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3 Ways Professional Organizations Can Drive Member Engagement Through a Better User Experience

3 ways to promote member engagement
December 1, 2021

A recent study from Community Brands found that while 84% of members surveyed felt satisfied with their professional organization membership, only 55% felt a connection to their organization. In other words, 45% of survey respondents said they weren’t engaged with their organization. Member engagement is the lifeblood of any professional organization. The more engaged the membership base, the easier it is to recruit new members, hold well-attended events, and have the funds needed to support the mission and goals of an organization.

If your organization is trying to improve its member engagement, we recommend starting by improving your organization’s digital experience. A poor digital user experience can frustrate your members and kill your organization’s ability to engage with its base. Conversely, a positive digital experience can help bolster member engagement and make it easier for your organization to interact with its audience. To help you get started, we’ve identified three areas of a digital experience that are critical to ensuring a positive user experience.

How To Improve Your User Experience to Bolster Member Engagement

Improve Your Content Mix

Spoiler alert, your members visit a gazillion websites every day. Sure, we’re exaggerating here a bit (Are we, though?), but it shouldn’t be a surprise that your website is not the only website your members are visiting. To drive member engagement, your website needs to be able to stand out from the clutter.

Where do you start? By getting rid of any walls of texts that you may have throughout your website. If your pages consist of nothing but paragraphs of text with little or no organization or imagery, your audience is going to tune out. Keep in mind that most people skim websites in F patterns, jumping through section heads and across bullet points to find the content that matters most to them.

Drive a stronger user experience through a more robust content mix:

Enhance Your Homepage

Think of your website’s homepage as your digital home base. Often your homepage is the first touchpoint a new potential member will have with your organization’s digital presence. It’s also the first page your existing members will visit to see what’s new with the organization.

As such, it’s critical that your homepage clearly communicates your key messaging. Within seconds of arriving to your website, your audience should be able to determine:

A great homepage does more than shepherd constituents from one portal to the next, it amplifies your brand by reinforcing your values and benefits each time your audience visits your website.

What are some other best practices for providing a positive experience for your homepage visitors?

Test. Test. Test. To Improve Your User Experience Over Time

We all want to think that we know our members better than they know themselves, but the truth is that assumptions are not a roadmap to success. If you want to guarantee that your digital experience aligns with the needs and expectations of your professional organization’s membership base, you need to get your members involved.

Usability tests like card sorting, tree testing, and task-based usability testing can help identify the specific areas of your digital experience that are causing the most member frustration. Fix these issues to improve the user experience, eliminate friction points, and improve your member engagement.

Pro-Tip: Astriata has proven experience helping professional organizations and alliances uncover and identify the insights they need to improve their member’s user experience. Learn more about our usability testing services, including our task-based usability testing protocols, by reaching out to us today.

Great Engagement Starts With a Strong User Experience

Impressions matter. As the online representation of your professional organization, it’s critical that your website reflects the depth of positive experiences that your members can expect from you. We’re not saying that your website has to be a certified work of art, but it does need to provide the tools, information, and functionality that your audience needs to successfully interact with your organization and support member engagement.

Are you looking for more ways to improve your digital experience? Download our newest resource, “How Alliances and Professional Organizations can Improve Member Experience and Drive Recruitment Through a Stronger Website Experience” to learn more about the five digital marketing trends that will be driving growth for professional organizations and alliances in 2022.


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