In today’s digital world, instant answers to questions and queries are the norm. Members of professional and trade associations often need assistance with subject matter questions, website navigation, event registration, and more – and they want to find answers as quickly as possible.
Depending on their questions, they may be unable to wait for an email or phone call to be returned. They may even be embarrassed to ask!
Over the last four years, as senior association coordinator for the Organization for Safety, Asepsis & Prevention (OSAP), I’ve responded to hundreds of calls and emails from members and non-members alike. Based on these experiences and a desire to better serve our community, I sought a way to make answers to these questions more easily accessible on our website. After launching, the hub was met with a positive response from the OSAP community.
So, why should you consider a member hub for your association?
Remind your members about perks and benefits
Clear and consistent communication can spark deeper member engagement and retention.
A member hub is a great way to highlight member benefits to your community. Sometimes, even your longest-term member is unaware of the member benefits available to them. And your association might have changed or added benefits over the years. Spreading the word about the perks available to your members can also help retain members in danger of lapsing.
Take this opportunity to collaborate with frontline team members to gain clarity on the membership questions they field the most to inform your FAQs and how you structure their questions. For example, we created a broad category for member benefit FAQs for OSAP. Consider crafting special announcements for newly added benefits or to breathe new life into overlooked membership perks.
Create a memorable experience for your newest community members
According to Forbes, it can take anywhere from five to 20 times the number of resources for an organization to obtain a new customer than to retain an existing one. Considering the cost of marketing and outreach, it behooves your association to keep up the effort to engage your current membership.
Your association website should be intuitive for all visitors, especially for your stakeholders. Setting up a member hub will also allow you to highlight any onboarding materials – vital for your newest members who are new to your community – so the information they need is available at their fingertips.
Hubs can bring additional traffic to your association website (and even increase the length of time members spend there)
According to HubSpot, one in three website visitors will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unappealing.
This means your association has mere seconds in which a visitor determines if they’ll continue interacting and exploring the pages on your site – and any confusion on their part decreases the likelihood that they’ll convert to a member or renew their membership.
So, how can you get visitors to stay awhile? Craft your member hub so that users spend more time interacting with organizational content. For example, when we counsel our clients on website optimization, we start by tidying up the existing design.
Reorganizing website content and centralizing your unique service proposition can help users find the information they need since it’s uncluttered by unnecessary graphics or vague language telling website visitors what your association does and why they should join. The result? A more profoundly engaged audience that aligns with your association’s mission and vision.
Go forth and engage your membership
An effective member hub can serve as a one-stop shop for your community to access FAQs, research, education, and information about their member benefits.
Remember that a support hub is never finished because there will always be new questions. Our team consistently monitors content for necessary updates, and we encourage our members to submit additional questions. Ready to launch your member hub? Get in touch today.