Association marketing professional Julianne Ryder explains how the right tech empowered her small team to make a big impact.
Every sector within the association world has been affected by the pandemic, but for the members of the United Motorcoach Association, business came to a screeching halt in an instant. “The shutdown was almost immediate for motorcoach operators at the onset of Covid because people weren’t taking group travel,” recalls Julianne Ryder, director of marketing and communications at the United Motorcoach Association. “It was just devastating to our industry.”
In response to the financial crunch experienced by the 700 companies that make up UMA’s membership, the board of directors decided to waive all membership dues starting in April 2020. That gave much-needed relief to existing members, says Ryder, and “it also allowed us to bring in companies that had not been members before and needed our services very badly.”
In addition to suspending dues, UMA also threw itself into advocating for the CERTS Act, a direct relief program for the private bus and motorcoach industry, and was a big part of this first-of-its-kind legislation passing in Congress. “That was a pretty big victory,” says Ryder. “That money is now flowing into our member’s accounts, which is very positive for their ability to stay in business.” Ryder takes great pride in the bill’s passage, and in UMA’s ability to deliver value and support when its members needed it most.
As motorcoach companies move toward safely re-opening operations, the UMA is reengaging with its community and revitalizing its dues-based revenue stream with the retargeting platform Feathr.
“We knew Feathr would be great for this because we have used them in the past to promote meetings,” says Ryder. “The platform allows me to automate a lot of our marketing and also control my spend and which type of ads we’re using very quickly and easily. And we see again that we are getting a lot of clicks and conversions with this membership dues campaign.”
Ryder is also leveraging Feathr for an advertiser-based revenue stream. Since the pandemic hit, the UMA transitioned from print to all-digital publications and newsletters for its members, and Feathr is helping advertisers make that transition as well. “It took a little time, but we were able to authenticate our digital audience and have been successful in getting a couple of companies on board to try it out,” she explains. “We can guarantee their impressions and a certain timeframe that their ad will run, and Feathr allows them to check the status of their program. It is very simple to use and basically sells itself at that point.”
“Sometimes when you’re using a new technology platform and you have a small staff, you can feel a little lost, but Feathr never let that happen to us,” she says. And with its support, Ryder and the rest of the UMA team can put more time and energy into delivering on their mission. “It means a lot to know that our efforts help these companies continue to be successful, because that is why we exist. And with a small staff like ours, it’s more of a challenge, but we feel an obligation to make sure that people are getting value for their membership dollars.”
Feathr has thought of everything to help get associations up and running with digital advertising. Its dedicated flock of experts advises on unique revenue-generating campaigns and provides graphic design and implementation services to ensure successful marketing campaigns. Partnering with Feathr ensures your association’s success for years to come.
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