By Guest Blogger:
Christine Hassall, Marketing Executive
This is always one of the biggest things on our clients’ minds as we’re working through a project with them. For membership organisations updating the website is usually a long, carefully thought out process from the moment you decide you need a new website, to getting the final sign off from the board, to finding an agency who can give you what you’re looking for. Budgets have to be carefully allocated, tender documents have to be precise and designs have to reflect what’s best for your members. After taking so much care over the development of your updated website, it’s vital to ensure that the hard work doesn’t stop there.
The solution to this starts long before launch. It’s a good idea to let your members and the public know that your website is about to change for the better as soon as you can. There are two very good reasons for this. The first is to ensure your members never get to your website to suddenly find everything has changed, from layout to where they’ll find their favourite pages. If this should occur, it’s likely they’ll be more frustrated with the change than happy about the upgrade. Secondly, trailing the launch of your website will create a buzz and excitement. Heralding the release of a new venture to pique an audience’s interest is something which is becoming an ever more effective marketing tool.
A marketing campaign pre-launch is a sensible idea to get everyone excited for launch and ensure your site gets visits from the get-go. In preparation for the moment your site goes live, use a combination of sponsored social media ads, email campaigns and offline marketing techniques, making sure to include a mysterious yet playful ‘coming soon’ message. This way, as well as being intriguing, you can ensure you’re not using specific dates should anything take longer than expected.
The big reveal
Creating a buzz is great to get the numbers up for launch time – but how do you ensure your website keeps the focus and attention you’ve worked so hard to build? The most important thing is to make a plan. It’s so important it’s worth repeating: Make a plan. If your website is being developed by a full service creative agency like us, you have email marketing, graphics, video production, offline campaigns as well as a wealth of industry knowledge at your disposal so why not use them?
If you’re not sure what to write an email campaign about, a good idea is to list up to 10 main features of your new website that have improved with your upgrade. Write news articles and emails on each feature – keeping them short and sweet – and send them in monthly emails to your members, noting the benefits of each feature. This will keep your website in mind for your members all year round. You can also create a print campaign once or twice a year for your big events like renewals or conferences and share images and links to different areas on your website on social media.
Support is vital for the success of a freshly launched website. Your team needs to know they have somewhere to turn should can obstacle – big or small – occur. That’s why many organisations would never think twice about using a digital agency to provide their new website. Of course, we would recommend Senior!
Senior Internet are fully equipped to supply your organisation with these features and many more. They already have a community of membership, non-profit, charitable and trade associations and have made good use of their 17 years’ industry experience to help