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Scaling Digital Meetup Post Mortem

Tom Harari gives you a peek into iAcquire’s analytics for our latest meetup, Scaling Digital. Discover what we’ve learned about which promotions work best.

We’re pretty methodical when it comes to analyzing data here at iAcquire. From our iRank technology, to our outreach operations, to our marketing team – data is supercritical for us because it allows us to make smart decisions instead of just guessing. And since we preach the importance of data and analytics to our clients, we do what we say internally as well.

That’s why when we finally finished up our latest meetup here in NY we got down to work analyzing the data around our promotion efforts to see what worked and what didn’t. Here are the results:

Project Name:

iAcquire Meetup 9/25 — Scaling Digital: Making Big Processes Work

Department:

Marketing

Project Team:

Devin Asaro, Jenn Sager, Amanda Gallucci, Jiafeng Li, Norris Rowley

Project Manager:

Michael King

Post Mortem Facilitator:

Tom Harari (that’s me!)

Meetup Date:

9/25/2013

Project Overview

Part of our marketing efforts for iAcquire revolve around thought leadership and ties to the community. So what better way to mesh the two than with a local meetup for the NYC tech, marketing, content, and analytics crowds where we bring industry speakers to talk about their work and to share lessons with our audience.

While the meetup events we’ve been hosting have looked great, they do not just happen on their own. It takes our marketing team about 6 weeks of preparation and planning to put one of these together. Therefore, tracking our efforts is important to know where we are getting the best return on our resources.

Project Performance

Overall the attendance was an improvement over our last two meetups (62 and 71 respectively), and the attendance rate, the percentage of people who attended to those who pre-registered to attend, was also higher.

  • Registration: 168 (including 13 people from iAcquire)
  • Registration (not including iAcquire people): 155
  • Participants: 85 (including 23 people from iAcquire)
  • Participants (not including iAcquire people): 62
  • Participation rate (not including iAcquire people): 40%
  • Page visits: 1175
  • Conversion rate from Eventbrite event page visits to registration: (Ticket sold/Page Visits): 14%
  • Pages visits from Eventbrite Promotion Tool: 1229

Page Views to our Eventbrite Page for the Meetup

Tickets Sold on our Eventbrite Page for the Meetup

Keep in mind that we didn’t “sell” tickets per se since there was no cover charge.

Here’s what we did as far as promotion goes:

Postcards

We tried sending postcards. Yes, I know this is low-tech but our assumption was that the novelty of receiving a postcard vs. an email invite, with hand written address and name, would show the recipient how much we value them and their attendance at our event. We placed a unique bit.ly link to track performance of these as well.

Postcards sent: 126

Clicks from postcards: 4

While on one level it seems the postcards did not have the effect we were hoping for, it is possible that we still increased brand awareness of iAcquire and that people searched ‘iAcquire’ on Google instead of typing in the bit.ly link directly. We may give the postcards another go but send them to a different segment of people next time around before we give up on this tactic entirely.

Videos

We’re really lucky to have Konner Smith, our Video Producer, onboard because he is truly talented with all things film. Since video is a strong area for us, why not create a series of promo videos to hype up the event?

There were 9 promo videos in total:

  • iAcquire’s Third Meetup Teaser: 113 views, 8/9/13
  • iAcquire Scaling Digital: Making Big Processes Work Teaser: 41 views, 8/16/13
  • Scaling Digital Speakers Announcement: 77 views on YouTube (8/28), 8 Views on Wistia via the iAcq uire blog (9/12)
  • What is Scalability?: 24 Views on YouTube (9/9), 45 Views on Wistia via the iAcquire blog (8/26)
  • Meet Our Speakers: Chris Le: 32 views, 9/9
  • Meet Our Speakers: Cindy Nieves Boynton: 29 views, 9/10
  • Meet Our Speakers: Rhea Drysdale: 29 views, 9/11
  • Meet Our Speakers: Joe Griffin: 30 views, 9/11
  • Final Promo: 55 Views, 9/19

The videos had a mixed effect for us. On one hand, we probably put out too many videos and we deliberately did not include them in our emails, so view count was low. Additionally ticket sales did not directly correlate with days we launched a new video.

That being said, it is tough to say the videos had no correlation with ticket sales as we always made sure to have the latest video on our Eventbrite event page – which may or may not have helped with that 14% conversion rate.

Moving forward we will likely reduce the number of videos down to 3-4 in total and focus on making each one amazing with content and visuals.

Emails

Emails have been our bread & butter from Day 1. Our target lists were a combination of previous attendees — a very targeted list, and our regular newsletter list which is less targeted as many people on that list don’t live anywhere near New York City.

Still, emails we sent out correlated well with ticket sales (more on that below) and emails we sent to targeted lists of previous attendees had a decent CTR.

5 emails were sent out:

1. September 16 – 63 emails – 10 clicks (people who attended the first meetup)
2. September 16 – 1582 emails – 3 clicks (iAcquire newsletter list – for brand awareness, not geographically targeted)
3. September 16 – 166 emails – 20 clicks (people who attended the second meetup)
4. September 25 – 47 emails – 4 clicks (people who attended the first meetup and did not already RSVP to Scaling Digital)
5. September 25 – 138 emails – 5 clicks (people who attended the second meetup and did not already RSVP to Scaling Digital)

We’ll continue to use email to spread the word about future events, though we will likely place a greater emphasis on sending out more than just 1 email per list about the upcoming event. In an effort to not sabotage our email list with messages, we only sent out 1 message regarding our event and still lost X people. I say we increase the number of messages with the assumption that the dropout rate will not increase drastically.

Social Media

Throughout the campaign, the link to Eventbrite that was tweeted and shared on Facebook (not attached to a video or blog post) was clicked 42 times, so we definitely drove traffic from social.

The social shares of our meetup related blog posts did not seem to take off, however. For example, number of social shares from our Q&A post with the meetup speakers: 2 Retweets,  5 likes on FB and 1 Favorite on Twitter. Very meh. Perhaps it is just not interesting enough since people either plan on going or not regardless of what content is in the Q&A post.

masthead

We also made use of the masthead on the iAcquire site, dedicating a slide to the meetup with a “RSVP” call to action. We got 62 clicks to Eventbrite this way.

Correlations of Promotion Efforts to Registration

As you can see below only Emails had a direct correlation with increases in Pageviews AND Tickets sold.

Also during the 6 weeks that we were heavily promoting the meetup, brand searches for iAcquire increased 20% (yes, we know this data will not be available to us in the future because of 100% not provided but so what!)


Key Accomplishments

The highlights for me are the we converted 14% of traffic to the Eventbrite page into registering for the event and that 40% of those who registered actually came. That’s awesome.

While 14% is a good conversion rate, I would like to see this increase in the future as the traffic that comes to the event page is very targeted and since we do not charge a cover, it should be easier to convert people.

Takeaway: In the future we will be hosting the Eventbrite event page on our own domain, vs. Eventbrite.com, which should allow us to make adjustments to creative and calls-to-action. I believe that with strong calls to actions as well as eye-catching creative that expresses the value-proposition of attending the event, we should convert at a higher rate.

Lastly, I think it is safe to say that we will be consolidating our efforts to the channels that work best for our audience and double down on them versus spreading ourselves thin across promotion channels.

Want to see for yourself how the meetup went? Check out the full videos of the speakers’ presentations here:

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