Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association – MC Professional AMS
How the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Grew Its Membership by Empowering Field Reps with an All-in-One Membership Management Solution
OCA, a group focused on political advocacy to influence member growth, was using a database management tool housed on a centralized computer, administered by one person. This caused inefficiencies by way of wasted time, increased frustration, and lost dues revenue. Processes were streamlined by equipping the entire staff with a cloud-based, all-in-one membership management solution, leading to membership growth, easier communications, and saved costs on database and website management.
For the 10-person staff at the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA), taking good care of their members is imperative. After all, they are the voice of Oklahoma’s cattle producers, many of whom have been in the business most of their lives.
“Many of our members grew up in families that ranch,” said Director of Communications Chancey Hanson. “Actually, I’m sitting here right now in northwest Oklahoma working remotely — our offices are out of Oklahoma City — and I can see a pasture and some horses. It’s just a part of you, and all of us hold that pretty close.”
Advocating for a Better Livelihood
OCA has 5,000 members across four member types looking to the organization to promote their product, beef, and also protect their livelihood. They do this mostly through state-level advocacy and hosting educational events, all of which promote membership growth.
“When we are able to keep things from changing or to make changes that are positive for our members, that’s our true north,” Hanson said, recounting a successful fight to prosecute and properly punish violators of cattle theft. “…When we promote those successes and people can see what we’re doing, that spurs membership growth and helps with our financial successes. Most people quote the representation at the state capitol as the biggest benefit when renewing their membership.”
Most people quote the representation at the state capitol as the biggest benefit when renewing their membership.
Of course, sometimes people need a pointed reminder about the benefits of belonging. As with many associations, OCA looks to membership growth as a measurement of organizational health. And for a long time, they were all systems go. But then Hanson said staff and leadership felt things were getting stagnant. They needed a change to facilitate growth.
Taking Things to the Next Level
In Oct. 2018, OCA split the state into thirds and hired three field reps to focus on new member recruitment and retention within their specific areas. With this new focus, OCA also realized that efficiencies needed to be gained in other areas, namely technology.
…If someone called to check their membership status, no one could check it except for that one person with the one computer.
For many years, OCA was operating off what Hanson not-so-affectionately called “the old dinosaur;” a highly manual database that operated off of one computer, and one computer alone.
“So if someone called to check their membership status, no one could check it except for that one person with the one computer,” Hanson recalls.
With MC Professional AMS by MemberClicks, those days came to a close. Now, all of OCA’s staff can access important member data, update the website, build forms, and manage event attendance.
“I used to count on someone else to build forms for me,” Hanson said. “I’d push the information to the person who’d build those and we’d go back and forth until it was right. But now, I can copy from something I already had and get it done in a matter of minutes.”
One Encounter at a Time
Remember those field reps? They, too, are benefiting from using MC Professional. Those individuals are now empowered to respond to membership queries and get new members on board by accessing the software from their phones.
Our annual membership — our largest membership category — has grown over 300 members since we added our three field representatives.
“Our annual membership -— our largest membership category — has grown over 300 members since we added our three field representatives,” said Director of Operations and OJCA Coordinator, Tiffani Pruitt. “The majority of those members come from new members, but they have also allowed us to increase our lapsed member reinstates as well.”
Pruitt said more access to member data through the MC Professional AMS facilitated membership growth, as well as the recapture of lapsed members.
Additionally, OCA saw that through members using MC Professional to set up auto renewal, the organization not only enjoyed more turnkey membership management, they also saved money on costs associated with direct mail, (double) postage, and staff time.
“This is honestly a really hard thing to quantify for us, but my rough, educated guess is that about five percent of the renewals sent out for January have been paid online with a credit card that we didn’t send a direct mailing to,” Pruitt said. “With MemberClicks generating automatic emails with invoices, there are also a good number of members that either print their invoice and mail it in with a check or simply mail us a check. Those are not included in that five percent use mentioned before.”
Integrated Solutions Win the Day
Savings has been the name of the game with the staff at OCA. Both Hanson and Pruitt said that in addition to gains from MC Professional’s accessible member management and easy online forms/payment, they have saved time and money in unexpected ways.
Because we are able to incorporate web hosting and emails through MemberClicks, I think it has certainly allowed for some savings in those areas as well that would make a large contribution into MemberClicks paying for itself.
“When we started learning about (MemberClicks), I said ‘Wait a minute, is this also a website? Sounds like a website to me,’” Hanson recalls. “You said ‘Well we can change your website, it doesn’t cost any more.’ And so I was ALL IN on that!”
OCA also uses the MC Professional Contact Center for newsletters and other vital communications with members.
“Because we are able to incorporate web hosting and emails through MemberClicks, I think it has certainly allowed for some savings in those areas as well that would make a large contribution into MemberClicks paying for itself,” said Pruitt.
Hanson cites responsive customer service and constant product enhancements as two reasons for OCA’s satisfaction with MemberClicks and the MC Professional AMS. The third — and perhaps most important — being the all-in-one nature of the system.
(Editor’s note: Pssst, our AMS solutions have a ton of all-in-one functionality, but we also have additional mission-related solutions that lend to savings, simplicity and synergy…see more here).
“From my perspective, I love the fact that it’s all-in-one: database, website, contact center for targeted communications,” Hanson said. “(MemberClicks) has just made everything more accessible and easier for us,” she said.
From my perspective, I love the fact that it’s all-in-one: database, website, contact center for targeted communications. MemberClicks MC Professional has just made everything more accessible and easier for us.
Start Spreading the Word
Pruitt added that OCA’s experience has prompted staff to recommend MemberClicks to others.
“Since we have made the switch to MemberClicks, I have had the opportunity to share our experience with other state cattlemen’s associations,” she said. “I know some of them have made the switch and really enjoyed the services offered by MemberClicks.”
As MemberClicks aims to delight more clients through offering a growing ecosystem of connected software solutions, it’s nice to know that customers are finding value in our offerings and sharing success stories with their colleagues. As the saying goes, “The more you know…”