The right balance of public and member only features on your website can help you entice new members to join while retaining current members. In this blog we’ll take a look at how to decide what to make public and what should be limited to just members.
Many organizations keep their member’s directory private as a benefit for their members. But your directory may be a bigger benefit to your members if it was public. For example if you are an organization of dentists, your members would benefit from more business and traffic from public website visitors, than if the traffic was only from other members.
Using MembershipWorks for your directory already ensures that your members’ email addresses are protected, and your members have control over how much or how little of their contact information they want shown on the directory. So if these were the reasons why your directory was private before, it may be time to revisit the decision. Here are some questions to ask:
- Why do your members join your organization? Is it just to connect with other members members, or is outside lead generation also important?
- Would your members gain more traffic and business from a public directory?
- Do many members join to get access to your directory?
- Would potential members be enticed to join when they see the advertising and traffic your members receive through a public directory?
Before making a switch from a private to public members directory or vice versa, give your members a chance to weigh in on the decision. Explain what you’re considering and why. Then give them the opportunity to give feedback by email, phone or at meetings. This will help you to make the best decision for your organization.
Organizations often like to keep member deals private, the idea being to offer them only to other members. If your members join your organization primarily to receive these deals, then keeping them private may be the right decision. However, if your members join your organization to promote their deal or business, then your members would reap a bigger benefit if your member deals page is public.
Having a public deals page does not exclude you from having member only deals. You or your members can state that the deal is only available to fellow members, even if the information about the deal is public. If a potential member sees a member only deal that interests them, that would entice them to join.
When making pages on your website accessible to members only, it is common to make the entire page member only. But giving potential members a teaser of what members get will encourage them to become members.
To do that, you can make the first few paragraphs on the page public and the rest of it members only. Simply place the
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