Deciding on Fully-Automated, Semi- Automated or Manual Processes?

Mike Whitehouse- Member Evolution Executive Director

The challenge exists in finding the best solution to suit your business needs. The features and workflows offered need to accommodate your association's requirements and this is an important factor that should be considered. There are positives and negatives with processes however the fully-automated process seems to outweigh any negative aspects that may arise within an Association or Not-For-Profit organisation workflow.

Ask the Right Questions

There are many systems out there that allow the automation of a number of tasks for example newsletters. But it is important to remember to ask questions, as you may be caught out. Some systems allow you to send eNewsletters but they may not offer the following components:

  • Content is personalised for all eNewsletters to increase open rates with full tracking and reporting
  • Dynamic lists generation-there is no point sending to the same list of contacts every time, and they should be automatically updated
  • Easy filtering for specific list generation - does it enable you to filter out by member type/ what event they have attended/ their age/ member type/ location, including many other fields of filterable data

These points are just a few examples of what you can check for in terms of automation or lack thereof in some cases. It is also a good idea to remember that the less the system is actually automated the more resources you will require.

Membership Automation

Membership is a very time consuming endeavour for your staff, and it is key to have as much as possible automated. When it is time for memberships to be renewed we all know that this can raise many questions, so why not minimise the questions? All of your member's questions can be minimised by having the whole sign up process or renewing an existing member being automated. The data that should be automatically captured includes recording of information and membership types, through to payment processing and member confirmation of membership via email.   

The system should report on all new and renewing members and present updated information on the member manager's dashboard, as any marketing manager may wish to view results of the newsletter that was sent out. The automation of as many tasks as possible is the secret ingredient in providing value to members which allows staff to focus on other tasks that can generate, increase and interact with members.

To read more on choosing a software environment and more! Please view our Technology Buyers' Guild.