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How to Market a Conference: Case Study

CBR003595As part of organizing and marketing a conference for coaches in the UK, the organizer has booked a large email mail-out. As he describes it:

I have one shot at reaching thousands of UK coaches, many of whom will not have heard about the conference yet. One email that will have to get people to go to the website, and register. This is a fantastic conference (if I say so myself) at an amazing price, and we haven’t done nearly enough marketing. We have enough attendees to go ahead, and having another 20 to 40 attendees would make it even better.

To help me create the most effective advert ever, I would love to know anything you can tell me about this email. What would get you to open the email and scan the contents, what would persuade you to read the email in any depth, and finally, what would get you to click on the link and go to the website (hopefully ready to register).

Solution: Don’t try to sell the conference from the email

Marketing coach Ellen Britt advises going back to basics:

1) The purpose of the subject line of your email is to get them to open it.

2) the purpose of the email is not to sell the conference, but to get them to go to a webpage. I would suggest that you take them to a page where you can get them to sign  up for a preview call with some really juicy content (maybe with a panel of the presenters participating).

3) then, on the thank you page for signing up for the preview call, I would place the sales letter for the conference and give them some sort of special offer to incentivize their conference registration. That way, at least you have gotten their email addresses and you can market to them more than once about this conference.

Of course, on the preview call, in addition to giving useful content, you will be selling the conference as well. Trying to sell the conference directly from an email will likely not get you the results you want. Driving them directly to the sales letter from the email might work a little better, but your copy has to be really powerful.

If you have a series of preview calls, send the email to drive them to register for the preview calls, and also enable them to get the downloads of previous and upcoming preview calls for extra value, then offer them a great registration offer on the thank-you page.

In summary, I suggest that getting your prospects’ email addresses by offering them a content rich preview call, showing them a nice registration offer on the thank you page and then following up via email (and the preview call) with those who do not purchase will be your best bet.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tamra October 6, 2009, 3:20 am

    I would suggest using Eventbrite.com to make a custom webpage for your event and sell tickets online.

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  • Love Evvnt December 11, 2012, 5:16 pm

    Good points here Barbara. Marketing a conference can be frustrating and tedious given the size of the web and the requirement for a strong online presence these days. Where older tactics certainly still work – email etc, its also hard enough trying to get noticed on the web!

    We looked at the conference sector and realised this. Conference organisers dont have the time or often the database of the many corners of the web that are best for targeting their delegates – so we created a product. We broadcast conferences to 90 targeted event sites, giving a global reach of 200m+ to ensure that the event is unmissable!

    While this doesn’t cover all the bases, a strong presence online provides the firm building block needed for a successful conference. We get the event on the front page of GOOGLE meaning that anyone that should be at your conference will be.

    Check us out at evvnt.com and see if we can’t make conference organising that little bit easier :)