When I first started at I-COM, one area that I was keen to develop was that of putting on seminars, where I could channel all of the internet marketing knowledge that I-COM has ‘in house’ and bathe the local business audience with it, all in one compact, coffee-fuelled morning. One thing that really surprised me was the number of delegates that registered from our online marketing activity as opposed to the scarcity of delegates responding to our large and quite costly traditional mail shot campaigns.
So what did we do? Well, we sent out keyword-rich press releases online to over 2000 news feeds which then picked up the ‘story’. These sites then feed to many other sites across the web and many of these news sites have subscribers that want information on specific topics. I personally have several ‘alerts’ set up in Google, and each day I receive an email outlining stories that contain my ‘keywords’ – it appears that plenty of other people do too!
We identified some useful web sites on which to advertise and these also drove some good traffic to our events page where some of those visitors went on to register for our seminar.
Our CRM database system was also called into action. This database contains many prospects, and many of them have email addresses; so coupled with the online PR activity, we have sent out a simple e-newsletter to everyone on our system giving them details about our seminars. This takes less time than it takes to fold and pack only a handful of letters and it filled our June seminar and brought registrations for the July seminar as well!
Just to give you an idea of the difference in value between traditional, offline marketing and our internet marketing efforts – our seminars are based on 50 delegates. After taking out staff time from the costing, traditional methods cost us around £100 per delegate which means it cost £5000 to fill the room. Online marketing, however, gave us each delegate for £0.16, which is a massive saving in anyone’s book!
So, one seminar now fully booked, and not a postman in sight!