Recommendations & Optional Features
While our 3plains powered Chapter Websites come with a lot of bells and whistles, there are few optional features that we provide or get frequently asked questions about. Below are those extra options you can have added on to your chapter website. Each option has an added benefit to your organization.
Email is the heart of communication in today's technology based world. Gone are the days of hand written letters and post office visits. Communicating through email is an essential to every business and is just as important for your chapters. We have a few options and or recommendations when it comes to your email. You have 3 basic options for your chapter email needs.
- Free Option - For those that are wishing to have a basic email account but without any added costs. This free option you can setup through gmail.com which we recommend. Under this option you handle the setup and support on your own. Example of this would type of email would be - myPFchapter@gmail.com.
- Alias Option - An alias email is an option for our clients and chapters that allows you to receive emails from anyone sending to your chapter based website address, forwarding this email to your free account. For example someone sending an email to email@example.com will automatically be sent to your firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no dedicated email account for email@example.com. Under this option there is a one time $30 setup fee to have forwarding installed. You will still be responsible for the setup and support of your gmail type account. Any changes to fwd there after will be billed accordingly.
- Paid Option - This option is for a dedicated email hosted on the same servers as your website is. Your email address would have a dedicated inbox and you would access this through a login or settings on your phone. For this option we will support and give you setup guides for your mobile devices allowing you seamless installation. This option runs $24 annually per email address inbox you have setup. This is the safest and most secure based email that the industry provides, we highly suggest this route. An example of this email is firstname.lastname@example.org
There are plenty of options available out there to market your chapter. Social media is just one of the many different options for you to utilize, especially among those in the younger generation. While it is a great tool, we have some strong recommendations on what social media is, how it should be utilized, and what returns you will see on the investment of time. These are free services that you the chapters can setup and use, as well we can assist in the setup of these items for a small fee as well.
- Facebook - Facebook is a great social media tool to quickly post photos, spread community awareness among friends and families of your members. Facebook is NOT a replacement for your website. While it might be free Facebook should only be used as a tool. Someday just as there was a Myspace, social media trends change and constantly appearing. If you put all your eggs into the Facebook basket, you risk losing all your information and having to start over again. To successfully utilize Facebook, you need to start your information on the website, then posting the links from your updates, news and events pages of your website to your Facebook page. Thus driving your members back to your website where all your information is secured.
- Twitter - While twitter is not as popular at the moment, it is gaining momentum among the youth and adults in the east and west coast markets. Twitter is limited to only 140 characters and is made for quick updates. When utilized correctly a twitter account can drive interest or hype for your chapter or business. By no means will it contain enough information to replace a website, it becomes a marketing tool.
- YouTube - Is a great tool to showcase any videos that your chapter may take. It works great if you take a video on your phone and want to share the excitement of a youth and his first hunting trip, or a video of a fundraiser you may be active with. Posting videos to YouTube allows you to use their power in the google indexing and we can also take that video and link it straight to your website.
While social media changes constantly, one entity does not change, this is your website. Take the time to utilize your website, gather information, utilize the tools we offer and make sure your marketing starts and ends at your website. Secure your chapters future by keeping all your work on the website, with this you will find great success when implementing social media tools.
Tracking your website and the analytics is important to the reviewing your marketing strategies. This is important to see where your members are visiting on your website, how they are interacting, and what parts of your website needs work. We utilize Stat Counter.com for our Pheasants Forever chapters and the setup on to your website is included with the package.
An optional service that is known in the industry is Google Analytics. You must have a gmail account or google based business email to access this, we can set this into your website settings, but you need to setup the account from your end, deliver the code that is required to track your website.
Recommendation: You may choose whatever merchant account you want.
Payment Gateway. Your payment gateway is responsible for routing all of the credit card data when a customer clicks "pay now" or "Order" after they have entered their personal and billing data (name, address, city, state, zip, amount, credit card number, credit card expiration date, credit card CVV code). There are many different types of payment gateway's. Each payment gateway has a different code that routes the data in a certain way behind the scenes.
Recommendation: Authorize.net since we have source code pre-written. Other payment gateways will require a setup fee.
Paypal is a all in one solution (both Merchant and Payment gateway) which makes them the easiest to work with.
One great aspect of working with 3plains is we have the ability to create custom graphics for your chapter. While most of the time it is designing a newsletter, print advertising and or decals. From time to time we get asked to design up trailer graphics. We have the ability to create all your design graphics in house, ensuring your chapter and product all have a cohesive branding image. For more information on our design services and to inquire about our pricing check out our website. All prices are determined on a per project basis.
As stated before email is the best avenue for communication among your members. While emailing a few chapter officals and members is easy, when you want to do a mass marketing campaign it is a good practice to use an 3rd party system to blast out information in one click of the button. At 3plains we have 3 reccommendations for when it comes to email newsletters. Each service has its invidual costs which will be based on the setup, content implementation, and how many email addresses you plan to send this newsletter out to. Typically you will see a one time $250 set up charge and charge for the sending out the email can run around $150 (dependent upon the ammount of addresses)
- CreateSend.com - The best solution and most affordable