Website Solutions for Trade Associations

Build Member Engagement Through A Flexible, Personalized Digital Experience

Words by Tamrah Chalom, Marketing & Communications Manager
Published March 20, 2024
Last Updated July 8, 2024

Trade associations need flexible, future-proof websites that can scale and accommodate shifting priorities. Especially during election years, an effective website strategy can help associations pivot quickly and respond to political flux while ensuring they stay responsive to members.

Based on our nearly two decades of experience planning, designing, and building smart, effective websites to maximize audience engagement and key conversions, we recommend three strategies to our association clients.

Embrace Simplicity with Clean, Clear, and Relevant Content

Often, one of associations’ biggest website challenges is incorporating a trove of legacy information into a digital-friendly format tailored to fleeting attention spans. Organizations with long histories tend to accumulate an immense amount of content. Over time, this can clutter and obscure current priorities.

Streamlining content, highlighting current priorities, and regularly updating information as needs shift can help associations deliver the most relevant and impactful messaging to their audiences. “Deciding what to remove or update comes down to who the content is serving,” says Senior Account Manager Addison Bailey. “Effective content clearly communicates a call to action.”

At NJI, we use intentional site architecture and clean, bold design to distill the most important content. Grouping outdated content, such as past events, can streamline the user experience while maintaining access for users who might want that information.

Build a Strong Foundation With Flexible Solutions

Designing a flexible website starts with creating a system that caters to the organization’s primary objectives. When building a website from scratch, we conduct extensive discovery efforts including stakeholder interviews, analytics analysis, and user interaction testing to understand who the website serves, why they visit the website, and what the desired outcomes are. Is there a clear call to action? Does the content provide the right information about the association and its industry? “Crafting an experience with a specific outcome in mind is more effective, and the results are easier to track,” says Bailey.

Once an effective foundation is in place, it’s a straightforward process to expand or modify content within a consistent framework. During times of change—especially shifts in policy or politics—associations can rely on a strong website strategy to guide timely responses.

Engage Members With a Personalized Experience

In addition to being a strategic asset for policymaker engagement, association websites are a critical tool for engaging and retaining members. Member portals facilitate personalized, value-driven interactions, offering information and interactive features exclusively for members. Associations can drive membership engagement with personalized notes from leadership, early access to monthly reports, industry insights and resources tailored to members’ needs and preferences, and exclusive events not available on the public-facing website. Member portals also streamline communication, making it easy to consolidate industry and policy updates in one location.

A well-designed website with personalized member portals positions associations to swiftly adapt to evolving priorities and build deeper connections with their members.

Some of our favorite association projects include:

Get in touch for a fresh perspective on how to make your association site a stronger engagement tool.