Membership Pro Tip: Help Members Get Back to Business

A newsletter became a free marketing resource for one association’s members to help them reignite their businesses after a particularly difficult time for the travel industry.

The American Bus Association became a central hub for its travel industry members to connect with its tour operator members so they could get back to business after the long pandemic shutdown.

How Does It Work?

The American Bus Association staff puts a question in its newsletter geared for the travel industry: Are you open for business? More specifically, are you open for groups to travel to your attractions and venues?

They ask the travel industry members to contact them; ask them five questions about logistics, requirements, and more; and request a couple of pictures of their destinations so they can put the information in their newsletter showing tour operator members that those attractions are open for business.

“We brought business through for our members,” says Lia Zegeye, ABA’s senior director of membership. “We were able to connect the buyer and the seller.”

Why Is It Effective?

It is a marketing tool for ABA’s members who might not have the financial resources or the capability during this difficult time to market themselves because they don’t know what’s open and what’s not. Making an investment in marketing is difficult right now, Zegeye says, because they might be marketing to an audience that is not open for business yet.

“They’re reaching the right audience through the newsletter and have a sense of the market and who’s actually working right now,” she says. Which helps them gear their marketing strategies in the right direction.

What’s the Benefit?

The benefit for the association is increased member retention and engagement. For members, this answers the “what’s in it for me” question. They might not have the marketing resources yet and ABA is able to put their information out there and they’re able to leverage that.

“This was a minor thing for us to do just putting the information in the newsletter,” Zegeye says. “That way we engage the community when they need us most.”

Do you have a membership pro tip? Please share in the comments or send me an email.

The American Bus Association helped get its members on the road again. (123ducu/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Lisa Boylan

By Lisa Boylan

Lisa Boylan is a senior editor of Associations Now. MORE

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