand side of your homepage.

Posted in Tips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Import Contacts to a Subscription List

The Newsletter Center is the Memberize bulk email feature that allows you to configure and maintain as many different Subscription Lists as you need.  You can allow users to sign up online, have lists that are Members Only, query your database to populate a list, and you can also upload a list of contacts from a third party.  To upload your list of contacts browse to the Newsletter Center and select your list or configure a new one.  Just below the “Select Members for List” link, that allows you to query your Member Database, there is an “Import” link.  This leads to the Import to List page where you can download an Import Template, paste all of your contacts into that template, and then save and upload this to your list.

Like the Database Update, this will append new contacts to the existing list, and will not create duplicate entries (i.e. it will not append a preexisting or duplicate address).

Posted in Tips | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Facebook. Non-Profit Friendly.

I recently came across what happens to be a fairly dated article about Facebook and non-profits BUT… I feel it is still a good read.  It’s called “10 Tips for Non-Profits on Facebook“.  With the ever presence of Facebook in our lives these days on a personal level it’s no wonder it’s become a must use tool of small organizations/non-profits all the way to the largest.

Facebook is a great way to reach out and get back to heart of the matter.  Your cause! Your Website! Your fundraising campaign!

10 Tips for Non-Profits on Facebook

 

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Out with the old. In with the new. CMS and Menus.

We’ve updated the CMS area and the possibilities with your menus and their positioning.  It’s been a long time coming we know but this new update is sure to put a smile on some of your faces.

Positioning

Now you have 3 places to choose from when positioning your main navigation.   Above your website’s header area, below the header area or along the left hand side.

Your website style sheet form presents you with these options as a quick and easy way to make this change.  Very simple!

CSS Menu Positioning

Parent and Subs

For those of you that are still running our first generation Menu / Content Management System you should know that you can create fly out menus to better arrange your information.  You don’t have to place all of your menu items on the top level.  Now you can have parent menu items with submenu items.

Menu Parent and Sub Illustration

Link Options

There are now more options when setting up your menu items.  When a user clicks on a menu item they don’t necessarily have to go to that page.  You can setup menu items to take people where ever you like.  Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Other Websites, etc..

We also provide you with a really easy way to link to other pages, documents, events, surveys, etc.. from a menu item simply by picking from a website inventory list called “Internal Links”.

Internal Menu Links

We encourage existing Memberize customers to read this prepared PDF explaining the changes they can expect from switching to the latest CMS and Menu Tools.

CLICK HERE to download this document or copy the following URL to your browser.

http://www.memberize.com/clubportal/help/documents/NewCMS_Old_vs_New.pdf

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Access Levels: Distribute the Work Load

Member Access Levels (also known as member status levels) are used to determine each member’s permissions and access to different website features and functions.

Each website is configured with several default member access levels.  These default member access levels cannot be modified, however administrators can create entirely new member access levels and define the administrative rights to be granted.

New, custom access levels can be created by clicking on the “Add New Level” button, this will load the Membership Access Level Edit page.  Divided by functional area, you can control what members assigned this new access level are able to edit and change.

Within certain functional areas you can limit access to only that member’s portion of that area, only that member’s Chapter, or to all areas/members.  For example, in the Events Administration area, you can set your custom access level to allow users to Memorize any event, only those events they create, or none at all.

Navigation

List of examples

Add Button

Posted in Tips | Tagged | Leave a comment

How to Add Social Bookmarking to your Memberize Site

AddThis™ Bookmarking and Social Sharing is now a part of the HTML Editor!

We’ve included a new tool in the HTML Editor that will allow you to quickly add an AddThis Bookmark and Share button to your web pages, header, footer, events and more…

This new tool is available today and we plan to expand on this feature in the near future.  Today you can use this tool to foster sharing of your website content with the popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz, Email and others.  300+ as a matter of fact.

Website Management Tip: If you  include one of these buttons in the Header or Footer of your site it makes it much easier to maintain.  Because the Header and Footer are displayed on 95% of your website you only have to place it there to be included on all of your pages.  Of course, you can always accentuate the point by including them with in certain individual web pages or events but the same functionality will apply.  This way you can simply refer to your Website Header or Footer to make a change in the future.

We hope you enjoy and we’d like to thank AddThis for providing an excellent service.  Give it a try today!  Look for the Orange + Icon in your editor.  If it is not visible then we have purposely excluded it for that particular area of your site.

Posted in Tips | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Login Page: What can I say?

Often times someone will visit your website and click on a members only link of some kind.  This will present this person with your system login screen.  What to do now?  You may want to provide some useful feedback on that screen rather than simply asking them to login.  They might not have a login!  To the right of the login form you’ll see some prime screen real estate to provide some helpful information.  To add information to that area you’ll want to visit the login page form under login options.  See Admin > Membership > Login Options from the top Admin Menu OR in your Control Panel. 

Just as you would add text to a web page with the editor you can add text here.

This could be some helpful information or you could use this area to market to the visitor.

“You’ve just click on a Members Only Link.  If you would like to know more about becoming a member so, you too, can access this great information and communicate with others CLICK HERE.”

You can create a link to your membership sign up process or simply direct the user to a web page explaining more about your membership.

Navigation to 

The Editor View

Page Display View

Posted in Tips | Tagged | Leave a comment

How to Write an Effective Survey

How to Write and Effective SurveyA survey can be a powerful tool to generate feedback from your membership, and the Memberize Survey Manager offers an easy way to create online surveys and analyze the data they generate, either in the graphical format as the results are presented or as a spreadsheet download.  Please refer to the Memberize Help documentation if you have any problems configuring and creating your survey.

The data generated from your survey will obviously depend on the questions asked; this article will outline some brief guidelines on effective survey writing.

The first step is to think about what kind of information you need the survey to deliver to your organization.  Start with what it is you would like know about potential respondents and create your questions accordingly.  As you compose each question try to envision how the data formed from the responses is going to be analyzed, this is also an important consideration when selecting the type of question you want to ask (i.e. multiple choice, matrix, etc.).

Avoid open-ended questions.  If at all possible use a multiple-choice format, although it can be a good idea to allow for an open-ended “additional comments” question this should probably be the last question on your survey.  Allowing respondents to enter their own comments will enhance the satisfaction they get from responding to your survey, but keep in mind that a large volume of open-ended responses may be difficult to make sense of.

Consider allowing anonymous responses, you may not get the most accurate data if respondents know they can be identified.

You should structure your survey so that the more difficult questions come last.  Start with general questions with easy answers to engage the respondents gradually.

Keep the survey brief, the fewer questions you have the more likely the respondent will complete the survey attentively.  Anything that takes longer than 4 or 5 minutes to complete is probably too long for most target audiences.

Inform potential respondents of the survey length at the outset.  The total number of questions contained in your survey will not be apparent to the respondent as they begin, so let them know how many questions there are in your Survey Introduction.

At the same time you should also try to make it apparent to your respondents what the purpose or nature of the survey is.  This will be readily apparent if the survey is associated with an event, but if you publish surveys elsewhere, especially through a newsletter, you should include a short explanation in your Survey Introduction.

Use the Matrix format!  You can turn several questions into one by using this question type.  If you want to know how your members rate one of your events in several different categories (venue, catering, etc.) make each of these categories a response in a single Matrix question.

Avoid double negatives, these can confuse respondents and generate inaccurate data.

Make sure you test your survey before you “go live!”  You can take the survey yourself as many times as you like by using the “delete respondent” link (in effect erasing your survey response data so you can create another one).

Always remember to thank respondents for taking part in your survey.

Posted in Tips | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

This is Memberize Central!

Hello and welcome to Memberize Central.  The Memberize.com Blog.  We’re looking forward to sharing a bunch of information with you as we all move forward with our memberships.  We also look forward to hearing from you if you’re so inspired.  Oh yes, we do want to inspire! 

We’re going to be bouncing all over the place with the goal of providing you with useful information to take with you after every visit!

We’ll be focusing on things such as:

  • The Memberize Service and how to get the most out of it
  • Company news
  • Membership management insights and news
  • Membership Website ideas and trends
  • Technology, for better or worse!
  • What’s going on out there on the WWW?
  • This thing called social media
  • Research worth sharing

We want to share what we know with you!!!!

Posted in General | Tagged , , | Leave a comment