How we helped AAA get more members at an 80% lower cost-per-lead than their leading advertising channel.

AAA may be the most recognizable name in automotive services, but with membership among younger generations flagging, they turned to Decoder to attract new members through paid and organic search efforts. The focus was on showing up when drivers had an immediate need for roadside assistance.

The result has been thousands of calls, insurance quotes, and online membership sign ups annually, costing less than $12.50 each.

Attracting a new generation of members for AAA.

The American Automobile Association has been a household name for over a century, started in 1902 as a not-for-profit member association. Today, it has over 60 million members across the U.S. and Canada. But while being a card carrying member is common for Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation, younger generations haven’t signed up in the same proportions. 

Remedying that situation required focusing on channels that Millennials and Gen Z use daily, offering clear value, and establishing credibility for those that might not be aware of AAA’s reputation.


Targeting drivers "in-the-moment" through search.

There’s no better case for getting AAA than when you need a tow or roadside assistance. Reaching drivers when they were actively searching for those services — particularly on mobile devices — enabled us to intercept those in-the-moment needs and highlight the value AAA has to offer.

Using both search engine optimization and pay-per-click campaigns offered the best of both worlds, balancing the immediacy paid search with the cost-effectiveness of organic search. 

The result? An 80% lower cost-per-lead compared to their leading advertising channel.

By taking a customer-centric, mobile-first approach to UX coupled with highly targeted PPC and SEO campaigns, we were able to reach drivers at the moment they needed roadside assistance and convert them into AAA members at a cost of less than $12.50 each — about 80% cheaper than their biggest advertising channel.

We also helped promote other business lines like travel, insurance, and more by surfacing those offerings for existing members and highlighting them as value adds for new ones. Usability improvements to navigation, page layouts, and key design elements likewise resulted in more engagement that drove higher utilization of these business lines.

These results are no accident.

Over the past 13 years, we’ve helped hundreds of clients of all shapes and sizes transform their businesses. From rapidly growing start-ups to Fortune 500s to hundred year old businesses embracing new digital channels, we’ve seen it all. Here’s what we were able to accomplish for some of our other clients:


Powells Logo

Additional annual sales for the world’s largest independent bookstore



Higher leadflow for a healthcare college in the first year



Increase in users for an online business mentoring network

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Book a free strategy session with our CEO and we’ll give you a candid assessment of your most promising opportunities for growth as well as whether or not we’re a good fit for your needs.

    Benjamin Wills

    Portland, OR

    Ben will get back to you within 24 hours.