Authors

Anne Fleshman, Director of Marketing - Demand Generation at Autopilot

Lesson 3: Follow Up After Events and Webinars

You did it! You planned and successfully executed your in-person event or webinar. Now comes the most important step: the follow-up journey.

This may be surprising, but the two most effective content marketing tactics are in-person events and webinars. Maximize the outcome of all your hard work attracting qualified attendees by tactfully repurposing your content and guiding customers forward with an automated follow-up journey.

In this lesson, you’ll learn:

events webinar effective marketing tactics
Marketers say in-person events and webinars are their most effective tactics
 

Ways to repurpose event and webinar content

Hosting an in-person event or webinar takes effort. A big mistake many marketers make is letting all the value they created for attendees enter the content graveyard as soon as their event is over. Repurposing event and webinar content is a smart, efficient way to compound your efforts and extend the life of your content.

Repurposing event and webinar content is a smart, efficient way to compound your efforts

By transforming event content into different mediums, you can use those resources to master your follow up and get in front of new audiences. Plus, you can connect with people using their preferred learning or engagement style.

Next, you’ll learn top ways to repurpose event and webinar content, along with recommended channels and examples of each.

Video

People are consuming video more than ever before. In fact, 74% of all Internet traffic in 2017 will be video, according to Syndacast. Not only are people watching video, they are engaging with it, too. Studies show that including the word “video” in email subject lines increases click-through rates by 65%. Plus, tweets with video get the most shares.

With video marketing on the rise, be sure to capture a high-quality recording of your event or webinar. Then, upload it to YouTube or any other video platform of your choice. Because video editing and processing can take some time, this should be one of the very first things you do after an event.

Channels to syndicate video

  • Add video to your resources center or create a dedicated landing page. Leave your recording ungated so people can watch on demand or gate it behind a form to use as a lead magnet.
Example of event recording used as gated content found in Unbounce's resources center
Source: Unbounce
lead capture form
  • Share your video recording across your social media channels. Take it one step further and create short videos or gifs featuring highlights from your event. You can even use these snippets as retargeting ads. If you do, keep in mind that the ideal video ad length is 15 seconds, according to Adroll.

Example of repurposing event video content on social media via Dreamforce. Source: Dreamforce

  • Include links to your video recording in your follow up, lead nurturing, or newsletter journey. We’ll come back to this in detail later in the lesson, but here’s an example to inspire you in the meantime.
Example of a webinar recording used in an email
webinar recording
  • Embed your video in your event or webinar recap blog post. More on that next…

Blog

Writing a recap blog post that includes the recording, slide deck, tweetable takeaways, and summary of topics covered is another way to extend the life of your events and webinars. Blog posts not only cater to those who prefer to learn by reading, they also bring in organic traffic if you optimize your content around a frequently searched keyword term. Here’s an example of a recap blog post from a past Autopilot webinar. This is also a good opportunity to address any questions you didn’t have time to answer live.

Similar to video, you can syndicate your blog post in your follow-up journey to registrants. Here are a couple more ways to repurpose your recap post:

  • Distribute your post to relevant forums, communities, and Slack channels. For example, if you hosted a growth marketing event, like-minded individuals who could find value in your content may be on GrowthHackers or the Online Geniuses community on Slack.
growthhackers post
Example of a webinar repurposed on GrowthHackers
  • Share your recap with speakers and influencers. If you have the opportunity, send your speakers a handwritten note or postcard in the mail to thank them for their time and energy. Alternatively, send a genuine thank you email. This will make them feel special. It’ll also increase the likelihood that they’ll help promote you again in the future. If you didn’t bring in any outside speakers, but mentioned a concept, quote, or statistic from an expert in your field, be sure to give them credit via email or social media. There’s a good chance they’ll share it with their audience.
Example of an email sharing an event recap with a speaker
event recap email

Slideshare

SlideShare has been called “the quiet giant of content marketing”. Why? Because it’s specifically built for professionals seeking content and information in a visual format. With over 18 million uploads in 40 content categories, it’s also one of the top 100 most-visited websites in the world.

Repurpose the speaker decks from your event and upload them to SlideShare. Then, optimize your SlideShare for more exposure. Google’s search algorithm will love you for it.

To syndicate your SlideShare, embed it on your recap blog post or landing page and include a link to it in your follow-up journey, like Kissmetrics did:

How Kissmetrics repurposed webinar slides on Slideshare
webinar recording slides

You can also turn slides into images and quotes to share on your social media channels. Here’s an example of a highly-engaging Instagram post created from a quote by Rand Fishkin, the founder of Moz.

Now that you have content resources in your arsenal, whether it’s a recording, blog post, slidedeck, or even photos from your event or webinar, you can utilize these assets in your follow-up journey.

Winning tactics to master the follow up

Leaving event/webinar attendees with a positive impression of your brand by saying thank you is important. But you can take the next step and maximize your return on investment even further by focusing your follow-up journey on guiding contacts to take the next step in the customer journey.

This conversion step will vary depending on the funnel stage of your audience. The below table outlines standard objectives and a few examples of the types of events/webinars you can host based on whether you’re trying to reach a new audience or nurture existing customers.

event and webinar follow up
Master event and webinar follow up by guiding registrants onto the next step of their customer journey

Of course, there may be overlap in audiences. Customers are often interested in events catered to prospects, and vice versa. Keep this in mind as you build segmentation into your follow-up journey.

Before we dive into a step-by-step example, let’s consider a few winning call to actions to use in your messages:

  • Link to your recap content. Leverage your recap blog post, video recording, or SlideShare in your first touch email. It’s an easy win to answer the “why you, why now” question. People are busy and their attention is limited. By the time your follow up is sent, they may have moved on to the next thing. Remind them why you are emailing them, and why you are emailing them right now.
  • Send relevant, value-add content. If your audience was interested enough to register for your event, try sharing a related ebook, blog post, or customer case study they may want to check out. This often makes sense as the second touch or third touch email following the initial “thanks for attending” message.
  • Invite registrants to your next event or webinar. If they RSVP’d once, chances are this audience will take interest in others you host. Promote your next webinar or upcoming event by including the date, time, a short description, and a link to the registration page with an enticing call to action. You can also share your company’s event calendar or link to a signup page where they can opt in to receive updates on future events.
  • Ask for feedback. You have one foot in the door already, why not ask attendees to help you improve future events? Send a quick survey or ask a blunt question like, “Did the [insert title] class last week help you [insert goal of your customer]?” Negative feedback will only help you be more effective next time. If you receive a positive reply, ask if you can feature the statement as a testimonial on your website.
  • Offer a special discount. Use your follow-up journey to offer exclusive discounts or offers to event attendees only. This could be a promo code for a discount on their next purchase, an extended free trial, free product consultations, an opportunity to win free swag, etc.
Examples of event and webinar follow up emails from The Hustle, Instapage, YesInsights, Segment, 500 Startups, Startup Socials

With these tactics in mind, let’s create an event follow-up journey using Autopilot.

How to create a follow-up journey using Autopilot

Before getting started, consider two factors that impact the success of your follow-up journey:

  • Timeliness. Wait too long and your audience will forget your event ever happened. Your goal should be to follow up while the content is still fresh, preferably within the 24 hours after the event.
  • Repetition. Seasoned marketers know it takes more than one message to convert a customer. It’s not enough to thank an attendee and send them a link to a recording. Continue to connect with two or more additional touch points, then personalize their journey depending on their engagement level. Qualify them for sales, transition them to an appropriate automated nurture journey, or add them to a list that receives communications on a regular cadence, such as your monthly email newsletter.

Here’s what your follow-up journey will look like once complete. Below, we walk you through it step by step.

event follow up journey
Event follow-up journey

Pssst! Snag this journey from our Guidebook by logging into Autopilot.

1. Choose your contacts

At a basic level, there are two audience segments you’ll want to follow up with:

  • Attendees
  • Non-attendees

If you’d like to further personalize your messages, you could create other segments, like non-attendee customers or attendee hot leads. Here are two options for adding event and/or webinar contacts to your follow-up journey:

Option 1. Create a list by importing contacts from a spreadsheet

Follow these instructions to import your contacts from a spreadsheet. Be sure to give your list a name that’s easily distinguishable by using a naming convention like this: “Webinar – [Name of Webinar] [Name of Segment, e.g., Registrants or Attendees] – [Month] [Year].”

Option 2. Set up a Zap to automatically add contacts to an Autopilot list

Autopilot connects to over 800 apps via Zapier, including GoToWebinar (popular web conferencing platform) and Eventbrite (popular event management software).

This option takes a bit of foresight as you’ll need to set up the Zap before promoting your event or webinar. In this example, we’ll show you how to set up a Zap that will automatically add all event registrants from Eventbrite to an Autopilot list.

First, create a new list in Autopilot for event registrants to populate into. Next, log in to Zapier and click “Make a Zap.”

Select Eventbrite as your Zap trigger.

Select Eventbrite as your trigger app
zap trigger eventbrite

Choose “New Attendee” as the trigger. Select your account and your live Eventbrite registration page, then test that step.

Select 'New Attendee' as your trigger
zap trigger new attendee

Next, choose Autopilot as your Zap action.

Select Autopilot as your action app
zap action choose autopilot

Select “Add Contact to List” as your action.

Select 'Add Contact to List' as your action
zap action add contact to list

Find the list you’ve created in Autopilot and set up your field mapping template from Eventbrite to Autopilot. The default fields include Last Name, First Name, and Email Address. Finally, test your Zap, give it a name, and turn it on!

Once you’ve set up this Zap, every time you have a new event registrant, Zapier will automatically add them to your list in Autopilot—eliminating the manual download/upload process.

You can create another Zap to add attendees to an Autopilot list by repeating the above steps, but selecting the “New Attendee Check-In” option as the Eventbrite trigger.

After populating your list, drag and drop either the list trigger or time trigger shape onto your canvas. If you’d like to follow up immediately, use the list trigger. If you’d like to follow up at a specific time in the future, use the time trigger. Once the shape is on the canvas, click to configure it. Finally, search for and select your list from the drop-down menu.

2. Structure your journey

Now that you’ve successfully added your contacts, it’s time to structure the rest of your journey.

Step 1. Check which registrants attended your event

First, add the is on list or segment condition check to your canvas and select the event attendees list you created earlier. This shape enables you to separate registrants who attended your event from those who didn’t.

Add a condition check in order to differentiate attendees from registrants
check who attended

Step 2. Send follow-up emails to attendees and non-attendees

Next, add two send email actions to the canvas. You can now route attendees to one email and non-attendees to another email. Simply drag and connect the “yes” outcome arrow to the attendee email and the “no” outcome arrow to the non-attendee email. Once you’re done, click to configure each email.

Add an email action for attendees and registrants, respectively
follow-up emails

Before moving forward, you’ll need to decide what personalized offer to present attendees and non-attendees. Will you nurture them with relevant content? Or present them with a special offer? Perhaps they’re ready for a sales touch? Your choice will define the remainder of your follow-up journey.

When creating an email in Autopilot, you have three options:

Regardless of the option you chose, we recommend waiting to craft your message until after you’ve structured your journey. For now, simply choose your desired method and give the email a distinct name.

In this example, we’ve sent attendees an email containing a special offer:

Example of an event follow up email to attendees
special offer email

Step 3. Send promo code to those who redeem your offer

As you can see, attendees must click through to a landing page to redeem the offer. (You can easily set up landing pages, like the one below, with one of these recommended builders.)

Example of a promo code redemption landing page
sample landing page

To ensure the promo code lands in their inbox, you’ll need to create a smart segment that captures every contact who clicks the link. Once you’re done, drop a smart segment trigger on the canvas, then search for and select the list you just created.

Trigger an email with your code for every contact who redeems your offer
promo code email

Next, connect the smart segment trigger to a send email shape. That way, when an attendee clicks on the link to redeem the offer, they’ll be sent another email with the promo code right away. That email might look something like this:

Example of an offer redemption email
add smart segment trigger

Step 4. Send friendly reminders

If your attendee doesn’t click to on the link to redeem the coupon code within a specified time period, send them a friendly reminder using the add delay action, is on list or segment condition check, and the send email action.

Remind attendees of your special offer after a delay
send friendly reminder gif

Check out this sample reminder email:

Missing img atribute. Example: [imageWithCaption img="link/to/your/image"]

If the attendee clicks on the link, but never redeems your offer, send them a friendly reminder shortly before the offer expires. By emphasizing that the offer is time-sensitive, you’ll ignite their FOMO: fear of missing out. Hopefully this reminder will nudge the lead into becoming a paying customer.

Seven days before the offer expires, send a reminder to redeem
sample reminder email 2

Use a time trigger that activates seven days before the offer expires, then verify that they’re not already a customer using a condition check. Finally, add an email like this one:

Example to remind contacts that their offer is expiring soon
sample reminder email 3

Feel free to customize this journey by adding additional shapes. For example, you may want to assign leads from your event to Salesforce, change a lead’s score when they click on your email, notify a team member on Slack when they redeem your offer, or show a Headsup message reminding them of the offer next time they’re on your website. Don’t forget to go beyond email, experimenting with onsite and in-app messages, SMS, and direct mail.

3. Craft your messages

Once you’ve defined the journey your contacts will take, it’s time to craft your messages.

Attendee follow-up email

When following up with your attendees, start by saying thank you. It’s important to communicate that you value their participation. Next, remind them what your event was about and who spoke. Finally, include a relevant call to action. You could offer a time-limited discount on your product or service, or continue to nurture them with a related content download.

You can modify this template or write your own:

Hi –first name=there–,

Thanks for attending [insert title here] with [insert speaker name here] and [insert speaker name here.] We hope you enjoyed this wide ranging discussion, covering everything from [insert compelling topic here] to [insert compelling topic here.]

You can view the webinar replay on YouTube: [ADD LINK].

Stay posted for future events. Until then, you can [insert call-to-action].

Thanks again and have a great day!

[Insert your name here]

Here’s a variation on this email that we used to follow up with attendees after a webinar:

Example of a follow up email to webinar attendees
webinar attendees email

Non-attendee follow up

You can (and should) follow up with registrants who don’t come to your event. After all, you have their email addresses! Send non-attendees a follow-up email that contains your webinar replay or event recording, a relevant call to action, and says they were missed. Providing an event recap to those who couldn’t attend ensures your content doesn’t go to waste.

You can either build off of this script or create your own:

Hi –first name=there–,

Sorry we missed you today, but you can still learn [insert compelling topic here.]

Watch the replay of [insert title here – ADD LINK] featuring [insert speaker name here] and [insert speaker name here].

Stay posted for future events. Until then, you can [insert call-to-action].

Thanks again and have a great day!

[Insert your name here]

Here’s a variation on this email that we used to follow up with non-attendees after a webinar:

Example of a follow up email to webinar non-attendees
webinar non-attendees email

Side note: If you’re interested in our webinar on smart segmentation, watch the replay.

After finalizing your content, the next step is to review, test, and publish your journey.

4. Review, test, and publish

When you are finished configuring your follow-up journey, it’s time for a quick review:

Review your journey. Does it flow logically? Have you chosen the right shapes? Do the connections between shapes make sense?

Review your messages. Do they align with your goals? Are words spelled correctly? Have you used correct grammar and syntax?

Send test messages to yourself and a handful of colleagues. Do links work? Did you remember to include UTM parameters? Do images render quickly and correctly?

Click publish. Happy automating. 😊

Further resources

Interested in event marketing? Want to learn more about how best to follow up with leads? Check out these helpful resources:

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