When growing a membership database, duplicate memberships can be a headache.
Join It has invested in features to proactively prevent duplicate records, while still supporting more complex membership requirements, and also created a tool to merge records if duplicates occur.
Preventing Duplicate Records
Most commonly, duplicate membership records are created when a member is trying to renew an existing membership.
So the most effective way to address the issue of duplicates is to prevent the problem before it's ever created.
The Join It system tackles prevention in a number of ways:
Renewal Emails: The most common path for renewal starts with a system generated email from Join It (either a scheduled renewal reminder, an expiration notice, or a manual renewal reminder). In each of these emails, there is a unique link to renew -- following this unique link will direct the member right into a checkout page for their existing membership and prevent the creation of a new record.
Renewal 'Call To Actions': Another common path for renewal is from the member area of an organization's profile. In this member area, Join It includes several 'Call To Actions' for the member to renew their existing memberships. When a member follows these links, they will renew their existing membership and not create a new membership record.
Duplicate warnings: Another powerful prevention tool includes a warning that's surfaced by Join It when it recognizes that an existing membership (matched by email) is trying to buy a new membership. For an example, see Note #1 below.
Automatic Duplicate Merging
There are cases where Join It will automatically merge two membership records. The default Automatic Merge Rule will happen when two membership records have a matching email address AND one membership carries a 'Prospective' status and another membership record carries an 'Active' status.
You can learn more about each Automatic Merge rule Here.
Manual Duplicate Merging
In cases where a duplicate membership record wasn't prevented and the system does not automatically merge the records -- we've created a simple tool that allows for merging of these membership records.
This tool is surfaced from a membership record that is 'connected' to another membership record.
First, you'll want to navigate to the newest Membership, and then scroll down to the bottom of the Membership to where it says 'Notes', then click on where it says '1 Members' you'll then see a little link that says 'Merge tool'. You'll click on that, and then choose which information to keep, and then merge the accounts together.
One important note here, the Memberships will need to have the same email address listed for the Merge tool to appear.
Note #1 - See below for an example of when Join It recognizes someone trying to buy a new membership when they already have an existing membership (note: the notification will be different depending on the account status of the attached email -- with regards to whether a password has been set).