Keeping Up with Members’ Web Expectations

Association members are increasingly looking to interact with your organization online similarly to how they do with their favorite digital media brands. Members are constantly looking for easy and efficient ways to satisfy a need - be it register for an event, learn about professional development opportunities, or get the Association's take on a new development in their industry - and they're coming to your site to do so.

So how do you quickly give them what they're looking for while making sure they come back and use your site as a resource?

Think about a great online experience you've had as a customer or consumer. The most common example people reference is that of Amazon, and rightly so. Within a few clicks, customers are able to find the product, purchase, and receive confirmation of its arrival with no stress. You're able to do nearly everything you need without interacting with a person or chat bot. This is a standard your organization should strive for in providing benefits to your members, as it will keep them coming back for more.

We've detailed a few principles Associations can deploy online that give members the best possible experience, and ultimately have them continue to renew and engage with you:

1 - Single Sign-On

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's a vital function if associations want to foster engagement and return visits by members. Single Sign-On (SSO) provides the same feel as logging into an Amazon account for your members. By integrating your AMS with the website, members can log on through the site and have their account information, payment and shipment information, and member level permissions displayed for easy transactions of any kind. If they are registering for an event or purchasing something from your ecommerce catalog, this allows for a more seamless experience and gets members what they need, quickly.

2 - Search

This also may seem like an obvious selection, but we don't just mean any old search function. Complementing your SSO offering with a search tool will allow you to index and provide the most relevant information for all member types and levels. If you're an organization with student members, for example, it is likely they are using your site as a resource for study. Using the SSO and member types, a search for a student member should display more research or scholarly results rather than events or professional development results. This gives the member a feeling that you understand who they are and what they're looking for, and a reason to come back again and again.

3 - Content Recommendations

This final tip is one that melds the two previous principles and can greatly enhance the time your members spend on your site and opportunities for them to come back. Ever notice that when you buy something online, or read an article, there is always a "Check this out" section with similar topics? You should do the same every opportunity you can. If a member registers for an event, display a section that shows a recap of the previous year's event, other events similar to that one, or a blog post about the keynote speech theme. Providing content similar to what you know they are engaging with reinforces your commitment to the member and leaves them feeling like they are understood.

Engagement with your members is the main priority. Give your organization the tools and structure to build engagement with your members at every opportunity, even without person-to-person interactions.

Interested in learning about how can help you to unlock your website's potential and drive membership growth and engagement? Contact us today!

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About Author

Steven LaGow is on the Partnerships team as the Regional Partner Marketing Manager based out of Washington DC, specifically focused on the association and nonprofit markets. Having worked with these organizations for the last 5 years, he is committed to helping Associations and Nonprofits focus on their missions and providing their members and constituents the best possible web experience. In his free time, he loves attending Washington Nationals games, watching Manchester United, and all kinds of live music.

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