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Creating Event Registration Campaigns to Sell Seats

Ashley Wucher
November 12, 2021

Watch the video to hear my colleague, Bri, and I discuss the campaign!

I’m always excited when a new client goes “live”— what we at PropFuel call sending your first campaign out — and this past week was no exception! One of our clients, Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA), went live with an event registration campaign last week and saw big success. The campaign was for the association’s annual federal tax update and brought in more than 100 registrations and over $20,000 in potential revenue (I’ll get to that in a second). I wanted to share a bit about why I think this campaign was such a success as well as some lessons learned, in the hopes that it inspires you to think outside the box with your event registrations.  

For a bit of background, the event is scheduled for today, November 12, and the campaign was sent on November 3 to members who had not yet registered for the event. Similar to many association events in our post-COVID world, the event will be held in person and virtually, with very few in-person seats available.  

What made this campaign different?

If you’ve been building campaigns in PropFuel for a while now, you’re probably asking, “How was this campaign different from any other event registration campaign in the platform?” At first glance, it’s not much different at all. We saw a 5% response rate, with 44% (85 people) saying “I’ll attend virtually”, 13% (23 people) responding “I’ll attend in person” and 43% (83 people) saying “I can’t make it this year.”

The campaign prompt and question wasn’t much different, either. We told them the date and time and asked “How are you planning to join us?” The answer choices were simple: ”I’ll attend in person,” “I’ll attend virtually” and “I can’t make it this year.”

The difference, though, was in our workflow setup. Instead of providing a registration link in landing pages for those who said they wanted to attend virtually or in-person, we simply said, “Thanks for your interest in attending. We will register you and send a confirmation. No need to do anything else on your end.” Then we sent an internal alert to the event lead so they knew to register that member and then send them an invoice that they could pay later. The invoicing piece was a great alternative to auto-charging members, which would likely be a no-no for most associations. As of Thursday evening, more than 85 members were registered for the event thanks to the PropFuel email.

What would we do differently in the future?

As much as I love talking about our successes, I think it’s equally important to review areas we can improve, and that’s exactly what we did with the OSCPA team. Here are a few things we will do differently next time (and things I think can apply across all PropFuel campaigns). Also keep in mind that most of these suggestions are for paid events. You likely won’t run into the same concerns with free registrations.

Resist the urge to set an internal alert for anything and everything

While there is a time and place for internal staff alerts (i.e., a low satisfaction score, a request for a phone call), it can also get overwhelming if you set an internal alert for every action. In this campaign, we set internal alerts for “I’ll attend in person” and “I’ll attend virtually.” Instead, we probably could have avoided extra stress for the event lead by doing away with the internal alerts altogether.

That said, an internal alert is helpful if you want your member to be registered right away, because it alerts your team as soon as someone chooses that answer. You’ll want to weigh the benefit vs. the staff time associated with alerts when setting up your event campaign.  

Make your answer choices very clear

If you’ve spent any time talking to PropFuel’s Client Success team, then you’ve probably heard us say “make sure your answer choices match your question and make sure it’s perfectly clear to the member or prospective member what you’re asking them to do.” For this campaign, I think we could have been a bit clearer. Here is what our question and answer choices looked like:

How will you join us for the event?

  1. I will attend in person
  2. I will attend virtually
  3. I can’t make it this year

Some members chose “I’ll attend in-person” or “I’ll attend virtually,” not realizing that they would be automatically registered. That’s where the $20,000 in potential revenue might come in under the initial projections, as members receive invoices and then change their mind, either because of a scheduling conflict or because they didn’t intend to register. In the future when we build another registration campaign, we’ll make sure our answer choices are more specific. It might look something like this:

How will you join us for the event?

  1. I will attend in person (register me)
  2. I will attend virtually (register me)
  3. No sure (tell me more)
  4. I can’t make it this year

In all, I think this campaign was a big success, and our client agrees! I encourage you to keep thinking of new ways to use PropFuel to make your member experience easier. And most importantly, don’t be scared to try new things, because that’s how we learn what works!

If you’re ready to build a campaign in PropFuel, I’d love to help! Send me a quick note at ashley@propfuel.com.

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