umverkehR - Migration to Active Campaign
umverkehR is an independent association with around 40,000 supporters. The association has been campaigning for sustainable mobility since 1992. in 2015, umverkehR successfully relaunched its website with the Drupal 7 distribution "KAMPATOOLS" developed by MD Systems together with Kampaweb. An important part of this relaunch was the integration of the online CRM solution Salsa, which was used to send newsletters, collect online donations and conduct online campaigns.
In the summer of 2020, umverkehR switched to our newer Drupal solution "Primer", which also had integration with Salsa. After it was announced that by the end of 2022 the version of Salsa used by umverkehR would no longer be available, several other solutions were evaluated. Active Campaign proved to be a solid candidate to replace Salsa, so MD Systems decided to become a partner and offer a standard integration for Primer. The solution convinced umverkehR: no further web relaunch was necessary, but they could fully focus on migrating the data from Salsa to ActiveCampaign and configuring the integration.
The main goal of the project was a smooth transition from the old to the new CRM including complete contact data migration. At the same time, the opportunity was to be used to clean up and better structure the data collected over 5 years.
Contact data migration
The umverkehR association has numerous members and supporters. Various contact details of these are stored in the CRM: The information whether the newsletter may be sent; topics in which the individuals have been interested in the past; which events they have participated in, etc.
In some cases, however, there was also information in the old CRM that was no longer needed. With the migration of the contact data, we also wanted to focus on transferring only the essential data to the new CRM, which is also used in the communication work and helps to send targeted information to the supporters.
Migration of online donation data
For an organization like umverkehR, it is very important to know who supports and donates to which issue, so that future campaign communication can be targeted. Therefore, online donation data should also be transferred to the new system.
Connection between Primer and ActiveCampaign
Both the data from online donations and the data from contact, registration or petition forms should flow into ActiveCampaign. The creation of a form and the settings for the transmission of the data should be simple and flexible for umverkehR employees. At the same time, the effort for these settings should be manageable, so that more time remains for the campaign work.
The project was launched in the summer of 2022 so that the changeover could take place in the fall of 2022. This was done in close cooperation between our project managers and those responsible at umverkehR.
The first step was to prepare the data in the old CRM so that it could be meaningfully exported and imported into ActiveCampaign.
For this purpose, the contact data was analyzed by the umverkehR project team and then decisions were made as to which data should be taken over and which could be dispensed with in the future. For example, only the online donation data from last year was taken over, since the tax-relevant data is stored in another system anyway and the information from last year is sufficient for the communication work.
Subsequently, it was examined how this data can be exported from Salsa so that it can be imported directly into ActiveCampaign without much effort. The clarifications for exporting and importing were mostly carried out by MD Systems and then discussed with those responsible at umverkehR.
In this context, continuous tests were carried out in order to validate that the data is correctly transferred to the new system. For this purpose, numerous new contact fields were created, for which ActiveCampaign is ideally suited due to its flexible possibilities...
The first administrative workflows in ActiveCampaign have also already been tested - among other things, in order to be able to recognize at an early stage whether the data in the new system has been structured in a way that makes sense for daily work.
In parallel, MD Systems developed the ActiveCampaign integration for Primer, where both donation forms and web forms can be connected to the CRM and fields mapped. The new integration combines the experience from various CRM integrations, supports the most important tools out-of-the-box, is extensible and despite customizations as uncomplicated as possible in operation.
Intensive test phase and data cleanup
While the preparation phase was still characterized by many discussions regarding the preparation of the data as well as smaller, isolated tests, more intensive, large-scale tests were carried out in the second phase.
The umverkehR team ran through defined user journeys and checked whether the migrated data and the data newly transferred via Drupal interacted well, whether the created automations functioned correctly, and whether the workflows were comprehensible for the umverkehR employees and could be handled with manageable effort. This also included the creation of a newsletter template and the sending of first test newsletters to selected persons.
On a test environment of umverkehR's website, all forms that were in use at that time were prepared and connected to ActiveCampaign. This process also provided ongoing insights, which we used to improve the integration between Primer and ActiveCampaign.
At the same time, the umverkehR project team pushed ahead with cleaning up the data in Salsa and completed it to the point where all data in the old CRM was ready for migration.
Migration, Completion & GoLive
Finally, in November 2022, the time had come for the final migration and the definitive switch from Salsa to ActiveCampaign.
It was important that all tasks were carried out in parallel as far as possible so that no data was lost during the changeover.
First, the contact data was exported from Salsa and imported into ActiveCampaign. After the manual work was completed relatively quickly, the import process in ActiveCampaign took several hours due to the large amount of data. During this time, the changes on the website could be tackled. The form settings could all be transferred from the test system to the live system via configuration export. The remaining changes on the website were completed within a few minutes.
After completing the import process and verifying that the connection between Primer and ActiveCampaign was working, the connections to Salsa were deactivated.
Finally, a check was made to see if any new data had been created in Salsa during the migration that was not already present in ActiveCampaign. The few customer data could then be transferred manually into ActiveCampaign.
The day after the contact migration, the online donation data of the current and previous year was also migrated into ActiveCampaign.
The project was a complete success.
The thorough preparation of the data in the CRM to be replaced, as well as the decision to migrate only those data that were needed in the daily work, were an important factor in the success. It not only helped that the data migration was much less complex, but also that the data in the new system was tidy and well structured.
Thus, after final optimizations, the convenient integration to ActiveCampaign could be rolled out as a new standard functionality for Primer and is now available for existing and new customers. The integration is already in use at several other customers and has thus already been further expanded.
The umverkehR team finds it easier to work with ActiveCampaign than with Salsa CRM, which was a bit outdated, and ActiveCampaign, especially with its automation functionality, offers many possibilities to have standardized processes carried out automatically by the system.
I appreciate the versatility and ease of use of ActiveCampaign's integration with Primer. Creating campaigns and automations is easy and largely intuitive. Managing orders and signups via Deals is clear and working with lists and tags facilitates targeted communication
The close cooperation between umverkehR and MD Systems also proved once again to be an important success factor. We are very pleased to continue to closely accompany umverkehR in its digital work.
Primer has once again proven to be the optimal basis. Thanks to the wide range of standard functions, it is possible to focus on individual requirements during the project. Due to the high degree of standardization, the platform remains efficiently maintainable despite strong individualization, which significantly optimizes the total cost of ownership.