How the Right Tech Helped Drive Conference Revenue for this Association

One association marketing pro breaks down the power of “set-it-and-forget-it” retargeting tech.

When smart people and the right tech come together, anything can happen. In the case of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, when its marketing team and the retargeting platform Feathr joined forces, it led to new sources of revenue during the past three years.

Like many association marketing professionals, Sarah Dopf, MS, Senior Marketing Specialist at AACD, routinely finds herself pulled in a million directions at once. From social media campaigns to website content curation to event promotions, she and her fellow marketing team members manage a ton of initiatives that have important make-or-break details requiring attention. When the pandemic crushed the association’s events schedule, they found themselves with an additional pressing need: to find a new revenue stream to replace that cavity in the financials.

That was when the association marketing platform Feathr stopped being just an occasionally used tool for AACD and became a vital resource. A rep from Feathr suggested that the organization use the platform to sell retargeting campaigns to its sponsors to make up for some of the event losses. At first, Dopf wasn’t sure if sponsors would go for the new offering or even understand what this retargeting opportunity meant. But in a short time, AACD sold about $10,000 worth of remarketing. Sponsors not only understood it, they loved it, says Dopf. “It’s nice to be able to send our sponsors a live link that they can check whenever they want to see the progress of their campaign,” she explains. “Everyone on the Feathr team—especially our rep Alison Coman—is so amazing at helping us communicate with partners asking specific targeting questions about campaigns.” It’s those tiny details that make all the difference, she adds.

As increasing vaccination rates allow for more business opportunities every day, AACD has a big, new goal. “We want to increase our membership numbers and drive conference registrants for our first in-person conference in three years,” says Dopf. “Increasing our numbers is a win-win for both the academy and our members. The education and resources that members have access to allows them to take on more complex cases, which in turn increases their revenue,” she explains. “It’s very rewarding to be able to help others bounce back in a time like this.”

The association is also crediting Feathr’s ability to retarget members and non-members who abandon their conference registrations as a driver of its success. “I think people visit the site and want to start registering for courses, but they stop because they want to consult with their associates and team members to figure out who’s going to which course and things like that. And then they lose track and forget to follow through,” she explains. “But Feathr provides a friendly reminder with retargeting ads that have proved very effective.” In fact, Dopf reports that nearly 2,000 registrants for their past three annual conferences interacted with their Feathr retargeting campaigns. At an average of $2,000 per registration, that represents significant revenue that could have otherwise been lost.

Feathr’s ease of use allows Dopf and her team to take a “set-it-and-forget-it” approach to many of these initiatives, giving them more time and energy to devote to their most important asset of all: their members. “I love communicating with our members and working with the feedback they provide us,” she says. “Feathr has been a great resource to help us do that. It’s gratifying to offer something that can really help dental professionals bounce back [from the pandemic].”

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 and provide graphic design and implementation services to ensure successful marketing campaigns. Partnering with Feathr will ensure your association’s success for years to come.


(Nick Fewings)