5 Expert Tips Before Launching Online Registration

Before you can launch registration in 7 days (or less) there are some go-to tips to keep in mind before kicking things off. TeamSnap hosted a webinar which tackled an introduction and tour of TeamSnap for Clubs & Leagues registration. If you are interested in learning more, feel free to listen to the full recording. Now, for organizations looking to open registration soon or in seasons ahead, be sure to take some notes because these tips will make sure you have all your ducks in a row.

Tip # 1: Start Early

Cory Harris, co-founder of Focus on the Field helps lacrosse organizations every single day tackle registrations. TeamSnap and Focus on the Field team up together to help lacrosse clubs and leagues use TeamSnap for Clubs & Leagues for management solutions. Cory joined the registration webinar and his first piece of advice was sooner the better. Here’s how he breaks it down at Focus on the Field to clients.

“I’ll first just start off by saying there’s no one-size-fits-all but it’s definitely sooner than better, so we recommend  about four to five months ahead of your season start date is a good time to open up registration. That being said there’s about three phases we identify.”

Phase 1: Prep Phase
First you want to collect all the key pieces of information you’ll need that’ll influence the upcoming season. You will want to start asking and answering questions like: Pricing, what did you charge last year? Field costs? Uniform costs? When do you want to open and close the registration? Has your overarching league changed their start date?  Are they starting games earlier, later? And then you know other aspects such as what teams you’ll be fielding?

“When you aggregate all this information the biggest speed bump we see in the process is almost analysis by paralysis or paralysis by analysis to where you know you have too many cooks in the kitchen,” Cory said. “What I recommend is aggregate all this information send it to them: Okay here’s what we charged last year here’s the information that’s you know permanent for this year here’s what I recommend and that’ll speed up the process.”

[More registration tips: Get Ready for Fall and Winter Sports with the New TeamSnap for Clubs & Leagues]

Tip #2: What information do I need for registration?

Before you can build out your online registration forms, you need data. Cory identifies a tip for organizations to think about before just starting an online form.

Phase 2: What data is the most important?
Take some time to figure out what data is the most important. You can start thinking about who the new players are and how they found you in the first place. You can ask questions like, “how did you hear about us?” “What is your previous club or rec program.” These questions will help you get information that will only help you build out the registration in the future.

“Registration is the holy grail for collecting data and information on your players, so really take some time and think ahead of when you open registration what data do you find important.”

Tip #3: Think outside-the-box with creative marketing

This might sound daunting, but creating an incentive for people registering as well as yourself is a great way to start collecting registrants and data. One tool Cory suggests is using “early bird pricing” and certain discounts to get the buzz going.

Phase 3: Early bird pricing 
Creating some urgency doesn’t just help families save some costs, but also helps you get the word out sooner and get a sense of what you are working with for the season and year ahead. “Marketing and getting creative with growing the club is the fun part,” Cory said.”So just to sum it up, during prep get all the information you’ll need to physically build out the registration and be pretty deliberate in how you do it and what information you want to collect, and then three is the fun part is marketing and growing the club.”

WATCH: TeamSnap for Clubs & Leagues Demo: This demo video includes an overview of TeamSnap for Clubs & Leagues —the best-in-class sports management solution for amateur sports organizers, staff, coaches and members. We’ll be in touch soon to show you more!

Tip #4: Test things out

Rose Gumz, Director of Customer Success at JustiFi was also a panelist on the webinar and shared with listeners the importance for planning out registration far in advance. Before you even can test the registration page, there needs to be adequate lead time where a board, parents, coaches and others can try out the form and make sure it’s working. In order to do that, it can take months. While the registration itself can happen in a week, or even less, the prep that goes into that is all about collecting the data and making sure the form encompasses everything your organization wants.

“I think giving yourself a solid six months where you’re starting to think about next season is is a good way to stay on top of it, because we all know like as summer is coming to a close and it’s time for back to school like where did the last three months go?” Rose said. “A four month lead time if you can stretch it out a little bit more that’s great because that does give you the time to really work through and and double-check the details which are really important with registration.”

Rose dove into how the preview mode feature with TeamSnap for Clubs & Leagues registration is key to explore before launching.”[Preview mode] allows you to go through and do it exactly as your customers and as your members are going to go through the registration, so you can see exactly what they’re going to do, you will know what it’s going to look like, and how it’s going to flow. This lets you know that if something may not link to the way that you wanted it to, it gives you the opportunity to really just kind of go through that entire process and then make changes and edits as you need. Encourage your board encourage your coaches anybody who has kids in the program to do the registration kind of ahead of time and just make sure that all the kinks are worked out.”

Tip # 5: Understand your payment and fees

Before launching registration the first thing you are going to want to do is look at the fees that are currently being charged. Rose adds, “That is something that varies from provider to provider, so it could be a per transaction fee it could be an overarching SaaS fee, but you want to make sure that you are choosing a provider that works best for your organization.”After that she suggests researching more and “looking at the different fees that go into what that provider is charging, because there there are some hidden fees and there are areas that people could get caught up whether that is a fee you know per transaction regardless of if it’s done on credit card or done via ACH that’s a good one to look at and then truly compare rates from one provider to the next.”

She encourages organizations doing a “mock season” because this will help your sports club or league anticipate and practice for the the x amount of kids and x amount of dollars.

“By the end of the season when you are tallying up you’re not surprised by any misses there, because that’s really what we don’t want to see in youth sports is, hey you get towards the end of the season and you’re $5,000 short of what you anticipated to be at because of fees and that really hurts the kids and nobody wants that.”

We hope that these tips can help you better prepare for launching registration. In case you are interested in learning more, get a full introduction to the new TeamSnap for Clubs & Leagues.

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