The online portal is the first place your members go to engage with your association. Members go to the online portal to renew their membership, get involved in a committee, sign up for an event, earn a certificate, and so much more. Since the online portal is where members spend the most time, it should serve them accordingly. If the member portal is confusing to navigate or outdated, members can get frustrated and choose to not engage. By providing your members with an online portal that is branded, intuitive, and easy to access they are able to get involved on their own terms.
Your organization likely has a website - one that someone on your team or a marketing firm spent quite a bit of time designing. It captures your brand standards while demonstrating your mission. It’s where people go to learn more about your organization, discover the value your membership offers, or peruse any events you’re hosting.
Wouldn’t it be nice if your online portal echoed the look and feel of your website?
With an intuitive online portal, you can do just that. Repurpose the design elements from your marketing site in your online portal; use the same fonts, same colors, and similar imagery. When you do this, your constituents will naturally know where to find things because it’s familiar to them. When you’re able to customize your member portal to mirror the branding of your association, members know they’re in the right place. This removes any guesswork and allows you to maintain the brand of your organization.
What if your member portal knew basic information about your members and then acted accordingly? With information available online and through social media, your contact profiles become more robust and accurate. If a member logs in with their social media accounts, their contact information is filled out for them, creating one less step for members to complete. The added bonus? Your staff now has the most up-to-date information.
Let’s say your organization offers different pricing for various membership packages depending on a set of criteria about the applicant. Not a problem - with a smart portal, the applicant can enter all of their relevant information and will then be presented with the appropriate price. This is great for organizations that offer special pricing for members in developing countries or maybe incentivized pricing for students or young professionals.
For many organizations, offering guides and journals as a way to share expertise is a major benefit to members. With a smart portal, you can limit access to those documents based on a member’s active status, creating exclusivity. With automated workflows determined by criteria presets, access is granted to the right people automatically, so your members aren’t kept waiting and your staff has more time to focus on bigger initiatives.
With an intuitive member portal, you can also limit access to specific portal pages based on various criteria. For example, if you have a member who is involved in a committee, they will automatically have access to the committee pages they need to engage. If a member signs up for an event, they will be given access to event pages within your portal. With fewer hoops for your members to jump through to get involved, they’re more likely to keep engaging.
Want to provide members-only pricing for merchandise in your online store? No problem.
A smart portal knows your members’ level of membership and provides access to their benefits such as resources, documents, and member pricing on events and merchandise. Focus on creating more value for your members and sit back while they’re automatically provided access to your association.
With an easy-to-access member portal, your members are able to engage anywhere, at any time. If your online portal is mobile-friendly, members can access it from the device they use the most.
In a social world, it’s important that your constituents can log into your portal with the credentials they love to use. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn - when your online portal allows members to use their social logins to access their association membership, they can log in quickly. The best part? It’s one less password for your members to remember.
An easy-to-access online portal also allows members to save their payment methods, making it easier for them to sign up for events or renew their membership all without having to pull out their wallet.
With quick renew, your members no longer have to refill their membership form when membership renewal comes along. Streamline the process for your members with an easy-to-access online portal that automatically fills out their membership form with the information from the year before. When the renewal process is easier, it’s more likely to happen.
The bottom line? Your online portal can make or break the member experience. By providing your members with an online portal that follows your branding, is intuitive, and easy-to-access, you’re holding up your end of the bargain – providing the best member experience possible.
Emma is the Marketing Manager at Rhythm. When she's not thinking about all things content-related, you can find her traveling or shooting 35 mm film.