Private Club Website Challenges
If you’re among the few private clubs today who have a waiting list from now until eternity and attracting new members is not a concern, congratulations! For the majority of clubs, this is not the case and for these clubs, the website can, and should, be the top resource for attracting and converting interested prospective members.
However, most private club websites today are built by technology companies that are focused on operational efficiencies and membership events. They are not focused on attracting, engaging and converting future members. This is because most club websites are built using a templated design - a template that may be used by multiple other clubs around the country. This makes it difficult to differentiate your club and highlight its unique culture and attributes. As a result, these websites are not aiding the potential member as they try to learn more about your club.
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Adapting Your Website To Match What The Buyer Needs
Your website matters because it’s more than an online brochure for your club. It’s a valuable marketing and sales tool that is critical to growing your membership. Your website is exactly what your prospective members need to get to know who you are and determine if they’ll fit in. To do this effectively, it’s important that you view your website from the perspective of the visitor’s needs, not solely by the information features and amenities you feel you need to share.
Clubs that successfully generate abundant new membership leads through their websites are doing so by considering the needs of the visitor. Designing websites for the buyer needs means giving prospects helpful content and resources based on their stage of consideration.
With attention spans today at an all time low, it's important that your website connect with today's buyer immediately by easily distinguishing your unique service offerings. You have less than a second to make that initial connection on your home page.
Three Quick Wins
Don’t worry, you don’t have to undertake an expensive and time-consuming website redesign to make significant improvements. Here are a few steps you can take today:
1. Deploy a “Pop-up” Form
A “Pop-Up” form can be a simple way to answer visitor questions, collect information and interact with prospective members. These pop-ups can be used to showcase a seasonal promotion, a financing program, or a trial membership. Or it can simply promote what’s unique and different about your club, like your reciprocity program, for example. The intent of a pop-up is to capture email addresses so you can begin nurturing a lead. Once the visitor fills out the form, they automatically receive the content that has been offered through a customized email. Use your website analytics to find your most visited pages. For clubs, this is typically the home page and membership pages. For best results, put the pop-up on these high-traffic pages.
You don’t need a web developer to deploy a pop-up form, they are customizable and they work on any website. This functionality is completely free through HubSpot.
2. Build Out Your Most Important Page
For most clubs, the membership page is the most important page of the website because it is visited the most frequently! Your ability to capture contact information from these page visitors is paramount. They’re looking for information that you have and it begins with a simple call-to-action that invites a visitor to learn more.
The call-to-action could be for pricing, special offers or tours of your club. Once they “opt-in” lead them to a landing page that will provide additional information that will aid their discovery process. Despite the limits of your technology platform, Leadpages, HubSpot, and Unbounce are tools that enable you to create custom landing pages that work with your website. The goal of a landing page is to go beyond a basic “Contact Us” form to provide an easy way for the visitor to engage.
An effective landing page:
- Keeps information simple
- Has a designated form to capture necessary information
- Clearly defines the benefits of the content
- Has a clear call to action
- Uses compelling images; or better yet, video that shares a testimonial
A simple, clear landing page can drive the best conversion rates. Don’t make the visitor work too hard and make it easy for them to provide critical information. Ask for only the details you need to begin engaging with them.
3. Date Before You Marry
One of the most successful ways to do this is to offer access to a Membership Guide. For prospects who aren’t ready to reach out via the “Contact Us” form, having more ways for them to engage with you earlier will generate more leads. For example, in most cases, clubs treat their “Membership” page like any other page, possibly adding a “Contact Us” call-to-action at the bottom of the page. Instead, build out this page with unique content offers, like a Membership Guide, or some of the offers mentioned with “Pop-ups”. Since not all prospective members are ready to reach out to speak to someone, this is a perfect way for them to “date” before making a commitment.