If you read my previous blog entry, you may still be looking for the best way to find the golden audience that makes you best friends with the sales teams. Here are some suggestions I have collected over the years:
Plan with the end in mind
- Don’t just set a date, build a 3-touch-strategy together with your stakeholders (the sales teams in most cases).
- The theme and message has to promote and strengthen the conversations that your sales teams are having with their target prospects. Don’t push some new message or vision down their throats if this is not what their targets are interested in.
- Be flexible – if the conversation has moved over the 8-10 weeks of planning before the event, make sure to have alternatives ready to add to the speaker list.
Email marketing – and other channels
- Don’t publish it all at once, when you start the invite process – build an engagement staircase with at least 3 touches.
- Expand your email campaign with social media engagement through dedicated, branded Linkedin groups, with a short, recognizable and easy to remember hashtag to use across channels before, during and after the event.
- Another great tip is to prepare your tweets and posts so that your colleagues across the company can share without sounding like a marketing machine.
- Make it personal, local, fun – whatever their preference is.
For your email campaign – here are the three touches I would recommend:
Launch the idea of an event and pre-announce the date. Get the theme out there to gauge interest from your target audience. If you have a star speaker name, don’t let the cat out of the sack just yet. Have a call-to-action button for “sign me up” or “tell me more” – and make sure there is a response on the second one.
First real invite – allowing people to sign up based on an agenda with topics and speakers that are “glocal” – have a global vision but either are local or have local recognition. Always have a button “sign me up” and “tell me more” to encourage a dialogue.
Now let the cat out of the sack. Make a big boom invite only promoting date, theme, agenda and your star.
Less is more – let people click through if they want to deep dive into agenda or speaker profiles etc. That way you can capture who is interested so that your sales teams can follow up with personal emails or telephone calls.
Still not there? Time to call the cavallery
And if all fails – if you have not met your quality registration target – go the extra mile – engage with your sales teams, show them the gap between their expectation on the attending audience and their sales target accounts.
Give them a cheat sheet with talking points about the event. Remember, you know everything about how great it will be – but they probably don’t event know the speakers or content in detail yet. Get them excited, build a dashboard or some other gamification element to let them compete with each other (and make sure there is a decent prize for the winner, so get that on the budget from the very beginning).
Help them help you succeed.