That’s a Wrap! 3 Tips for Finishing Your Summer Season Strong

Summer wrap-up 3 Campers swimmingWouldn’t it be great if, at the end of summer camps and programs, we could just wash our hands of the whole thing and pack the kids off to school? We all know, however, that this is a critical window for reviewing, analyzing and setting strategy for next year.

 

Do you have a complete plan and tools in place to review your program performance, nurture new opportunities, and engage your customers until next summer?

With a few simple tools in Camp & Class Manager, in conjunction with a few of our helpful guides, you can understand how you performed and how to improve for next year.

Step 1: Evaluating Program Performance by Revenue

CCM-summer-wrap-up-financial-report-example

The first step is looking at the data you currently have available. In Camp & Class Manager, you can use our new Master Financial report to evaluate program performance and categorize revenue. Start by looking at your various programs over the summer and see how you did overall.

Do you know which of your programs are working and which need support? The Master Financial report tracks results on multiple metrics. You can then cross reference results with last year’s performance as well as other variable such as location, staff and dates.

Figure out where you have questions that cannot easily be answered with quantitative data. For instance, maybe you could use a survey to help answer why a program performed the way it did and what could be done to improve it.

Step 2: Customer Surveys

After looking at your data, did you discover any interesting trends that could use more color by polling customers in a yearly survey?

Surveys matter because customers expect you to ask for their opinion, which means surveys not only provide key insights that will allow you to attract and keep new customers, they are a great retention tool for your current customers.

When creating a survey, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • First, make sure you clearly define the purpose of your survey and how you will use the information. Also, if the survey is anonymous, be sure to mention that. You may find that you get stronger responses when people feel they won’t receive recoil for their answers.
  • Overall, make sure you keep your survey is focused and concise. The longer your survey, the more likely people are not going to finish it. This is why evaluating your performance beforehand is so important. After looking at your data, what are the top three things you want to know?
  • Remember that when creating questions, a little bias is a big problem. It is important to make sure your language remains neutral so that you can get responses that reflect how your customers really feel.
  • Keep your answers simple. Do not try to reduce the number of questions you ask by combining them. Answers to questions like these will be hard to analyze. For example, do not ask “How friendly and informative was the program manager?” Instead, ask two questions: “How friendly was the program manager?” and “Did you find the program manager informative?”
  • Do not assume that all your customers are 100% familiar with your programs and offerings. If asking a question about one of your programs, provide a brief sentence explaining more about the program, like what and when it is.
  • Finally, consider incentivizing your survey. You could offer a coupon code at the end of your survey or send it via email. If you cannot afford to offer everyone a discount, consider offering a large prize that will be given away randomly to one of the survey participants. The chance to win is still an incentive for many people.

Step 3: Take Action and Plan Your Marketing Calendar

Armed with both revenue and customer experience data, you’re ready to plan your marketing calendar for the coming years. You now understand when people are usually registering or dropping out of registration, along with other key insights you have learned from your survey and additional research. Use this information to create a better experience for your families next year.

While your off-season engagement should not be overbearing, create logical check-in points that will keep your program top of mind with returning visitors. Other than your usual thank you emails, reach out to those who were involved to connect with them further. For example, start by sending survey results and/or future plans to respondents based on their feedback. Close the loop on your key users and let them know that they helped contribute to making next year an even bigger success.

Create a quick marketing guide so that you and your team can stay on top of key marketing communications. These should include action plans for social, email, live events, community outreach, partnerships and anything else you might be using in your arsenal. Here are two examples of marketing calendars that you might find useful as a starting point:

Example List View:CCM-marketing-calendar-list-view

Example Calendar View:CCM-marketing-calendar-calendar-view

Take the time to finish strong with these three steps. You’ll be so glad you did when the next season rolls around.

NCAA Camp Compliance; we’ve got your back!

THE GOAL: Protect Your University

Most camps adhere to some type of regulation. Whether it is NCAA bylaws or high school association rules, compliance is critical. Undetected compliance issues can leave your university vulnerable. That’s why we’re delivering a new set of features – all designed to keep your collegiate programs compliant so you can focus on creating the best camps and clinics for your student athletes.

THE GAME PLAN: University Compliance Package
Continue reading “NCAA Camp Compliance; we’ve got your back!” »

New Feature: Scheduled Reminder Emails

You can now schedule reminder emails triggered by session start dates. This new feature helps take the stress out of sending reminders for important tasks or need-to-know info before your participants show up for your camp or class.

reminder_email

Reminder emails are easy to set up. To start scheduling your reminder emails, go to Email > New and chose New reminder to get started.

NOTE: Reminder emails must be scheduled at least 24-hours in advance and can be modified or deleted at any time.

Check Out These Great New Report Enhancements

We made a few updates to our reports over the past two weeks. Enhancements include Registration form reports for registrars and program staff, Custom report options for including group assignments, and printable statement reports that make it easier for you to provide information to students and campers.

Registration form reports

Registration form reports allow you to quickly see completed participant registration forms. You now have the added ability to run the registration form report for an individual camper or student from the Registration View. This comes in handy when you need to provide a report to a counselor or someone who will be working with a specific participant.

We’ve also added options let you run Registration form reports with or without supplemental form details and decide whether to include registration form questions or waiver information. These changes allow you to streamline the report when needed.

Custom reports

With Custom reports, you can gain insights into different areas of your program. Whether it’s chek-in, session capacity, or financial data that you want to dig into, custom reports allow you to include or exclude the fields that matter to you. Now you can include Group Assignments in custom reports as well, making custom reports fully customizable with relevant details about your students and campers.

Printable Statements

Statements are a great way to show a family or individual registrants an itemized statement, or snapshot of their payment history and balances due. Now, you can easily send a statement to an individual or primary family member as an attachment in an email as an attachment that is simple for them to print for their records.

Email Campaigns: You said it. You need it. We built it…

By popular demand, we’ve enhanced the email tools in Camp & Class Manager and introduced new email campaign tools to help you send better emails, stay connected, and improve results. You now have the ability to create email lists with dynamic recipients based on specific data tied to their records or by importing a new list of contacts. Not only that, but you can add up to 20 unique emails to a single campaign and review performance results of each communication.

To get started building your own email campaigns, select Email > New Campaign and create a campaign to send a series of emails that can be tracked together.

Email Campaign

To review email performance for individual emails, or the campaign as a whole, select Email > View Report

Email Report

Here are some ideas to help you get started using email campaigns in your organization:

  • Marketing

Email marketing is the most effective method, in terms of both finances and desired impact, to promote your camps and classes to new participants and stay in touch with those who have already enjoyed what your organization has to offer. Be sure to let people know when enrollment opens or to announce special events. Include anyone you’ve ever received an inquiry from, even if they didn’t attend. Refreshing people’s memory throughout the year encourages them to take action and can ensure your programs will be on their radar when they’re ready to engage.

  • Registration Reminders

Provide motivation for those who haven’t signed up yet with email reminders. Incorporate your branding and registration fields to create customized emails for each recipient. You can also schedule communications for those who have already registered, keeping them in-the-know when it comes to details, reminders and milestones.

  • End-of-Year Fundraising

Email is the top driver of online donations, generating 35% of gifts. Use email campaigns to send personalized messaging to different audiences. Whether it’s reporting back on the impact of someone’s gift, revisiting past initiatives, sharing news and announcements, or closing the loop on an urgent ask – don’t underestimate the impact of email on donor retention.

  • Newsletters

Most schools and camps look for ways to stay in touch with alumni, parents, donors, volunteers and others. Newsletters are the easiest way to systematically communicate with these audiences. It’s a great way to keep them in the loop on upcoming events and opportunities and helps your organization stay “top of mind” for parents and participants.

Don’t forget – you can get even more help on how to use these new campaign tools when you visit the Help Center.

Now Available: Family Email and Family Email History

Email is a powerful tool that helps you promote your organization’s programs to future students and campers. It’s also how you stay in touch with people who have already registered or re-engage those who have registered in the past.

That’s why we’re focusing on additional improvements to the email tools you use in Camp & Class Manager. While we have many exciting releases planned in 2015 that will take your organization’s emails to the next level, the first two are available to you today!

Send an Email to Family

Users can now send an email to the primary parent of a specific family from the page of any person in the family or their registration.

  • From any page in Person/Family View click Email family
  • Type a free-form email or choose an existing template

Email FamilyView Family Email History

You can also now easily review the emails that have been sent to the primary parent, and even re-send emails if needed.

When viewing the personal profile for any person in the system, both the order history and the history of emails sent to the primary parent in the family will appear at the bottom of the page. Currently, only confirmation emails and one-off emails sent to that family are shown, but stay tuned because this will be improved to also include broadcast emails and follow-up form reminders at a future date.

Note that although attachments cannot be accessed when viewing a sent email, the recipient of a resent email will be able to download the attachments. Resending an email will create a new record in the list, and can be identified as a ‘resend’ by the airplane icon on the left.

Email HistoryThese are just two of the many email enhancements we have in store for you in 2015. We hope that these improvements make it easier for you to communicate and provide excellent service to your customers.

New Feature: Coupon Code Start Date

Our popular coupon code feature is now even better. You’ve been asking for the ability to set up your coupon strategy when you set up your sessions, rather than having to go back and set date ranges for pricing levels manually. Now you can.

We’ve added Coupon Code Start Date/Time fields to give you the flexibility to set up early bird and other discounts ahead of time. This will let you use the same code for multiple coupons and only the discount eligible for that time period will be applied.

Note that while a coupon code end date is required, a coupon start date is not, and if none is entered there will be no early limit as to when it can be applied.CouponYou can create a new coupon from the Coupons tab in the Season View.

Coupon TabYou can also read more about the coupons feature here.

Things you can do with the Camp & Class Manager Form Builder

Continuing with the theme of getting your season set up so that all the administrative tasks of getting everyone signed up takes care of itself, let’s take a look at what the Camp & Class Manager form builder lets you do when setting up the registration form for a given season:

Add form element

You can…

Add optional system default questions to your form with a single click

Some questions, like first and last name are required to be on every registration form. These are the ones that say Required by ACTIVE. Non-required default questions though can be added or removed with a single click.

Add default question

Create your own custom questions

Once you create a new custom question it is added to your Custom questions library and all you need to do to add it to any form going forward is to see that it is checked in this interface.

Create a new custom question

Create custom sub-headers to visually group questions together

Make the process simple and intuitive for your customers by grouping similar questions together and adding a little extra explanation where needed.

Create custom sub-headers

Create custom text blocks to be included in your registration

Where more in depth instruction is needed, you can add custom text blocks with color, and different sized text, and even hyperlinks to link to other web pages if you want.

Create custom text blocks

Set certain questions to appear only for people registering for certain sessions

And, this works for sub-headers and text blocks too, so your form can do double or triple duty depending on who is registering.

Session applicability

Drag and drop everything to quickly get it all in the order you want

Drag and drop

…and don’t worry about trying to get too much into a registration form.

You can always create an online follow-up form that your customers can fill out in their online account after they have registered.

Online follow-up form

but more about that next week.

Until then, from all of us on the Camp & Class Manager team, happy days and warm nights as we enter the holiday season.

Multi-person and multi-session discounts

Do you offer discounts to people that sign up for multiple sessions? Or to families that register more than one child for certain kinds of programs? If there were an easy way to do so that didn’t add any administrative overhead would you like to use these kinds of incentives to increase registration?

Camp & Class Manager is designed to let you do exactly that; add custom multi-person and multi-session discounts according to your business rules, and in a way that makes the whole process effortless and transparent as soon as it is all set up.

Setting up multi-person and multi-session discounts

For each season, you can configure discounts that award specified amounts or percentages for specified numbers of registrants and/or registrations. You can also specify different discounts to only take into account different subsets of sessions within a season, and where there might be any ambiguity, you can specify whether a discount should apply to the more expensive or less expensive registration.

To set up both multi-person and multi-person discounts in a season, go to the Discounts step of the season setup workflow and click Create your first discount.

Create your first discount

You will then see that there are actually three different types of discounts you can create in a season. Custom (internal only) discounts are great for discounts that you want to apply on an as needed basis, but for now let’s focus on the Multi-person and Multi-session discounts that will apply automatically as soon as you set them up and save them.

Create a discount overlay

Most of the settings for multi-person discounts should be self-explanatory, but maybe there are two settings which deserve a little explanation; Application order and Eligible sessions.

If your discounts are all flat dollar amounts, then Application order is likely a moot point, but if your discounts are percentage based, and your sessions are not all the same price, then it probably matters to you whether the most expensive or least expensive orders are discounted first. The default is to give the benefit in this case to your customer, i.e. discounting the most expensive session first, and continuing to discount all eligible sessions in decreasing price order, but if your stated policy is the opposite, then you can just change Application order from give benefit to my customer to give benefit to my organization.

The other setting that it might be helpful to explain a little is Eligible sessions. You will want to use this setting if you have different subsets of sessions within the same season that you want to discount in different ways. For instance, maybe some of your sessions make sense to discount for siblings, but other sessions run just at or near cost, and really can’t be discounted.

Just choose Selected sessions from the Eligible sessions and then click edit to choose the sessions you want the discount to be applied to. The sessions that you don’t select will not be discounted, and registrations for them won’t count toward eligibility for discounts on the ones that can be discounted.

Multi-session discounts are basically the exact same, but instead of awarding a family for the number of registrations in a season, they discount the registrations of a single participant for registering for enough sessions. And just like with multi-person discounts, you can select whether it is the more or less expensive sessions that are discounted, and which specific sessions can count toward qualification for the discount.

Once you save each discount, it will start being applied automatically when people register online (provided, of course that they meet the criteria) and also when you register people internally.

And that’s all there is to it.

If you want to change or even delete one of your discounts after you have started taking registrations and some of them was awarded, no problem. It won’t affect anyone who has already been awarded a discount, but going forward they won’t apply to new registrants.

Next week we’ll continue with another way that Camp & Class Manager can make the administrative parts of your work more elegant and efficient – setting up custom tailored and ‘smart’ registration forms that respond to your registrants like you would yourself.

Until then, happy days and warm nights as we approach the holiday season.

Deposits and payment plans

It can be enough of a hassle trying to collect from just one person who owes a balance, let alone the hundreds or more that sign up for your sessions. And, at the same time, you want to allow your customers flexibility to pay what your activities are worth, but to do so on a schedule that works for them.

With this in mind, Camp & Class Manager is designed to let you configure a deposit amount that must be paid at the time of registration and a payment plan for when the remainder will be automatically collected, either all at once or in a series of installments. And, while no software system can account for the special circumstances that arise in everyone’s lives, the idea is to as much as possible let you get everything about payment collection on auto-pilot, so that you can focus more of your time on the part of your activities that you love.

Setting up a deposit amount

Both deposits and payment plans for a season are configured on the Deposits and payment plans step of the season setup process.

Deposits and payment plans

To set a partial amount that you want to require your registrants to pay at the time of registration select any of the options other than Customers must pay in full to check out as the deposit amount. You can select a flat dollar amount, or a percentage of the total, or even choose to let people sign up and secure their spot without paying anything.

Note however that that if your customers purchase any additional items like hats or t-shirts that you charge an extra fee for, these must always be paid for at the time of registration and are on top of whatever other deposit amount is immediately due.

The Deposit option available until date means that until that date, customers will still have the option of paying the deposit only at the time of registration, as opposed to having to pay in full and applies equally to either an actual deposit or the ‘pay nothing now’ option.

Setting up a payment plan

To set up a payment plan that collects balances from your customers automatically, select Payment plan(s) with multiple installment dates as the outstanding balance payment option and click Create a payment plan to start filling in the details.

Create a payment plan

In the overlay that pops up, you can select the number of payments you want balances to be broken in to (from up to 12, to just one single lump sum) and you can specify the date that you want each installment paid on.

If you set the Automatic billing option to Required, then in order to check out, your customers will have to agree to be auto-charged for their payments by the same credit or debit card they used to pay their initial deposit. Of course it’s up to you to set the terms with your customers, but this is the way to really put things on auto-pilot if you want to.

Create a payment plan

As for the amount of the payments, this is simply the total amount due divided by the number or payments still in the future. If you set multiple payment plans in a season your customers can choose the one that works best for them, and if you mark one as Internal only then it won’t show up as an option online, but you will be able to put people on it internally.

And of course there is a lot more that you can do if you want, but to get your season set up to collect a deposit at the time of registrations and put payment collection on auto-pilot, that’s really all there is to it.

To go a step further, next time we’ll talk about setting up automatic multi-person and multi-session discounts to encourage more registrations, but until then, from the entire Camp & Class Manager team, a happy Halloween and a restful weekend while we are early yet in the camp season.