As some of you may know, we have two monthly emails that we send out to our customers: a monthly promo email and a monthly feature highlight email. The monthly promo is an email with offers ranging from discounts on PLUS to gifts from our partners for upgrading to PLUS. The feature highlight is an informational email with the goal of helping our customers better utilize the features and tools available to them.
Just recently we sent out our January promotional email. I felt compelled to share this with our blog community due to how great the email itself turned out as well as the awesome offer we were able to procure this month!
The first point I would like to address is the email itself. A new designer (Alex) was recently hired to help out with our creative needs and holy cow has this made a difference! Alex joined the creative team and took over the creative tasks which previously had no one really responsible for (I had been filling the void with my meager design skills). Alex's latest work for eteamz, the January Promo Email, was absolutely tremendous and is viewable above.
The second point I wanted to touch on is the offer we were able to arrange for this month's promo email. Shutterfly (an eteamz partner) gave us 1000 photo books to give away as a prize for upgrading to PLUS! These photo books are really great and at a value of $30 a piece, a tremendous incentive for upgrading to PLUS! You can check out the photo books here, and if you are interested in upgrading to PLUS, simply enter in the coupon code: SHUTTERFLY during the purchase process and a coupon code redeemable at Shutterfly will be emailed to you. This offer expires 2/28/07, so don't wait until the last minute!
As I foretold in my last post, we released a new and improved process for creating an eteamz site. This new process makes it significantly faster and easier to get a new site up and running. Some specific features of this new process:
Sign in or create a new eteamz account all in one step
When creating a new account, get instant feedback on whether your chosen username is available
Instant feedback on availability of your new site URL
Easy to choose the right features for your site
Go ahead and give it a try! [Create a new eteamz site.|http://eteamz.active.com/company/sites/register] Let us know what you think of this process as we are always looking for ways to make it easier for you to get a great Web site for your team.
I came across a really cool site for adding a slideshow of images. I know how much you like to add images (especially slideshows) so I thought I would pass it along. It's very easy to use, you can add music, captions, change colors, etc. It took me about 10 minutes to create one. It gave me the necessary code which I copied and pasted into my Welcome folder for display on my site.
My little desk calendar is just about out of interesting factoids to share so it must be the end of the year. This is a time when we all take a moment to review the past year and look forward to what's to come. Well we at eteamz are no exception, so I thought I'd share my reflections and resolutions with all of you.
2006 was a pretty steady year for eteamz, on the outside. That doesn't mean there weren't any important changes.
We began in January with some really big enhancements to the calendar and schedule admin tools - expanded recurring event options, multiple event categories, shared events for league and org sites and import/export tools for big schedules.
We added the eteamz Newz page to let our members showcase their latest news and updates on a larger scale.
We enhanced the Snapshotz program, making it easier to submit your photos for our monthly contest.
We partnered with Shutterfly to create a program called eteamz albumz. This program allows site admins the ability to let their visitors upload photos directly to their site and then view them in a slideshow on Shutterfly, where you can order up prints and all kinds of other great products like photo books and calendars.
We added a bunch of new player stats for baseball, softball, hockey, soccer, football and lacrosse.
And just this week we've enhanced our advertising upgrade option to remove the image dimension restrictions so your custom ads can be the size that fits best for you.
And that was just some of the stuff you could see. There was quite a bit going on here behind the scenes at eteamz. Of course we launched this blog to give you an idea of some of those things. We added several new staff at important positions. We did some back-end technology work to improve overall performance. We did some internal re-organization to help improve our own efficiency. And I can't tell you how many times I've moved offices.
So what will 2007 hold for eteamz? Of course no one can say for sure what's to come - and if you all knew, what would be the fun in that? I can say, though, that where 2006 was a pretty steady year, 2007 will be a year of change for eteamz. All good changes, we hope.
Coming in January we'll be vastly improving our site building process to make it easier to get your site set up.
We'll also be making some changes to our site info pages to help give people a better idea about what eteamz sites are all about, what all the great features are and why eteamz is not just the best place to come to build a web site for your team or club, but why it should be the only place that you would ever need to consider.
There will be some pretty important changes to the community that will open a whole new world of functionality and ease of use for all of you looking to chat each other up about your teams, your styles and your active lives.
We'll be developing some new site designs and giving site owners more control over the look and feel of your sites.
There will undoubtedly be much more to come in 2007, so stay tuned for all the details. While there will be some great changes coming this year, some things will definitely not change. eteamz will continue to be THE place for low-cost, easy to build, team sports web sites. eteamz, together with our parent company the Active Network, will continue to be home to the largest and very best participatory sports community in the world. We'll continue to provide outstanding support and service to our rapidly growing membership. And we will continue to listen to the needs and desires of our members and fans.
So, from all of us at eteamz, we close out another great year and wish you all a safe, successfull, and Happy New Year!
As some of you may know, eteamz sites provide tools for managing and tracking player stats for certain sports. Historically, we've had stats for baseball and softball, basketball, soccer, and hockey. Today, we have made a few critical updates to some existing stats and added stats for two major sports: football and lacrosse.
Added key pitching stats including games started, complete games, batters faced, hit batters, wild pitches and number of pitches (especially useful for new Little League rules!)
New stats for catchers to track pass balls and caught stealing percentage
Added stats for face off wins/losses
Updated goalie stats to allow goals against average to be calculated based on your unique game lengths
Added stats for yellow and red cards and clears
Added stats for players and goalies, similar to hockey
Includes tracking of goals and assists, ground balls, turnovers, man-up and man-down goals, clears, face offs and penalty minutes
Goalie stats include minutes played, goals against average, save percentage and, of course, wins and losses
Stats for quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, kickers, special teams and defense!
Pass attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns, interceptions and sacks
Rushing attempts, yards, yards per carry, touchdowns and fumbles
Receptions, yards per catch, yards after catch, touchdowns, drops and fumbles for receivers
Point after conversion, field goal conversion, punt average, touchbacks, blocked kicks, kicks inside the 20 and onside kick conversion
Kickoff return average, punt returns, and touchdowns for special teams
Sacks, tackles, assists, fumbles recovered, interceptions and touchdowns for defense
So please check out these new and updated stats. These have all been requested by members over the years and, as always, if you have ideas for more stats or more sports, please let us know. You can access the stats by logging in to your site admin and clicking the "Scores" link under "Schedules." Just add a roster for one of the stats-enabled sports and get some games on the schedule and off you go!
Thanksgiving still lingering in our minds and Christmas right around the corner
I can safely say I am in panic mode. And not just because I have 9
immediate and 31 extended family members to plan and buy for but because eteamz
is in the process of launching three new pages to our website! You may
have already seen our new home page but that���s not all. We are launching a new ���see what an eteamz
website can do for your team��� page, a ���be a part of the eteamz community��� page,
and lastly a new ���build a site��� process page when you click on ���Create your
site now���. I can���t tell you how hard the team has been
working on all these changes. These
pages will attempt to simplify and explain who we are, what we offer, why you
should create an eteamz site, where you need to go to create an eteamz site, and
how to get started. We���ve received
feedback from folks stating that it���s difficult to find important information
on the site and that the build a site process is confusing. We really hope these changes address the feedback
we���ve received. We���ve scheduled these new
pages to go live at the end of the month 12/31. If there is any change we will keep you
The definition of marketing varies depending upon who you ask. One of the definitions I've heard over the years which resonated with me is marketing as a process of building long-lasting relationships with customers. Marketers often focus on inundating current and potential customers with messaging focused on corporate goals and their own bottom line. Rather, marketing should be a series of communications between related parties featuring content that both the marketer and the customer find interesting and compelling.
One of our marketing projects that just went live is our autumn sale offer to current free site administrators. This piece is visible when logging on to the eteamz admin area and accessing a free site. The purpose being to spread a little autumn/holiday cheer by offering 20% off PLUS as well as to educate about why eteamz PLUS is the best web site solution for teams and groups. More storage space, increased customization, a laundry list of features and tools...there is nothing you can't do with PLUS!
For those who missed out on the autumn sale piece, all you need to do is enter the coupon code: AUTUMNSALE when purchasing PLUS in order to take advantage of the 20% discount.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on the autumn sale piece as well as eteamz marketing in general. Are our offers compelling? Do you find our creative interesting? Would you like to hear from us more? Would you like to hear from us less? We're all ears!
Actually, a couple of things look different. You may have noticed that eteamz made a few changes today and I wanted to say a few things about them.
First and foremost, the eteamz home page looks a little different. Some things remain the same: pretty much everything from the main navigation menus and up. We wanted to leave this so that those visitors that use those menus to get right to what they're looking for can still do so. With the rest of the page, we wanted to focus more on our web sites than we have been recently. After all, we're approaching 3 million teams that have been represented on eteamz sites so it's something that people come here looking for.
Couple things that aren't on the home page anymore are direct links to the Message Boards, Tournament Finder and the top sports pages. But fear not! Like I said, we left the navigation menu as is, so you can get to the message boards through the "Community" menu and the sports are still listed in the drop-down as well. Also, we added a sort of quick search tool where you can easily do a simple search for eteamz sites, tournaments or announcements.
As always, we'd love to hear all your feedback about these changes, or anything else going on with eteamz. If you have specific support-related questions, please continue to use the support forums on the site.
Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving and enjoys the long weekend next week. We've got a few more changes coming before the end of the year, so check back with the blog often to stay up to date with what's going on.
As many of you know, the two most popular Web browsers available today (Microsoft's Internet Explorer and The Mozilla Foundation's Firefox) have recently released new versions. I won't bother to get into a discussion (or more likely a rant) about the browser war. As far as eteamz goes, it's not much of a war with nearly 92% of all page views going to IE.
For now, most people are still using the "old" version of IE so, for the time being, we'll continue to focus the majority of our support on that browser. However, we encourage our users to upgrade to the newest versions of both browsers. You pioneers will be able to help us identify and fix any anomolies that may appear.
eteamz will continue to support the most commonly used browsers and we'll try to make sure that, during this transition time, we quickly address any issues that arise. We, and all future IE 7 and Firefox 2 users, thank you!
Those of you that have an eteamz site may be familiar with a feature called MessageCast. This is a tool that allows you to send text-to-speech phone messages to your entire team all at once. It's a great way to remind your team that there's a practice tomorrow or quickly let people know that there is a last minute schedule change. You don't have to sit down and spend half an hour calling everyone - MessageCast sends the message within minutes.
If you haven't tried it before, now is the perfect time to get started because T-Mobile is sponsoring a giveaway. Anyone with an eteamz site can log in to the admin and click on the "MessageCast" folder. You'll get some info about what MessageCast is and can choose to get started with a $5 credit! If you've already started using MessageCast, no worries - you are eligible for the credit, too.
As a special thank you to our PLUS subscribers, you can get an additional $5 credit for a total of $10 to spend on MessageCast calls. If you don't already have an eteamz site, get started now.
Some of you may know that November is National Novel Writing Month (sometimes known as "NaNoWriMo," or just "NaNo" for short). I learned of this fantastic idea last year when I came upon it searching the web and thinking about writing. And it means pretty much what it sounds like - take a month to write a novel, which they define as 50,000 words. Doesn't have to be perfect, doesn't have to be pretty, doesn't have to make sense - just write and write and write some more.
I gave it a try, but I'm sorry to say that I got to about 7,500 words and had to give up. But this year, I'm determined. At the very least, I'll beat my previous total, but if you've followed some of my posts here you might think I've got it in the bag.
One of the only ways to complete a novel in a month is with a lot of support. Folks get together for a "write-in" where they meet at a coffeehouse or someplace and just challenge each other to write about a certain topic or just cram as much writing into 15 minutes as possible or whatever. Having everyone together in a group is a surprisingly good motivating factor.
So what in the world does this have to do with eteamz? eteamz is a perfect place to build a website for a sports team, since that's really been the primary purpose. But eteamz is pretty flexible and you can do a lot of things with it. There's no reason why you can't use eteamz really for any group activity where you want to communicate, post information, create a schedule, have your own message board, post photos, etc....
NaNoWriMo is a great excuse to get involved with a writing group, and what better headquarters for your group than eteamz? Of all the dozens of sports eteamz offers, I don't believe writing is one of them... yet. But build a site and choose "Other" as your sport and off you go! Publish your calendar with your scheduled write-ins. Set up a message board to chat with your group. Post the latest news and photos from your recent write-ins. Heck, you can even publish your novel when it's done!
Well, the first day is almost over, so I better get to it. I really do hope you check it out and give it a try. I see new ways to use eteamz almost every day and thought I'd share this one with you. Good luck to everyone in November.
First of all, Happy Halloween to all the ghouls and goblins out there in eteamz land. Hope everyone has a happy, fun, spooky and safe holiday.
Big Congratulations to the winners of the 5th annual eteamz Spooky Site Contest. The winners earned a free year subscription of eteamz PLUS. Be sure to check out these awesomely spooky sites and leave a comment in their guestbook.
eteamz underwent some minor maintenance this morning that I wanted to share with you. Back in the beginning of the year, we added several enhancements to the calendar/scheduling functions for member sites. One of those enhancements created the opportunity to add images to calendar, game and practice events, the way that images can be attached to news articles or locations. In some situations, some members were having difficulty removing images from those events after the event had ended. That issue has been addressed, and should no longer present an obstacle.
Another change that was made this morning was to the Web Address change process. eteamz PLUS members can change their site's URL at any time by clicking the "Site Appearance" folder in the admin interface and choosing "Web Address." Previously, this change could have taken up to 48 hours. But we have made some hardware upgrades that now allow us to make this change almost instantly. Some very large sites may still take up to 10 minutes, but that's still a savings of 47 hours and 50 minutes!
We have a couple more enhancements coming as the year winds down. There will be changes to the home page, the community boards, the site building process and to the site admin interface.
As I have mentioned in prior posts, we have a ton of exciting changes and additions planned for eteamz in the near future. One of these changes is a fresh logo design for eteamz! Check out the latest eteamz graphics from our own resident design guru, Rob Cameron.
We would love to hear what you think about this new logo design. Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you have no strong feelings one way or the other? Please email me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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