If you read our blog yesterday, you learned the five musts of the public-facing side of your membership website. Well today, we’re focusing on the members-only section of your website. What are the must-have features and elements - you know, the ones that are going to keep your members engaged?
Here are our top five:
1. Fresh content
To get your members to login and continue logging in to your membership website, there needs to be fresh content published on a fairly regular basis. If you have a blog, that means frequent blog posts. (They don’t have to be long - just valuable!) Or, if you have a resources section, that means new resources, whether it be an industry report, a white paper, a recorded webinar, or something else. And if you have an online social community, make sure there’s frequent activity there, too. (You may have to post a few seed questions to get conversations going.)
2. Quick links on the member landing page
When a member logs in, the first page they see (which we refer to as the member landing page) should have a number of “quick links” allowing them to easily take action. Think of that page almost as a launchpad for member engagement. There should be a quick link to their member profile, a quick link to renew, a quick link to view and register for events, etc.
Whatever you want them to do or whatever they may need to do upon login, make it extremely easy for them to get to and complete.
3. Pre-populated form fields
Let’s say a member has registered for an event before, and now they want to register for another one. Well, are they going to have to fill out all those form fields again? (Their full name, job title, home address, etc.) A best practice is to have those fields (or a majority of them at least) pre-populate, saving them time and potentially frustration. (If you have a membership management system in place, your website will sync with your database, making that capability possible.)
4. “You” language
The public-facing side of your membership website may have a bit of “we” language (Our mission is to… , Our current board of directors are… , etc.), but the members-only section of your website should really have more “you” language. Remember, that’s where members can access a majority of their benefits, so nearly everything in there should be about them.
For example, if you’re spotlighting an event on the member landing page, rather than saying, “We’re hosting a networking event,” say something along the lines of, “Network with your peers and make long-lasting connections at [Event Name]!” That shows the value in it for them.
5. A focus on “value add”
Speaking of value, that should really be the primary focus of the members-only section of your website. In Part 1 where we talked about the public-facing side, we talked about the importance of having high-quality visuals throughout your website. Well, that’s not to say you can’t or shouldn’t have high-quality visuals on the members-only side, but it’s really more about the content and the benefits than it is the look and feel.
When adding or amending content on the members-only side of your website, ask yourself, “Is this helping my members get their money’s worth?” There should be little fluff and LOTS of substance.
So there you have it. A Total of 10 MUSTS for your membership website! (Five for the public-facing side, and five for the members-only section.)
But there’s plenty more where that came from! For more website tips and best practices, check out our free guide below!