1) Create community
A top reason why people join associations is for connection. People are naturally wired to participate in communities of people with shared interests.
Your website is the place to foster and strengthen connections. It’s where your members go to find engagement opportunities. While in person connections are great, the truth is your website is open 24/7, making it an extremely convenient and accessible destination. For new members, your website is often the first exposure to your organization and the launching pad toward establishing themselves in your community.
Unfortunately, many MBO websites miss the mark. Information is obscured, lost in complex navigation and user-averse, instead of user-friendly experiences.
How can you correct this online connection conundrum?
From an information accessibility standpoint, consider:
If you feel confident that your site’s taxonomy and navigation are clear, then there are two other ways to strengthen your community:
When we interview members as part of our website discovery and audit process, we always hear that finding information is a struggle. That, and knowing who to contact for questions.
2) Share your members' stories
Awareness is another major struggle for MBOs. But what if we told you there’s a free membership recruitment hack right in front of you?
We’re talking about sharing your existing members’ stories to advertise the value your organization offers. If prospects hear true stories from real members, that may be the nudge they need to sign up.
Today, many people are skeptical of claims coming from companies. They want authentic accounts from real customers. That helps explain why social influencers and brand ambassadors are popular.
3) Develop clear onboarding
The importance of developing a clear and seamless onboarding experience can’t be overstated. What does this mean for your website, though?
It means investing in great user experience (UX) design and intuitive navigation.
Consider creating a welcome video to ensure members know where to find information. If you want to take this a step further, use a tool such as Pendo, which takes users on a guided tour of your website or app.
4) Master stickiness
Have you ever asked yourself: What’s something you can provide that no organization can?
We’ve found this question is integral to unlocking your website’s unique value proposition and keeping members engaged.
For example, many associations offer professional development certifications. Some of them, especially in technical industries, require members to log a minimum number of hours toward obtaining certifications.
This fundamental insight led to a brilliant idea: What if you made it easy for people to log those hours under their profile on your website? What if others could see their progress? Or maybe they could add professional accolades to their profile or display which association committees they participate in? The possibilities are endless.
The goal with stickiness, also known as “recurring engagement,” is finding ways to seamlessly deliver value to entice your audience to become return website visitors. If you can master stickiness, you’ll prove to new, prospective members that your organization is offering value they can’t afford to miss.