As summer approaches, my inbox is filling up with event invitations to different organizations I participate in. This time of year is really busy for event marketers as you try and boost participation before your members head out to the beach for summer vacations.
It is tough for me to decide what to say YES! and RSVP to and what to respond with my regrets to and I’m sure for most event planners, you want to know how to get your core volunteers, sponsors and supporters to say Yes! to your event instead of other events filling up email inboxes.
So, I thought I would share 10 things you can do that will increase the chances that people will click to register for your event instead of one of the other hundred events going on in your community. Then, in honor of our upcoming Google+ for Business webinar and Google+ for Nonprofits Houston NetSquared June Meet-up, there’s +1 more tip to boost your event ticket sales.
10 +1 Tips to Increase RSVPs
1) Send Shorter Invitations
More and more people are reading their emails via their mobile phones. Keep your initial email invitation short and sweet with the basic event details: when, where, what and most importantly include why this event is important to your registrants and how much it will cost.
2) Link to the Event Summary
Instead of sending all the details of your event in the invitation, just include a link to your Tendenci Event page where people can go to click and learn more. Use Campaign Monitor’s reporting tools to track who clicks for more details and measure against your registrations to follow-up on those who read more and don’t register.
3) Include an Obvious Call to Action
In this case, you want intended guests to register for your event so include an obvious clickable button that someone could click from a mobile touchscreen and go to register and pay for your event.
Here is a great article from Smashing Magazine on how to design better Call to Action buttons that you can add to your email invitations.
4) Show Your Sponsors They’re Loved
Include your sponsors logos and a link to their site in your event emails. Then, use the link tracking reporting tools included with Campaign Monitor to measure and generate reports to your sponsors that show them who and how many event attendees are clicking from your email to visit their website. This demonstrates the value of supporting your organization and you can use this data to increase future sponsorship dollars.
5) Segment and Personalize Your Invitations
Segment your subscriber lists to send personalized email invitations and event announcements and post-event summaries.
Customizing event emails increases the chance that the recipient will open and register for your event.
Here are some different suggestions you can use for segmenting your subscriber lists:
- Segment Guests who attended from those who didn’t attend the event
- Segment by the role each person has in participating for the event: Staff, Volunteers, Attendee, Sponsor, Board Member
- Segment by the event type that each guest attends more often
- Remember that you can include one person in multiple list segments if they fall into multiple categories
Wondering how to create and use segments in your email marketing? Check out this great Help File from Campaign Monitor.
6) Send Regrets to Those Who Can’t Make it
Check guests in at the events and then send separate post-event updates based on those who made it versus those who didn’t make it to the event. Keep track of who has registered leading up to the event and boost last minute registrations by sending those who still haven’t RSVP’d an email with a special discount code.
7) Make Paying Really Easy
Once a recipient has decided to click through your email to register – make sure they can easily pay for and register for the event. Integrate your Tendenci website with one of our online merchant payment gateways to accept credit cards. Use a shorter registration form for them to register and pay that takes the basic details. Then send more information in follow-up emails about your event along with the registration confirmation.
8) Ask Invitees to Bring Their Friends
Make sure you include social sharing links and a “Forward to a Friend” call to action button to make it easy for your guests to share the event invitation with their friends, family and colleagues. Tendenci’s event registration form includes options for people to register guests – let people know when they register in your email invitation to encourage them to bring a friend.
9) Take Photos and Video of Your Events
We can’t say this often enough – take photos and record video at your events and share them on your website to show people what your organization’s events are like. Link to past event wrap-ups with digital media embedded in your email invitations to boost registrations. Send event attendees the photos and videos from events afterwards to increase engagement and build your relationships with your guests so they’ll keep coming back to future events.
10) Optimize Your Event for Search
Add keywords related to your event page on your website and your event will show up to new people who may not know about your event or be on your email or member lists. Here’s an easy 3-step way to figure out the best keywords for search engine optimization:
- Think of what your event attendees might use to search for an event like yours
- Go to Google’s Free Keyword Tool and enter in your search terms to get even more ideas for keywords related to your event
- Then add your keyword phrases to your Tendenci Event on the Edit Meta Page to drive organic traffic to your event registration
+1 Drive Registration from Social Media Networks
Add social share buttons on your event page and share the event on your organization’s social networks. Tweet, post on Facebook, and +1 on your Google Plus Page with calls to action to register for the event.
Don’t forget to share it on your own personal networks and encourage your staff and volunteers to share the event details on their social media sites.
If you’re new to using Google+ Brand Pages, check out this great blog post on the Shipul blog talking about why Google+ is great for driving traffic to your website. And please +1 and follow Tendenci’s Google+ page: http://gplus.to/tendenci!
And don’t forget to RSVP for our upcoming Google+ events and other web marketing and website training events on the Tendenci Events Calendar.
Talk to Us!
Do you have any great tips on boosting event registrations? Share your comments and questions below or shoot us an email and tell us how you are using email, social media, and your website for event marketing.