Recruiting new members is easiest with an 'Online sign-up' page on the website of your association. In this step-by-step guide we will highlight the possibilities and settings of the online sign-up page, this way you can give your new members a flawless sign-up experience.
Content of this step-by-step guide
Checking the settings
We start with the overview of the settings. The settings are divided over two pages:
Online sign-up - general settings for the online sign up through your website
Settings per member status - specific settings per members status
All basic settings for the online sign up of your association can be found at 'settings' > 'online sign-up'. You can find the most important settings under each tab in the top right.
1. General settings
We will start with a couple of general settings for becoming a member online through the website.
Membership confirmation required - This requires the prospect member to confirm the membership using a checkbox
When a member signs up online you can require prospective members to either pay directly with iDeal or send them an invoice for their contribution so they can wire the money through a bank transfer. Of course, if you do not require them to pay immediately you can also have the online sign-up free.
Contribution - Choose if prospective members have to pay their contribution when signing up, and decide how they have to pay.
Workflow - Choose the workflow for the contribution of new members.
2. Accompanying texts
It is important to guide your new prospective members well in the processing of singing up. You can write several accompanying texts and emails under the tab 'accompanying texts'.
Introduction Text - This is the first text that a prospective member will read when they will sign-up online. In the introduction you can explain what a membership at your association entails. How much is the contribution? Will it be paid monthly, yearly or on a different interval? Do you have to pay registration fees? Here you can explain all the information that a prospective member needs to know.
Introduction for Direct Debit Mandate - Do you want collect the contribution through direct debit? Then you need a direct debit mandate from your members. In this field you can explain why a direct debit mandate is necessary for your association and how much and when the contribution will be collected.
Confirmation email - After the prospective member has send their personal information Congressus will send a confirmation email to the new member. In this confirmation email you can thank the prospective members for signing up and potentially explain the next steps in the process.
Final text - Lastly the final text. This text will be shown when the sign up process is finished. Here you can also thank the prospective member for signing up and potentially explain the next steps in the process.
Settings per member status.
Next to the general setting for the online sign up, there are also several settings that you can setup per member status. You can manage the member statuses at 'settings' > 'member statuses'.
1. General settings per member status
Per member status there are a lot of things you can set up. Some of the possibilities is dependant on which Congressus plan your association uses, if your association has one or multiple websites and if your association uses multiple financial entities within Congressus.
2. Contribution and/or registration fees
You decide per member status which contribution amount is asked and what the contribution term is (yearly, quarterly, monthly or only once). You can also ask for registration fees when prospective members sign up.
Contribution - Chose the product that you have created for the contribution for members with this member status.
Contribution term - Choose the term when you will collect the contribution
Registration fees - In case you are asking registration fees from your prospective members you can select the product that you have created here.
Available for online sign up - With this checkbox you indicate if prospective members can sign up for this member status
Proportionally - In case prospective members immediately pay their contribution, you can indicate with this checkbox that the contribution amount needs to be paid proportionally to the remaining period.
Example: In case your contribution term is set to monthly, and somebody becomes a member on the 15th of june, there are still 16 days (including the 15th) remaining in the month. We will then charge the prospective member 16/30 of the contribution amount.
Description - You can give a short description of the member status. This will be shown during the online sign up process in case there are more than one member statuses available for online sign up.
User of the Congressus Enterprise Plan have an extra setting available
Consecutive member status - You can give your members the possibilities to select a different member status when activating their account or when they edit their profile through the website. You can decide which member status a member can edit. Changes made in the member status by the member will immediately go in effect.
3. Checking the field settings
Per member status you can decide which fields can be edited and which fields are mandatory for prospective members to fill out. You can set this up for the online sign-up page, when a members activates their account and when a member edits their profile when they log in your website.
You can find the field settings at 'settings' > 'member statuses'. Click on edit for the member status you want to change and navigate to 'Website field settings'.
Congressus offers multiple different fields in which you can ask information from your (prospective) members. Missing a field? You can always contact our colleagues at Support, through chat or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will happily help you with adding fields to your member administration.
Setting up notifications.
Would you like to receive email notifications when a prospective members signs up, you can set this up at 'settings' > 'notifications' and checking the box 'Online sign-up'.
Testing as a new member
Have you completed all the steps? Then it is now important to double check the process. You can do this by signing up as a prospective member yourself. Go to the webpage where you have placed the online sign up page, go through the process and ask the following questions:
Are the fields correct? Are the proper fields made required?
Are you receiving the correct email? Is it from the correct sender?
In case you have asked for contribution and/or registration fees, are the right amounts shown?
When you require members to pay immediately, is an iDeal transaction started?
Does the association get a notification email when a new member has signed up (when set up?).
Repeat the steps above for every member status that you have made available for online sign up.
Attention: Do not forget to delete the test sign ups from your member administration. Only Congressus can permanently delete members from your member administration. When you reach out to our colleagues on Support through chat or through email@example.com they will happily help you further.
Verifying your account
In case you want to give prospective members access to your website, you have to send them an activation link. This article will explain how you can do this. When the prospective member has clicked on this link, their profile will again be shown to them with their information.