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3 Ways Professional Organizations Can Use Their Website to Attract New Partners and Sponsors

January 11, 2021

Engaged sponsors are critical to the lifeblood of your organization. While membership fees help support your organization’s day-to-day needs, sponsors and partners are what support your larger initiatives.

Of all your marketing tools, your website is paramount to attracting and engaging new partners and vendor supporters. A poor-performing website can spell disaster for your sponsorship efforts. At the same time, a powerful site experience can flood you with potential sponsorship requests

In this post, we’re breaking down three ways that your professional organization can use its website to attract and convert new partners.

Attracting New Partners and Sponsors: 3 Tips to Improve Your Website

Step 1: Have A Strong Design & User Experience

First impressions are everything when it comes to attracting new sponsors & partners. Like it or not, your potential vendor supporters will use your website as a litmus test for your organization. Any misspelled words, broken functionality, or outdated design could be inferred that your organization providing an inferior offering.

Keep in mind that a partner’s association with your organization is also a reflection of their brand. They owe it to their stakeholders to choose partnerships that enhance their image. Any risk to this mission, even a perceived risk, could make it harder for you to convince sponsors to come on board.

So, how can you ensure your website helps and not hurts your partner conversion efforts?

A quick note on user experience, if you’re unsure of the strength of your current user experience, we can help. Astriata has worked with dozens of professional organizations to help strengthen their site’s user experience. We start with a detailed usability audit of your digital ecosystem. From our audit findings, we’ll craft a usability roadmap to identify the specific steps you need to take to improve your site’s user experience.

Step 2: Spotlight Your Vendors and Partners with More Than Just a Logo

Show of hands, how many professional organizations onboard a new partner, slap their logo on the required page, and move on?

While this technically meets your co-marketing obligations, it can leave the relationship a little one-sided. The more potential value you can show your prospective partners and vendors, the easier it will be to garner their support.

Don’t be afraid to show your sponsors a bit more love than being one of a dozen logos on a page, by:

As a bonus to all this publicity, by creating and sharing content about your current partners, you can create a bit of FOMO with supporters that are on the cusp of becoming a sponsor.

For many professional organizations, sponsorship mostly comes into play for an association’s annual conference. Unfortunately, with COVID’s continued impact on in-person gatherings, many of these conferences have gone virtual or hybrid. The struggle for gaming sponsors for these events is that there are no traditional tradeshow booths for a sponsor to advertise their brand.

In these instances, it may be prudent to offer sponsors additional opportunities to get in front of your members – either through short meetings or lunches. You can also do this virtually by leveraging your digital experience to host webinars, online trainings, and other online events.

Step 3: Provide Unique Sponsorship Opportunities on Your Website that Align with the Goals of Your Partner/Supporter

The secret to attracting new partners and supporters comes down to being able to answer one specific question – What’s in it for me?

Your organization might need someone to sponsor an event breakfast or fly in their next speaker, but a simple shout-out for procuring bagels or economy class tickets might not be a compelling enough offering for potential partners.

If you’re having difficulty closing that perfect partner or sponsor, consider leveraging your website to augment your value proposition with unique sponsorship opportunities. Can you feature your partner on a specific section of your website? Can they sponsor your newsletter or membership drives? Is there a preferred partner page that you can build for them?

At the same time, you want to ensure that the offering you craft addresses your potential partner’s stated goals. Are they looking to build more brand awareness? Drive sales/leads? Or do they want to improve their reputation in your organization’s community?

Whatever the offering, be sure that what you’re providing aligns with the needs and desires of the vendor/partner.

Your Website Is Your Number One Salesperson

Working 24/7/365, your website is your number one tool in attracting new sponsors and vendor supporters. Often it is one of the first touchpoints they have with your organization, using your website to conduct their own discovery research before engaging with your sponsorship team.

Curious how your site’s usability stacks up against your user expectations? We can help. Astarita’s usability audits are purposefully designed to uncover your website’s specific pain points and bottlenecks. We’ll help you understand the “why” behind your user actions and craft a roadmap to improve your user experience through in-depth analysis. Learn more and schedule your usability audit by contacting us today.


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