B2B Event Promotion With Marketing Automation
Published on 6 December 2016 | Author Stefan von Lieven0
Organisers of webinars, conferences and other B2B events are faced with a number of tasks: They must find prospective customers for the event, generate registrations, take care that the registered users actually assist the event, and potentially contact the participants again subsequently to the event. We will show you how to cover the entire B2B event promotion via email marketing and marketing automation, from the first invitation to the follow-up.
Communication for a B2B event usually starts with the announcement of the event and the acquisition of participants. All tools employed for this, should refer to a central landing page where the user can register for the event. As B2B events are often targeting very specific groups, email marketing is a particularly efficient tool to precisely address the desired participants. You can create the perfect service impression by organising the invite communication through marketing automation.
Your mailing list probably consists of mainly business addresses, which most likely may be interested in your offers. You may only want to reach existing contacts with your event, e.g. in the case of customer training. Furthermore, a modern email marketing technology, such as ELAINE, allows a comprehensive target group selection, so that you can filter data, e.g. by certain product interests – provided this data is available. Another benefit: If an existing contact reaches your landing page via an email, the contact form can automatically be completed with the existing data. All the user needs to do is confirm them. Bear in mind, that each additional field the user has to complete, increases the risk of the user aborting.
Automatic Confirmation with Calendar Entry
In order to prevent that a contact is registered by an unauthorised person, you should send an automatic confirmation email after the registration. In this confirmation email, you should sum up the most important facts of the event, e.g. date, time and location. In order to facilitate registered contacts their agenda scheduling, you should offer a date download in the confirmation email so that the event can automatically be added to their calendar.
In addition, you should integrate SWYN buttons in your event email and all subsequent emails. SWYN buttons enable the recipients to share the event or the relevant landing page with their social media contacts. In principle, SWYN buttons can be implemented for all relevant social networks, but for B2B events, we recommend LinkedIn. By using SWYN buttons, you can reach a significant increase in the coverage with little effort.
Send Regular Reminders
There is nothing stopping you from making further attempts to motivate recipients, who have not yet registered, to register after the first invitation email. Email marketing solutions, such as ELAINE allow you to identify those recipients, who did not register with the first invitation and to combine those recipients in one target group. This target group can then be targeted with another invitation email and those recipients, who still do not register after this email, may receive further invitations. This process can be automated. How many waves of invitations you send and in what frequency, is a very sensitive decision. Most recipients will feel irritated quickly and may unsubscribe from your newsletter if they receive further invitations every couple of days to an event they are not interested in. However, you should at least send two further reminder invitations, one of them only a few days prior to the event. This last call should suggest a certain urgency in the subject line, for example, “Only a few days left – register now!”.
Despite registration and calendar entry, an event, which may lie weeks ahead, can still be easily forgotten. You should therefore send several reminders to registered recipients in order to remind them of the event. Especially, in B2B context, recipients are often busy and have to coordinate their participation in events with other appointments. It is recommended to send a reminder a few days prior to the event – and in case of a webinar, the last one just before the start – and one to two further reminders in the run-up.
Subsequently to an event, the attention of recipients for the presented topics is still very high. Use this high level of interest to send a thank you email to the participants and ensure their image of you is a positive one. In addition to the thank you text, you can use this email to ask participants for their feedback on the event, promote further events or include material on the event, e.g. the presentation of a webinar as a pdf. You can also send these materials to recipients, who have registered for the event but not assisted. With webinars, you can use the login data to track which registered recipients actually took part. You can therefore target participants and non-participants separately, e.g. with “Thank you for your participation!” or “We are sorry, you could not take part.”
An Application Case For Communication Around a Webinar
In this example, the communication around a webinar is automated. First, the user receives an invitation. Non-responsive users will receive a reminder after one week. Users who register, immediately receive a confirmation email. One week prior to the webinar, a reminder is sent out asking users to recommend the event. One day prior to the event: “Get ready for tomorrow 2pm”. Immediately prior to the event, users receive their access data to log into the webinar. As a follow-up, users receive a thank you email as well as the presentation or video material. Users who registered but did not take part in the webinar, receive another email drawing their attention to the recording of the webinar. Some marketing systems also allow you to directly transfer the lead to your sales or service team depending on the significance or development status of the user, or you develop it automatically through lead nurturing.
Creating such a series is of medium complexity. The minimum data required is the event data, i.e. date, name and access data.
Tip: If the marketing automation system has a comprehensive plug-in connection for Citrix-Go-To-Webinar, the shown example can be displayed in detail with the directly integrated workflow.