More and more fishing clubs are switching to online memberships, providing their existing and potential members with the opportunity to sign up & pay at their convenience.
At Clubmate we work with over 1000+ fishing club volunteers and have identified the most common answers to this question:
We live in a digital age and people have come to expect anytime, anywhere access.
By offering an online joining and renewal process, members & prospects can sign up online from anywhere and at anytime. This means that when someone is interested, they are able to sign up and pay on the spot, instead of having to go through the hassle of downloading forms and returning them in the post.
In addition, when using Clubmate, those responsible for managing your membership admin can also access this information anywhere, anytime – from the second that the application has been completed.
But moving the membership process online isn’t just about making it easier for your members; it also simplifies the admin process, making life much easier for your already overworked volunteers.
Staying COVID safe
With a global pandemic upon us, providing your members with an option for contactless registrations & payments removes the need for unnecessary contact, limits the opportunity for the virus to spread and helps keep both your members and more importantly your volunteers safe from infection.
As recommended by the Angling Trust:
“Clubs and fisheries should employ remote membership options via post and online platforms wherever possible. Support to set up online membership payments is available through Angling Trust partner Clubmate. Contactless payments should be encouraged.”
When you allow members to purchase their membership online, all of their information is automatically captured within your member database (Clubmate). This removes the need for a member of staff or volunteer to spend time transferring the members information into the database, or double checking whether someone has paid or not.
When members complete 80% of your work for you, you can spend less time sat a desk and more time on the bank.
Get paid faster
We are moving closer and closer towards a cashless society and the common expectation is that people can pay for everything by card. So if you are offering online memberships, it’s super important that the member can complete the entire application process by making their payment too.
Clubmate provides the ability for members to pay by debit or credit card at the point of buying their membership, this payment is then automatically reconciled against the members record and the funds go straight to your bank account too. Offering an online payment process makes it far simpler for both the member and your admin staff, since there is no need for the member to go on a hunt for their chequebook or for your volunteers to wait patiently for a payment to turn up.
Improve Data Accuracy
Processing memberships by hand can lead to errors. Admin staff can make mistakes on people’s names, addresses, telephone numbers and much more, especially when transcribing the data from poorly written forms.
With online memberships, members enter all of their details themselves. This ensures that all of the relevant contact information you need is received and correctly recorded. Plus, should a member want to update their own record then they can do it themselves.
Access on the go
When somebody buys a membership with your club, all they want to do is get fishing ASAP. So it’s important to be able to confirm their membership and welcome them aboard as soon as you can.
With online memberships, you can trigger automatic membership confirmation and welcome emails that provide everything the member needs to know about your club (rules, maps, fixture lists etc.) all without having to lift a finger.
With the Clubmate Member app, proof of membership can be supplied electronically via a smartphone and with our photo ID card service, you can also trigger a physical card to be sent direct to the members door too. All with zero involvement from you.
With paper based processes, club administrators are limited to processing admin when they are back at their desk. But what if you could send an email, check a members record or even take a payment from anywhere you are? With the Clubmate Admin app, you can keep on top of your club, its members and its finances whenever it suits you.
Keep your members data safe
When your member provides you with their personal details, they explicitly trust you to keep their information safe and secure. Accepting online memberships via an encrypted system such as Clubmate, ensures that the members details are instantly transferred and stored in the member database – not in an unlocked cabinet by someones desk.
Their data is also backed-up automatically “in the cloud,” ensuring that records can be accessed even if you have a hardware malfunction.
When data is stored securely online, you will also benefit from being able to share secure access with other committee members and bailiffs, ensuring everyone has access to the information they need to know, when they need it.
Attract the next generation of angler
Some demographics are proven to prefer traditional membership processes and some are proven to prefer more modern, online membership processes.
If you want to attract the next generation of angler then you must make it easy for the next generation to join. Asking them to travel to a club or fill out forms and send them in the post, just isn’t going to cut it. They want to get access to services immediately, all from the comfort of their devices. Even if it feels alien to yourself, remember, the younger generation does everything online.
Reduce costs whilst keeping it green
Processing membership using traditional methods often involves lots of printing and posting. This can be costly; not just on the bank balance but to the environment too. Moving your memberships to an online paperless process, removes the need to use up our planets precious resources and reduces your overheads too.
So, if you have any interest in saving volunteers time, increasing membership sales, improving member retention or securing your clubs long term future – why haven’t you moved to online memberships yet?