Performing web design work for associations is one of our favorite tasks. That’s because professional groups have unique needs. On the one hand, their websites tend to be similar to those of the businesses or individuals they represent. But on the other hand, they aren’t usually selling products or services in the same way.
In fact, most associations aren’t selling anything at all. Instead, they are trying to promote public awareness, attract members, and ensure full registration for upcoming events.
Wondering what an association website needs to look like to accomplish all of that? There isn’t any particular look or template that has to be followed, but there are certain things that can’t be overlooked. Let’s look at a few of the most important details…
Because the top priority for most associations is attracting and keeping members, you want a section of your website that tells visitors how to join and why they should. You may even have links that allow professionals or groups to renew their memberships and pay their dues. That’s more convenient than handling it offline, and can probably save you time and money.
Industry News and Analysis
In many cases, a professional organization website is the resource for news and insight. Association members will go online to trade ideas and best practices, and the public (as well as journalists) will check in to see what insiders are making of items that are in the news. So, your association website should feature plenty of articles from respected authorities in the field.
An Email Newsletter
Associations can use email marketing to promote seminars, educational events, and even membership packages just like companies can. You can also use a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter to get more mileage from articles or start a lively debate. All of this is a lot easier when you have sign up forms throughout your website, blog, and social media accounts.
An Online Directory
You don’t only want to bring members to your association, but also to assist them professionally. By including an online directory in your website – preferably one that is searchable by region or specialty – you can help your members to network with each other and find new customers. You can even set yours up so contact details are gathered and updated without any manual data entry.
A Calendar of Events
Most associations hold regular events that include industry speakers, continuing education, and even social gatherings. However, in order for these to be successful they have to be promoted, particularly to members who aren’t involved at every meeting. You can use dedicated pages on your site to let professionals (and the public) know about upcoming events, along with marketing materials that increase interest. And of course, you can use online tools to register attendees and accept reservations.
Need an Association Web Design That Does All of This and Even More?
At Weblinx in Chicago, we have worked with dozens of associations to help them meet their web design and online marketing goals. Contact us at 630-551-0334 x1 today to see what we can do to help your professional organization grow, communicate, and hold successful events.