Below is all you need to know about preparing user data for import to 360Alumni. If you want to create one or a few new user records manually, see our KB article, "Adding New Records".
Prior to submitting data to 360Alumni, we ask all clients to run their email addresses through a validator such as NeverBounce or BriteVerify and remove all bad emails from their user data file. This protects your sending reputation and ours, and gives you an accurate measurement of contactable alumni. With 20-30% annual decay in email lists, this is a critical first step in setting up your community.
How to Upload User Records
- Make sure your community's data schema is set up correctly. This usually involves one or two meetings with your 360Alumni onboarding specialist.
- Download a copy of the User Records Template.
- Populate the rows with data for each of the required fields, and any additional fields you would like imported, making sure to follow the set column structure.
- Email the data file to support@360Alumni.com.
- We will do a preliminary scan and return the complete file to you with indications on every row showing whether it is OK to import, or if there is an error. All errors, and what to do about them, are explained below.
- Send us the corrected file for the import.
- If there are still errors found, those will be returned to you in a smaller file after the import. A follow up import task can be done at that point.
Avoiding & Fixing Import Errors
Below are the most common errors for records that we return to our clients. Use this list as a quality check before sending us data to maximize the success of your import.
If you receive an import errors file from us after the scan or after the actual import, here's what to do with each row:
- Invalid Email: check for leading or trailing spaces, missing "@" sign, missing ".com".
- Invalid secondary email: Only one user email and one secondary email are allowed for the import. If you'd like to import additional email addresses they can be appended to your Admin notes.
- Duplicate email in CSV: there's another record in the file imported that had the same email address. You can look it up on the Member Search to update the profile already imported. Please remove these rows before sending us back the fixed file.
- Email already exists for same client: This is likely a duplicate record. You can look it up on the Member Search to update the profile already imported. If your source database used the same email address for both people in a couple, you may need to reach out to one of them to get a direct email. Please remove these rows before sending us back the fixed file.
- Email already exists for another client: Occasionally we receive an email for a user that is already a member of another 360Alumni community. Currently we require that all users have a unique email address for each client, but in our next major release (Monarch) in Q2 2024 we will support users with multiple profiles. You can wait till then to import those records, provide a different email address, or remove the email. If you provide a different email or remove it, we recommend moving the original email to the Admin Notes field so you can still store it in the record. Gmail and G-suite provides plus addressing / aliases, which may save you time. Simply add "+<anything>" before the @ and it will still go to that user. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org becomes email@example.com. Plus email addressing always works in Gmail.com and Outlook.com addresses. The feature needs to be switched on for emails hosted on Microsoft 365 domains, and it is not available for Yahoo! addresses.
- Record already exists: The same first name, last name and email address were found in another record in your 360Alumni user database. You can update the record in 360Alumni with any relevant information from this error row. Please remove it prior to sending it back for re-import.
- Record ID already exists: If you are using Record IDs (unique identifiers from your source database) this means that another record was found with the same ID. Please update the record ID if it is incorrect, or remove the row before sending the corrected file back.
- First Name is empty: you must have a first and last name (at a minimum) to create a new user record.
- Invalid Facebook Link: Link to user's profile must be complete, including https://www.facebook.com/
- Invalid, Home, Mobile or Work Phone: Must be a single, complete phone number between 10 and 15 characters, with no spaces. Area codes are required. Country codes are recommended for clients with international alumni. Parentheses and special characters of - and + are allowed. If your phone numbers contain extensions, please replace "X" or "ext." with a dash, for example (203) 555-1212-123. Records with two phone numbers in one field will not be accepted.
- Address fields not separated: Each component of an address needs to be separated into individual columns by address, apartment # (or similar), city, state, zip code and country. Addresses cannot be a singular line in one column. To separate addresses we recommend using the Split text to columns function in google sheets that can be accessed from the Data menu.
User Record Field Descriptions
- Record ID: This is a unique identifier associated with each user record. Usually this ID is associated with an institution's 3rd party CRM tool. Storing the unique ID with users in the 360Alumni database empowers you to share information across your data sources/tools.
- Social Class Year: This field captures one, four-digit year value. You can can customize the name of this field for display across the community.
- Preferred Phone: This should be the text value 'mobile', 'work', or 'home'.
- Association Fields: These are fields used to capture the characteristic(s) most important to you, or your users, in identifying themselves within your community. For example, Higher ed will use these fields to capture degree, area of study and graduation year (Bachelors Degree, Finance, 2003). High schools and non profits use these fields to capture member type. For example, Alumni, Student, Staff, Parent, Volunteer, etc.
Association 1 is a required for each user to complete within their profile.
Association 2 is an optional field and used in conjunction with association field 1. - Association Fields (columns AN-AV). Association field 1 is required. Association Field 2 is optional, and is a dependent field.Using the above higher ed example: Association field 1 would be Degree. Association field 2 would be focus. As a user I would select 'bachelors degree' , 'finance', and '2003'. If you have a second data value that you would like to capture (that is related to association field 1), you could utilize the association field2.
- Tags: Tags are an optional tool used within the user profile. Tags allow users to define themselves using a series of characteristics. As the admin, you can create the title for the "tag" selection. Then create a list of characteristics, a 'tag bank', that the user can then select from. The user can select multiple characteristics. You can create an unlimited amount of tags. We can import these as comma separated values.
- Many 360Alumni clients use tags to collect groups, associations, or organizations that the users belong to (or were a member of in the past).
- Custom Fields: Administrators can create as many custom fields as desired. These fields create new options in the user profile to collect information. Custom fields can be free form text or drop down, multi-selection style values on the profile page. Custom fields can also be labeled as 'admin only' whereby only admins can view this information on the user.
Planning to Build a Strong Alumni Community: