If you haven't already, please start here: How to Generate Leads & Sell Advance Tickets with Your Event Web Site - Part I
Getting Them to Opt-in
Lead generation on your event web site should take the form of a well-thought-out opt-in box. Put your opt-in box on the home page, above the fold. Your opt-in box needs to give visitors a convincing reason to give you their personal information. Consider offering exclusive ticket discounts, a downloadable event guide, or "Insider" information to entice sign-ups. Go beyond an opt-in box that just says, “Join our newsletter.” Offer a benefit with enough value for a visitor to give you their name and e-mail address. Use feedback you’ve collected from your target market as a key indicator as to what is important to them. A client of mine shared a previously unreleased event performer schedule with their e-mail list. This was a highly-effective incentive that drove opt-ins.
Focus on Value First — Sell Later
After you build a list, start to interact with your leads via e-mail. Your e-mail marketing effort for your event should be based on cultivating an online relationship based on trust, credibility and rapport. Be the opposite of everyone else who sales-pitches people to death.
Use what you know about your target market to deliver valuable information to them regarding your event. I usually send at least 10–15 value-based e-mails before trying to sell anything. The e-mails provide the list with “Insider” information regarding the event.
For example, we offer list subscribers for the airshow a sneak peak of the performer line-up, daily flying schedules, links to performer videos, aviation stories and updates regarding the event. When you’ve delivered tremendous value that fuels an insatiable demand to attend your event, that’s the time to sell tickets.
For example, the client who collected 7,500 e-mail addresses went on to generate $21,270 CAD (Canadian Dollars) of advance ticket sales in just 60 minutes from those addresses! In seven days, they generated $64,645 CAD of advance ticket sales.
After Your Event is Over
Use your list to follow up with people. Find out which leads turned into event attenders. Send them a post-event survey. Dave Pietrowski and his team organizes the World’s Largest Disco, a charity event in Buffalo, New York. After the event, he e-mails a thank-you note to attenders with one simple question, "What didn’t you like about our event?" Even though he's asking a negative question, people respond in a very positive manner. The feedback Pietrowski receives is used to improve the event from year to year. Before you dismiss this counterintuitive suggestion, consider this: Pietrowski and hist team have sold out their 7,000+ person event months in advance.
Few other forms of marketing allow you to interact with your market like your event web site and email list. Engage your online audience with relevant content and take advantage of the opportunity to capture leads. When done correctly, you can generate a database of the best prospects for advance ticket sales to your event, and help to ensure its success.
Here are some additional event marketing ideas to promote your event ...