HOW TO: A/B Testing Event Signups

One of the things we do as marketing people is testing — we test our products, our messages, our offers, our designs. It’s what we do to ensure we are hitting the right points, to the right audience. Tests are not about good or bad, they are about maximizing our efforts. Some things work, other don’t — our tests give us the data to back that up.

Live Events (such as webinars, seminars, tradeshows, training, launches, etc.) can be a challenge. We spend so much time and money on the event itself, along with our messages and campaigns to support them, it’s hard to determine exactly how to test them in the short time we have to promote them.

I have a solution, but it does require a bit of effort on your side to pull it off. The solution actually makes it easier for your customer or prospect, but more work for us the marketeer.

Register for an account at 31events.com. We’ve made it fairly simple to do register, no credit card needed and no cost use. And believe me, I understand about learning another tool, to do one more thing — but I believe the effort will be worth it.

Now, once you’re in the system, you’ll need to do a couple things (I suggest working through these next steps a couple times, before you try it on a real event, just to get the hang of how it all works). And if you get hung up, let me know, and I’ll help get you through the first one.

Step 1: Create New Event

Just like creating a meeting in your calendar app, you’ll need to create an event within 31Events. Every entry box has a purpose, so be ready to fill in the details. We provide space for a couple extra things which are important, especially as you create you’re A/B test harness.

Step 2: Send Test Calendar Invite

We force you to send out a test, we give you the ability to send your test invite to a max of 25 of people. I usually just send it to myself, but you may have a larger team which needs to either view or approve the communications associated with the event. Until the test is sent, your event will remain in your workbench — after sending, it will be “live”.

Step 3: Duplicate the Event

Within our system, we allow you to duplicate any live event. It comes in handy if want have a standard template for your event communications, or, like in this case, you want to create an A/B test for various types of communications.

Once duplicate, you will edit the event details in the same way you created them — all details will be editable, but the most important is the Event Name and Event Subject — you will want to change those (much like changing the subject on an email). Also, you might want to edit the Banner image and Coupon, along with any additional links you want to create within the message body itself. Anything you want to test, or believe could have an effect, you should change.

Suggestions:

  1. Change the Event Name to something relevant to the test.
  2. Change the Event Subject — test it like a subject for an email campaign
  3. Change Banner Images
  4. Change Coupon Images and/or offers
  5. Change the message body itself, include additional links, wording, anything you’d like

Examples of possible A/B tests to run:

  • Create one event to be sent only to your email list, and one to be used as an embed within your website
  • Create a different event for each social media channel
  • Create a different event for any advertising you plan to use

Here’s the reasoning behind all these tests. At the end of the event, you can get a count of the following:

  • How many people received invitations
  • How many people ACCEPTED the invitation
  • How many people DECLINED the invitation
  • How many people didn’t interact with the invitation, leaving it as TENTATIVE on their calendar

An the last thing you get, is the email address associated with that action, which allows you then run all kinds of analysis against the raw data — or combine with data from other systems (like your CRM or email).

This is data you can’t get (easily) from any other source. Actually, I don’t believe this type of data is available to you regardless of source, mostly because we are one of the few (potentially the only) company provide INTENT data for events. Meaning — your attendees have express their “intent” with the calendar invitation, it is either Accepted, Declined or no action is taken and it’s Tentative (just like sending out meeting notices for team meetings). That little bit of data is invaluable, especially after you have it for a few live events, and can start to recognize patterns.

So, now it’s up to you. You can do it, but it will be a new tool, with a small learning curve. It also takes you out of your routine. Personally, I believe it’s worth the effort.

Register for your account today!


Originally published at 31Events.

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