Extraordinary efforts and resources are often expended for improving the technologies your association uses to manage your member data. But it’s even more important to focus on the implementation of data integrity processes. The following series of posts will provide case-in-point examples of data gone wild with suggestions for taming the data beast.

Follow us down the path of membership data case-in-points; Thing 1, Thing 2 and Thing 3.

Thing 1: Case-In-Point, Free Data!

Your annual convention is coming up in three months and it’s time to kick off your email campaigns. Last year you extracted 20,000 emails from your AMS to start the process. After sending your first promotional email you showed a hard bounce rate of 3%. This year you were able to pull 30,000 email addresses from your AMS but your hard bounce rate elevated from 3% to 12%. You should be better off this year with 30,000 email addresses in your AMS/CRM, right? What’s going on?

Somehow in the past year you received a large influx of new contacts, increasing your base by 50%. The first question to ask is where did these email contacts come from? After investigating, you discover that one of your chapters offered to share their list with you but the list was not vetted. Your IT department assumed it was current and correct and did what was requested, to import the data. But in fact, the chapter had not practiced any routine cleanup activities so most of the data was stale.

Lesson learned?

Do not blindly import data and assume it’s correct. SNAP, now your member database has a large quantity of junk!

This example can also apply to web services that accept all data without any filtration systems put into place.

Membership data should be more about quality not quantity. Do not push data into your system just for the sake of capturing data. Capture only relevant data that you know will be of high quality and can be maintained so it doesn’t get stale fast. If you have only 3000 members, do you really need 30,000 contacts? If those contacts never engage in any products or services with you again, are they worth having and trying to maintain?

Do you have any experiences importing data into your AMS or CRM that you would have done differently in hindsight?

Reject stale bread and let’s move on to Thing 2…  [to be continued…]