GoSignMeUp News – Blog posts that are helpful – tips and tricks – learn new things!
Access Your Data In Real Time With Web Services
Do you need to Access Your Data In Real Time With Web Services? GoSignMeUp offers “Web Services” as feature to compliment our registration system. “Web services” describes a standardized way of integrating Web-based applications using open standards over an Internet protocol backbone. Web services allow organizations to communicate data without intimate knowledge of each other’s IT systems behind the firewall. This means your company can request registration data over the internet and the GoSignMeUp servers will process and feed out the results in real-time. There is a secure layer to the request because it first must be authenticated, for increased security.
Using Web Services a customer can request student, roster, course and attendance information from the GoSignMeUp servers remotely. Web services allow a customer to process attendance, transcript, as well as send surveys and certificates. In addition you can add and update courses and course descriptions, as well as student information. Access Your Data In Real Time With Web Services!
If you want to expand your capabilities in regards to accessing your user data, be sure to inquire about GoSignMeUp’s web services!
Avoid Your Email Being Labeled Spam
Email notifications are a big part of the power behind using a registration system such as GoSignMeUp; students receive confirmation emails when they sign up, reminder emails as the course date approaches, and also a host of other communications the administrators might send out about course work, class cancellations, you name it. These emails are often time sensitive and important – so how come they can end up in a Spam filter or the Junk folder? With so much traffic now on the internet, and much of it from unscrupulous marketers or scammers, many systems now employ automated systems to identify and sort this ever-increasing deluge of email. 10-20% of emails getting lost in cyberspace is tragically the norm, mostly due to overzealous filters. Here are some rules for creating a successful email that goes in to your recipients in-box, and not somewhere else!
1. Keep Email Addresses Up-To-Date
If your contact list is riddled with dead emails, you are just asking for trouble. 6 month rule – clean out old/inactive accounts and remove inactive contacts. Bounce-backs and undeliverable email could trigger you as a spammer.
Avoiding purchased email lists is generally not a problem for GoSignMeUp users, as students sign-up for courses using their own email addresses. SpamTraps are email addresses that are strategically placed on web sites for scamming bots to find and use, which triggers a filter. The problem is if one of your students was on a CC list with a spamtrap email, they too could trigger the spam filter. An unsubscribe option is also a must-have for promotional emails to gain the stamp of approval; Simply provide an “unsubscribe’ link in the footer hyperlinked to an admin email address. While you are at it, include the physical address of your institution. These two items alone will markedly improve the deliverability of your email!
2. Avoid Spam Trigger Words and Phishing Phrases
Phishing is a type of spam to try and collect usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. These spam emails are a big problem because they masquerade as legitimate emails, which has made spam filters really aggressive. So you need to make sure your emails don’t share traits with this or other types of spam. While it might be true, a subject line such as “Once in a lifetime opportunity!” probably will just get tossed in to the spam folder! Keep your subject line short and concise and avoid repeating it in the body copy. Don’t use the word ‘test’ in the subject line – use ‘exam’ or ‘examination’.
Here is a list of common trigger words. Another sorted by topic.
3. Quality Content
Filters search your email content for things that are typical for spam, and how you rate depends on your content. Examples –
- Talks about lots of money (.193 points)
- Describes some sort of breakthrough (.232 points)
- Looks like mortgage pitch (.297 points)
- Contains urgent matter (.288 points)
- Money back guarantee (2.051 points)
Avoid copying anything directly from Microsoft Word, Excel, or Powerpoint. These programs often have a lot of unseen formatting behind the text that results in horrible HTML code when you paste out of them. Copy/Paste in to a text editor such as Notepad to strip out all the special characters and CSS code. There is also a feature in GoSignMeUp on the text editor to fix HTML from word – select the offending text and click it! (see below)
Sending emails with attachments is normal, but can also trigger a boot out of the in-box. Consider using a link instead. Push your document up to Google Docs and get a shareable link, and put that in the email body instead of an attachment. Also use full links – if you use a link-shortening service like TinyURL or Bitly your email will immediately become more ‘suspicious’. Keep attachments as small as possible if you must include them at all. Click here for a help guide on how to convert your documents in to a link using either Google Drive or the GoSignMeUp Document Upload feature.
5. Break Up Large Lists
Whenever possible, if you can break a gigantic mailing list in to multiple, smaller lists that is a far better strategy for staying off of spam-lists. Instead of sending out to your entire list at once, sort the recipients by something like date-enrolled or other value that can reliably divide your email list in to smaller and more manageable chunks. The spam monitors are always triggered by large lists being sent out at once, as statistically these will also have the most errors, rejects and bounces that raise red flags. You can sort and export you data from the Course Grid (see image below). You can also use the Ad-Hoc Reporting/Export tool to export your GoSignMeUP data for use in other mail programs or third-party eblast services such as Mail Chimp. (more info below)
6. Use A Third-Party Bulk Email Service
The problem of sending bulk emails directly from GoSignMeUp is that it can flag your web site’s domain (i.e. yoursite.gosignmeup.com) as a spammer and get it black listed! It is a far better practice to limit your GoSignMeUp site to the automated course confirmation emails and such and use an external site to handle promotional emails. Third party, high-volume email senders such as MailChimp will ‘trickle’ send email campaigns slowly, over a longer period of time, to avoid the ‘one big list’ issues. We strongly suggest using MailChimp for large email blasts when possible.
For a step-by-step guide on how to pull email addresses from GoSignMeUp for use in Mail Chimp, click here.
GoSignMeUp’s automatic email confirmations and reminders keep everyone involved up-to-date. Teachers and administrators can easily email individuals or create custom lists of course attendees, teachers and admins. While the landscape of electronic communication is forever changing, you can do your part to ensure your email communications from GoSignMeUp reach their destination!
GoSignMeUp Now Allows Google Analytics
Now you can set up your GoSignMeUp to track ‘conversions’ using a new programming feature. This has been impossible in the past due to security issues, because every user has a unique session variable in the page URL. Google Analytics still tracks these activities, but because every session is unique, its virtually impossible to set a page to trigger a ‘goal’ in Google Analytics. Now GoSignMeUp triggers a hidden static URL every time a student completes the registration process. This allows administrators to set the tracking page as a ‘goal’, and very simply track conversions! This was the missing link to close the conversion loop and track the cycle – now you can easily compare your web traffic vs. registrations – all within Google Analytics!
GoSignMeUp Now Allows Google Analytics to Track Conversions!
For more information on how to this works, check out the GoSignMeUp help guide on the topic.
Online Course Design and Development
Interested in moving your curriculum on-line? Cloud-based learning is the future! Long time GoSignMeUp user and advocate Robin Smith shows you how in her new book Conquering the Content.
Conquering the Content:
A Blueprint for Online Course Design and Development.
Nearly one-third of all students in higher education are taking at least one online class, and online hybrid classes are becoming more widespread. Distance learning is becoming the norm, but creating an online class is more complex than just posting course content on a website. Conquering the Content demonstrates how instructors can best revamp their course content to suit the online learning environment, and provides the tools and resources instructors need to transfer their effectiveness from the classroom to the online environment.
This book primarily furnishes online instructors with the practical templates, learning guides, and sample files to construct and manage their course content. Never before has online course design and development been so critical than now.
For more on how GoSignMeUp integrates with Leaning Management Systems and how Online Course Design and Development can help you put a successful instructional plan together, click here.
GoSignMeUp Online Registration and Class Management System
GoSignMeUp is a powerful online registration and class management system. If you need to deliver any sort of professional development, continuing education, or class instruction, we can provide:
- An Easy-to-use course registration system that simplifies the enrollment process.
- Automated administrative features such as email confirmations and reminders that save you time and money.
- Extensive reporting and analytics to help develop effective professional development learning cycles.
To help visualize how GoSignMeUp works – imagine a book shelf; the books are the instructional content you deliver and the bookends that hold everything together are GoSignMeUp!
The left book end provides a customizable website where the attendees can search, sign-up and pay for courses very quickly and easily. The automatic email confirmations and reminders will save you lots of time!
The books deliver the instructional content which is provided by you. This instruction can be distributed via Face to Face classes, online or blended classes.
Once the classes are completed, the right bookend takes over providing extensive reporting and analytics to help develop effective learning cycles. Certificates of completion can be emailed out automatically, and students can also view their completed classes any time on line.
The bottom line is that GoSignMeUp is a powerful tool that facilitates student registration and payment on the front end – and manages the data on the back – like bookends!
GoSignMeUp registration software handles the minutia of administration detail – such a sign-in sheets, attendance, transcript reporting, grades, certifications, email notifications, and more!
This gives you more time to focus on delivering effective instruction and extensive reporting tools to analyze trends, and examine profitability, to fine-tune and modify classes and course pathways.
GoSignMeUp has a lot of experience when it comes to Professional Development – Let GoSignMeUp help you put a successful instructional plan together.
GoSignMeUp Online Registration and Class Management System!
Call or schedule a demo today! (Download Brochure)