Event professionals are always on the lookout for ways of increasing conversions (percent of website visitors that end up registering for an event). They’re eager to try anything, from spending a ton of money on massive marketing campaigns to voodoo magic, when in reality it’s the little things that yield the best results.
Here are Weemss’ 5 tried and true steps to rocket your event sales through the roof.
1. Focus your website content to maximize conversions
It all starts with your website. What do you want from the event’s web page? To get people to register for the event. How do you do that? By focusing your content. Each piece of content should have one main purpose and that’s to sell. The basic rules of web content should be applied here:
- Start with your conclusion
- Use headings
- Be brief – never use long sentences and many paragraphs
- Use bullets and numbers
- Include summaries/overviews
- Bold and highlight important information
- Respect privacy and copyrights
An event website should inspire trust. It’s a good idea to include your top speakers on your homepage, previous participants, real testimonials from real people, celebrity endorsements, press mentions, pictures from previous events, etc. Anything that would provide some kind of social proof and inspire trust in the website visitor.
A website should always be up-to-date. Never leave outdated information on it – this sends the wrong signal to potential participants. Pay special attention to prices and offers and update when necessary. Always keep your visitors in the loop by embedding a twitter/facebook feed or running an active blog.
DO NOTs: Whatever you do, do not distract your visitors with banners selling something else, newsletter subscriptions or autoplaying videos. You need people to register for the event and everything on the website that doesn’t serve this purpose should be left out.
2. Be smart with pricing and promotional offers
Your pricing strategy is key. Start off with the average price at which you would like to sell your tickets and build all ticket categories, special offers, and discounts around that price.
Example: Let’s say your average price is 200 EUR – set the prices for the different ticket categories from 150 to 400 EUR. This will also give you flexibility to include additional discounts and special offers as part of your sales process.
Try these 4 tactics to stimulate sales:
- Always offer at least 3 ticket categories (for example Early Bird, Standard and VIP).
- Always offer at least 1 time/quantity restricted category (Super Early Bird, Early Bird, Standard).
- Use Special offers and make them clearly visible to everyone. These can be 3 for 2 offers, a discount for orders over 1000 EUR, group discounts for 5+ people etc. Special offers can be combined with specific ticket categories to make these categories more attractive.
- Code discounts are a great way to offer discounts not available to the public. They should be limited in time/quantity too. If they are always available people will feel less urgency to use them.
DO NOTs: It is extremely important that you never offer a lower price than you did before for the same event. Although this is fine in some businesses (like the airline and hospitality industries), it is a terrible idea in the events industry. People that have bought a ticket 3 months before the event will be really angry if they find out they can buy a cheaper ticket 1 week before the event. This is why “last minute” offers are not popular when selling event tickets.
3. Unleash the full potential of the Call-to-action
Time to add a Call-to-action (CTA). The CTA is a marketing technique aiming to provoke an immediate response (in this case registering for the event) and can be a very strong driver of sales – if done right! Some people seem to think that adding a button is enough to cover this part. It is not.
An effective Call-to-action (CTA) is a combination of no less than 4 key elements:
Benefit: You may have the best value proposition with the perfect speaker, agenda, venue etc, but if you really want to maximize registrations, you should offer a special price. As we mentioned already, these could be an Early Bird offer, a 3 for 2 sale, or a 10% discount to the members of an association.
Urgency: You should create a feeling of urgency by time-limiting or setting a quantity limit to your offer. It can expire at the end of the week or may have only 15 tickets available. This provokes an impulsive decision in your website visitors.
Risk-reduction: This is an element that very few event organizers ever consider. So if you do it, you will stand out. You could offer a money back guarantee and/or a full cancellation refund. If your events are good you should not fear to do this.
Call to action: Obviously, the final element of a truly effective CTA is the CTA itself. This will make visitors click and go to your registration page, where they will be met by the other 3 key elements of your sales process. The call to action has to be an imperative verb such as “Register Now”, “Buy Tickets”, “Reserve seats”, etc.
4. Create a registration process your customers will love
A lot of people drop out during the registration process. It’s where you can lose all impulse buyers, so it is essential that you do not underestimate the importance of your registration form. Pick an event registration solution that lets you get as close to the perfect registration process as possible.
- The registration form should be fast, easy, and simple. Add descriptions to all the fields you feel might need clarification.
- Make it short. Don’t ask for information you do not essentially need.
- Don’t ask for an account registration. Although the difference in the process may only be an additional password field, users are more likely to complete registration forms that don’t require creating any new accounts.
- Language, currency and payment method localization can boost registration by up to 300% depending on the market and the event. Always adapt your language, currency, and payment methods according to the market and your target audience.
- Keep the registration experience on your website whenever possible and don’t redirect your visitors to other sites or services. A consistent and seamless registration process helps maintain and actually improve your brand identity.
5. Make it easy to register from all devices
Today about 80% of Internet users access the web from their mobile phones and by 2017 that number is expected to reach over 90%. Pretty much everybody! While a lot of these people are also desktop users, their behavior tends to differ depending on the device they’re using. Recent studies reveal a few fun facts:
- People normally use their desktops for work, browsing, satisfying curiosity about stuff, playing games, watching youtube, etc.
- People accessing the web from a mobile device have more purpose and it’s usually to get something done.
- 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour.
If someone tries to register for your event from their smartphone and can’t press the “Buy Tickets” button, they will likely get annoyed and give up. Maybe they’ll try again later on their desktop, or maybe they’ll forget about it. In any case you don’t want to annoy potential buyers. Make it easy for all these people to register for your event regardless of the device they’re on.
Remember that your website is the face of your event and is your first chance to make a good impression. The second is your event’s registration form. Make sure both are set up right and focused on converting effectively. Remember that convenience sells. Good value sells.
We guarantee that if you follow the 5 steps, you will sell more tickets online.