Understand how the customer funnel works
At the top of the funnel, you need to pour in all your leads; this means making sure your event is visible to prospects. There are a variety of ways to reach prospects so understanding who your target customer profile is and what your customer touch points are will help determine the best options.
Now that prospects are aware of your event, the lead enters the middle of the funnel and it’s time to determine how interested they are in coming. Some will register immediately, others will need to think about it. Those who are still thinking about it need to be cajoled with another reminder. Try a different method of contact, changing the message to give it more urgency, or providing an special incentive to help make the decision to attend easier.
Those who register fall deeper into the funnel. At this point, you need to focus on reminding them to come to your event. Contact them via email or phone a week before the event and again within 2 or 3 days of the event to remind them to attend. Remember: a prospect who registers for an event is not the same as an attendee so reminders are key to confirming attendance. Be sure to keep the registrant’s contact information in case they do not attend the event. If they don’t, their absence may have been due to illness or another priority taking precedence, but they could still be interested in your offering.
Those who fall out of funnel are your event attendees. These are prospects your sales team should follow up with first. Be ready with a sales strategy to approach them.
Expect a drop-off
At each stage, expect only a small percentage to continue, ultimately attending your event. To increase the probability that your event attracts the right people and enough to make it a worthwhile investment, you will likely need to start with – relatively speaking – a large target audience size. Visit db-marketing.com’s calculator to get an idea of your required sample size to hit the mark on those attending your event.
Once your outreach efforts are defined, develop a flow chart defining conversion or event confirmation as prospects move from awareness, to interest, to agreement to attend your event, through to attendance. Think of your event as something that’s similar to the customer buying cycle. Your event is being “purchased” or bought into as an activity that the prospect wants to attend so at different stages, your event may be declined for another activity (i.e. a better offer) or other personal reason.
When the event is over, be sure to thank those who attended and send a ‘sorry we missed you’ email or letter to those who were unable to attend the event. You may want to go a step further and add an event recap to your website and announce it via social media.