Surveys have many potential uses and are easier to implement than ever. But, it’s important to use them wisely so you don’t waste your time and resources or frustrate your customers with unnecessary questions. To create effective online marketing, surveys are most useful for evaluating campaigns or using the feedback to create statistics for content.
The problem that many marketers run into is that the survey is a one sided proposition, “Let us know what you think about . . .” While incentives like rewards are sometimes used, that often is not feasible for trainers, consultants, or professional coaching firms. Rather than offering prizes or monetary rewards, offer what your target audience really wants, powerful insights.
If you conduct a survey let your audience know the purpose of the survey. Will it be used in a whitepaper or report? Offer to email the report to respondents as soon as it’s completed. Is it to gauge interest in a particular event or topic? Offer a special to those that respond.
In this way surveys become a two way street. You receive the information to accurately evaluate a topic or event and your audience gets the benefit of this knowledge. Furthermore, it reinforces you as an expert because current data will keep you at the forefront of your evolving area of expertise.
Using events to engage your audience can be a powerful call to action. However, events require much more logistic planning and the number of attendees largely dictates how an event should be structured. So how can you efficiently plan for an event if you don’t know the demand beforehand? If there is a fee for your event and you are uncertain of the demand, offer early registration discounts to prevent registration procrastination and gain a sense of your audience.
Early registration discounts require discipline. If registration is not meeting goals many trainers, consultants, or professional coaches are tempted to extend the deadline or worse, restructure the pricing to generate extra demand.
We worked with a client who chronically adjusted pricing and their events steadily lost attendance. When a poll was sent out about interest in events one comment summed it up nicely, “Your events always drop in price or in some cases become free just before the event so I tend to register last minute. I rarely attend because my schedule gets booked up and I’m not free for a last minute registration but since the events recur, I’d rather miss it than overpay.”
Changing the early registration dates or pricing encourages your audience to procrastinate which makes event planning more complicated. It also taints our perspective on what types of events are in demand. This client declared that they were overcharging for events and slashed fees. However a year later after holding to early discounts they raised the pricing to previous rates and saw no significant decline in registrations.
Early registration discounts can be a powerful incentive for people to register for an event but only if they are consistently applied.
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