Eight ideas for improving user engagement through digital transformation & effective website design
When you get people to sign up to your website, you want them to do more than that; you want them to engage. Check our ideas for ensuring using your users to engage with you, in a way that works both for them, and for your organisation:
1. Make sure that your meetings and events are properly promoted via social media, email and your website. Make sure that for those who can’t attend your events, they are able to follow online, by having a hashtag on Twitter which people can follow, and post thoughts and ideas, and by regularly updating Facebook and Instagram.
2. Don’t let your meetings and events just be a stand-alone occasion; put content about the event on your website for members to download afterwards, ask for feedback on how your events could be better and hold additional follow up meetings to continue the conversation.
3. Keep in regular email contact; this can be a bigger factor than the website design itself in getting people to do what you want. While the volume of emails that we all receive nowadays means you do have to be careful how you do it, members are far more likely to check their emails everyday than they are your website!
4. Make sure your emails excel. It’s important to have a nice, clear format and relevant information; but you can go further and make sure to target your readers. For example, don’t send information about a women’s event to all your members, send it to members you know are women. You can also get users to tick what they’re interested in when they first sign up to even more carefully target your correspondence. This will also help with your click rate; if members are only receiving emails about subjects they care about, they’ll know it’s worthwhile to open their emails from you, and are therefore less likely to ignore them.
5. Make sure your website design is clear and accessible. This is another piece of advice that sounds simple to do but is much easier said than done; if you have someone in-house who is a designer, then that’s fabulous, but otherwise it might be worth looking at hiring an agency. Good design it about a lot more than just nice colours (although that’s important), it’s about making a site which your members can use easily and which they enjoy using. If it’s a struggle to access the information they want because of a clunky design, well, that’s somewhat going to get in the way of them engaging with you.
6. With membership organisations particularly, a large part of why your members are involved isn’t just to interact with you, but to interact with each other. Have online mechanisms for your members to communicate with other members, for example, a forum or a comment section on a blog. You can also facilitate discussion on Twitter, by asking people to tweet along with certain topics, and through the comments on your facebook page.
7. Encourage users to post their own blogs. Whilst this may require editing and moderation, having members post their own pieces can be a really fun and interactive way for them to get involved and feel like they are getting something out of being part of your organisation – in this case, that you are giving them a valuable platform – while creating content for you!
8. Make sure your website design empowers you to control and manage the pathway through the site to guide members through the story that you want to tell. While you want your members to get what they want from your website, you also want them to engage with the content and ideas that you want them to see. This means you need to lead them through the site in a way which works for you, as well as them.