Marketing That Works While You Sleep

How the Texas Society of Association Executives found an instant marketing team that delivered fast results.

We all dream of making money in our sleep, but we’ll settle for getting work done without being glued to our desks.

That’s what Josh Spradling, a 13-year veteran at the Texas Society of Association Executives, was looking for when his small-but-mighty team of six needed to augment its marketing efforts. “We use direct mail and emails as part of our marketing mix, but in 2019, we knew we needed a digital tool to help us increase attendance at our annual conference,” he explains.

Time to Target Retargeting

The goal was to convert likely attendees and expand TSAE’s reach to new ones, Spradling says. “We wanted to grab people who didn’t know us all that well, and who we didn’t know all that well. Maybe they had passed through our website or a competitor’s site or those of similar sister organizations. We were looking for a platform that allowed us to retarget them and get them information about our upcoming events no matter where they were on the internet.”

Enter Feathr, a digital marketing toolkit that helps busy association professionals manage membership, event and sponsorship campaigns in one place.

The initial retargeting campaign that TSAE ran not only served up great results but also provided peace of mind for Spradling. “What I really like is that your marketing is working 24/7,” he says. “When we send out an email, there’s pretty much a one-hour window during which people may see it and open it. Similar with that brochure when it hits their mailbox. But here, people are visiting your site and other sites at all hours of the day, and this platform is running in the background all the time—even when you’re sleeping, which I think is really nice.”

Driving Revenue and Awareness

Besides driving traffic to TSAE’s site, there were unexpected benefits that came with retargeting, Spradling points out. “We had very involved users and board members reach out to tell us they were excited to see our ads appearing on various sites,” he notes. “It showed them that we were evolving and trying new things, and also served as a reminder that we’re always here for them.”

Since that first retargeting campaign, Spradling says that TSAE has found simple-yet-effective ways to utilize more of the tool’s capabilities.

“Cart abandonment has been an issue for us,” he explains. “People poke around the site, add event registrations to their carts, then drag their feet on checking out for a variety of reasons, such as needing manager approval for the expense.” Retargeting allows the system to follow these visitors and target them with unique ads to complete their transaction before critical registration deadlines.

“I think associations were a little hesitant to adopt this type of strategy because there was this idea that it was a little creepy,” says Spradling. “But Amazon has normalized it, and people are comfortable knowing that we’re trying to provide them with information that is relevant to the association and their careers.”

Feathr has been so effective for converting purchases that TSAE is now considering offering these capabilities to event sponsors. “We’re talking to Feathr about the option to sell or give packages to high-dollar sponsors that allow them to do some retargeting of their own.”

Tech That Helps Associations Help People

Feathr isn’t just a tool, Spradling says, it’s an extension of the association’s marketing team. Having this resource to create and place ads has opened up time for TSAE’s core team to focus on its overall mission of providing unparalleled programming, information and events to members. “We’re a family-oriented organization,” Spradling says, “We have 1,000 members, and everyone knows each other. And as things begin to turn around with vaccines, we’re optimistic that events will ramp back up and we can continue our work helping to make each member a little better at their jobs, no matter where they are on their journey.”

Feathr has thought of everything to help get associations up and running with digital advertising. Their dedicated flock of experts advise on unique revenue generating campaigns, campaign best practices, and graphic designer concierge services to ensure successful campaigns. Partnering with Feathr will ensure your association’s success for years to come.

(Jade Scarlato)