Steep Digital Marketing Seminar Best Practices

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There are many things to consider when marketing your events online, and we know it can be a lot to take in. If you have any questions after reading our best practices, please feel free to let us know how we can help you below.

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Seminar Best Practices

Here's the formula for a successful online seminar campaign!

 ©2020 Steep Digital Marketing
All rights reserved

Our Best Practices are the guidelines we outline to help you get the most out of your turn-key campaigns with Steep. 

You can read a full list of our Best Practices on this page, but here is a shortlist of the most important items:

  • Venue: Colleges, Universities & Libraries
  • Time of Day: Start time between 6:00 and 7:00 PM
  • Days of Week: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
  • Multiple Dates: No more than 1 week between event 1 and 2
  • Audience Size: Must meet minimum requirement within driving distance
  • Frequency: At least 45 days between campaigns in the same marketing zone

TIMING OF YOUR ORDER

  • We need your order 45 days before your seminar event. 
  • We will launch ads 2.5 weeks before your first campaign event for 2 night campaign, and 2 weeks before 1 night campaign.
  • Please email logos, bios and headshots to us at least 10 days prior to launch date.
  • Rush Fees will be applied when there is less than 1 week between when the order is received and when the campaign is scheduled to go live. 1-2 day turn around will be $500; 3-4 day turn around will be $250.

Best Practices (full list)

In running hundreds of seminars a month for advisors across the country in various markets, we know what works, and what doesn't. Why fix what's not broken? We have put together this list of Best Practices to help you get the best response possible, so you don't have to try to figure it out on your own. 

DAYS OF THE WEEK

  • Tuesdays, Wednesday’s, and Thursday’s are the best nights for seminars.
  • Multiple Dates: No more than 2 dates on any one campaign. 2 date campaigns should not be more than 1 week apart.
  • Only 1 venue may be used on any one campaign.

TIME OF DAY

  • Because evenings out-perform day events, start times must be between 6 and 7 PM.
  • We also recommend 1-hour classes.

 VENUES

  • Neutral venues: Colleges, Universities & Libraries (please note: some colleges with religious or specialty affiliations will not be approved for best practices) 
  • Community, recreation, wedding, conference or event centers can work, but are not recommended.
  • Dinner/lunch seminars have lower conversion rates than educational, non-dinner seminars, but we still have success in marketing dinner seminars. If you must, hold them in the evenings for the best response. 

Please note it is your responsibility to secure your venue space and obtain any insurance required by the venue. Please share any venue specific regulations with our team related to marketing your event in the special instructions on your order.

AUDIENCE SIZE AND DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Your audience must meet our size guidelines and be within a reasonable driving distance (10 mi) of your venue. If the number of people reached isn't as large as the minimum that gets the best response, we will let you know.
  • If there are any changes to the demographics that will affect the conversions and number of registrations negatively, then Steep will advise you find a venue that will get a better response. Most urban and suburban areas have plenty of population, but rural areas may not reach our minimums.
  • Standard Demographics: Each campaign has a set of standard demographics including age, income, net worth, and liquid assets. These may be changed at your request but is not recommended. 

 FREQUENCY

  • Each seminar campaign should be 45 days after the previous campaign to allow a “cool down” period in the marketing zone.
  • Marketing to the same zone sooner than 45 days will cause market saturation sooner and will decrease your conversion rate. This period helps avoid that.
  • If you want to do seminars more than 45 days, we recommend requesting a second marketing zone.
  • If you are granted 2 marketing zones, then both will be on their own 45-day cycles.
  • If you wish to market to more than 1 zone, then you must do 2-night campaigns in each territory on a 45-day rotation cycle. See a full list of marketing zone requirements below.

 ATTENDANCE AND CONFIRMATION

Without a good confirmation process your attendance rate will suffer (as low as 30%). To help you maximize attendance, we have created a proven process to increase attendance to as high as 65%. The average attendance rate is 50%.

What we will do:

  • Automated Email Confirmations: Minimum of 3 emails (immediately upon registration, day before the event, day of the event). 2 additional emails will be sent at 10 days and 5 days before the event date if the client is registered that far in advance.
  • Real-Time Registration Notification: You will receive notification emails in real time as registrations are made. You can also reference all registration data on your seminar roster. Each registration will include: Name, Email, Phone, Number of attendees, and 90%+ of the time we will get their mailing address. 
  • Automated Confirmation Postcard: Direct-mail confirmation postcards will be automatically sent out to every person that registers for your event (if they provide an address)
  • Automated Text Confirmations: Each registrant will receive two confirmation text messages from us. The first will be sent immediately after registering and the second will be sent the day of the event. These texts will include the details for the event and a link to a google map. 

What you should do:

  • In additional to our emails, we recommend you do three follow up yourselves. Call each registrant within 24 hours of registration (the sooner the better). See Seminar Tools page for script.
  • Make a confirmation call 24 hours before the event.

 ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES:

  • The venue you are using must be within your marketing zone (ideally in the center)
  • If you follow best practices and your campaign performs poorly, we recommend not holding campaigns at the same venue
  • Blackout Dates: We do not recommend holding event dates near major holidays or e-commerce season between Thanksgiving and January 15th.
  • Delayed Launches: If you launch is delayed due to non-payment, late approval, or rush order, your campaign will see lower registrations and conversions. 
  • All or Nothing: Changes to this proven process may lower conversions. We recommend going for a custom seminar option if you look to make changes regularly to the content.
  • Cancellation Charge: If you must cancel your campaign there will be a $250 cancellation fee. A new seminar may not be scheduled until the $250 fee is paid.
  • Change Fee: If there are major changes to your campaign (ie: add/remove date, campaign type), there may be a change fee of $250 if work has already been started.
  • Custom Campaign Work: A $1000 one-time build fee may be applied to any campaigns requiring custom landing page content or ad copy. 
  • Custom Campaign Communication: A $150 fee will be charged for any additional email or text blasts included in your campaign.  
  • Payment Before Launch: Steep requires full payment before launching your ads. Your campaign will not be launched without full payment.



EXPECTATIONS: 

Custom Content: Page design plays a large role in the success of your campaign and all of your turn-key seminars come with a proven page design. Please be aware that any design or custom content changes to your campaign will affect the performance of your campaign and incur a semi-custom charge.

COMPLIANCE: 

  • Broker Dealer and RIA Compliance: You are responsible to get your marketing approved by your BD/RIA. Please plan your time accordingly if there is approval time needed with your BD/RIA.
  • Most of our distribution partners have reviewed and approved our content, so let them know the event is being marketed by Steep.
  • Please provide any required disclosures in the order form.
  • Facebook Compliance: We do our best to write ads and landing pages that follow Facebook’s advertising policies. All of our pages have links to privacy policies and our external website for our global brands. In addition to this, we have other disclosures that we will use on your landing page to ensure we’re complying with Facebook’s ad policies. If something happens outside of our control that causes Facebook to not deliver your ads, we cannot be held responsible for the performance of your campaign. We do not share facebook ad copy, on any facebook data for client campaigns unless the campaign is run for a custom client through their own ad account. 

UNDERSTANDING MARKETING ZONES:

  • We will not market the same campaign in the same market at the same time. 
  • Once your seminar takes place, you have rights to that same marketing zone for 45 days (campaign date one to campaign date two). 
  • There is a separate marketing zone for each seminar type. For example if there were 2 seminar programs available, each marketing zone could be used separately for each of the 2 seminar topics.
  • If you rescheduled another seminar with dates 45 days from the previous campaign, you maintain control of your market. If your second campaign date is sooner than 45 days apart, we cannot guarantee the second campaign's performance to help avoid over-saturation. If the second campaign's dates are past 45 days, you are at risk of losing that territory to someone else. 
  • There is a 5 day grace period before and after the 45 day requirement (essentially making it a 40-50 day window). 
  • In order to schedule a second seminar campaign within your 45 day window, you will need to submit that order approximately 7-14 days after the first seminar campaign occurs. 
  • Once your marketing zone request is approved, you can submit an order through our online order system. Your approval is good for 7 days from when we send it to you. In order to retain the approval for your territory, the seminar dates cannot be more than 6 weeks from the order date (ex: you could not submit your first order in February with event dates in July). 

MARKETING IS A RISK:
Marketing is a risk no matter how you go about it. Following the best practices outlined on this page help give your campaign the best possible shot at success, however it is not guaranteed. Factors outside our control such as weather, launching late, changes requested mid-campaign, holiday/e-commerce season, or any deviation from our tested formula of ad copy, landing page copy, or image requests can have significant impacts on the final performance of any campaign. It is our Client's responsibility to accept this risk and also keep track of the performance via the provided roster. 

So many rules, right?

Don’t worry, we’re doing all of this to help you! Campaigns that conform to best practices have a consistent track record of success. By following this proven formula, you’re on the fast track to great results.

See you at the top!

Having marketed thousands of seminars online, we've learned a thing or two about what it takes to execute a GREAT online seminar campaign. Below are some details of our Seminar Best Practices. Please read these carefully to give you the best shot at a high converting seminar campaign. We will market any event at any location you want to choose, but these are meant to help you get the best response possible.  

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