March 11, 2015 by Wendy Holliday
List buys and promotional email blasts rarely convince and convert the attendees you want for your conference or trade show. Today, you need to earn the privilege to be seen in a professional’s email inbox.
Attendance acquisition has shifted forever from push to pull marketing.
While you want to be in it for the long-run…earning inbox access and protecting that privilege, you can accelerate that through partnering with communities who represent a demographic segment that you want to grow.
The best candidates will be smaller, niche players who are progressive and nimble. Choose partners that have a following in an attendee segment you want to grow and don’t skimp on your partner offers.
Rather than constantly being seen as promoting and pushing information, this type of partner marketing is perceived by the potential attendee as an endorsement of your conference – pull marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a strategy that many conference organizers don’t understand or leverage. At its core, affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing that rewards another party for delivering new customers.
For a premium conference, acquisition costs for each new attendee will often exceed $100. In affiliate marketing, it’s not uncommon to compensate the affiliate 20 – 30% of the purchase price. You can, but don’t necessarily need to write a check. Instead, consider a combination of discounts that are only available through that channel and benefits designed to support that community or influencer.
The most effective strategy is to put the partner community first. This is best accomplished by making their brand primary and your brand and offer secondary. The offer should come across as being something that is only available because they belong and/or choose to be part of that community.
Now – don’t go crazy. You must carefully review each potential partner and offer to ensure you are partnering strategically and not giving away too much or too many.
How could your organization better leverage the power of affiliate marketing? What smaller, niche communities or tribes represent a demographic you desire to grow?
Filed Under: Attendance Marketing
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