Mass Notification Data Management: From Importing to APIs

​Today’s mass notification services offer a number of powerful features for rapidly alerting a large number of people. However, all those bells and whistles aren’t very useful if your contact information isn’t complete or up-to-date. Even companies with accurate contact records in-house often have data residing in a Human Resources database that is separate from the notification service. Questions often arise about how to make this information accessible.

So what options are available for migrating or maintaining employee contact records? While all services in the marketplace may not provide the following options, here are the various, flexible ways to manage contact data using Send Word Now:

On-Demand Entry

Contact data can be entered or edited directly online via the user interface. This method is generally appropriate for adding, modifying or deleting small numbers of contacts.

Traditional Import

For its first population of the database, users may provide Send Word Now Customer Support with a single flat-file export from their Human Resources database. We will validate the file and “scrub” it for any formatting errors before uploading.

Import Wizard

Send Word Now offers a powerful and user-friendly import wizard that allows users to upload, error-check, and correct their own data. This approach allows customers to make large-scale updates at their own convenience without intervention from Send Word Now Customer Support.

Recipient Self-Update

This feature allows administrators to send an email notification to a contact that contains a secure link. The link directs the contact to a secure browser interface where they can easily update their own personal contact information.

Recipient Self-Registration

This method allows administrators to create an invitation-free web portal where recipients can 1) register to receive alerts, and 2) update their contact information whenever they choose. This portal can even be customized to align with an organization’s branding.

XML via SFTP

With this approach, customers submit an XML data file via Secure FTP. The file is batch-processed, and the customer account is updated.

Group/Contact Management API

This is perhaps the most powerful method for maintaining contact data. With this approach, the customer’s HR database communicates directly with Send Word Now’s database, updating group/contact information in real time. Data is available as soon as it has been uploaded into the system. This does require some basic coding on the part of the customer, but the extra effort most frequently pays large dividends.

Comprehensive contact data management is a critical component to building a successful notification program. You should carefully assess your organization’s resources and preferences, and then choose a mass notification service with the data management capabilities to meet your needs.