Your YMCA Website Is Your Membership Machine

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 A web site is more than a "nice to have' feature at the local YMCA.  Today's consumers expect you to have a website and they expect the site to be beautiful and easy to use.

In addition to being your digital image, it should also be your virtual sales person. Your website should be a Membership Machine.  

The "average" YMCA member has a lifetime value of $3,500.  So it is important that your website functions as a virtual sales person.

Consumers visit your website initially to be educated.  Remember when you would visit a new car showroom to learn about this year's models? Traditionally you arrived at the dealership knowing 20% about this year's models.  Expecting the salesperson to fill in the 80% of the product knowledge that you didn't have.  This visit was the educational part of the decision making process.

Today's consumers arrive at the dealership already possessing 80% of the knowledge and the sales person's responsibility is to fill in the 20% of missing product knowledge.

Your website has to become the educational portion of the sale.  

Your website should help you fight for every dollar available in your community.  It is doubtful that there is "one" competitor that is cutting into your revenues.  It is "death by a thousand cuts".

So think, who is your competition in the marketplace? It's not other YMCAs, but almost every community has a walk-in 24 hour workout facility...  Every community has a swimming pool families can join...  Every community has Zumba classes and child care and...

What makes your YMCA a better choice?  Use your website to educate the site visitor.  Become the online expert in spin classes and Zumba. Educate consumers that you offer free child care while they work out.  Tell them that you have family hours at the swimming pool and then make it easy for them to do business with you.

One of the most powerful tools at your disposal is is the Free Day/Week Pass. Let the prospect "sample" the product and then make the sale.  I learned this years ago at Hickory Farms.  Dick Ransom, the founder, learned that if he gave visitors a taste of Uncle Walt's Cheddar and Beefstick, they were much more likely to buy.  The Free Day/Week pass allows visitor to sample the product and services available at their local YMCA.  Does your website allow visitors to sign up for a free Day Pass?

More importantly, does it ask the visitor for their name and email address?  Then automatically send them an email thanking them for their interest in their local YMCA? Then send them an email 5 days later asking if they had visited yet? And how did they enjoy the visit? And did they have any questions?  And five days later send them an email explaining.... 

The type of marketing is called Drip Email.  It is automated and activated the minute the visitor enrolls in the process by asking for a Day Pass. This is one of the hallmarks of having a website that is a Membership Machine.

Is your CMS easy to use?  When the idea or motivation strikes to add new content or programs to your website, do you look forward to diving in?  Or does everyone look at each other and draw straws to see who has to tackle this chore? Perhaps you should look at a new CMS...  It is hard for your website to be a Membership Machine if the CMS isn't easy to use

If your website is not a Membership Machine, I invite you to take a test drive of a new ySite.  

Call us at 419-776-7000 or email us and we will make it happen!