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Too shy to remind your customers to buy?

Kelvin Newman, founder of Rough Agenda, which runs the popular BrightonSEO conference, on how you can fill your conference with a simple method


Everybody is busy. Especially your potential customers. There’s never been more distractions. An addictive alert from a social platform. An angry email from their boss. A flashing diary reminder for a meeting they’ve not prepared for. With all the fighting for people’s attention it’s a wonder anybody ever gets around to buying anything. But most event organisers are far too shy to nudge and remind their customers to make a purchase.

What’s the ideal number of emails to send to your potential attendees? X+1, where X is the number you’ve already sent. Unless you’re already getting huge numbers of unsubscribes every time you do send a marketing email, you can afford to send more than you currently do.

If you’ve got a good handle on open and unsubscribe rates, then you’ll know if you’re sending too much mail. They’ve signed up to your mailing list to learn more about what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to remind them.

Speaking of emails, do you ever get sick of people not replying to your emails in the month you sent them? Don’t get angry, get persistent. There’s a large number of specialist tools out there like Boomerang and FollowUp.CC that’ll ping an email back to your inbox if the recipient hasn’t replied.

Without these sorts of tools reminding me to chase sponsor prospects, I don’t think we’d close half the sales we do. It speeds up decisions, and I’d rather have a fast “no thank you” than a slow “no thank you”.

Remarketing is the biggest missed opportunity in the event space. It's the way retailers like Amazon and ASOS follow you round the web with display ads for that gadget or outfit you checked out but didn’t buy. And it is open to anyone. Even if you only have very modest budgets.

If someone looks at one specific speaker on an event website but doesn’t book a place, I want to take every opportunity I can to persuade them to buy in. We show them banner adverts with the face and details of the speaker, text adverts with attendee testimonials and pre-roll video adverts on YouTube. I want to show them what they’ll miss out on by not attending.

Remarketing and retargeting don’t need to be expensive. Though it often can because it’s so effective and providing a great return.

It’s much cheaper to take someone over the line who’s visited your site, than to get a sale from someone who hasn’t come across you before.

There are loads of tactics out there which, if you’re persistent, will help you sell more sponsor packages, flog more tickets and help you have more successful events.