How do you define a successful event? Is it the number of tickets sold, the amount of new business generated, or something less tangible like a boost in your brand’s influence or reach online? If you want a clear and easy way to measure success, one metric you should be tracking is your conversion rate.
In essence, conversions are when an individual takes the leap and registers or purchases tickets to your event. It’s a measure of how successful any particular ad or platform is at getting people to commit to attending your event via a completed ticket sale or registration. Conversion rates are powerful because they can give you clear evidence of which marketing efforts are working and which are not, allowing you to adjust your approach properly.
There are three distinct places where you can easily track your conversions; your emails, your website, and your social media/digital ads.
If you’re hosting an event, you’ll need a way to reach your past and present customers via email. Picking an email platform such as MailChimp or Constant Contact that has built-in tracking on open and click-through rates will be invaluable and save you time when measuring your conversion success. You’ll want to compare the numbers you’re seeing against the average rates for events of your type to see how your emails are performing (MailChimp has a great page that shows the standard rates across many industries).
If you find that a particular email campaign or template has a below-average open rate, consider reworking your subject. Free service such as SubjectLine can help evaluate the strength of your subject line and can give you great tips on how to improve it. If the open rate is at or above average but your click through’s (aka the number of times recipients opened the email and clicked on the link to register or buy tickets for your event) are low, you’ll need to rework the content or formatting of your email. Does the recipient need to scroll down to find your call to action? Is it rendering poorly on mobile devices? Is the email too text-heavy? Any combination of these things can potentially hinder your click through rate.
Once customers are actually on your event website, there should be nothing stopping them from making it through the entire registration/purchase process. Similar to your email platform, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a registration/ticketing platform that can incorporate behavior tracking (either via a built-in tool or a separate tracking option such as Google Analytics).
To determine your website conversions, you’ll want to compare the number of website visitors against the number of people who have registered/purchased tickets to your event. If you find that this rate is low, your registration platform may not be ideal. To help increase your website conversions, make sure your registration process is a seamless experience on a mobile phone. Having an easy mobile checkout option can increase the number of website conversions without having to spend any extra time or money on marketing.
If you pay to run ads online, your click through rate is essentially your conversion rate. The click through rate measures the number of people who actually click on your ad after seeing it. This number is usually represented as a percentage and is usually a low number (anything at or above 1% is considered an excellent click through rate). By monitoring the click through rate on your ads, you’ll be able to identify which keywords or ads are performing below expectation. This helps you spend your ad dollars wisely while giving you great insights for what not to do when advertising your next event.
Conversion tracking can be a moving target as your event date draws near. Make sure you’re continually monitoring your various conversion rates throughout your entire registration period and make adjustments as needed. You may find that other event changes like a change in ticket price, a special offer via an email campaign, or a social media “contest” can affect your conversion rates significantly as well. Be creative, think outside the box, and consider all the potential ways you can get your potential customers to commit to your event!