The low-tech approach to making sure your member database has the correct contact info. Also: Face-to-face still wins over virtual, most of the time.
A member database is a living document if ever there was one.
The list of contact info, including email addresses, phone numbers, names, and the like, may be one of the most dynamic elements of an association. And if you’re not careful, you might find some unexpected gaps in your listings.
Some tips to keep them current in today’s Social Media Roundup:
Contact Info’s Constant Change
— Deirdre Reid (@deirdrereid) October 6, 2014
Hate being the last to know something? That’s understandable, but it’s a way of life for many associations, which often find themselves out of the loop when it comes to contact information.
Why’s that? Well, people change jobs and phone numbers, get married, move to new addresses (or, worse, new email addresses), and do all sorts of things that might change their member data.
“Since email is such an important tool to reach your members, if you don’t replace a bad email address, it’s likely you’ll lose that member for good,” writes Holly Koenig, vice president of Kellen Company, which provides association management services.
On the company’s blog, Koenig offers a few suggestions on how associations can avoid losing track of members. One way is to make sure the new-member application asks for a home address and a personal email as alternative contact methods.
She also suggests searching LinkedIn to gather fresh information and, if necessary, sending an InMail message through the website.
“Be sure to let them know what they’ve been missing by not getting your organization’s messages,” she adds.
Face-to-Face Still Matters
— Emilie Barta (@EmilieBarta) October 6, 2014
Don’t get too comfortable with all those social networks out there: You still need to have communication skills that allow for real-life conversation.
Over at Entrepreneur, staff writer Geoff Weiss shares an infographic from CT Business Travel and NeoMam Studios, noting that 78 percent of those from generation X and 80 percent of millennials prefer face-to-face conversation over the virtual equivalent.
“It’s a sentiment that transcends age,” he writes. “Eighty-seven percent of all professionals believe that face-to-face meetings are essential for clinching business deals. This is largely because virtual conferencing not only creates lapses in emotional cues but inhibits crucial opportunities for casual bonding.”