How to Use Email-Gated Content to Generate Leads for Your Event

Written by
Published on
July 30, 2018

If you're running an event, selling tickets is your number 1 priority. So it’s no surprise that there are hundreds of steps and strategies out there to help you do so. While having a good sales page, learning how to drive traffic to it, setting up social media campaigns, etc. are all important parts of the process (especially if you’re selling tickets to warm audiences) they're just the beginning. If this is your first event, or you’re trying to expand your reach to include cold audiences, your ticket sales strategy needs to be a bit more complex.[bctt tweet="It’s not enough to send cold traffic to a sales page and hope and pray they buy" username="superevent_com"]It’s not enough to send cold traffic to a sales page and hope and pray they buy if they’ve never heard of you. Cold sales aren’t made in the moment, they’re made after careful deliberation. Even if a new lead lands on your sales page and sees your offer — the chances are that the minute they move off of it, your event will fall off their radar. People need time to buy, to learn why your event is right for them, and how it meets their needs. Which is exactly why it's so important to stay top of mind with your potential attendees throughout the whole time your cart is open and tickets are selling, instead of relying on in-the-moment purchases. And there really is no better way to do so than through email-gated content. If you haven’t heard of email-gated content, never fear, it’s really just a fancy term for highly targeted content that is relevant to your attendees and gets them to join (or opt-in to) your email list. By using content to collect their email address, you open up a line of communication to remind potential attendees regularly about your event and give them more information about why your event is right for them. The key to beginning to use email-gated content for your next event is to:

  • Use the right type of content to attract leads.
  • Repurpose things you already have at hand so that you’re not creating work for yourself.
  • Finally, send interesting and purposeful emails to encourage subscribers to attend your event.

1 — Qualities of event-specific opt-ins

Choosing the right content for your event doesn’t have to be difficult, but it takes a little finesse. To figure out what style of email-gated content would work well for you, here are a few key qualities to consider:

  • Ultra-Specific — First and foremost, the opt-in you choose needs to be ultra-specific to the type of event you’re running. If you’re hosting a corporate event, for example, choosing resources that have a focus on continued learning and education will probably appeal to your audience more than something light-hearted or easily consumable. Whereas, if you’re hosting a fundraiser or pop-culture event, you have more flexibility in what you put out there.
  • Pertinent — Secondly, it’s key to make sure the content you’re delivering aligns with what your attendees are going to your event for. If what you choose is too general or untargeted to your potential audience, the leads you cull together will also be more general and therefore less likely to be interested in attending. Whereas pertinent content not only establishes yourself as someone who understands your audience it also helps them see you as a valuable resource and keeps you top of mind.
  • Interesting — Finally, feel free to have fun with the content you create. While it’s always better to be clear than clever, there is room to make sure your content is interesting enough to not only grab your audience’s attention but also be consumed and/or used by them. Interesting content also has the added bonus of helping to pave the way when you begin emailing your potential attendees, whereas uninteresting content uselessly sits unnoticed in their inboxes.
Generate Leads

2 — How to repurpose your existing content

Once you choose the right type of content for your event, you’ll want to start putting it in place as soon as possible. If you’re using paid advertising to send cold audiences to your site, but don’t have a way to stay in contact with them after they leave your sales page, you’re throwing money down the drain. Since time is of the essence, you’ll want to make sure you’re working smarter, not harder, to put together resources that are desirable to your audience as soon as possible. Therefore, the best place to start is by asking yourself: “What resources might you have access to right now, so that you don't have to create new content?” It’s also important to note, as we touched on above, that these resources don’t have to be limited to your personal business, but can also include a type of eBook, interview, video, etc. with speakers, sponsors, or even past attendees. After you begin looking at what you have on hand, you can make any changes you find necessary to rebrand or alter that content so that it fits with the qualities outlined in the previous section.

Generate Leads

3 — Using email to communicate with potential attendees over time

Finally, once you get that email address, your next step is to stay in contact and begin warming up your potential attendees. Obviously, if you’ve done all the work up until this point of choosing the right content and promoting it to your cold audiences, you don’t just want to drop them without ever hearing from you again. Luckily, e-mail is a super accessible tool to help you stay in touch and warm up those cold leads. However, it’s key to remember that this happens slowly, and can take several weeks (if not months) before someone feels ready to buy from you — so it’s important to send high-quality, and relevant emails consistently to these new subscribers. You can send anything from pertinent updates about your event to the amazing features and benefits of attending. While the style of emails you will send can range dramatically, here are a few examples of the content you can use to stay top of mind and warm up potential attendees:

  1. Updates on how your event planning is progressing. Bonus points if you include pictures.
  2. Sneak peek emails of who your event speakers or sponsors will be.
  3. Kick-off or ending announcements of promotional cycles, for example, Blind Bird, or Early Bird promotions.
  4. Key features of the event, highlighting the major benefits your attendees will receive.
  5. Videos from previous years of your event.

Final Thoughts

If choosing to use an email-gated content strategy for your next event feels overwhelming, feel free to keep it simple. Then, remember, so long as the content you’re promoting is relevant to your audience, and you stay in touch with them consistently afterward via email, the sky's the limit for how much or how little you do from there.

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