Throwing an industry event, producing a webinar, or sponsoring a conference are all great ways to build brand awareness and generate leads. Most of the time, though, the event is just the first step when it comes to converting event leads into loyal clients.
With a strategically proactive approach that identifies the right opportunities and offers genuine value, your team can increase those chances. But it’ll take marketing and sales working closely together to make the most of the event your team worked so hard to put on. Keep reading to learn where to start and how far to go when trying to close the deal.
Qualify Those Leads
Before you work towards converting event leads, take a step back and begin segmentation first. These individuals will be in different places in terms of their buyer journey, with some more likely to convert into clients than others. But by qualifying your leads, you’ll be able to prioritize the people who are most likely to convert first as you plan your next steps.
Segment your RSVP list by demographics like job description, age, location, industry, or your business’ marketing personas. Remember those? You’ve got ‘em for a reason, so make them work for you. This way, you can focus your follow-up efforts on the prospects that are most worth your time in the short-term — and leverage the data you’ve created to tailor follow-up content and messaging to their unique needs and interests.
One great place to start is with a lead-scoring system that assigns points to each lead based on factors like their previous level of engagement with your brand, online and social media behavior, and demographic info. So, a lead that’s downloaded your content, been to multiple events, and attended a product demo at your event would be a highly qualified lead.
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Reach Out Right Away
With segmented lists and the magic of marketing automation, there’s no excuse not to send out a personalized email within 24 hours of your event. Timing is critical when it comes to converting event leads into clients. And the longer you wait to follow up with people who are looking to convert now, the more likely they are to move on to other options.
That’s why you need to have a plan in place before the event even begins. Turn your team into a well-oiled machine by designating certain tasks to certain members, from the segmentation outlined above to collecting contact information to drafting follow-up messaging to tracking every interaction in a reliable online tool.
Keep in touch to make sure not to lose leads, but be careful not to pester them either. Be wary of the frequency of your communications and how you choose to engage. And if a user unsubscribes or makes it clear that they’re not interested, take the hint.
That said, also take the opportunity! Dig a little deeper after your first post-event message with a survey to ask for specific feedback or any additional information that might be useful to your team moving forward. And if they express interest in more, implement a targeted email campaign that features useful content and relevant offers to keep that good thing going.
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Provide Genuine Added Value
Beyond a personalized follow-up email, targeted content marketing is where your team can shine by creating high-quality assets that keep leads consistently engaged. To drive conversions, these efforts need to be tailored and relevant. And to establish your brand as a reliable long-term partner, they have to provide real value.
With the information collected from segmentation and follow-up communications, it’s possible to create powerful, targeted content, like blog posts, whitepapers, and case studies to testimonials and behind-the-scenes videos. As with any great content, always put the user first and ideate around their needs while highlighting your brand’s offering and expertise.
Consider creating a post-event landing page or a robust resource hub of useful tools and materials that address attendee needs, interests, and pain points. With a variety of content like webinars, playbooks, guides, recaps, and more, folks will appreciate the easy access and extra information on what they enjoyed in person or were bummed to miss out on.
Another idea that’s pretty fool-proof? Post-event promos and exclusive, limited-time discounts are always a welcome way to create a sense of urgency that compels a lead to take action and convert to a client.
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Nurture Each and Every Relationship
Consistent content and email marketing keep you top of mind, but it’s not the only way to keep in touch with your event leads while building credibility for your business. Brands play a role in happiness, after all, and striking the right balance when it comes to ongoing communications is key. Switching up your channels and engaging on social media opens up a natural conversation via whichever platform your prospects prefer.
Sharing user-generated content from the event, along with your own videos, images, and graphics, keeps the buzz going after the crowds have cleared. And with social sharing, hashtags, and online communities, you never know how far and wide that content can go and which new leads it can generate. Just be sure to have systems in place to respond to any questions, comments, and other messages that may come in.
Seeing a segment of people who RSVP’d but didn’t show up to your event? Don’t forget them just because they missed you! Send out a personalized email, just for them, mentioning how you missed their presence along with links to recaps and helpful resources. Sales outreach via a free trial or demo offer is something that’s welcome in this case as well, whether or not an interested party was able to attend your event in person.
Better yet? Take an even closer look at your event leads. Whose talks did they tweet about, and what did they say or ask about them? Find out details like this and dive into even more specified content creation that speaks to whatever those things are to keep building and massaging trust and connection over time.
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