It is possible to create an interactive website that goes beyond providing basic information. Here are five features your club's website should include in order to engage current members and attract new ones:
1. Events Calendar
Include a prominent events calendar on your club website. By regularly updating the events calendar, members will know what is going on at their club and when. If your site is maintained by a club administrator, this means less work for you! Make sure to include specific event information such as location, time, cost, and ticketing information, if any. It may also be helpful to include instructional information, such as whether or not an event will require reservations.
2. Interactive Discussion Board
Many online communities have forums dedicated to the discussion of topics pertinent to your club's topic of interest. These forums can provide members with a space for discussing ideas and generating new ones. Club discussions are necessary in order to capture members' interest and inspire action.
3. Photo & Video Galleries
Providing multimedia access to members is an essential part of any modern website. Photographs are a great way to document the history of your club over time, while a video can be used in much the same way as a forum for generating idea sharing and inspiration. Members will use the galleries to share pictures and videos of themselves or their pets, as well as to find inspiration for future activities.
4. Member Directory
A member directory is necessary if you want people to know who your members are and how they can contact them. This feature also lets potential new members search out club members whose interests match their own, so more members can meet each other. Include simple contact information, such as name, email address, and location of residence.
5. Personal Profile Pages
Personal profile pages are a great way for members to build their online presence. They can use the website as another means of promoting themselves, even if they are not looking to become professional or famous. They may use it to share information about themselves, promote upcoming events, or advertise services they offer. Personal profile pages also create a space where members can connect with each other on a more personal level.
6. Social Media Integration
These days, it is necessary for websites to be accessible via social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. This makes it easier for people to connect with the website and each other. For instance, if a member comments on an article about their club posted by another member on Facebook, all of their friends will see that comment.
Not only do these features help to develop member engagement through increased interaction, but they also serve as useful tools for membership recruitment. A website that offers the five features listed above is sure to foster a sense of community and encourage active participation by current and new members alike.
Administrators are typically saddled with so many responsibilities that they ignore welcome campaigns for new members in favor of prioritizing what they perceive to be more important undertakings. However, welcome campaigns are immensely important because they affect the rate of member retention. They are engagement tolls that show members an association’s dedication to their cause, and their absence erodes loyalty.
As was already noted, these are tools of engagement that reveal an organization’s interest in new members. Not only do they create a strong first impression that encourages loyalty among new members but the automation keeps members engaged without consuming the time and resources of your staff.
The process of keeping them onboard is often a complex task that can be simplified by using membership management software. It can generate personalized emails that will guide new members along their journey with your association in the weeks and months to come.
An automated email campaign should start with a welcome email that introduces members to an organization. Afterwards, another email could be sent that educates these new members about your association, its goals, and offerings. Wait another week and send an email that unveils the perks of membership while also requesting feedback.
Your final email should include content that encourages new members to get involved. One way to initiate this is by providing links to popular community threads that compel them to participate in your association’s discussions. Even though these emails are automated, the ultimate goal is to personalize them by making sure your core themes and viewpoints are clearly communicated to new members!
Many members never renew their membership since membership websites fail to keep them engaged. Some organizations haven’t even bothered to design tactical plans to increase engagement. While others have basic schemes that are more interested in flooding members with generic content rather than designing material that caters to the distinct demands of members.
Obviously, 2020 has decimated the global economy to such an extent that some people can no longer afford to be a member of membership websites. This is the most difficult challenge to overcome because no amount of engagement can resolve a consumer’s economic woes. The only option is to make membership of your association a priority by generating opportunities that add value to your online community.
A lot of members abandon associations when they feel that their investment has failed to produce the kind of value they had in mind. That absence of a significant return on investment can quickly dissuade them from renewing their membership with your organization. Miscommunication is often at the center of this issue as many associations either forget to find out what members want or fail to educate them on the perks of a membership.
Some administrators like to assign reasons to members who never renew their membership when they simply forgot to remind them. This happens frequently, usually in organizations that don’t have strategies in place to keep their members up-to-date about the status of their membership. You should always give your members a reason to choose your association and they will remain loyal despite any obstacles.
Even though analytics aren’t that easy for some individuals that struggle with numbers, managers should try their best to utilize this tool. Otherwise, their club websites are at a higher risk of falling short on the objectives they were designed to achieve.
The field of analytics is not only predictive as it enables managers to identify the potential weaknesses and strengths of their strategies. It also highlights the steps you can take to increase engagement on club websites, an accomplishment that will ultimately grow a community. A thorough understanding of data and analytics enables administrators to take proactive step to create and execute action plans, not to mention proving a return on investment.
The two most important components of community analytics are engagement and business metrics. While engagement metrics are concerned with the activities of the community, business metrics are intended to provide an analysis of the impact the community has had on the goals of the organization. In order to measure engagement and business metrics, you must craft key performance indicators that determine whether your community activities are driving or hindering the goals of the association.
Although business metrics are quite important, an effort to understand and utilize analytics must start with the community engagement metrics since they affect most aspects of the organization. These metrics are supposed to be measured regularly to monitor if the community has made progress or not. Aside from that, it would also be wise to only measure the right metrics. Managers should know which variables can be used to determine the value of a community’s activities in relation to the organizational goals.
While helpful tips that are designed to increase the engagement of your subscribers are all over the internet, many of them fail to emphasize the significance of enhancing the quality of your subscriber email list. The best promotional campaigns are unlikely to provide a desirable return on investment when they are geared towards an audience that has little to no interest in your offerings. As a result, most organizations are encouraged to reduce their subscriber base by identifying and eliminating inactive subscribers.
After identifying and eliminating subscribers who are no longer active, start crafting a re-engagement strategy that consists of automated campaigns. Make sure these appeal to members that are active but still not fully engaged in your organization. Even though these campaigns are automated, they should be personalized enough that they appeal to the specific tastes and preferences of individual subscribers.
When it comes to personalizing content, it takes more than simply referring to subscribers by their first names and mentioning the products or services that interest them. It requires a unique voice that represents a distinct personality and you need to find your own to successfully convey your message to uninterested subscribers.
Instead of telling subscribers your expectations, make every effort possible to show them what you have accomplished with the support they have given. Membership management software can grow your email subscriber list but it’s crucial to prioritize active subscribers and to generate personalized content that improves engagement among members!
However, it doesn’t occur by default like some have members want to believe. Effective engagement must be deliberately engineered and deployed in accordance with a carefully designed strategy.
Poor engagement is the downfall of many organizations, a weakness that destroys the value of an association and is highly capable of reducing the rate at which you recruit and retain members. Whereas greater levels of engagement can enhance membership growth, retention, and satisfaction; the reverse will curtail an organization’s ability to remain relevant despite the advancement of membership websites.
Since many people join associations in order to make more connections, the easiest way to boost membership value is to give your members the resources they need to pursue the connections that attracted them to your organization in the first place. Membership websites make this possible by providing an online space through which members are able to connect.
The right approach is to deploy tools that can track these engagements, amassing data surrounding the activities of users and using it to create a targeted communication system. The system will deliver a personalized experience tailored towards providing relevant content to the right people at the best time.
In other words, every attempt to augment membership value by magnifying engagement should start with a clear strategy that has outlined the methods. Organizations usually use those methods to devise relevant and personalized communication that encourages their members to keep coming back. A strategy that finds ways to connect more often not only resolves challenges facing the organization but it also improves member acquisition and retention.
Customer retention is at the forefront of most marketing campaigns. While promotional experts understand the mechanics required to attract interest from the public, they have yet to master the tools needed to retain that interest. The market is saturated with so much competition that it has become all but impossible to control the public’s attention.
This is why clubs and communities are so important. They engage customers, causing them to like posts and publish comments. In doing so, customers are compelled to maintain a consistent presence on the platform which helps the organization boost their customer retention rates.
There are a variety of methods that may be used to enhance a customer’s experience. Communities play a unique role in this regard as they don’t stop by simply providing a platform for distinct voices to share ideas. They are places that can provide answers to every question and give guidance on the products and services offered by the company. In most cases, communities have become a great resource for gaining knowledge.
A community is also a powerful branding tool that organizations have started to integrate into their marketing and SEO tactics. A strategically designed community can turn a company’s platform into an authoritative source of information, crafting a reputation that will raise brand awareness while boosting leads.
Even though communities have been in use for a long time, they have just started to attract the attention they deserve. Each year, more companies make it a priority to have their own as they have finally grown to appreciate the wide-ranging benefits a community brings to the table.
With the help of membership management software, associations from all over are turning their clubs into educational centers. By creating webinars that are rich in content, these association have recorded a significant increase in activity among members.
Other associations can achieve similar results once they realize that people join with the expectation of gaining experience to apply to their careers. A great way to advance most careers is to grow by adding some educational achievements.
Associations can also encourage their partners to sponsor some of their webinars. Not only does this help an association’s partners generate engaging content for members to consume but it also enhances the revenue. Ultimately, the key is to produce educational or valuable content rather than promotional content.
Before you start attracting new members, you should show appreciation to current members for their loyalty. Webinars enable an association to do just that, especially if they are used to host periodic meetings that provide an avenue for understanding members on a personal level. Identify the areas where membership management software has fallen short and use what you have learned to enhance their experience. Often, the positive news an association generates throughout the process will attract new members.
Even though the quarantine measures of this year have made traditional networking all but impossible, there are still ways to recreate the benefits of face-to-face events by using webinars. Some associations hold Q&A sessions for this very reason.
While physical interactions are far more effective than online engagement, the right webinars create a meaningful platform for members to network. If you charge a small fee for these virtual events, your association’s non-dues revenue will increase!
A significant portion of the emails that organizations sent out during the quarantine didn’t make it or disappeared to the spam folder since they were sent to the wrong place. These are individuals that haven’t received emails from the companies in question for months or years. This gap in communication has encouraged certain security mechanisms to interpret the email as spam.
In response, individuals have either unsubscribed from membership websites or blocked certain senders altogether. The solution here isn’t to abandon email communication but organizations must learn to moderate the volume of emails they send.
While some organizations have merely raised the volume of emails being sent, others have increased the frequency by turning monthly or weekly newsletters into daily publications. This is an indication of desperation that has also resulted in complaints from a few recipients who have redirected these emails to the trash folder. Any organization that wants to increase the frequency of its emails should make this transition gradually until the recipients grow accustomed to the new schedule.
Organizations are starting to realize that it isn’t helpful to mention COVID in their emails. The reason why is that coronavirus scams have become so common that certain security mechanisms have started flagging emails that mention COVID. As a result, organizations are placed in a difficult position as a failure to address the pandemic tends to attract accusations of insensitivity.
There are no obvious solutions to this particular issue since most people have been advised to be very cautious of opening emails that mention COVID. Ultimately, there are recipients who are choosing to ignore emails that feature virus content so organizations need to keep that in mind when drafting emails.
Most challenges start here as several organizations have no idea how to fit a community into their structure. Some firms place them under the membership department while others have grouped them with marketing. Aside from that, there are also those that treat communities as a product.
Administrators have been known to argue about this issue since they aren’t able to definitively identify which approach works best. The position a community occupies within an organization will depend on the goals of the organization. The same structure can’t be applied to every organization as some companies thrive by pairing their community with the membership strategy while others are better suited to gear it towards marketing. It’s best to remain flexible where communities are concerned.
In order to keep members of the community engaged, you should try providing a personalized experience. However, many organizations don’t know how to craft and deploy personalization strategies. When building a personalized experience for your community, the first step is to collect only the data you need. Members are sensitive where their data is concerned so ensure them you only request information you absolutely need to provide them with a better experience.
Even though a variety of communities need young audiences to thrive, organizations have no idea how to attract them. Often, the youth just want to experience growth in their personal and professional lives. Any community that wants to win their loyalty should encourage their engagement by offering them the connections they need to grow and advance. Young audiences almost always respond to opportunities that enhance their prospects.
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