Marketing Executive, Pedalo Web Design
Do you feel that your website could be working better in terms of new member joining? You are not alone. This is a common concern that many membership organisations face. You’ve taken the time to get to know your user audience and your membership offer can provide real value. How can you now ensure users join online? Following are some practical tips guaranteed to improve your joining rates:
CLEARLY DEFINE AND STATE THE BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP – How will a person be better off as a member of your organisation? What kind of training, resources, best-practice and community support will he gain access to? Translate these benefits into a clear, simple and concise offering on your website.
PROVIDE A CLEAR CALL TO ACTION – Your ‘Call to Action’ (CTA) is an invitation to perform a certain action on your website (such as ‘Join us now’) The more your CTA stands out on your website and the easier it is to find (on any page on your site) the more likely the user is to click on it. Consider adding time-sensitive words (such as now, today etc) for an added sense of urgency.
ALLOW FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF MEMBERSHIP GRADES – If your organisation caters to different audiences, such as students / graduates / senior professionals, it is a good idea to offer different membership grades. These should be reflected on your website, along with an appropriate offer. Creating separate landing pages for each type of membership could increase member joining by providing the right information to the right audience at the right time.
CREATE SHORT, SIMPLE FORMS – Studies have shown that short forms tend to outperform long ones, so keep your forms as short as possible, asking only for information you absolutely need. Longer forms should be split up into parts so that they look less intimidating. Users are more likely to carry through with filling out a form if they have already submitted a part of it. It is also good practice to show your user where they are in the form filling process (i.e. page 2 of 3).
USE AUTO-FILL AND IMAGES WHEREVER POSSIBLE – Using images instead of or alongside text where appropriate, makes the form easier to read and more visually pleasing. Using auto fill tools, such as Address finder web forms, reduce time and effort while filling out the form and also reduce input errors.
PROVIDE HELPFUL ERROR MESSAGES – Providing helpful error messages will help users pinpoint mistakes more easily and increase the chances that they fix them and successfully submit the form. Error messages should be easily visible and as specific as possible (for example, a constructive error message for a phone number field could remind users that ‘phone numbers should contain 10 digits’)
ALEVIATE ANXIETIES – Acknowledge and provide assurance to the most common anxieties or questions that new members might have in the form of FAQ’s or similar. This will help to bring your users to a point that they feel comfortable joining.
At the end of the joining process, create a welcoming thank you page or email with useful information on what your new member can do next. It is never too early to thank them for joining and show them the benefits of being a part of your community!
If you found this post useful, we invite you to download our report on ‘The State of User Experience on Membership Websites’ for a more in-depth analysis and some examples of membership organisations that are excelling in their online user experience.
Pedalo is a MemberWise Recognised Supplier. You can find out more here…