Maximizing your Website as a Tool for Membership Recruitment

Many membership organizations invest a lot of time and energy in building web traffic through SEO and some also with SEM. But surprisingly few use a visit to a website as an opportunity to capture an opt-in from a prospective member.

Joel Book commented on this in DM News. He wrote, “Research from Web analytics technology provider Webtrends shows that on average, 95% of website visitors leave a site without indentifying who they are and taking some form of action, such as subscribing to your e-newsletter. That’s why subscriber conversion is one of the most important metrics that impacts marketing ROI.”1

When an opt-in is captured, we have found that these leads are some of the highest responding lists for membership recruitment campaigns.

So how do you get a visitor to opt-in to receiving additional information from an organization?

We recommend a concept that I call trading content for contact. This involves trading valuable information in exchange for the right to continue a dialogue with a prospective member. This information typically comes in the form of a free email newsletter or a white paper on an important topic of interest to visitors.  This process is fundemental in achieving the awarness stage of the membership lifecycle.  Here is one example of offering whitepapers or an email subscription to visitors of a website. 

If a visitor to your site desires to access valuable information, you do not have to give away the store.  It is not inappropriate to ask them to share who they are and have the opportunity to opt-in for future contact.

1. Joel Book, Advanced e-mail tactics can shed light on new customers, DM News, Strategic Content, October, 2010, page 10.


Scott Oser said...

Hey Tony,

I think this strategy is a no-brainer. I wonder why more associations aren't doing it. Is it lack of time? Lack of staff who are strong writers in a relatively short format? Too much content so it is hard to drill down to what visitors might trade their contact information for? All of these?

Personally I would love to write more white papers and you know I have plenty to say. My issue is that between trying to recruit and retain clients, follow blogs and twitter and facebook to stay on top of all the latest trends and my ever growing network I can't seem to find the time. I am guessing that many associations are dealing with the same issue.

Tony Rossell said...

Scott -- As always I appreciate your comments. Last year, I wrote a post titled, More Marketing Channels Available for Membership Recruitment (9/13/10) that looked at this issue of media overload. Because of all of the options today, I do think that paying careful attention to ROI by source is important. No one can do everything. For example, I truly enjoy blogging. However, I continually find that clients read the blog and that helps keep us on the same page. I also find that prospective clients find me through the blog. So for me the blogging channel combines what I really enjoy with helping to connect with current clients and find additional organizations that I can help. Tony