Improve online lead generation for membership websites

Digital marketing and lead generation techniquesMembership websites and associations often struggle with expanding and retaining their community. Their membership community is their prized possession–one that has to be cultivated and expanded to increase the value of the community.

Online lead generation techniques can be useful to membership organizations.

  • Feature your privacy policy. Trust is an important component for lead generation with online communities and membership websites. Push your privacy policy to the foreground to make users feel more comfortable with your brand. This will make joining your network more palatable.
  • Optimize your membership website for trust. Trust-factors are critical to success for membership websites. Visitors will make split second decisions based on trust factors of websites. Search engines will make split micro-second decisions based on trust-factors as well. Be clear in your purpose. Use security badges. Use SSL for submission forms with sensitive information or login areas. Keep contact information about your brand in an easy-to-find location on the website.
  • Optimize your membership website for PR. Your website plays a role in PR efforts for your organization. Ensure your website supports those efforts, or is not in conflict with them, at least. Optimizing your website for PR means that you have information, navigation and tools available for journalists, influencers, media and advocates within your website in an easy to find location. Also, ensure that you have an accessible and clear press section within your website. Press releases should be SEO-friendly web pages–not just PDF downloads. Also, don’t believe that your homepage as the only front door to your website–it isn’t. Check your web analytics for your top 25 landing pages. There is a chance that your homepage isn’t even #1.
  • Social media is important to B2B and membership marketing. This is true for B2C and B2B membership communities. Social media plays a large role throughout the relationship. By creating a smart and on-going social media strategy, you can help acquire, nurture and retain members. Using a marketing automation solution, you can centralize your efforts around lead generation and social media in a single CRM database. Social media may not be your last touch conversion, but it could be your first…And it could play a significant role throughout the relationship. This is especially true for existing members within your community.
  • Landing page best-practices. Remember to design the content of your landing pages to specifically relate to the offer and message of your online ad. This should be true for any form of advertisement: PPC, remarketing or display. The more specific and relevant to the user and the ad the better. Landing pages should not be “all things to all people.” And, remember landing pages must include a call-to-action. Speak about the benefits of your membership community in clear and simple terms that are easily understood.
  • Offer incentives to expand your email list. Email lists are also extremely useful for building members. Many in your email list may be interested, but have not found the time or precise reason to join and become a full member. You have the opportunity with your email marketing efforts to nurture these relationships. Try to expand the size of your email list by offering incentives like a chance to win a prize or VIP access to an upcoming event.
  • Responsive website design is critical to email marketing. The majority of all emails are opened on a mobile device. For this reason alone, your membership website needs to mobile responsive.

More marketing tips for membership websites and associations

It is important to remember that your membership website or community needs to both attract new members, as well as retain existing members. Digital marketing does not just apply to acquisition for membership websites. You need to market to existing members as well–continually showing them the value of membership. Lead nurturing and customer nurturing need to be interwoven throughout your content and marketing/communication efforts.

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Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency and lead generation agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.