Marketing Automation is great for event management

5 minute read

Marketing Automation is all about improving your efficiency and consistency by using rules to trigger automated one-to-one messaging. If you’re running an event its great for managing your registrations.



A Marketing Automation rule is made up of 3 simple steps –

1. the subscriber trigger point (it could be them opening an email or clicking a link)
2. your associated response (perhaps to add them to a specific list, or reply with a specific follow up email)
3. when you want this to action happen (either immediately, or after some specified period of time).

Once set up your marketing automation rule will always be active, so it stays in place, automatically monitoring the trigger points and returning the appropriate responses. It reduces your workload by automating and ensuring the consistency of repetitive tasks, but perhaps more importantly it improves your communication process by reacting to individual actions and circumstances.

Automation is perfect for things like welcome messages (these can be automatically triggered when a subscriber first joins your list), and birthday emails (remember to collect their birthday as one of your subscriber profile fields).

Your Marketing Automation can be just a single one-off process – trigger, action, timescale. We’d always recommend that you start simple, but you can also combine and chain your rules together to form more complex automation processes.

Here’s a sequence of Marketing Automation rules that I use to manage registrations to our email marketing Discovery Mornings.

Start by sending an invitation email to the target audience.

MA rule #1 – The prompt
1. Trigger – Those who open the email but don’t click through to the content
2. Response – Send a follow-up email
3. Time – After 1-day

MA rule #2 – The re-send
1. Trigger – Those who don’t open the email
2. Response – Re-send the invitation with a different subject line
3. Time – After 2-days

MA rule #3 – The confirmation
1. Trigger – Those who complete the form to register for the event (by completing the form they are automatically added to a dedicated subscriber list)
2. Response – Send a thank you and confirmation email with agenda and joining instructions
3. Time – Immediately

MA rule #4 – The alert
1. Trigger – Those who complete the form to register for the event
2. Response – Send an internal alert to notify the team of a new registrant
3. Time – Immediately

MA rule #5 – The keep warm
1. Trigger – Those who complete the form to register for the event
2. Response – Send a reminder with download link for preparation materials
3. Time – 2 weeks before the event

MA rule #6 – The reminder
1. Trigger – Those who complete the form to register for the event
2. Response – Send a final reminder with joining instructions and travel news
3. Time – 1 day before the event

MA rule #7 – The thank you
1. Trigger – Those who attend the event (this will require some manual data capture at the event itself)
2. Response – Send a thank you email with a link to the presentation slides
3. Time – 1 day after the event

MA rule #8 – The try again
1. Trigger – Those who didn’t attend the event
2. Response – Send a follow up email to re-invite to the next scheduled event
3. Time – 1 day after the event

If you’ve registered for one of our Discovery Mornings you will have seen this process at first hand. I’m sorry to dispel the illusion that this is really me sending a personal email to you each time (I’m guessing you knew that already). The point is, Marketing Automation is much better at doing this than I am. Marketing Automation doesn’t forget to send your confirmation, it always adds the right location information for the specific event you’ve registered for, and it isn’t on holiday exactly when you need the agenda and joining instructions.

We like to keep our Discovery Mornings cosy and informal so we’re normally talking about between 20 and 60 registrations per event. Even that would be a significant task if managed manually, but imagine scaling this to arranging 3 conferences for 2,500 people, simultaneously on 3 continents (a previous challenge of mine). I had a team to help, but without Marketing Automation it was simply not possible.