How to Attract New Members To Your Society's Website
Attracting new members to your website is essential for any Society or Association. Not only do new members bring time, energy, and finance, but they can increase your market reach organically via social media.
The British Percheron Horse Society (BPHS) approached us to see how we could help improve their online engagement, and their interaction with present members. Their existing website was unfortunately not mobile-friendly, had only a few low resolution images, and their forms had to be completed off-line.
Where to start on your journey to attract new members to your Society?
With over 71% of people searching for information online then the first place to encourage new membership should be your website. This should be mobile-friendly, have clear navigation, and be easy to maintain yourself. If it is not, then you should make refreshing or redesigning your website a priority.
The most important thing in any website redesign is the relationship between you and your web designer/agency. It is essential that your designer understands the aims of your Society, what they want from your website, and what difficulties you are currently experiencing. If you have a brand document then your designer must ensure that they build the site with this in mind, and if you don't then your designer should be able to create a clear brand within your website.
You should also check with your designer that the platform that they are building on is a platform where the software is kept up-to-date to ensure that your website is not vulnerable to security threats. Updates should ideally be free, and be part of your service provided.
How should a website be designed to attract new members?
Firstly you should know what you are trying to achieve with the website. Try to be realistic and keep in mind who your demographic are so that you can help your designer to create a site that is appropriate for potential new members. The British Percheron Horse Society had clear aims for their website, but didn't know where to start with this. It was our role as experts in design and user-experience to help them with this. Their experience is useful in looking at how an Association's website should be designed.
Having clear aims for the website we then considered BPHS's demographic. This turned out to be far broader than we had anticipated, which led to the overall look and feel of the site. We worked with BPHS to flesh out the objectives of the website e.g. once the website is live new members should be able to apply online, and the website should clearly show the different types of roles the Percheron Horse can take on pictorially.
With a good idea of what calls for action were needed the structural hierarchy was determined to ensure that the user journey was simple and intuitive. Content for the pages was provided by the Society as were high-resolution responsive images of the Percheron horse in different scenarios.
With all the content gathered the creative design team at Khoo Seller created a website. To attract new members the website had:
- A clear user-experience,
- Information on the history of the British Percheron Horse,
- An events area so that web visitors could learn about upcoming events and members meetings,
- Calls to action to promote membership,
- A blog so that visitors with information to engage new members,
- Complex forms for various uses on the site - please see our blog on these here,
- A contact form,
- The Society's Instagram feed on the home page,
- Links to social media,
- Information on how to donate, and
- A site where images of the British Percheron horse played a dominant role.
Obviously the KhooSeller Design Team tailored the site to the needs and interests of the Society's members, and focused on engaging visitors who knew little about the horse, but the end result was excellent, as can be seen on The British Percheron Horse website here.
Attracting new members to a Society or Association is essential, and having a responsive, engaging website is part of this process. This is the feedback from Michael Swan from The British Percheron Society:
"Just wanted to extend my sincere thanks to you and all the team for all you have done for the BPHS website and getting it live last week.
We’ve had a wonderful response from members and non-members alike and have even gained new membership already."
If we can help assist you with your Society's or Association's website do get in touch, and we will be happy to help.