When it comes to websites in the non-profit arena, the user experience matters—a lot.
An optimized online user experience (UX) delivers better engagement, improved retention, and can set your organization apart from others as an industry leader.
Delight your members and boost their involvement by avoiding these eight common website missteps.
- A clunky membership page
Your member sign-up page has the power to be wildly advantageous or a tremendous turn-off. Don’t make the mistake of overwhelming potential members with lengthy explanations, run-on forms, and too many choices. Instead, keep your membership page as simple, streamlined, and clutter-free as possible to minimize indecision and encourage patronage. Reduce the number of membership levels and payment types offered. Keep the form brief and eliminate “nice to have” fields such as the salutation and alternate phone number. If there is additional information you would like to request, ask for it after the payment is submitted.
- Lack of data segmentation
You need to capture important demographics like job titles and business types, so be sure to include a way for members to classify themselves. Standardize the choices with a drop-down menu to facilitate user-friendliness. With this valuable data in hand, you can export specific segments for highly targeted communications. Create and promote custom benefits, website content, and event categories geared toward specific groups of members to keep them rewarded and engaged.
- Falling short on member value
No matter how great your site looks or how cutting-edge it may be, it won’t deliver the results you’re seeking if the benefits your members want aren’t present and plentiful. Rethinking how you deliver these perks can make your website a more valuable asset than you ever dreamed of. In addition to offering a rich array of member benefits, it’s important to share them in a way that is easy to locate and understand. Think impressive members-only rewards topped with powerful descriptors that connect with people on an emotional level.
- Overlooking user needs in the site design
Your members aren’t employees and that means their needs are different from those of your staff members. If your site navigation looks a little like your organizational chart, it’s time to rethink the design. Your members and prospects should be able to easily find the information they’re looking for. That means the architecture must be designed to respond to their needs first and foremost, while also considering the needs of your internal users and stakeholders.
- Disparate data and a lack of unity
Many associations have been around for ages and aren’t efficiently set up for today’s digital world. If your internal departments are operating as silos it may even feel like they’re pursuing separate missions. To make your website work cohesively and deliver a great user experience, you need to break down the walls with a comprehensive digital strategy that reimagines the way you operate and how your website is constructed.
- Multiple websites
Does your organization have more than one website? It’s not uncommon for non-profits to have several—perhaps there’s one for various marketing campaigns, another for events, and yet another for a new product or service. It may have seemed easier to create a new site each time rather than redesigning your existing one, but that often introduces a host of difficulties. Putting all of your properties into one fabulous reimagined site that’s built for growth is easier to manage, better for data assessment, and better for the user experience. When it is necessary to have multiple sites, such as with LMS offerings and job board sites, branding the other sites and incorporating Single Sign On creates a seamless experience and makes it easier for members to navigate.
- Excluding younger audiences from marketing efforts
Many membership organizations and associations struggle with an aging membership base and find it difficult to attract the next generation. The solution? Identify the benefits that young members value most and present them in a way that speaks to their needs and interests. For example, courses and content that are essential to professional development and career advancement are likely to be attractive. Think job boards, credentialing programs, skills assessments, mentee programs, networking opportunities, and more.
- Onboarding that’s a turn-off
Your association’s onboarding process is a golden opportunity to highlight all that you have to offer and the many ways that you can new members take advantage of these benefits. It has the power to make or break your engagement metrics. Keep new members active and interested by gently guiding them along their initial steps. Clever welcome videos, segmented emails, public new member recognition, and ongoing communications are among the best practices that have proven to nurture positive long-term relationships.
If you are dealing with hodge-podge systems that can’t adequately handle your increasing needs, are lagging behind in adopting the latest technology, or your growth strategy is suffering, now is the time to refocus your tech efforts on your constituents. A great user experience can propel your organization to new heights you never thought were possible.
For more than 20 years, IBC has been delivering award-winning software consulting services to membership organizations of all types and sizes. If you’re ready to embrace user-centered design principles that will enhance your website’s effectiveness, please contact our helpful professionals today.
About IBC: At IBC, we have a deep understanding of the critical business needs and processes specific to associations, non-profits, and unions. We ‘get’ your culture, your goals, and what drives you, too. Focused exclusively on and dedicated to delivering the most effective AMS, LMS, and Cloud Financial Software for our clients, we’re well-versed in identifying and applying the integration techniques that will save you time and money. Since 2001, our cutting-edge products, unparalleled responsiveness, and award-winning services have helped organizations like yours increase their operational and financial performance by leveraging best practices and proven solutions. For more information about IBC, please visit the website at www.ibconcepts.com or call 443.603.0215.