by Callie Walker
The public-facing side of your membership website is meant to not only attract prospects, but to get them to actually join your association or chamber.
Now, there are a number of elements needed for a high-performing membership website, but to get visitors to take that next step and join, a few key edits should take precedence:
1. Place your value proposition front and center
When a prospect lands on your organization’s website, how many scrolls or clicks will they have to conduct before seeing why they should join your association or chamber? (This is an experiment you may actually want to try!)
Even if it’s not many, by having your organization’s value proposition front and center — on the home page above the fold — you’re increasing the likelihood that visitors will turn into members. There will, of course, be more information that a visitor needs before making that “to join or not to join” call, but this at least kick-starts the process.
2. Include a “Join Now” button on every page
Let’s say a prospect is on your website and wants to join. How easy would it be for them to do so? Are they going to have to browse your top navigation and dropdowns a little?
One edit that could have a major impact on conversions (prospects turning into members) is to add a “Join Now” button on every page of your site, preferably somewhere at the top where it’d be pretty hard to miss.
The Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE) does this on their website. No matter what you click on, the “Join Now” button (along with the “Member Login” button) is always displayed at the top.
This is a best practice for driving engagement — for both prospects and members — on your organization’s website.
3. Test your calls-to-action
A good website is never done. It’s a living asset, which means there’s always room for improvement.
In other words, there’s always room to make it a more effective membership recruitment tool.
Make it a point to do some testing on your membership website, particularly with your calls-to-action (CTAs). (These are phrases like “Join Now” and “Sign Up Today.”) If you’re able to A/B test with the content management system (CMS) you’re using (if you’re using one), start there. Otherwise, conduct these tests manually. Try one version of your CTA for a couple of weeks and track clicks. Then, try a different version and monitor it the same. For example, “Join Now” versus “Become a Member.”
Which one performed better? Go with that and continue to increase the efficacy of your membership website.