Promoting Your Online Registration to Parents and Members

Promoting Your Online Registration to Parents and Members
 
Prepare for Success with Online Registration
If this is your first year offering online registration to your members, or you’re wondering how to get a higher percentage of your membership to participate, then look to these ideas below that have worked well for other organizations.
 
Did You Know?
The majority of online registration occurs at lunchtime during the week and after 9:00 pm in the evenings. Online registration not only saves your organization substantial amounts of volunteer and staff time but offers ease and convenience to busy parents. Even when offering walk-up registration dates, 60-75% of members will opt to register online when registration is properly promoted.
 
TIPS FOR PROMOTING ONLINE REGISTRATION TO PARENTS
 
  • Use Your Web Site Effectively Once you’ve decided to move to online registration, it’s important to promote it. Parents, players, and volunteers need to be aware of it, as well as realize how much easier registration will be for them. Publicizing your registration event and “driving” your members to your web site for information and registration will decrease annoying phone calls and emails. Basically “train” your members to rely upon your web site as a source of information and services.
  • ere are some tips to help you get started:
    • Clear and compelling message: Create a clear, enticing message to parents.
    • Use straightforward language without buzzwords and too many extra words! For example, “Sign-Up Online Now” or “Last Chance to Register Online” are ideal statements. Make it short and sweet.
    • Break up your content by using short paragraphs, bullet points, and pictures.
  • Email marketing:
    Email is a very popular marketing technique to reach parents and can be an opportunity to promote online registration. When putting together your emails, remember to keep them very short and to the point—your top goal is to get parents to click on that online registration link, so don’t bury it among a lot of words! Also, you’ll get better results by breaking your lists into groups (e.g. team or league, returning players vs. new players, tee ball parents, etc.) and craft an online registration message for each group.

Sending effective e-mails on a regular basis will help drive traffic to your website, build loyalty with your participants, and increase your registration numbers. Set an e-mail schedule and stick to it!
  • Include last year’s participants in your e-mail promotions.
  • Enter all offline paper registrations as administrative online registrations to capture family information and e-mail addresses and include them in future email blasts.
  • Send an e-mail announcing online registration and event information
  • Send an e-mail a few days before registration costs increase
  • Send an e-mail a week before online registration closes
  • In every e-mail you send - provide a direct link to the registration site
  • In every e-mail you send - ask recipients to forward the e-mail to family and friends
  • Offer Online Discounts:
    Increase your fees slightly and offer online discounts for registering online—saving your organization volunteer time and dollars.
  • Direct marketing:
    Direct marketing can be effective because it can act as a physical reminder to parents and players of online registration dates and upcoming deadlines. Try using these types of direct marketing: mail postcards or flyers to previous participants; advertise with signs and displays at fields, at local businesses, or in schools; promote registration on local radio or TV stations, or in local newspapers or magazines; or hold a parent meeting during pre-season to explain online registration and give seasonal updates. Make certain your web site address is on EVERY piece of printed material and even consider making some pieces of information, forms, and details of events available only by going to your web site.
  • Signage & Flyers
    Create signage and inexpensive flyers with your web site address on them inviting parents to register their players online. Make your web site address and registration easy to find.<
  • Online marketing:
    Check your local online media outlets for additional opportunities to get the word out. For example, calendar listings are typically free, even for print media. The great thing about online news outlets is that they are highly read in your area. So, while your own website may not show up in Google when someone searches for your sports program parents will still be able to find you because of the listing you created. If you’re not familiar with your local online media outlets, simply Google “News + [your city]” and look for relevant results.
  • Online ads:
    Start by exploring opportunities to get complimentary ad space. Ask your local sponsors and local field facilities if they can host an ad, article, blog post, or video on their website or social media pages on your behalf. You can also use visual ads in your own emails and social media channels to draw attention.
  • Facebook:
    Get creative with your league’s Facebook posts! Facebook’s technology rewards users that create the best content with more attention in users’ newsfeeds. By “best” we mean posts that get liked or shared a lot. You can do that by asking questions such as “Would you like to avoid the long lines of registration day?” vs. simply asking for a “Like”; or hosting mini-contests such as a free t-shirt for the first 10 parents to register their kids online. Using a lot of pictures and video always helps, too! Always remember a link to online registration in all of your posts that are promoting registration.
  • Reduce or Eliminate Paper Registration Forms:
    Consider eliminating or reducing the offerings for walk-up or mail-in paper registration. Many organizations have done this successfully. Replace traditional walk-up paper registrations with walk-up online registrations at the local school or library. Place an electronic copy of your registration form on your web site for download and offer online registration. By placing the electronic copy of your registration form on your web site, parents can download the form themselves saving printing costs. Moreover, by having parents get the “paper copy” of the registration form from your web site, they are simply more likely to register online.
  • Offer Computer Access:
    If you have an office, allow parents to visit your office during business hours to register their children online. If you do not have an office, use your local library or school to provide online access for individuals or for an in-person registration day. If a family doesn’t have a computer, encourage them to visit a family member or friend who has access to a computer and the internet.
  • Training
    Remember that converting parents to online registration is a “training” process. Also remember that we’re here to help (support@everysport.net).  If your parents have problems with online registration, we’ll answer their questions and get their problems resolved so you won’t have to. You’ll find that once parents are “trained”, they’ll like the convenience and simplicity of having online registration.
  • Stay organized, test new ideas, and repeat what works
    Track what types of marketing you do to promote online registration and analyze what worked best. Did a lot of parents click on the link in the registration email you sent? How many comments did you get on your Facebook contest for first registrations? Did a lot of parents show up to the pre-season meeting where you explained the new system? Note what works and repeat for next season! Save you emails for next season too.
How to Email Last Year’s Participants
  1. Login as an Administrator.
  2. Select GamePlan in Control Panel.
  3. Select Organization> Leagues and Teams
  4. Select the Appropriate League from Prior Season
  5. Click More at bottom left corner of Page
  6. Click Email > Click Email all Players in this League
  7. Complete the following in the next in the next screen:
    1. To: Everyone registered in (Name) League
    2. From: Your Administrator Email address
    3. Type of Email: Select Customer Service related Message
    4. Subject example: Registration Now Open
    5. Create Email – Here are some tips to help you get started:
      • Clear and compelling message: Create a clear, enticing message to parents.
      • Use straightforward language without buzzwords and too many extra words! For example, “Sign-Up Online Now” or “Last Chance to Register Online” are ideal statements. Make it short and sweet.
      • Break up your content by using short paragraphs, bullet points, and pictures. Be sure to use bold, italics and font colors but be sure to keep it simple,
      • In every e-mail you send, provide a direct link to the registration page and always ask recipients to forward the e-mail to family and friends
      • Remember to keep it simple!
      • Quick Tip – create your email as a document and save it for future emails – simply change the dates, prices, etc. and paste it into the new email
    6. Before sending – right click and highlight email text and copy to send to another league
  8. Click Send Message at bottom left corner of Page
  9. Select another League; repeat process; paste copied email text; make appropriate changes to names, dates, and prices - craft an online registration message for each group.
Note: You may also use the Newsletters function in Administration to send bulk email. Simply copy/paste existing email addresses into the Additional Emails box.

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