Transforming the Digital Presence of a Leading Membership Association

Background: A prominent national membership association faced significant challenges with its outdated website. The site suffered from a lack of design appeal, minimal interactive features, extensive complaints from members and the board, and an inflexible structure that hindered growth and expansion. Members struggled to access resources efficiently, leading to decreased engagement and satisfaction.

Objective: The association aimed to overhaul its digital presence with a new website that was built on a more flexible content management system, visually appealing, user-friendly, and capable of seamless integration with its Association Management System (AMS) for streamlined data management and enhanced member services.

Solution: Partnering with Etchasoft and relying on their 20+ years of membership association web design experience, the association embarked on a comprehensive website redesign project. The association web development team appreciated Etchasoft approach to challenging the status quo and the probing “use-case” type questions during the process.  The new site focused on:

  • Engaging Design: Implementing a modern, visually appealing design that captures members’ interest and encourages deeper engagement.
  • Interactive Features: Introducing interactive elements such as resource access tools, videos, quick links and event & education promotion.
  • Single Sign-On (SSO): Integrating SSO functionality to simplify access to various resources, enhancing the experience for both members and staff.
  • AMS Integration: Seamlessly connecting the website with the organization’s AMS, enabling a single point of data entry for managing products, events, education, and other resources. This integration allowed for efficient content sharing across the platform, streamlining marketing efforts and data management.

Results: The launch of the new website marked a significant turning point for the association. Members now enjoy quick and easy access to resources, improved interaction with the community, and a more engaging online experience. The integration with the AMS has significantly reduced administrative burdens, allowing for more focused efforts on member services and growth strategies. The association has seen a notable increase in member satisfaction, engagement, and retention, positioning it for continued success in its mission.

Conclusion: This transformation exemplifies the power of strategic digital innovation in enhancing member value and organizational growth. The association’s commitment to improving its digital footprint has set a new standard for membership organizations aiming to thrive in the digital age.

Study Association Needs Website Development and Strategy & Development Assistance

Background: An international trade association faced challenges with its digital strategy, attempting to cater to both consumers and members within a single, confusing website architecture. The association aimed to promote its members to consumers while providing valuable resources, marketing benefits, education, and certifications to its members.

Challenge: The initial attempt to revamp the website with a company inexperienced in membership organizations led to recommendations that missed the mark. The association needed a partner that understood the unique dynamics of a non-profit serving both direct consumers and members.

Solution: Etchasoft emerged as the ideal partner, proposing a dual-website strategy to distinctly serve each audience. This approach involved:

  • Consumer-Focused Website: Designed to inspire and inform consumers about the industry, featuring promotional content and member locator tools to connect consumers with member companies in their area.
  • Member-Focused Website:: Dedicated to serving the association’s members, with targeted content, resources, marketing benefits, education, and certification opportunities, all tailored to enhance the member experience.

Both sites were engineered to share content through a single point of entry, allowing for efficient content management while presenting it in audience-appropriate formats. Etchasoft also implemented an online learning system for member education and certification, alongside metrics to track lead generation activity from the member locator as a tangible membership benefit.

Results: The dual-website strategy significantly improved user experience for both consumers and members, eliminating previous confusion and enhancing engagement. The association now benefits from:

  • Clear separation of content, optimizing user interaction for each target audience.
  • Increased lead generation for members, with measurable metrics to demonstrate value.
  • Enhanced educational offerings through an accessible online platform.

Ongoing Partnership: The association relies on Etchasoft for continuous website enhancement and support, setting annual goals and budgets to introduce new features and functionality. Feedback-driven updates have simplified the member site UI, integrated member database features have replaced outdated systems, and leads from the consumer site now feed into a drip marketing campaign, generating additional sales for members.

Conclusion: This case study highlights the importance of a tailored digital strategy for membership organizations, demonstrating how a specialized approach can resolve complex challenges, enhance member value, and drive industry engagement. The partnership between the trade association and Etchasoft continues to evolve, ensuring the digital presence meets the growing needs of both the association and its diverse audiences.

Life Cycle Development from Website to Custom Databases and Systems

Client Overview: An international trade association faced the challenge of modernizing its digital infrastructure within a constrained budget. Initially requiring a new website, the association’s vision extended to include a comprehensive suite of online services, including a member database, online education, dues management, event registration, and certification tracking.

Challenge: With limited financial resources for the initial development phase, the association needed a development partner who could not only create a robust website but also support the association’s growth with scalable solutions for future needs.

Solution: Etchasoft emerged as the ideal partner, proposing a flexible content management system (CMS) that could serve as a foundational platform for the association’s evolving requirements. This CMS was chosen for its cost-effectiveness and ability to integrate various functionalities over time.

Etchasoft’s strategy involved:

  • Initial Website Development: Launching a user-friendly, informative website that served as the association’s digital hub.
  • Phased Implementation Plan: Collaboratively mapping out annual development goals and budgets to gradually introduce new features.>
  • Custom Tool Integration: Utilizing Etchasoft’s pre-developed tools for associations to add functionalities like a member database, e-learning system, online store, and learning management features.

Results: Over several years, the association’s digital platform transformed into a comprehensive system that supports all aspects of its operations:

  • Comprehensive Member Database: A centralized database tracks all member companies and their employees, enhancing member management and engagement.
  • E-Learning System: An integrated online education platform offers continuous learning opportunities, including a unique management feature for companies to assign and track courses for employees.
  • Online Store and Dues Management: A seamless transaction system for dues, event registration, and merchandise, supporting the association’s financial sustainability.
  • Incremental Development: Each year, the association and Etchasoft review and prioritize new features, ensuring the system remains responsive to the association’s evolving needs.

Conclusion: The partnership with Etchasoft has enabled the international trade association to strategically develop its digital presence and operational capabilities within budget constraints. This phased, goal-oriented approach has not only met the association’s immediate needs but also laid the groundwork for ongoing expansion and enhancement of its digital ecosystem. The association now boasts a dynamic, integrated platform that supports its mission, serves its members, and facilitates growth and engagement on a global scale.

Enhancing Member Engagement and Functionality for a Professional Association

Background: A professional medical association embarked on a significant digital transformation by implementing a new, enterprise level Association Management System (AMS) to streamline operations and member management. However, the AMS lacked website content management functionality, creating a gap in the association’s ability to offer a comprehensive digital experience for its members and staff. Additionally, the association sought to enhance its website with features to promote their members and other professional opportunities that support the industry, which the AMS could not provide in a cost-effective manner.

Challenge: The association needed a partner and solution that could integrate seamlessly with the new AMS, providing an enriched user experience for members, staff, and content sharing. They also required specialized website functionalities to effectively market their members and professional opportunities, alongside creating social areas for their board, committees, and ad-hoc work groups.

Solution: Etchasoft, known for its expertise in AMS integration and web development, was contracted to bridge this gap. Leveraging their existing solutions, Etchasoft was able to offer a cost-effective, enhanced website content management system (CMS)that the AMS system alone could not provide. The CMS implemented by Etchasoft included:

  • Seamless AMS Integration: Ensuring that members and staff could easily access and manage information.
  • Promotional Tools: Innovative features to promote members and professional opportunities, enhancing visibility and engagement.
  • Social Areas: Dedicated spaces for the board, committees, and ad-hoc groups to collaborate and communicate effectively.
  • User-Friendly Interface: An integrated UI that was intuitive for members to navigate, enhancing the overall user experience without incurring additional costs.

Results The solution implemented by Etchasoft’s transformed the association’s digital presence. Members now enjoy a seamless, integrated experience that aligns with the association’s mission to provide value and opportunities. The enhanced marketing functionalities have significantly increased the visibility of members, available internships and revenue leading to greater engagement and participation. The social areas have fostered a sense of community and collaboration among the association’s various groups, contributing to a more vibrant and active organization.

Conclusion This case study demonstrates the importance of selecting the right technology partner to complement and enhance existing systems. By choosing Etchasoft, the association not only filled the functionality gap left by their AMS but also added valuable features that improved the overall member experience and engagement, all within a cost-effective framework that is readily available for expansion. This strategic approach to digital transformation has set the association on a path to continued growth and success.

Association Augments Staff with Technical Experts to Save Staff Frustration and Time

Client Overview: A leading national association with a vast membership base faced significant digital hurdles. Their website, a crucial hub for resources, events, and educational programs, was not meeting the needs of their members due to outdated design, inefficient content management, and lack of modern functionality. The organization did not have the technical resources on staff to support such needs and the staff was frustrated by wanting to get things completed while not having the technical expertise or experience it required.

Client Challenges:

  1. Website Updates and Formatting: The association struggled with keeping the website current and visually appealing. Content updates were cumbersome, and new pages lacked professional design and formatting as the staff just did not have the knowledge or experience to handle such work. It was frustrating for staff, impacting the site’s overall effectiveness as well as limiting the staff’s overall workload.
  2. Programming Needs: Custom programming was often required to introduce new features or enhance functionality, but the association lacked the internal capabilities to implement these improvements.
  3. Site Design Issues: The website’s outdated design failed to provide an engaging user experience or align with modern web trends, detracting from member engagement.
  4. Reporting and Data Updates: The association needed a more effective way to manage and report on member data and engagement, as existing systems were disjointed and inefficient.

Client Challenges:

  1. Ongoing Website Maintenance: Etchasoft dedicated a team to manage routine updates, ensuring the website remained current and informative, enhancing the site’s look and feel through professional layouts and formatting.
  2. Custom Programming Support: Etchasoft provided on-demand programming services, allowing the association to bring innovative ideas to fruition without overburdening internal staff.
  3. Redesigned User-Friendly Website: A comprehensive audit led to a redesigned website that was modern, responsive, and user-friendly, significantly improving the member experience.
  4. Reporting and Data Management: Etchasoft implemented a robust reporting system and streamlined data management processes, enabling the association to track engagement and maintain an accurate member database effectively.
  5. Proactive Technical Support: With experience building and supporting websites and data systems for many associations, Etchasoft is able to listen to the ideas from the association staff and turn them into functional areas on the website.

Results:
The partnership with Etchasoft transformed the association’s digital presence:

  • Reduced Staff Frustration: The new arrangement allows staff to work directly with Etchasoft to share ideas, review concepts and get new content and features added to the website. Additionally, the association staff is able to focus more on higher value member benefit tasks and functions.
  • Enhanced Member Engagement: The redesigned website and improved functionality led to a noticeable increase in member satisfaction and engagement.
  • Efficient Data Management: The association now benefits from streamlined data processes, allowing for more personalized and effective member communication.
  • Streamlined Reporting: Access to detailed engagement and activity reports has empowered the association to make data-driven decisions and improve member services.
  • Reduced Technical Downtime: Proactive support and maintenance have significantly reduced website issues, ensuring a consistent and reliable digital experience for members.
  • Cost Savings: Outsourcing to Etchasoft proved more economical and effective than expanding internal IT resources, allowing the association to allocate funds to other member-focused initiatives.

Conclusion:
The national association’s decision to partner with Etchasoft for their digital needs marked a pivotal step in overcoming many challenges. The comprehensive solutions provided not only revitalized their website but also streamlined their operations, enhanced member engagement, and ensured a robust digital presence. This strategic partnership has set a new standard for how associations can leverage technology to serve their members better and advance their mission.