So, you’re planning a big event and you want to make sure it is a resounding success. You’ve picked the perfect venue, got some speakers lined up, and booked some outstanding caterers, DJs, and pretty much everyone else you could possibly need. The event is looking excellent, apart from one small detail – registration numbers aren’t looking quite as healthy as you’d hoped. Don’t panic and resign yourself to your big event being a money pit with little return; all you need is a little help from some equally outstanding marketing automation software.
You’re sure to know that great marketing is at the heart of any successful event, after all, people can’t attend what they don’t know about. With so many channels and options available nowadays, it’s near impossible to deliver an optimal campaign manually, unless you intend to dedicate a full-time job to monitoring and updating Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and any other digital channels which may be relevant in your industry. That’s before you even start sending personalized emails to every single person who’s signed up to your mailing list.
Marketing automation software is definitely the way to go, and here’s why…
Segmentation Means Personalization
Nobody will accept an email which is clearly part of a mass-marketing campaign anymore. No first name? No personalized explanation of why this event is worth attending? No sign-up! Using marketing automation software to send tailored emails to your mailing list, based on characteristics such as age, location, industry, or other relevant information can boost your click-throughs and response rates significantly. There’s also the added bonus of using these segmented lists for future events and launches – easy targeting of those you already know are interested. It’s a bit of a no-brainer that inviting interested people will help boost your event registration, so why not let marketing automation software do just that for you? With around $30 billion of revenue generated annually by email marketing, this is something you need to do really well.
Utilize That Conversion Funnel
Segmentation might seem like an obvious way to tailor your digital marketing campaigns, but have you given much thought to how you and your business could harness the power of the conversion funnel. If your first thought on reading that was “what is a conversion funnel?” here’s what you need to know:
Saad Kamal’s image above gives a nice illustration of the conversion funnel, or the journey which your customers take from casual browsers to paying customers. In this case, it involves getting your event into the awareness of relevant people, piquing their interest, triggering that feeling of desire and “I must attend that awesome event”, and spurring them into action – that is, signing up for the event you’re planning. Your next question probably is “how can marketing automation software help with this?”
Well, the answer is pretty simple. When a potential attendee visits your online store and adds something to their basket, buys a product or service from you, or downloads an e-book or similar from your website, an invitation to the event can automatically follow. Add to this some timely reminders via email and SMS, and there’s your registration boost!
Be As Creative As You Like
You may be the person responsible for planning this particular event, but you’re sure to also be a regular person who receives a LOT of marketing emails every day. How many of them do you read, and how many get consigned to a junk folder without as much as a second glance? Of course, you want your emails to fall into the first category, and the key to this is being creative. Add videos from previous events, along with testimonials from attendees, information on your speakers and workshops, maybe a competition or a coupon, as seen in the example below. The only limit is your imagination. Your challenge to yourself, as of now, is to discover just how fantastical that imagination really can be. Have you tried using gamification to engage your audience, for example?
Plan for Future Events Now
While you may well be focusing on one specific event – or series of events – at the moment, you’re bound to have more to organize in the future. Don’t forget to make the most of what you learn from this event, and use it to make the subsequent conferences, workshops, and launches even more popular. If your video on your invite email didn’t work – that’s fine. Just do it different next time. Of course, this also works retrospectively; when you’re planning your event registration email, take the time to look back over your last few events, and see what worked for you. Analytics tend to be one of the most invaluable marketing tools, and with the right software you can really make them work for you.
To sum up briefly, the key to boosting event registrations is managing your invitations well. Segment your customer base and mailing list, get creative with the content, and make sure to pay attention throughout the conversion funnel, even after that ticket is booked. Perhaps most importantly, utilize the software that enables you automate your workflow as much as possible, leaving you free to concentrate on planning and hosting a spectacular and memorable event, whatever you’re planning.
Oh, and don’t forget to send a survey to attendees afterwards, so you know what they really thought of your event.