If you’ve ever attended a live networking event, you’ll know that many businesses use this strategy to gain additional exposure, but does this strategy really work?
Afterwards, do you even remember the business that gave the prize away?
If you won the prize you might, but if you didn’t, probably not.
So, how do you make an impression at live events without being cheesy, salesy or in-your-face?
Well, to answer that question I want to share with you a collaborative venture I’ve been working on for the past few months with the folks from Key Person of Influence.
It’s been an eye-opening experience, not only because I have been privy to the inner workings of a successful event-based business, but also because they’ve taught me a thing or two about how to lever live events to grow a stellar mailing list.
Here’s what I’ve learned…
Always have an entry form for people to physically fill out at events
If you’re speaking at event, it’s a great idea to have a no-brainer giveaway that attendees fill out a form for.
Thanks to the mentoring by the team at KPI, at the last event I spoke at, I used this strategy and found it to be way more effective than leaving a stack of business cards up the back of the room. I handed out entry forms showcasing the prize on offer, and at the beginning of my talk, asked attendees to fill out the form if they wanted to win the prize (in this case my Magnetic Marketing On Demand Workshop).
I then told everyone that I’d collect their forms and draw a name out of a hat at the end of my talk.
After the event, I then created an email campaign specifically for people who attended the event and filled out the form.
The campaign invited them to opt-in for my mailing list. How many times have you attended an event where your name has been added to a mailing list you never opted-in for?
Handing someone a business card at an event is not giving them permission to send you marketing information. So, if that’s something you’ve been doing, stop now! If you invite people you’ve connected with at a networking event, many will opt in anyway and for those who don’t, well do you really want them on your mailing list anyway?
After attendees opted in, they then received a series of product education auto-responders, offering access to free resources and information, and those who clicked on the links were sent yet another sequence inviting them to connect via Skype to talk over their concerns about their businesses.
By nurturing new contacts in this way, I can get to know what they’re concerned about, and they can get to know me a bit better too, and by having an entry form for event attendees, I ensure that those who do sign up are actually seeking the information and resources I offer.
Email auto-responders are easy to set up, but how you segment people in a campaign may depend on your email marketing software. It pays to shop around.
Collaboration is win win win!
The other way you can use events to build your list is to collaborate with the event in some way, or if you’re hosting an event, seek collaborative partners who can help you expand your reach within the right target market.
The folks at KPI excel at lead nurturing and referral partner nurturing. When they initially approached me, I thought it was just another sales call, but after I received their book and had a chance to look over their website and see what they were about, I knew that what they were offering was something truly unique and that it resonated with my way of thinking.
After becoming a partner for their upcoming event, they have actively worked with me on developing an offer for folks attending the Brisbane event (and so long as 12 people book through my link, I will be able to make that offer). They do this because, as an organisation they only work with a small percentage of people who attend their events, and because they want to help more businesses grow, they invite key partners to make an offer at their events. It’s win, win, win, because the more they can help businesses grow, either directly or indirectly, the more likely those businesses will one day work with them in their own program.
So, the next time you’re speaking at an event, or even attending one, don’t just hand out a door prize, take an entry form with you that attendees can fill out and use those forms to invite people to join your mailing list.
And if you’re organising an event, think about who you can collaborate with to promote the event and then go for those businesses who can serve those that you can’t.
If you’re in Brisbane, I invite you to attend the KPI Brand Accelerator Event with me on August 31. I’m really looking forward to going and learning as much as I can from the amazing speakers. If you want to come, it’s not too late to get tickets. Just book here: http://bit.ly/beakpi13.
Disclosure: As stated in the article, I am proud to be a promotional partner for this event.
ps: If you’d like to win a copy of the book: Key Person of Influence, I have 5 to giveaway. Simply leave a comment below and tell me why you’d like to win.