10 Ways To Use Your Chamber Website To Grow MembershipTuesday, August 12, 2014
As a chamber of commerce executive, you know how important membership growth is. Because, despite all your best efforts, sometimes renewals slip through the cracks. Because new ideas are just as valuable as conventional wisdom. And because a growing chamber will lead to a growing economy.
To assist you in recruiting new members, we’ve put together a list of ways you can use your chamber website to grow membership. Read through and see if your website is missing any of these key components of membership marketing!
1) Prominent “Join” button
Finding the “Join The Chamber” link should be effortless. Don’t make people work to find it. Don’t let other elements on the site compete with it. Give it room to breathe and let it stand out.
You can’t miss Springfield Area Chamber’s bright orange JOIN button.
2) Membership Application Form
Make sure this is an actual online form, not something they have to download, print, fill out by hand, and send in the mail. The Springfield Area Chamber has a secure membership form that can be completed in just a couple of minutes. (When dealing with online forms, brevity is always a plus.)
3) Contact form
Not everyone will be ready to fill out the application form. So provide them with an option to learn more. Make this contact form as short as possible—name, company, phone and email address. And make sure it’s easy to find.
If your chamber says it, it’s advertising.
But if a member says it, it’s considered a fact.
Member testimonials are a MUST for your chamber website. Testimonials can be as simple as a quote with the member’s name and headshot, or you could create testimonial videos (as seen on the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce website).
5) Member Benefits Page
When it comes to persuading people to join your chamber, the member benefits page is where you can really win them over.
The New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce has a page titled Ten Benefits of Being a Chamber Member. Formerly part of an email campaign to recruit new members, each item in the list links to more information for prospective members.
6) Calendar of Events
Make sure prospective members can see that your chamber is a happenin’ place. The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce has a cool grid-style calendar of events on their homepage.
Your calendar of events should make it easy for both members and non-members to register for events.
7) Image Rotator
When someone is first checking out your chamber of commerce website, they’ll likely start with the homepage. That’s why a large image rotator on your homepage can be really effective for new-membership promotions.
Your homepage image rotator can be used to promote:
- Membership drives/discounts
- Upcoming events for members AND nonmembers
- Member testimonials
- Member benefits
The Charlotte Chamber does a great job of using their image rotator to promote upcoming events that are open to nonmembers:
One of the slides of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber image rotator showcases a member business’s recent ribbon cutting. This shows prospects that the chamber makes a priority of promoting its members.
Your blog is a wonderful way to communicate with future members and draw them closer to joining your chamber.
Ways to do this:
- Promote upcoming events to drive both member AND nonmember registration.
- Recap events, to show non-attendees what they missed out on.
- Share useful information on running a business to establish credibility and position your chamber as a valuable resource.
- Promote your member benefits—this is persuasive information for nonmembers and a helpful reminder for current members.
- Write a member spotlight to promote that person’s business—this is another great way to show prospects how you help your members.
The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce blogs frequently about upcoming events, chamber member resources, and news relevant to the local business community.
9) Email Signup
The fastest and most effective way to get your content (blog posts, news articles, events, promotions) in front of people? Email.
But the first step is building an email list of people who are interested in hearing from your chamber. That’s why it’s important to have an email signup form on your chamber website.
The Durham Chamber has a newsletter signup form right on their homepage.
10) Clean, well organized web design
Make sure all of these things on your website are easy to find! Clean design and well-thought-out navigation are extremely important to the usability of your website!
The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce is a great example of a chamber website that utilizes plenty of whitespace and has a simple, easy-to-understand navigation.
Is Your Chamber Website Optimized For Membership Marketing?
Your website is an incredibly useful tool for growing your chamber membership, so be sure you’ve optimized your site to its full potential.
Use your blog and image rotator to promote things like member benefits, testimonials, and events. Use a subscriber form to build an email list of prospective members. And make it effortless for someone to become a member by providing an online form.
Make sure your chamber website is helping you to accomplish one of your biggest, most important goals!