Would you benefit from having more people registered for your event?

Working on the Customer Services team here at Eventbrite, I know that 99% of event organisers will answer ‘yes’ to this question.

Certainly my colleagues and I are asked by organisers every day how they can promote their event more effectively online.

In this post we’re going to explore three strategies I share with customers on a daily basis, that you can use to ensure you’re using your time and resources effectively when marketing your event.

Together they will help you successfully promote your event online and get more ticket sales for your next event.

1. Email Marketing And Invitation Best Practice

In a recent survey, Eventbrite and Hubspot found that 58% of event marketers felt email was their most successful promotional channel.

So, given email marketing is still considered one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to sell out your event, and every event organiser wants to attract more attendees to their event, it’s important to learn how to harness the power of email for your marketing campaigns.

Get permission

Firstly, when you’re using email marketing to spread the word about your event, there are some best practices to think of in order to avoid upsetting recipients, or falling foul of spam laws.

When you’re sending emails through your own email provider, or through the Eventbrite invite system, remember the golden rule that your recipients should be fully opted in and have given you permission to contact them.

Whilst it might be tempting to purchase or borrow lists of potential attendees from commercial sources and partners, if the recipient isn’t expecting to hear from you, your invite is likely to be seen as a spam email. In most cases your email will simply end up getting caught by spam filters and never be seen by the intended recipient, or bounced back if the email is no longer active.

If you’re running a joint venture partnership with your event, and sending invites to each partner’s lists, make sure it’s clear that both you and your partner company are clearly shown as involved in the promotion of your event to avoid any confusion on the source of the email.

To protect their mail services, many email providers can limit or stop your email services if your bounce rates are high and that can stop you using services in the future for your events. If you get blacklisted for sending unsolicited email through your own personal or business email provider you could even lose the ability to send email entirely, which is why it’s so important to keep a clean verified email list!

Eventbrite has some great reporting features on the invitation tool (located on the Manage page of your event) that give you feedback on whether an invite sent through our system has bounced or unsubscribed so it’s good practice to check in shortly after sending invitations to remove these flagged email addresses from all your contact lists for future events.

Personalise

The more you can personalise your email marketing the better. People always love being addressed directly with their name rather than just receiving a generic greeting, so when you’re collecting information from potential attendees make sure you’re always collecting their names too.

By default when guests register for your events on Eventbrite we collect as a minimum the first name, last name and email address during the ticket ordering process, and if you’re collecting opted in emails from your own website or other sources it’s good practice to collect the same set of information there too so it’s easy to upload into the Eventbrite invitation tool and aggregate the data.

If you want to increase the conversion rate of your invites, spending time customising the body of your invitation using the Eventbrite invitation editor so that it’s relevant to the recipient is a great idea.

Segment

Breaking down your email list into smaller sections and grouping people together who have similar interests will offer the opportunity to include specific relevant information that speaks to each group, which will be more productive and engaging than sending the same email to everyone.

If you’re holding a national conference for example, perhaps you can split your email list into regions and add the nearest local stations in their region for each batch of invitations you send, to assist with travel planning and provide added value.

There are many ways you can connect with the personas of your recipients, people really appreciate personalisation. It takes a little more effort, but you’ll see your event’s conversion rates increase as a result.

2. Make The Most Of The Eventbrite Directory

Events that are taking registrations on Eventbrite can opt in to be added to the Eventbrite directory. This can be a great resource for attracting potential attendees as the directory is crawled by all the major search engines and added to their indexes.

When people are looking for an event like yours on Google, Bing or Yahoo, you will have a much better chance of your event page appearing further up the search results if you fill in as many details as you can on your Eventbrite page and profile. Here are some ideas on how to make sure your event page is search engine and Eventbrite directory friendly.

If your event is intended for the general public, make sure the privacy settings are set correctly on your event’s Edit page. If your event is marked as private it won’t appear in the Eventbrite directory. Complete your location details in full. Having a valid address formatted exactly as it appears on your entry in Google Maps will help get you found more easily in the Eventbrite directory

Think about some of the keywords that your attendees might be thinking about when searching for your event and include these in the Event Description area of your event page. If you only have an image of a flyer for your event in the Event Description section of your event, it will reduce your visibility in the search engines too, as they won’t have any text information to read, so consider adding a paragraph of text under any images.

Make sure you add a logo to your page so that your branding shows up in your Eventbrite directory listing. If people recognise your brand they’ll be more likely to take a look at your event page if it has a logo displayed next to it. Logos and branding build trust which lead to more ticket sales.

Use the new organiser profile to showcase all your events in one place. The organiser profile is a great way to build trust with a new attendee that might enjoy your other events, so it’s a great way to upsell your other events. Why not include your organiser profile in each newsletter you send out, or even add your organiser profile URL into your email signature so that all of your contacts see it regularly too?

3. Use Promotions To Leverage Your Social Influencers And Supporters

When you’re setting out your plan to promote your event, you may already have a hidden promotional team right inside your existing social media following.  Identifying who the greatest influencers and supporters are in your network (for example on Twitter) can give you the leverage to use these valuable contacts as an extended promotional team.

Here are some ideas on how to leverage the value of your social following:

Use social analytics tools such as Commun.it to identify your influencers and supporters. This will help you understand who might be willing to champion your events to their followers. Consider reaching out to your followers who have the biggest following themselves and offering them an exclusive promotional code giving a discount or special VIP ticket access.

Think about treating your biggest influencers as potential joint venture promotional partners and offering an affiliate incentive. Eventbrite has affiliate link functionality that you can use to provide tracking for your affiliates so you can measure how much traffic your influencers drive.

Recently Twitter reported that two of the top five ways to drive engagement were 1) telling people about an upcoming sale, and 2) asking them to retweet in exchange for an offer.  This shows how using promotional codes in your event marketing can create an urgency to buy, especially if you put a fixed expiry date on your promotions.

Make sure you’re adding any discount codes or time dependent ticket promotions to your regular newsletters, invites and emails too, so that you’re making the most of all of your communication channels.

If you’re sharing information on social media on a regular basis, try using Snip.ly, a URL shortener that allows you to include a short promotional message that overlays on the destination pages of your links. Adding a promotional offer into a Snip.ly link could be another way to drive traffic and urgency for your ticket sales into your daily social media activities.

What are your best practices for selling more tickets to your events?  Let us know in the comments below!

Got an upcoming event? Join us for a free webinar on ‘‘How to Sell Your First Event Tickets’, which takes you through a step-by-step guide that will help you sell your first tickets and start to build momentum towards a sell-out event.  It takes place Thursday, September 18, 2014 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM (GMT).

Register your place now.

Not on Eventbrite yet?  Sign-up today, it’s free!

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