Three Marketing Flubs That Cause Conference YES Decision Skids

WHEEE by Jody Roberts

Your email marketing blast generated plenty of clicks. But the registration needle hardly moved.

What’s up with that?

Conference Registration Frustrations

For every smooth registration journey, there are many other frustrating moments that cause people to bail.

You worked hard to earn that maybe click. Now they’re skidding and losing interest.

Three Marketing Roadblocks

Here are three messaging roadblocks that prevent you from converting them to YES:

1. One Size Fits All!

You crafted a powerful message. It zeroed in on critical issues for a targeted audience segment.

But when people click the link, they go to a generic home page.

Suddenly, they’re in a “one size fits all” world. They wonder if your conference fits their needs.

If you serve up a niche message, they need feel like they belong, especially when they click your link.

“Take me to my tribe and a special page that highlights sessions of greatest interest,” is what they are thinking.

Alumni campaign message? When they click it, take them to a Welcome Back page. And when they register, make sure fields are pre-populated with their contact information. Years ago, this kind of customization was tricky. Now it’s not only easier. Attendees expect it.

2. Pay Here!

Your message was intriguing.

But the recipient hasn’t made their decision yet.

Unfortunately, when they click the link, it takes them to the registration payment page. Even worse, there’s no link to learn more about the conference.

You want to be efficient, but if you proceed to a payment page too soon, you’ll lose them.

Instead, consider a splash page with two options:

  • Learn More
  • Register Now

Give prospects a chance to identify where they are in the decision cycle.

3. Can We Have Your DNA?

You earned their YES.

But now they’re navigating through endless registration screens.

You’re asking for their membership number, a password and everything short of a DNA sample.

But wait, isn’t data important?

Absolutely, but save the follow-up questions for later. Secure that first YES as fast as you can and later, you can follow-up with more questions (don’t go overboard).

By the way, if you expect people to have their membership number handy, they expect you to have it, too. Give registrants an option to bypass that field, add language to your confirmation message that this is pending membership verification and handle this step for them.

Staff efficiency should never trump the attendee experience.

Make it easy, make it fast and get ‘r done.

As you explore other conferences, what roadblocks cause you to hesitate on your decision to attend? What other marketing speed bumps can we remove to convert more prospects into happily registered attendees?

Adapted from Donna’s Meeting Innovation post on Cvent’s Event Planning blog. ©2014.

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