If you are a music director or administrator tasked with recruitment and marketing, chances are you've dealt with various form building tools in the past.
Your goal is to create as compelling of communications as possible for your prospective recruits, alumni, and donors. To do this, you need:
- Instantaneous delivery of information
- Your content to be tailored to each individual and their unique instrument, high school, major, graduation year, etc.
- The right communications going to the individual based on his/her past behaviors and what stage he/she is at in their journey of interacting with your organization
You want to accomplish this without giving up massive amounts of time, effort, and mental bandwidth. The problem with Google forms (and other 3rd party forms that are not connected to your communications system) is that these forms are static. Let's look at how Google forms violate each of the three ingredients of compelling communications
Instantaneous Delivery of Information
After somebody submits a Google form, they are (at best) taken to a basic confirmation page. For anything else to happen afterward, requires manual work from you. You might copy and paste someone's email address and other information and use that to construct an email. Someone submits their information into a static form, it is transferred to a static spreadsheet, and for that person to receive any meaningful follow-up communication, you need to manually go into the spreadsheet and do something with their form submission. Not fun!
If your intention is to send information to the person who submitted your form, you do not want to keep him/her waiting.
While the person is waiting to receive a follow-up communication from you, a different organization has already beat you to the punch. With continually decreasing attention spans, instant gratification has become the new standard. You want your form respondents to receive back exciting content instantly. This makes your audience happier while saving you time, but it is not possible to accomplish this with a Google form.
Tailoring Your Content and Information
With Google forms and other similar form builders, the people who submit your form are not segmented automatically. For example, if you want to create a list of just the people graduating high school in 2019, you need to go into the Google spreadsheet and create that list yourself. What if you wanted to create a list of people who are graduating high school in 2019, who play the cello, who are majoring in engineering? With any static form builder or spreadsheet, nailing that level of segmentation is even more cumbersome. Your content is certainly not being aligned to individuals in a way that is tailored. You want the content that you send out to squarely match each individuals exact interests. As people become inundated with information from organizations you are competing against, standing out and positioning your organization as the leader in the person's mind requires being highly tailored and relevant. The filters in a Google spreadsheet were simply not designed to support this objective.
Accomplishing the necessary level of personalized communication when you are using a Google form to collect information from people will take hours and hours - time that you do not have.
People Submitting Multiple Forms Overtime for Different Purposes
What about someone who is already in your database who is taking additional action? For example, in January they filled out a form to express interest in possibly joining your School of Music or joining an ensemble. Then, two months later, in March, they are deciding to formally take action and register for that ensemble or program, so now they are filling out a registration form. These are two forms with two different purposes. If you are using Google forms to manage this collection of information, then in this example, the person's information is going to appear in two different spreadsheets. Very quickly into the process, this creates a headache. Having to manage the data and keep everything organized so you clearly know where everyone is at in their journey requires time and manual effort. However, this headache can be avoided.
When that person submits your registration form, you want your system to automatically change that person from Interested to Registered without creating a duplicate person in your database. With Musicwindow, you can achieve that with zero effort. At the start, the person filled out your interest form and as result, received content on a regular basis about the benefits of joining your ensemble. When they submitted the registration form, automatically, they discountinue receiving information about the benefits of joining and instead, begin receiving information about how to get prepared for rehearsals. If you were managing your forms with Google forms, however, even after the person fills out your registration form, they would still be receiving content on a regular basis about the benefits of joining - content that doesnt make sense given the stage the person is now at.
As we've seen, people move from one stage to the next. With the static Google Form setup, because of the eventual lack of relevance in your outbound communications, your audience will eventually tune you out or unsubscribe. You've then lost that person.
You want all your forms working under one system, working in harmony. This way, your data is not siloed and the content you send will always make sense to every individual. For assistance migrating your 3rd party forms into your Musicwindow account, please contact your Musicwindow rep.