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Issue #10 • October 2017

Promote and Follow Up on Your Events with Marketing Funnels

Digital Marketing Email Marketing

As an online creator, you probably spend most of your days sitting with your computer, developing ways to show a personality in your brand and a connection with your audience.

You learn their pain points. You develop products you think will improve their life, and you create personalized email marketing funnels to meet them where they are in their journey.

Sound like your daily routines? Great– you’re doing all the right things to build your audience from computer screen to computer screen. But do you ever miss just walking into a room and having an actual connection with a human being?

If so, have you ever thought about adding live events to your marketing plan?

Live events won’t be for everyone, but if you’re an in-person connector and feed off of the energy and excitement of a crowd, it might be time to start planning your first event.

Hosting a live event has some pretty obvious benefits:

  • Building trust and authority with your audience-Nothing quite beats putting a face to a name you’ve seen on your screen. Creating a space for you and your audience to interact in real-time and in person is a great way to continue building trust and authority. The face-to-face connection while they learn from you and the personal connection they feel from shaking your hand or dancing with you at the afterparty just can’t be mimicked in the digital world.
  • Your audience can build community with each other- We have a firm belief at ConvertKit that the people sitting in the chairs at an event are actually more important than the people on the stage. Giving your audience the chance to meet up with like-minded creators is an amazing opportunity. They’ll create business and personal connections that can last for years, and they’ll have you to thank for it.

Depending on the size of your business, your availability, and the team/volunteers you have backing you up, you can host anything from a small meet-up or one-day workshop to a full-blown conference.

But please don’t get in over your head when you first start out. Better to start out small and test the waters then keeping building up.

How to use sales funnels for your event marketing emails

Are you super stoked to plan your live event? Well, not only do events need solid planning for the actual event, they also need a solid marketing strategy to get people there. So if you’re ready to plan a live event, it’s also time to make sure your marketing strategy is on point.

Email marketing is the best way to start promoting your live event. Well thought out email marketing funnels can not only save you time in your event planning, they will also help you keep your audience up-to-date with all your event details before and after the event. Here’s how:

Promotion before your event

If you don’t have a promotion plan set up for your live event, it’s already dead in the water. To run a successful live event, you need to get the word out and build the excitement. After all, how will your audience know about your event if you don’t ever tell them about it yourself?

How-to:

The easiest way to initially get the word out is to send a save the date broadcast to your list (or just the people who are segmented as interested in the topic your event is about) with an announcement about your event. In this email, tell them the why, the when, and the where to make their decision easier.

At the end of your email, create a Link Trigger that tags those who click as Interested In: Event and sends them to a landing page with even more information about your event. This landing page should contain the link or button your audience clicks to attend your event.

Pro tip: It’s a good idea to include a short message at the end of these types of emails that let’s your subscribers opt out of hearing about your event. There will always be people who don't want to keep hearing about your event because they live in a different city, the ticket price is too much, or they’re just not event-goers.
So while they’re still interested in hearing all the other things from you, having a Link Trigger that tags them as No Event Emails, clears up their inbox and keeps you as trusted marketer. Your statement can be as simple as something like this:
PS: If you'd prefer not to get any more emails about (event), click here.

Keep your audience in the know about important updates

The time leading up to your event will be filled with all kinds of questions from your attendees. The best way to stay in front of all those questions is to be upfront and quick to disperse the details.

How-to:

Create an email sequence for your readers that slowly delivers more information about your event to your attendees and anyone still interested. These emails could include:

  • Speaker announcements
  • Ticket price tiering- If your event costs to attend, give your followers the chance to jump in on a couple different early bird pricing opportunities.
  • Ticket deadlines- As your live event date approaches, make sure to remind your subscribers that it’s almost too late to register. So many people wait until the last moment to take action. We’re humans– it’s just in our nature. Creating a sense of urgency a week or two before your ticket deadline will get them thinking and clicking that register button.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to exclude the No Event Emails tag with each of these and continue to add the little PS at the end for anyone who wants to opt out.
You should also exclude anyone who has already committed and registered for this event. Those attendees should now be in their own welcoming sequence for the event.

Welcome sequence for attendees

Once a subscriber has purchased a ticket to your event, it’s time to make them feel like a VIP. No matter who they are or what price point of ticket they purchased, each attendee should feel special and known from their very first welcoming email to your last interaction.

You can think of this sequence as an onboarding process for your attendees that familiarizes them with everything they need to know about your event before they get there. Emails in this sequence can include:

  • Hotel locations and pricing options
  • Airfare/other transportation options
  • General FAQs about your event (What to wear; Weather to expect; Are any meals provider for?)
  • Agenda announcements
  • Details about any kind of pre-event workshops or parties
  • Fun things to do in the town your event takes place

Staying in touch through email is a great way to keep that connection alive between you and your attendee before you can actually meet them face-to-face at your live event.

Promotion after your event

Just because your event is over doesn’t mean there’s nothing else to give your attendees. There’s always some kind of opportunity to continue delivering valuable content even after your closing party. After live event promotion can include:

  • Access to speaker slides or links to videos of their talks
  • A community group you create so all your attendees can stay in touch with each other
  • Information about future events- Is this an annual event you host? Then give your attendees special early bird pricing for next year’s event. Or is this a series of events you host throughout the year? Then give them information on the next handful of events you have scheduled so they can start saving the date.

Feedback

If you find that live events are really your thing and you want to add them to your marketing plan, it’s important to make sure that your next one is always a little bit better than the last. The best way to do that is to ask your attendees what they thought.

You can do this through a survey, asking for testimonials, or asking for general open-ended feedback to one of your emails. I’d suggest a survey because you can get very specific with the questions you ask to make sure you’re getting the best possible feedback.

How-to:

Creating a survey isn’t as difficult as it might sound. Check out this tutorial on setting up a survey with Typeform to see just how easy it is.

How to use Visual Automations to build your event marketing emails

Before you begin building your Visual Automation in ConvertKit, you’ll need to set up an integration with your ticketing tool. If we don’t offer a direct integration with your ticketing tool of choice, using Zapier as your go-between is the next best thing.

Once you’ve set up your integration, you can create a Tag for “Event Ticket Buyer” in your ticketing tool that triggers in ConvertKit whenever you have a new event attendee purchase their ticket.

Step 1: Add a Tag to subscribers who are interested in your event

After you send your first save the date email where your audience can click your Link Trigger to be added as Interested In: Event, your live event marketing funnel begins.

How to:

  • Click on the Automations tab in your dashboard navigation.
  • Click the blue, New Automations button to create your live event email marketing funnel.
  • Click on the Create Automation button in the middle of the page and choose Tag is added to subscriber.
  • Choose the Tag corresponding with “Interested in: Event” from the drop down.
  • Click Add Event.

Event marketing email automation

Step 2: Pull subscribers to a date to begin and end selling event tickets in tiers

If you are selling tickets to your event, you can create interest and excitement by offering your subscribers early bird ticket pricing. To do this, you’ll create a different Event: Date occurs to pull your subscribers to the beginning and the end of each ticketing tier.

How to:

  • Click (+) and under Event, choose Date occurs to set a date for the beginning of your early bird ticket pricing.
  • Click Add Event.
  • Click (+) and under Action, choose Email sequence and scroll the drop down to find your sequence promoting your first ticket tiering.
    • Be sure to include Link Triggers to your ticket tool integration in this sequence to add the Event Ticket Buyer tag to any subscriber who registers during this time.
  • Click (+) and under Condition, choose Tag added and scroll the drop down to find your Event Ticket Buyer Tag.
    • This will trigger a Yes and No option to lead your subscribers down a path for whether or not they purchased a ticket for your event.
  • Under the Yes, click (+) and under, Action choose Email sequence and scroll the drop down to find your Welcome Attendees Sequence to send your new registrants to.
  • Under the No option, click (+) to create another Event: Date occurs to set a date that will end your first ticket tier.

Event marketing email automation

Step 3: Continue creating tiers to sell event tickets

If you are offering multiple ticket tiers, continue creating Event: Date occurs boxes sequences to send to your audience. These sequences should be full of valuable information about your event as well as reasons why your subscribers should attend your event.

Remember- think benefits over features. How will these event change your subscriber’s life? How will it help them overcome their obstacles and reach their goals? Use this kind of information you learn while surveying them to get them excited about your event.

How to:

Duplicate Step 2 under the No Ticket Buyer Tag box for as many ticket tiers as you want to create for your live event.

Event marketing email automation

Step 4: End pre-event communication and set up post-event communication

You will need to set a time to end all your pre-event communication before your event takes place, and then set the date for your post-event communication to begin.

How to:

  • Click (+) that connects all your paths and under Event, choose Date occurs to set the date for the end of your pre-event communication.
  • Click Add Event.
  • Click (+) and under Condition, choose Tag added and scroll the drop down to find your Event Ticket Buyer Tag.
    • This will ensure that only those subscribers who purchased a ticket to your event will receive your post-event communications.
  • Under the Yes option, click (+) and under Action, choose Email sequence and find your sequence that sends a survey to your attendees and any other follow up bonus content from your event.

Event marketing email automation

What will you use event marketing emails for?

Do you have an upcoming event that warrants pre- and post- promotions? Maybe you’re finally getting your first city-wide meetup rolling to get to know other professionals in your town. Maybe you’re hosting a series of workshops across the country to get to know your audience face-to-face.

Whatever your event might be, creating and setting up funnels for your event marketing emails will help you get the word out, stay connected with your attendees, and then continue fostering that relationship long after you close up.

What events do you have coming up? Let us know in the comments and how you’re building an event marketing funnel to help you make it happen.

Event marketing email automation

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Dani Stewart

As a daughter of an entrepreneur, the wife of an entrepreneur, and an entrepreneur herself, Dani has lived and learned all sides of creating and growing businesses. She is excited to bring all that life experience as well as a decade of crafting content to the ConvertKit community. She is a part-time baker, dinner-party planner, and lover of good bourbon living the simple life in Nashville with her husband, Sean.

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