Every day, thousands of new members are joining clubs by purchasing their membership online. If you haven’t set up a way for members to join your club online, you need to! It’s time to embrace this trend and ride the wave that so many other clubs have already been benefitting from. Joining online isn’t just a “set it and forget it” item. There are ways that you can maximize the success of your club’s online join feature. Here are some tips to consider:
Make Sure That Your Website is “Join Friendly”
Your website should be easy to navigate, with buttons that are highly visible and clearly labeled. Prospective members should be able to read about the membership options and choose the one that is best for them. Don’t go crazy with your color schemes — make sure that the proper aspects stand out. If you want your website to be viewable on a portable device like a smart phone or tablet, you should use responsive design. This will make your information fit within the viewable area of each device.
Additionally, you should have a global join button — this is a button that shows up on every page of the website. You want prospective members to be able to browse your website without hunting for a way to join once they have made their purchasing decision. Make it as easy as possible! You should also have a “contact us” link. If someone doesn’t want to join but has questions, you want to make sure they can reach out to you. Provide a couple of options such as phone and e-mail.
Be in Touch With Membership Purchasing Trends
You want to make sure that you are offering memberships that will be in line with your club’s purchasing cycles or trends. For example, during the summer you may have a special pool-only membership — this should be highlighted on your website during the summer period. If you are trying to encourage new members to purchase a certain membership over another, make sure you are prioritizing that membership offer above any others, in terms of exposure and position, on your site.
If your club management software handles your online join options, you should have flexibility to easily change your club’s offerings. You can influence purchasers just by the design of your website and the manner in which visitors are introduced to the information.
Make it Professional
Your website is a reflection of your business. Without the proper graphics, layout, navigation and information, you might be losing sales. There are so many talented web designers available today that can work with you on your website design. In addition, your club management software company should take care of the actual online join process. Your club management software, to direct purchasers through the joining process, usually provides a club-specific, or offer-specific link. That software company should also handle all the online payment processing and information security. This means that you can focus on the content of your site and not worry about the information going into your club software.
Increase Website Traffic
Your website URL should be on every letterhead, business card, keytag, giveaway item, sign, press release, newsletter, flyer, schedule and pretty much anything that a member can view with their eyes. Get the word out, so that people will be driven to your site and potentially join or make purchases. Mentioning your website in blogs, on Facebook (your club management software can often give you an offer-specific link that you can post) and in marketing campaigns, should be common practice. Having a join-friendly, attractive, customized and professional website is no good if no one knows it exists.
The last thing to consider is the moment a new member that joined online enters your club for the first time. Make sure your employees are aware that the member will possibly need a tour, and that this is a good chance to offer upgrades or add-ons. Talk to your web designer and your club management software company to make sure you are maximizing these tips.
Susanne Nauseda has an Exercise Science Degree that she put to use in the industry for 10 years prior to joining Twin Oaks Software, where she has worked for the last 12 years. You can reach her at 866.278.6750 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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