Having a great looking, functional website is one thing. (And an important thing). But the true test for an association is finding a way to not only get your members to visit your site, but to keep them engaged once they get there.
If you haven't considered any of these 7 tricks, you should.
Here they are in no particular order. Take inspiration. Implement. Measure. Repeat.
Some people are visual learners. Others are simply scanners and don't want to read a block of words on web page. Others are sharers and love to pass along cool infographics that speak to them. The ALS Association (remember the ice bucket challenge?) uses infographics very effectively. Check one out here.
People love to test their acumen. What if you created a short, shareable online quiz for members? Something like, "Do You Know As Much As You Think You Know About X?". Make X whatever topic resonates with your members. Or even add some fun and whimsy like the World Wildlife Fund does on a regular basis. They've done a quiz that allows site visitors to determine their animal soulmate, for example. Or check out their quiz right now to "find your inner animal." Not only are these quizzes fun and engaging, but WWF uses them as a lead generator tool requiring quiz takers to provide their email address to recieve their results.
For what it's worth. My inner animal is the Kangaroo! (Though I'm not sure I've ever been called a party animal in my life.)
The Network for Good has a simple calculator on their site. Use your imagination on this one. What tool might help your members? Could it be a simple "value of membership" calculation? Could it be a calculator that they can extend to their customers? In other words, what about creating a tool that your members can pass on to their customer to enhance their business offering online. Keep thinking. You got this.
The tried and true eBook. An eBook doesn't have to include a ton of pages by the way. It just needs to be informative, be valuable and be offered online. Using numbers often helps create some interest in the topic. Like "5 Ways To Improve Your Business Today" or "11 Doctors Swear By Our Association's Philosophy About X". You get the idea. The American Payroll Association offers multiple eBooks. Some to the public and some to members only. Again, use these tools for engagement, people. Good job, APA.
5. Resource Libraries
Those of us who build association websites for a living aren't always fond of the word "resources" to label website content, but in many cases the word applies quite well (and is familiar with end users). You'll find many sites with a Resource Library that is done well, but the Association of Corporate Counsel has an excellent one. Jam packed with content. Yours doesn't have to be as extensive as the ACC's, but it is a great way to get your users coming back to your site for more than event registration and membership renewal. If you don't have one, you should.
As you can tell, we're escalating into larger scale engagement solutions as we count down our list. Personalization is less a tool and more of a methodology. The basic concept is showing and hiding content based on a user's status of either logged in or not logged in. Not logged in, we can determine geography, browser, time of day - those kinds of things. Logged in we can determine much more including membership status, interests, and recent activities. It takes some planning and thought-work to get personalization right, but it's ulimately the experience your members are looking for. Learn more about Sitefinity CMS personalization and download some additional resources.
7. Online Community
This is the granddaddy of all engagement tricks. It's more of a treat than a trick though for your members. If you don't currently have some version of an online community, it's worth looking into. Not all associations find this appropriate for their members, but it's worth checking out for any professional society. Peer-to-peer communication is the ultimate member benefit after all.
One of the most often-asked question we get is "Why don't our members log in to our website?". And while there are many answers to that question, one part of the answer is "your site lacks engagement tools and features." Implement any of these 7 tricks and see your member engagement begin to improve.