Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Continuing Education Course Certificates

August 26th, 2014 by Michael Probert

Continuing Education Course Certificates

We’ve always had the option to create certificates for your course attendees but we had to create the template for you one at a time. Now we’ve built in a basic certificate for you to use. Our standard template includes their name, organization, number of credits received, course title, event name, date of course.

Here’s how to use it!

  • After you’ve completed a course, go to it in your event and check who who actually attended the course. Click “Update Course Attendees”

Continuing Ed courses and certificates

  • Once you’ve done that, make sure that you have a logo provided in the “PDF Logo” are of your Website Styles. This is the logo that gets placed on your pdf invoices and your certificates.

Add Logo to Continuing Education Course Completion Certificate

  • Now go back to the course and click “Generate Certificates”
  • You’ll see that a “View” button now shows up next to all of the attendees that you checked as attending the course. You can view these individually.

Generate Continuing Education Course Certificates

  • Members will be able to login to view their certificates in the member center in “My Event History”. For non-members who want certificates, you’ll need to either print and mail them or download them and email them to the attendees.

Members Get Course Certificate

Merge Fields – Personalize Your Emails in AMO

August 18th, 2014 by Michael Probert

Newsletter Personalization is here!

As we continue to make AMO a better tool for your association, we are adding new features so you can deliver a more personalized experience to your members. That’s why we’ve made it possible for your to add a members name, organization and a few other fields into the email.

  • When you’re writing an email in Messaging or Messaging drafts, you’ll see a new < > icon in the bottom of the content editor’s tool bar. You can click on this and then select “Merge Fields”.

Personalize Emails with Merge Tags


  • You’ll see a list of the fields that you can insert. Select one of them and continue writing your email. You can always add them in after you’ve written your email body as well.

List of Merge Fields for Personalized Emails & Newsletters

  • This makes it possible to say:

Dear John,

We’re so glad that you are part of our association. Is there anyone else at XYZ Company that you think would benefit from being a member?


- Sally

  • To do so, You would insert the First Name Merge field after “Dear” and the Organization Merge Field in the middle of that sentence. It pulls this information directly for their member record when the email is sent out. Obviously, if any of the information has changed since the email sent out it would not be reflected in the email.

Example of an Email using Merge Tags to Personalize

Save Segments for Newsletters

August 18th, 2014 by Michael Probert

Save Segments for Newsletters

We’ve added some new features to the messaging area to make them easier to use and more powerful for those of you using it more frequently.

You can saved filtered lists of contacts now that can be recalled later based on the same search criteria and will pull the list at that moment of anyone who meets those criteria now. Here’s how you use it!

  • Create your segment for who you’d like to send your message to.
  • Once you’ve made your search, click the “Save This Segment For Future Use” check box  and give the list a name in the text box provided and click “Continue.

Save a Database Segment for Newsletter

  • Your segment is now saved! Now to used the saved segment, next time you are sorting the list for your email, just the drop down at the top of the Messaging page to view your saved segments. You can always add more or remove sorting options from a saved segment.

Use a Saved Segment to Send a Newsletter

  • To Delete a segment, just select it from the list, click the “Delete this Segment” checkbox and click “Continue”.


Integration with MailChimp

August 18th, 2014 by Michael Probert

We’ve made a new friend – MailChimp!

We’re excited to announce our integration with MailChimp (MC) so that you can send your contacts from AMO to add new contacts and to update existing ones in your email marketing lists. Here are some of the perks of using MailChimp over AMO’s messaging system:

  • Tracking analytics such as opens, clicks, A/B Testing
  • Auto filter bounce-back emails
  • Schedule Email Campaigns
  • Automated email campaigns based on interactions
  • More email templates

What you will be able to do

  • Send your entire AMO database to a list you’ve created in MailChimp
  • Sync your standard fields from AMO with fields (Merge Tags) that you create in MC.
  • Update your MailChimp list and fields automatically every night (or send an update over on-demand)

What you won’t be able to do

  • Sync anyone without and Email Address
  • Have multiple contacts with the same email address (They takes the last entry as the final update.)
  • Connect Custom fields (yet).
  • Sync updates from MC back to AMO.

How do I use it?

  • Make sure that you have setup a MailChimp account or click here to set one up now!
  • Find your API key in your MailChimp account:
    • Click on your Name at the top of the left-hand navigation and then on “Account Settings”
    • Click on Extras and then API Keys
    • Create a new API Key and change the label to say “AMO” so you know what it’s being used for.
    • Copy the API Key and go back to AMO.
  • Now that You’re in AMO, click on “Integrations from the main navigation and then “settings”.

MailChimp Integration Settings

MailChimp Integration Lists

  • Once you’ve selected your list, you’ll be shown a list of the fields that MailChimp is collecting and you can match them up with the standard fields and categories from AMO. (If you need to create more fields, learn how here. HINT: For Categories, Committees, and the Association Member checkbox make it a Yes/No Merge Tag in MailChimp.)

MailChimp Integration CRM Non-Profit

  • If you’d like for your list to be updated every night with any changes from the AMO database just check that field at the top of the field list. When you’re all set, click “Save Fields” and then click “Send to MailChimp”. Shortly after (time depends on your database size) your contacts will be placed in your MailChimp List.

MailChimp Integration Merge Tags

Have more technical questions about how MailChimp works? Check our their support and tutorial videos.

Need a consultant to help you figure out the best usage of MailChimp or your association? Contact us below:

Heartbleed & AMO

April 11th, 2014 by Michael Probert


Heartbleed & AMO

As you may have heard, the latest security bug in the news is Heartbleed. It is a vulnerability that affects systems that use OpenSSL for encryption, and AMO was not affected by the vulnerability at any time. We just wanted to let you all know that your data is safe with us.

Out of copious amounts of caution, if you host your email with us we advice you to change your password just to be completely safe.

We take your data security very seriously here at AMO and value your business.


Do you ever wonder why some posts on social media platforms get more traffic than others? Most likely it was due to when the post was published. To help you out, we put together a graph of the best and worst times to post on different platforms.

social-media-times-to-post2This article was originally posted on ArcStone Technologies’ blog.


All of the locations of the Google Maps Pokémon

April 1st, 2014 by Michael Probert

Gotta Catch ‘em all!

Google put together a fun Pokémon themed April Fools day prank on Google Maps where users could go and catch Pokémon all around the world. It was only released on mobile devices as to encourage downloads of the Google Maps app. Here’s  link to a thread on Reddit that crowdsourced the locations of all of the Pokémon around the world, enjoy!

Rules of the Conference Call

February 26th, 2014 by yvang

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Conference calls are a great way to get information out to a group of people — especially if distance is a factor — but we have all suffered through pointless calls. So if you’re looking to have or attend a conference call anytime soon, keep these rules in mind:

  • If you’re questioning whether you should hold a call or not, don’t have it.
  • Everyone knows what time the conference call is. Make sure you show up early — being a minute late is too late.
  • Keep it to the point. Ten minutes should be the maximum length of any conference call.
  • Since it’s only ten minutes long, make sure you give the person holding the call your undivided attention.
  • If you are holding the call, make sure you leave room and time for feedback for questions. The best thing about conference calls is that it is a back and forth. If you wanted to have a conversation without the nuances that audio can provide, an email would have sufficed.
  • If you need to talk to someone, pick up the phone and call them. Don’t spend that time involving others in a call that isn’t relevant to them.

This blog is a repost from ArcStone. ArcStone is a web agency located in Minneapolis that specializes in design, marketing, development, and hosting.

Is It Time to Rewrite Your Bylaws?

February 3rd, 2014 by Michael Probert

When was the last time your association updated your bylaws?

If your answer is, “Bylaws?” then it might be time for a review of the written rules that govern your organization’s internal affairs. Whether it’s a small thing – updating your officers – or a more major change – revising your purpose – rewriting your bylaws can help refocus and refine your association’s organization, mission and function.

Revising your bylaws can also help your association or community function more efficiently, save money or get back on the same page – all good reasons to revisit your rules and regulations.

It might be time to revise your bylaws if:

  • You need clarification on anything in the current bylaws that focuses on how your association operates, including items such as voting, officer terms, management, maintenance and so on;
  • Your association is undergoing a significant change in how it is run or how it functions;
  • You haven’t reviewed your bylaws in ages and don’t even know what they say anymore.

If you haven’t reviewed your bylaws in the past year, take some time to read through them word for word as an organization. What has changed or evolved? What else should be reflected in them? How is your association functioning on a daily basis? What changes do you foresee for the future? Are your financials in good shape? What are your voting procedures? How is your board functioning?

Updating your bylaws requires approval from your voting members as well as a little time and organization, but will set your association up for greater success – and less distress – in the future.

As always, we are happy to anticipate and address any issues you might have related to bylaws and to overall association management.

Member Survey

If only you had asked…

Those are the words you never want to hear when you’re talking to members about the services or opportunities they would have liked to see. Or when you’re asking former members why they never renewed.

The right series of questions is one of the simplest, most powerful tools for turning your member database into your best source of strategic intelligence. If you know what members need and want, you have a far better chance of delivering it. If they’ve spotted a new opportunity, you’ll want to tap into it. If they’ve got their eye on a trend that could be threat to your sector, you’ll want to know about it.

And at the most basic level of all, if they can see that you care enough to ask those questions, they’ll be more likely to pay attention when it’s time to renew.

The Art and the Science

An effective member survey is part art, part science. The best surveys:

  • Have a clear purpose and focus on a specific set of programs, services, or issues
  • Give members a compelling reason to respond, backed up by even a small incentive if possible (a $5 gift card is enough to boost participation rates)
  • Involve a first announcement and at least two reminders (as long as you take care not to keep promoting to members who’ve already responded)
  • Have been field-tested before they’re deployed
  • Are built on survey tools that make it easy to track individual responses
  • Are distributed by multiple methods, from e-blasts to social media to sample telephone outreach.

Striking the Right Balance

Associations have to value their members’ time as well as their opinions. That means striking a fine balance by asking enough questions, frequently enough to take the pulse of your membership, without making people feel they’ve been surveyed to death. But the right survey strategy will keep members engaged and deliver the unmistakable message that they matter—which really is the cornerstone of the relationship you want to build with them.

Image courtesy of

Meagan Rockett is Director, Client Solutions with Greenfield Services, Inc. She works closely with professional and trade associations in consulting and implementing unique strategies to increase all aspects of member engagement.

“We have been using AMO since 2004 and have been really pleased with its simplicity, flexibility, and integrated features. The support staff at ArcStone has been really responsive to our needs.”

-P. Hart, Missouri Land Title Association