Creating a Welcoming Homepage for Prospective Members

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 11:30am -- Jvillage

welcome_mat.jpgYour website is the front door for prospective members. They may have heard about your synagogue from their real estate agent, from new friends at a party or from a colleague at work. And where do they go to check out your synagogue? Chances are the first interaction that they will have with you is through your website. Is your website ready to welcome them and make the best first impression? To help you ensure that you’re giving a warm welcome, below are some important tips from our marketing team:

Use images to break up content and bring words to life. When you walk into your synagogue, are you welcomed with a plywood floor and concrete walls, or do you have a marble walkway that leads you to a warm and welcoming entryway? A great deal of thought and money went into your entry area; your website should have the same quality feel. And, that requires high quality photography. We like these images from Jvillage Network client Valley Beth Shalom. And be sure that the all the images on your website represent different demographic groups (age, race, gender) in your community. It’s important that the images on your website mirror the people in your community!

Start telling your story right away. Using words and imagery, show and tell the story of your synagogue. Are your clergy prominently displayed? Is your calendar updated with services times & locations? Think about what first time visitors are looking for from your synagogue and then make it easy for them to find it. We appreciate how Jvillage Network client Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance uses their homepage to display their unique voice and mission.

Be sure to highlight a landing spot just for prospective members. It doesn’t need to be the entire homepage, but it’s a best practice to have information just for prospective members in a prominent spot on your homepage. We like how Jvillage Network client Jacksonville Jewish center has a “First Visit”” menu item on their homepage. Another idea is to prominently make a block on your homepage called “Welcome” like Jvillage Network client B’nai Jeshurun Congregation.

Balance Content for the needs of current and prospective members. Remember that some of your website viewers will be viewing your website for the first time. If your website is only advertising events and programs for current members, you are not addressing prospective members. It’s best to showcase content for everyone viewing your website, not just members. Don’t miss the opportunity to tell who you are to prospective members. We like how Jvillage Network client Congregation Or Atid speaks to prospective members and their current ones by using inclusive language.

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