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How FDRA doubled email engagement among 4,000 members

The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America switched to Axios HQ to power its member communications.

The challenge: FDRA is an 80-year-old organization with a 10-person team, serving 4,000 influential business-leading members and a set of investors who believe in their work. But it needed a more effective way to capture the footwear industry’s attention, stay relevant in the ways they communicate, and reflect the value of their work. It had to be:

  • Collaborative: A small and mighty team means all hands on deck. They needed a singular system to be their communication headquarters to create, collaborate, and send their updates.  
  • Impactful: From proven formatting to impactful imagery, FDRA’s communications needed to deliver information in a succinct and digestible way that could improve reader open rates. 

The solution: FDRA uses Axios HQ to send more than 20 distinct communications. Its marquee member update — called “What I’m Hearing” — comes weekly from their president & CEO and recaps industry business analytics, marketplace intel, policy initiatives, and other important industry updates. Its engagement has doubled since FDRA adopted HQ and its Smart Brevity communication format. 

The team also compiles board updates, a quarterly sustainability newsletter, monthly retail newsletters, member feedback messages, and other industry-bending insights that staff and stakeholders need.

💭   Matt Priest, President and CEO:

  • “When we share open rates for certain newsletters, people are blown away because it’s double the industry standard.”
  • “Axios HQ really helps me hone in and utilize tools and guides me through that process to really take data — data that can be complex — and boil it down into something that's more readable.”

How it works: Matt kicked things off with his weekly newsletter to members, but quickly trained his team on Axios HQ, pulled them in as collaborators, and now empowers them to create, sustain, and send the updates that will have the most impact on members, customers, and prospects.

🧠  Matt’s words of encouragement:

  • “I would highly recommend Axios HQ if you're in the business of communicating complex topics to empower a group of people to better understand the issues and take action. I want to run an association that is creating content that's worthy of the time of our executives whom we serve. Axios HQ helps me do that.”


Best in Class awards_2024_Badge-community engage

FDRA earned Axios HQ's 2024 Best-in-Class award for Community Engagement. See our other award winners:





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