Discover new ideas for making your membership application clear and easy to use.
You’ve done all of the work. You’ve sent eye-catching emails to local business owners telling your chamber story. You’ve held well-attended virtual events where business leaders could win a few giveaways while learning about your chamber benefits. You’ve built a beautiful, seamless website inviting new members to engage with your chamber. You’ve even received a referral or two.
And, yet, you’ve started noticing that your new member momentum has started to slow down.
There can be a lot of reasons why potential members aren’t taking the leap and joining your chamber, but one of the sneakiest culprits we’ve seen keep chambers from growth is a confusing or incomplete membership form.
It’s an easy thing to overlook. A chamber of commerce membership form is usually a “set it and forget it” type of task. Even during a website or content audit, a membership form can be easily missed. But we maintain that a careful review of your form and a few, intentional changes can vastly improve your member experience and help your chamber of commerce grow.
Here’s what you need to include on your chamber’s membership application and some of the top features that will help achieve new member sign-ups.
Basic Information to Include
When it comes to the basic information needed for your chamber of commerce membership form, think about what members would need to see on a directory and what you need to track for communication, invoice, and reporting purposes.
Here are the more obvious fields people think of when they think of a membership form:
- First name
- Last name
- Email address
- Physical address
- Business name
- Billing information
Additional Fields to Consider
We’re not saying that the basic intake information isn’t valuable, but there are fields to include that go from what you and your members need to see and what you want to see.
Think outside of the box when it comes to ways members can better connect with other members in their industries, connect over common interests, and connect with similar business types. And consider how you can better communicate and engage with members based on their communication preferences and level of interest.
These are some fields to consider for taking your chamber membership form to the next level:
- Business/Directory category (lists of industries)
- Business keywords
- Communication preferences (email/text/phone)
- Volunteer interests
- Social media sites
- Number of employees
- Opt-ins for newsletters or regular emails
- Referral field
Whether you’re including basic or extra valuable fields on your chamber membership form, you want to make the form as easy and as clear as possible to complete.
This can mean adding checkboxes that allow for addresses to be duplicated (“Check here if the billing address is the same as your physical address), or it could mean adding a brief and clear sentence explaining the membership tier options in the selection section.
Remember that if it’s not easy, people won’t complete it — and make sure that your form is mobile-friendly so potential members can easily sign up on the go.
A Few Of Our Favorite Member Application Forms
Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce included their membership form on their homepage, which is nice because it keeps potential members from click fatigue on your website.
And when we talk about making it easy for members to fill out their information, the chamber’s use of clear checkboxes makes it super easy to self-identify business types, interests, etc. Mobile users will love that!
The Junction City Area Chamber of Commerce organizes their chamber application form into easily digestible parts including Organization Information, Main Contact Information, Membership Type, Online Directory Listing Information, etc, so it’s easier to skim and identify all the relevant information.
We especially like the Online Directory Listing area because it encourages people to upload their organization’s logo and gives brief directions on how to maximize their business listing — setting members up for success from the get-go!
The Cary Chamber of Commerce sticks out to us for two reasons: it pre-populates information based on the region, like the state and county, which makes signing up fast and easy, and it’s transparent about the pricing and billing information.
On many chamber application forms, you have to go through a couple of clicks before you get to the total price that’s due upon joining. On the Cary Chamber of Commerce form, the price is automatically calculated as members make their selections, and the total cost is plainly seen at the bottom of the form.
They also add a personal touch by including a note about members’ options to pay their dues monthly, quarterly, and semi-annually, and the form lists a staff email address in case anyone has questions.
All of these examples are online for your review. Don’t be afraid to poke around in your state or region and find inspiration for your chamber membership form.
Ask Us About Making the Most Of Your Chamber of Commerce Membership Form!
Don’t forget that the information you include on the front-end of your registration form is only half of the battle. Make your new member data available to your staff so it can be used for marketing efforts by connecting it directly to your chamber’s member database.
If you’re interested in getting member application forms directly on your website, contact MemberClicks to see how we can help your chamber!