Most membership managers rely on spreadsheets as a storage device for member and contact information – copying that data to and from 3rd party platforms like MailChimp, EventBrite, and so on, to manage their members.
This method is common, but there are far more effective ones available, and the benefits they provide make them the clear choice for member-based organizations now and into the future.
Investigate new tools to automate your processes, manage your data, and understand your members, and you’ll discover new – and better – ways to manage your members.
Here are 4 you ought to consider introducing to your organization:
1) Automation allows you to focus on creating value.
The first drawback to spreadsheet-based membership management is that it is slow and inefficient.
Interestingly, most membership managers have little-to-no idea that this is the case!
Using the same tools and processes for years, it’s easy to lose awareness of innovation and advancements made in any profession, and this is exactly the situation that many membership managers find themselves in.
There are tremendous advantages available from taking a peek into the current state of technology. Consider your membership renewal process, and compare it to what’s available today:
The Advantages of Automation
Membership management software like ours allows your organization to:
- Automate renewal reminder campaigns.
- Process credit card payments.
- Automatically update memberships.
The benefit of these three functions alone can save hundreds of hours in spreadsheet management. Simply design a renewal campaign that works for your memberships, and let the system take care of notifying your members and processing their renewals!
2) Cloud-based member data is more secure and accessible
Your membership data is the lifeblood of your organization. When this data is stored on spreadsheets, your team has to practice consistent discipline to ensure it is safe. In the cloud, your member data is not only always secure, but more accessible – available anywhere with a computer and internet connection!
Storing these files locally can be a major risk. One water-damaged hard drive or a dropped laptop could be all it takes to send your organization into crisis! Protection from this risk requires disciplined back-up policies, and these policies are always subject to human error.
Transferring your spreadsheet data to a cloud-based membership management platform is the best available method to keep your membership data safe. This approach keeps your information protected in the cloud, but also makes it safely accessible from any device, anywhere in the world!
3) More data, more insights, with tracking and analytics
You might know when members click your emails or attend your events, but do your spreadsheets:
- Track when members access your member portal, and report what they do while they’re there?
- Explain how members participate at events? (What they eat, what activities they engage with, etc?)
- Consolidate all this engagement data into a single picture of member engagement?
If you had 30 times more fields in your spreadsheets, and 100x the manpower to analyze them, you might be able to access the insights listed above – but you don’t have to hire an entire floor of membership managers to access these benefits.
What you can do with Membership Management Software
Automatically tracking member behavior across every engagement channel, including your events, member portal, email campaigns, and more; Membership Management Software platforms like Member365 offer direct access to engagement insights, without any the need to track and analyze data manually.
With these insights you can:
- Build a list of members who do rarely engage across any of your channels, and target them with a tailored email campaign to ensure their renewal, or a survey to find out how to better meet their needs.
- Isolate your ‘high-engagers’, and provide special opportunities for further engagement.
- Find out who hasn’t logged into their portal recently, and create an offer to attract their engagement.
Equipped with engagement data and strong analytics tools, the above examples only scratch the surface of what’s possible with membership management software.
4) Keep data fresh with better tools
Member data is the lifeblood of any member-based organization. Having a large quantity of data is a major component to success, but it’s also critical to ensure that data is high-quality as well. This is a major advantage offered by membership management software.
The Dangers of Dirty Data
Out-of-date, or ‘dirty’ data, will undermine every effort you take to drive member engagement.
- Email campaigns sent to old addresses reduce your organizations Sender Reputation.
- You cant inform members of upcoming events or open invoices when you have incorrect contact data.
- If you can’t engage your members, you can’t expect them to renew.
In order to ‘keep clean’, spreadsheets need consistent, manual cleaning. With hundreds to thousands of members, this is no small feat. Reaching out to members for their new data is difficult enough, let alone tracking who has responded, and inputting their new information.
The advantage of modern tools.
By building an automated email campaign, targeted to members with ‘dirty data’, your organization can offer members the ability to update contact data on their own. Build the process once, and allow a platform like Member365 to automate the process forever – allowing you to sustainability enjoy the benefits of clean data without the time and effort typically required to do so.
Spreadsheets are the traditional way to manage members, but technology has innovated, and the benefits new systems offer make them the clear choice for membership management in 2019.
To learn more about the benefits offered by membership management software, you can experience them directly! Nearly every membership management platform (ours included!) offers a free trial, so consider trying them out, and experiencing these benefits for yourself!