To get the highest return on your membership software investment there are 3 simple rules to follow: garbage in = garbage out, take advantage of the new system and stay updated.
Rule 1: Garbage in = Garbage out
We’ve all heard the phrase garbage in garbage out and in this case it is really true. Many organizations are so excited to get started with their new software they don’t clean up their data before importing it. No matter how good the system is, if you import bad data it will feed you bad data.
Taking time to clean up your data before importing it will lead to more accurate directory searches and reports. It could also save you money by reducing the number of accounts in your system. (If you’re a nonprofit looking to save money, here’s a great resource we put together.)
Rule 2: Take Advantage of the New System
No two systems are exactly alike. Before importing take a look and see how the new system will best organize your membership data and workflow.
For example, MembershipWorks uses labels to group members so you can easily export or email groups of members. We recommend our organizations think of the different ways they would like to group their members and create labels before importing the members. Then they can have the labels attached to the members’ profiles when they do the import.
Although creating labels and adding them to your spreadsheet takes a bit of time, think about how easy it will be to pull up committee members and send reminder emails about meetings!
To discover the best way to utilize all the features of your membership software, sign up for free trainings if they are available. The experts providing the training will know all the shortcuts and how to best use them to achieve your goals.
For example, at MembershipWorks we provide free individual training via screen share for our customers. This takes about an hour and leads to a better understanding of how our features can help automate your membership management workflow. Customers who have attended a training find it well worth the time investment.
Rule 3: Stay updated
As technology is continually changing, your membership software should be as well. Newly added features may reduce your membership administration time/effort, give your members more benefits or provide alternative revenue streams.
Learn how you can be notified as new features are added to your membership software. Many companies have a forum where you can post questions and be notified of new features like the MembershipWorks Community. Subscribing to email newsletters is also a great way to keep up with new features.