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CalCPA Case Study

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Case Study about CalCPA on LinkedIn: Building membership with partner messages

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CalCPA Case Study

  1. 1. Marketing SolutionsCalCPACase Study Building membership with LinkedIn Partner Messages“ The ability to carefully choose who receives our messages helps us raise awareness of the value Challenge of CalCPA membership with the right people. • Drive membership among hard-to-reach students LinkedIn targeting is playing an important role • Reach specific demographic group by region and industry in helping us emphasize these benefits with an • Identify targets before they have completed degree audience that is traditionally hard to reach.” program • Deliver in-depth messages about membership benefits Matthew Koontz Communications and Marketing Director, CalCPA Solution • Targetmembers of finance, accounting, and CPA exam groups on LinkedIn • Use one-to-one Partner Messages to cut through message clutter • Provide membership benefit details to increase Reaching out to desirable market impact of message The California Society of Certified Public Accountants, or CalCPA, is the country’s largest state accounting organization Why LinkedIn? and the largest CPA association in California. CalCPA has • Ability to precisely target by professional interests 40,000 members in public practice, private industry, as well as region and industry education and government. A key to the organization’s • Professional audience receptive to messages about future growth is attracting student members, who will career growth become active participants in the association as they • Members self-identify interests and future career plans mature into their careers. • Partner Messages offers one-to-one communication In a bid to boost its student membership, CalCPA removed yearly membership fees for students, allowing them to join Results CalCPA for free if they are full-time or part-time students • 40% open rate for best-performing Partner Messages and have not yet received a bachelor’s degree. “We want • CTRs up to 15% to make student membership a priority,” explains Matthew • Helped contribute to a 47% growth of student Koontz, communications and marketing director for members in three months CalCPA. “By bringing them in as students, they can help • Allowed Linkedin to be one of the top 20 of all web spread the message about accounting as a career choice to referrals to all of CalCPA.org their fellow students and we can also connect them to job opportunities.”
  2. 2. The challenge for CalCPA was getting out the word about the Partner Messages offer more ways to connectfree membership. “We have 14 chapters in California, and CalCPA created a Partner Message with six key reasons forwe’ll have two to three events per week with each chapter,” students to join CalCPA, and a link to a landing page whereKoontz says. “Signing up students at events can be hit or miss students could sign up for membership. The Partner– sometimes they’re very successful in terms of attracting Message was delivered to members of LinkedIn groupsstudents, sometimes they’re not. This led us to seek out otherways to connect with students and tell them more about the relating to finance and accounting, as well as CPA exam prepbenefits of CalCPA membership, like finding a job or getting groups. The combined open rate for the Partner Messagehelp with the CPA exam. We need to help them understand was 40%, with a combined clickthrough rate to the landingthe value of the membership, even if it’s free.” page of 15%. Combined marketing efforts, including the LinkedIn campaign, CalCPA signed up about 1500 new student members between February and April of 2012.Targeting helps identify new-member prospects “The ability to carefully choose who receives our messagesKoontz, working with interactive agency Colsky Media, helps us raise awareness of the value of CalCPA membershipdecided to test online marketing for the first time in a bid to with the right people,” Koontz says. “LinkedIn targeting isreach more students. “Students can be hard to track down,” playing an important role in helping us emphasize theseKoontz explains. “They’re often in classes and have irregular benefits with an audience that is traditionally hard to reach.”schedules, so trying to bring them to events is difficult.”However, tracking down the specific subset of studentsCalCPA needed – that is, California undergraduate studentswith an interest in the accounting profession – was anotherhurdle to overcome.“It’s very difficult to find people in this age range inCalifornia, studying this particular subject,” explains JustinColsky, managing director of Colsky Media. “We alsoadvertised on Facebook, but since the site does not offer acontext of professionals, we didn’t know if our messagewas even reaching the right audience.”LinkedIn, on the other hand, offered a professional audience LinkedIn Partner Message for CalCPAin tandem with targeting capabilities, Colsky said. “Theprofessional focus was more attractive to us, especially sincewe wanted to build a long-term relationship with students LinkedIn Partner Messages, which are delivered individuallywho would soon be pursuing accounting careers.” to LinkedIn members, also help boost impact for marketing campaigns, says Colsky. “We can layer in more details, andLinkedIn’s personalized marketing solutions, such as Partner offer more ways to connect with us,” he explains. “And forMessages, also appealed to Colsky and Koontz. “With a campaigns aimed at a younger demographic, it can cutPartner Message, we could go into detail about the benefits through the clutter, since they are not perceived asof joining CalCPA, which would be more difficult to get advertising.”across in a display ad,” Koontz says. “We could beinformative while also using an informal tone, since it’s a Visit marketing.linkedin.com to learn how other marketersone-to-one message.” have successfully met their marketing objectives. Copyright © 2012 LinkedIn Corporation. LinkedIn, the LinkedIn logo, and InMail are registered trademarks of LinkedIn Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other brands and names are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. 10-LCS-072-G 0512