When trying to attract people to your fundraising event’s website, you need to start with the event and the website for it. Once that is set, you need to craft the promotion which will launch the stampede of interested people.
Make Your Event Worth Promoting
Before you can market your event, or anything for that matter, you need to research the event itself. That means fully defining your it including the schedule, the speakers, special attendees, the fundraising goals, and the impact it will have on your organization and cause.
My post on making events and communication more awesome focused on engagement through defining the details that would motivate people to attend. That’s exactly what we’re talking about here. With your event clearly defined, through serious thought about what works for your donors and your organization, you now have something you can really promote. But you must begin with the event. It is at the heart of the promotion.
Build a Website For It
You need to make sure your website is actually ready for the traffic you’re going to generate. It needs to be optimized for mobile screens. It needs to be visually pleasing and present your organization and event in a professional manner.
You will also need to optimize the path to your registration page. For example, make registration for your event the biggest call to action on your website. Have a dedicated landing page for your event. See Webdesign Inspiration’s “Event Web Designs” for a full gallery of examples.
Target the Right Words and Phrases in Your Promotion
It’s called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and it requires a great deal of thought and insight into the keywords that will attract people to your event’s website. It’s a science that’s mixed with a certain degree of art, not to mention the shifting search engine algorithms that you need to take into consideration.
As a starting point, I like the definitive guide to keyword research by Backlinko. This will help you find the right keywords and phrases that match your event and catch people’s attention. This, in turn, will help them first find the event and then go to your website to learn more and hopefully register.
Produce Share-Worthy Content
Now you have the keywords and phrases along with all the critical information about your event. Use all that information to create what is called share-worthy content. First, it’s worthy of sharing with your lists and contacts. But, as importantly, it’s worthy of them sharing it with their own contact list.
That content can include infographics, blog posts, highlights of your event, interviews or snapshots of the planned speakers and presentations. You name it. Content, chock full of those keywords and phrases, is all about attracting people to your website and opening the opportunity to sign up.
For more on content, try my post six tips to produce content that inspires web donations.
Now that you have excellent content, you can begin to promote it through all the channels available. Email is straightforward and can be directed to your full list of supporters. Plus, you can do some prospecting as well.
Email marketing best practices include optimizing your messages for mobile use, providing direct links for your registration pages, offering discounts for early registration, and using all the great content you’ve developed to further attract supporters. Don’t forget to suggest sharing of the information with your recipient’s friends and colleagues.
Direct Mail Promotion
My post on increasing donations with direct mail campaigns notes some important statistics about the effectiveness of snail mail versus email:
- Response Rate Direct Mail = 34 out of 1,000
- Response Rate Email = 1 out of 1,000
So while email is easy to do and very low cost, it’s direct mail that gets the responses. So be sure to use direct mail in your overall campaign. Also, make sure you provide links to your online content as well as your event registration page.
Social Media Promotion
Make sure to use your share-worthy content on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to generate buzz and drive traffic to your event website, as well as complement all your marketing efforts. It will also help to tag all your mailings and emails with links to your social media, not just your website.
You can create Facebook and LinkedIn Events as well as deploy a Twitter Hashtag that can help generate a conversation and elevate the visibility of your event. Don’t forget to use the hashtag during your event as well.
There’s a great Hubspot eBook “How to Enhance Your Internet Presence with Social Media.” I also recommend my blog post on leveraging social media to support your cause.
Integrating Your Campaign
With all that’s going on for your event, from website to email to direct mail to social media, it can be a real challenge to keep everything integrated and continue supporting your overall goals. Fortunately, with an event campaign you’ve got the overall objective of getting people to sign up and attend. Even so, you’ll need to pay attention across the various channels to integrating your overall campaign.
There are always next steps. Even after you’ve read through the linked content in this post it can easily seem overwhelming at times. I always recommend reaching out to the experts for insight, help where you might need it, or even implementing a turn-key campaign.
Campaign Now has substantial experience and expertise working with a wide range of nonprofits and their fundraising programs. They can also conduct every aspect of your fundraising with data, contact services, text message marketing, direct mail, email marketing, digital development, media advertising, as well as public and media relations. Or they can handle just the aspect you need to support your internal efforts.
Contact them at (855) 329-4327 or firstname.lastname@example.org.