A Contact (previously referred to as Inactive Member) is a user account within your database that has never had membership plan. Contacts can be added to your system in the following ways:
- Contacts or prospects were imported into your database with no membership.
- Users entered their name and email into your Subscribe Widget.
- Users are manually entered by an admin but not assigned a membership plan.
- Users started to sign up for your organization, but changed their mind before making payment for a membership plan.
- Users registered for an event as a non-member.
How does a Contact become a regular active member?
- By purchasing membership through the Join Page
When a person attempts to join your organization using an email address that's already assigned to an contact in your database, SilkStart will check whether the user should reset their password to access SilkStart, or the user should be allowed to claim their inactive user account.
If the user has logged into your site previously, then they must use their username and password to log into SilkStart. Upon entering their email address in the Join form, they will be told that their email address is already in use and be provided with a link to reset the password on their account. Once they have logged into their account, they'll be able to go through the normal steps of purchasing a membership.
The same process is followed for users who have a membership, but have never logged into their account. This reduces the incidence of duplicate membership purchases.
If the user has never had a membership plan or logged into their account, then SilkStart doesn't confuse them by asking them to reset their password. Instead, the user will simply be allowed to sign up with the email attached to their account. The user will "claim" their inactive user account in your database, and this account will be updated to add the user's membership plan, and any information they provide in the enrolment flow will be updated on their account. No duplicate user account will be created.
John Smith enters his name and email through your Subscribe Widget to join your email newsletter. After receiving a few emails, John decides that he would like to become a paying member. He visits your Join page, and is able to create an active account using the same email he entered in your Subscribe widget earlier, because he has never had a password or plan before.
- By paying an admin-generated invoice for membership
An admin can manually create an invoice for any user or company in your database, and choose to email the invoice to the member. The email containing the invoice will include a link to pay the invoice online. Alternatively, the member can send payment by cash or cheque to your organization.
In order to pay online, the user must log in using their username and password - even if they have never logged in or had a membership before. If the user doesn't know the password on their account, they can use the password reset prompts offered on the login page to set a new one.
To bypass any potential confusion, we recommend that when admins create an account and invoice for membership, they also send the Welcome Message to the user, so that they can gain access to their account in order to pay their invoice online more easily.