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International Society for Technology and Education (ISTE): Membership Engagement Marketing 

Head­quar­tered in Wash­ing­ton D.C., ISTE is a mem­ber­ship-based orga­ni­za­tion that orig­i­nal­ly began through the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ore­gon while pro­mot­ing tech­nol­o­gy in the class­room and attempt­ing to bet­ter under­stand how that process impacts edu­ca­tion. They came to GRAYBOX because they were look­ing for a fresh approach to genat­ing more engage­ment from their mem­ber­ship and to sig­nif­i­cant­ly increase con­ver­sions for their annu­al conference.

Overall Outcome

ISTE part­nered with GRAY­BOX’s mar­ket­ing and cre­ative prac­tices to improve key areas of their mar­ket­ing oper­a­tion to meet the orga­ni­za­tion’s objec­tives around their con­fer­ence and mem­ber­ship engagement. 

The Results

GRAYBOX improved mem­ber­ship engage­ment by demon­strat­ing the impor­tance of being an ISTE mem­ber over time — thus increas­ing renew­al rates — and revamped their lead cap­ture strate­gies to gen­er­ate more inter­est in their annu­al con­fer­ence, at a low­er cost.

  • 24%
    Increase in conference registrations over their target
  • $15k
    Dollars saved in effectively managing paid and granted advertising accounts to support goals
  • 4
    Number of new marketing channels accessible to ISTE to gain engagement through events and membership

The Overall Problem

ISTE came to GRAYBOX after a handful of their marketing initiatives had stagnated. They were looking for a partner who could support them in marketing strategy, execution of ongoing SEO and advertising iniativies, making improvements to their marketing operations, all with a keen eye towards data analysis.

Work­ing with GRAYBOX has been a great deci­sion for us. They are col­lab­o­ra­tive and not only pro­vide great exe­cu­tion and deliv­ery but also strate­gic rec­om­men­da­tions on how we can upskill our team to do more of the work our­selves in the future. The SEO analy­sis and opti­miza­tion project we con­duct­ed with them helped us quick­ly pri­or­i­tize resources to make an impact on our site per­for­mance. I look for­ward to expand­ing our rela­tion­ship with the GRAYBOX team in sup­port of our busi­ness goals!

Klaire Marino, Head of Marketing, ISTE

Our Solution

1. Member Analysis

GRAYBOX always starts with gaining an understanding of our partners’ users. For ISTE, potential and existing members are the key group that form the backbone of the organization. It was clear from our discussions with ISTE that their annual conference that takes place each summer, while extraordinarily successful, was typically a “blip” of engagement instead of the launching off point for engagement through the rest of the school year. GRAYBOX dove into customer personas and the organizations’s existing communications streams to determine what the gaps were, where there were ways of streamlining them, and whether or not there were opportunities for cost savings.

2. Effective Advertising Management

One of the key discoveries was that ISTE was spending advertising dollars on too narrow a set of channels and were over-spending on branded terms. We supported their team in first securing a Google Grant and set it up to effectively levearge the “free” money through the grant for branded terms, so they could spend “real” dollars on acquisition efforts from audiences who weren’t already looking for “ISTE” through search. GRAYBOX also expanded ISTE’s reach via new marketing channels including traditional text and display search in addition to targeted social on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The efforts on social reinforced communications via other channels like email to expand the knowledge base around new ISTE events throughout the year and more widespread professional certification programs throughout the country.

3. On-site Conversion Optimization

The ISTE website needed to appeal to a wide variety of audiences, from current and potential members, funders, and government organizations alike. As it does in many cases, this caused a dilution of key messages throughout the site and confusion for many users. GRAYBOX implemented a handful of key conversion optimization efforts targeted around key goals. These started with the installation and analysis of on-site usability via anonymized heat map data that, along with our recommendations, provided real insight into how ISTE users were interacting with the website. The GRAYBOX team then collaborated with the ISTE team to implement key changes to pages throughout the site — from the section selling educational publications to those talking about member tiers — to reduce confusion and increase on-page engagement.

4. Reporting & Analytics

GRAYBOX believes that you only get what you measure. In ISTE, we had a partner who already took a very data-driven approach to making decisions and utilization of technology to inform those decisions. To support new reporting initiatives, the GRAYBOX team implemented more comprehensive tracking of on-site engagement and provided new visibility into key words and phrases that the organization wanted to rank well for. Cutting across all of this, GRAYBOX utilized comprehensive reporting through tools such as Google Data Studio to report, visualize, and analyze the data for key internal audiences at ISTE.

Our Services

GRYBOX engaged with ISTE in Membership Engagement & Conference Conversion Marketing

The Results

ISTE now has a highly-optimized marketing operation that aligns goals with specific marketing channels and strategies to support the organization's goals

GRAYBOX was able to work with ISTE across multiple stakeholder groups to improve member engagement, help increase conference attendeees by 24%, and more effectively utilize marketing funds to meet objectives.

  • 24%
    Increase in conference registrations over their target
  • $15k
    Dollars saved in effectively managing paid and granted advertising accounts to support goals
  • 4
    Number of new marketing channels accessible to ISTE to gain engagement through events and membership