33 Effective Seminar Marketing/Email
By Ralph Elliott, Ph.D.
1. Have the participant’s boss award the certificate for seminar - Explain this process at your
program and ask the participant to supply the name and contact details of his/her immediate
superior or approving manager. You should add the approving manager to your data base.
Mail the certificate to the Boss.
2. On an undecided caller, use the tentative “no obligation registration technique” to
convert the person into a sale - Essentially, you allow the person to register without paying
but note payment is due a week or so prior to the start of the program. Alternatively, you
may offer to accept a purchase order or a letter of intent.
3. The most important sale you will ever make to the customer is the second seminar -Why?
Because a two-time buyer is twice as likely to buy again as a one-time buyer. Recognize
first-time customers so they will come back for a second seminar/program.
marketing expert and
4. The higher the duplication between your customer list and a rented list, the higher the
creator of the “Effective
likelihood the rented list will work - If there is a 25 percent duplication rate (same names)
between List “A” and your customer list, then List “A” would have an 86 percent chance of
success. If the duplication between your customer list and List “A” is under 10 percent,
List “A” would have only a 3 percent chance of success.
5. Merge-purged names…those that appear on two or more lists…will out-pull any single
list from which these names have been extracted - Called multi-buyers, these names are
great candidates for second or third promotions. Some providers do the merge and purge
and use only the duplicates.
6. List the names of your Advisory Board at your website and on your promotional brochure
to build credibility for your programs - Board members will also send attendees. When
building your Board, invite the top or best-known leaders in the field, community or
industry. A prestigious Board will help brand your program. A prestigious Board will also
“create a barrier to entry” by discouraging others from entering the market since you have
all of the key players on your Board. Consider creating a “virtual” Advisory Board where
there will be no physical meetings…all contact by phone, Email or meeting software. Start
with a well-known person such as the chairperson and then others will be more willing to
7. Some key marketing information you might collect on the evaluation form includes:
• Would you recommend this program to others?
• May we use you as a reference for future attendees who want to speak to a past
• What key words did you use on your search engine to find this program?
• May we use your comments on future programs?
• Would you like an on-site session of this program?
• Which publication do you read and to which associations do you belong?
8. Build trust among those who have never attended your programs by offering a unique
money back guarantee (MBG)....such as quot;we will refund your registration fee and give
you a 100% credit for another program.”- By bringing the person back to another
program, you turn a potentially unhappy advocate into someone who sings your praises.
9. Send a “sorry you cannot attend” link to an online questionnaire in your last Email blast
leading up to your event (sometimes called a Regret Survey) - Ask the non-responding
person why he/she is not attending. List several possible objections on the survey and then
leave some open end space for the person to list the reasons for not attending. On your web
and on your future promotions, address these objections.
10. Build trust in your programs by listing your programs in various clearinghouses - The
seminar/conference clearinghouse will promote your program to clearinghouse clients.
Having your program listed alongside other major providers will help build trust and build
registrations. Some clearinghouses include: http://www.findaseminar.com/,
http://www.firstseminar.com/, http://www.trainingforum.com/, http://www.tregistry.com/,
http://www.tasl.com/ and http://www.seminarinformation.com/
11. Increase your bid on your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) program for your most profitable courses
or product lines - MarketingSherpa reports that bidding on the top three positions in search-
result listings generates the highest ROI for search engine marketing.
12. Create special landing pages to go along with your search engine marketing campaign -
Have a landing page for each product line. Provide incentives for the visitor or prospect to
complete a name and Email address form. Provide automatic follow once the person has
13. Use a BIG RED BUTTON to get people to stay on your landing page or on your website -
Put quot;e-inquiryquot; inside the large red button. When people click on the big red button, capture
their name and Email address while they post an inquiry about your programs.
14. Emails should be top-heavy with best offers quot;above the foldquot; to capture the reader's
attention instantly - That doesn't mean the Email must be short. Support points can
continue below the fold…the details that clinch the sale but include at least 3 links to your
landing page and/or registration screen/in-house screen in the first two sentences.
15. Use Word-of-Mouse...at your website, in your Emails, in your newsletter, and on your
confirmations...ask the reader to forward his/her copy - Create a quot;forward toquot; form that
can be used to forward information. Have a strong privacy statement noting you will not be
harvesting Email addresses.
16. Tell people who book onto your programs you need their Email address because you plan
• Send an immediate confirmation
• Email a roster of fellow delegates as the seminar date approaches
• Send a link to a questionnaire that can be used to send the speaker questions
• Send information on how to access a password-protected section of your website where
the delegate can download white papers and handouts
17. Some Email collection tips include:
• When asking for the Email address, include your contact person’s name and phone
number…to make questions possible and, most importantly, to build trust
• Offer a “live chat” option on the Email - collection page to answer any questions
visitors may have; however, use only if you can avoid saying, “Sorry. We are not here
right now,” or
• Include a “call me now button” on your Email - collection page and let the visitor
provide the number and best time to call.
18. When do you unsubscribe to Email? - Unsubscribe hard bounces (quot;No user at this
addressquot;) and soft bounces (quot;Mailbox full,quot;) as they are a sign of an abandoned Email
address while not deleting temporary bounces (quot;Out of the officequot; and quot;On vacationquot;). If
your list contains a significant number of bouncing Email addresses, the major ISPs will
stop delivering your Emails once you’re bouncing Email count reaches their (unpublished)
bounce threshold. Keep your list clean. Also, you should unsubscribe inquiries that, after
six months of Email promotion, have never opened your Email. Use direct mail and
telephone marketing to reach market segments that are unresponsive to Email.
19. According to a study by Jupiter Research, marketers say that by a 3-to-1 margin,
optimizing a website to attract search engines is a better bet for solid returns than paid
search listings -Your website rank is affected by the “importance” of your website as
measured by the number of other sites linking to yours. Create mutual links with other sites.
Ask existing customers which sites/search engines they most often use and put links at
those sites. Put a message on your site that says you are willing to exchange links.
20. Use Telephone Calls To Wake Up Dormant Customers...People Who:
• Never open your Email
• Open but never click through
• Click through but never convert
• A 12-month non-purchasing inquiry
• A 24-36-month plus non-buying customer
• A 24-36-month non-buying organization
21. Some Email Action Steps to Wake-Up Dormant Customers Are:
• Communicate with a new subject line
• Send a special “we’ve missed you” offer
• Send best of “white papers” to lift CTR
• Send a link to an on-line survey to capture interest areas
22. Use your Email service provider to track which links in your Emails promotions are most
successful in driving traffic to particular web pages on your site (such as the registration
screen) - Configure links in your Email messages for use with your analytic application to
see which links are generating worthwhile visits to your website, visits that involve views
of more than just a single page, etc…find links that create registrations.
23. Use Early-Bird Expiration Deadline in an Email Blast - Early-Bird Expiration is a good
justification for sending additional Email. Be specific on the early bird expiration date and
time...for example Early-Bird Expires at 5:00 PM on Friday. Promote the early-bird to
smaller non-profit sectors that will be more price sensitive…Segment your file into other
segments such small businesses, recent graduates, self employed segments that price
sensitive and personalize the early bird message appeal.
24. You will receive over 90% of your clicks from your Email campaign within the first three
days - Click rates increase at an increasing rate during the first day or two and then increase
at a decreasing rate for the remaining days.
25. Elliott uses a blanket rule to dictate Email frequency - According to this rule, 24 are about
the right number of Emails to send customers per year. Relevancy, customer relationships,
customer preferences, and equitable dialogues are important determinants.
26. Email copy writing recommendation - Avoid the word this at the start of a sentence and
always follow the word this with a noun. Don't write, “This is the most comprehensive
effort we've ever taken to help students select courses.” It would be better to write,
“Interactive and fun, the new Website helps students select courses.”
27. The “Welcome to Your Organization” will be the most important Email you will send to a
prospect added to the data base - The open rate is 2X regular open rates. Use this quot;special
opportunityquot; to convince the prospect that he/she should book on your classes now.
28. Segment your email list when people sign up- The best time to collect information for
segmenting purposes is right when your prospect or customer joins your email list. You
should create segmented lists by offering options with checkboxes on your sign-up form.
For example, a University might create a list for each type of seminar product line they sell,
so they can send only information relevant to the people who are interested in a particular