Tips & Tools for Using Constant Contact to Promote Your Events

Tips & Tools for Using Constant Contact to Promote Your Event

Open for business and eager to get a crowd through your doors? You may use social media, email and your website to get the word out but there is now a tool that can combine all of your efforts.

Constant Contact’s new Toolkit can help you maintain sanity in this fast-paced world of online marketing. The product organizes your email contacts, registers guests for events, runs offers and promotions, surveys your customers, and shares your updates on social media. It does all this in one simple dashboard that you can easily access from your phone, tablet or computer.

Whether you’re hosting an open house, product launch, seminar, workshop, class, conference, fundraiser, or networking event, the Constant Contact Toolkit is a great tool for both event promotion and registration. You can send a save-the-date, create an event announcement email that includes online registration and a questionnaire, analyze data, and so much more.

Here are inBLOOM’s ten tips and tools for using the Constant Contact Toolkit for events and registration:

1. Event announcements commit people early. 

Before you send out an email with online registration, you can send an event announcement / save-the-date  to let people know the who, what, where and when so they can plan on attending. Constant Contact offers several templates to choose from, so based on the type of event you’re holding you might want to choose one over the other.  Sending an event announcement to your contacts is the most important way to promote your event, along with social media promotions, print and online event calendars and advertisements.

2. Online registration is convenient for you and your guests.

Through Constant Contact’s online registration, all responses are organized automatically, so you don’t need to manually keep track of the attendees. What’s great about the online registration is that it’s available 24/7 so if someone decides they want to register at midnight, they can do so. And it also means that you can log in and manage the event at any time. All the information you need is collected in one central location so you can stay organized, which is key to planning any successful event.

3. Build event buzz among friends by social proofing.

With the online registration tool, registrants have the option to share and inform other registrants that they’re attending. Allowing people to see who else is attending will increase the likelihood they will attend as well. There is also an option to allow the registrants to share the event on their social networks. This is a convenient way for them to spread the word. All of this creates social proofing – the perfect way to build buzz for an event!

4. Avoid embarrassing situations by limiting the number of registrants.

Have you ever held an event and too many people attended? When this happens, it can be exciting because you know you’re event is a hit, but at the same time it can create problems. Situations like this occur for a few reasons. For example, your venue may have capacity constraints; a workshop instructor may only be able teach a certain amount of people; and your budget may only allow for catering for a certain head count. With the online registration tool, you can close an event automatically after the set maximum amount of people have registered. The number will even include both registrants and their guests (if guests are allowed). Or, if you have a deadline registration date, you have the option to close on that date.

5. Charge people to attend your event for better results. 

Believe it or not, the cost of your event actually has little influence on your audience’s decision to attend your event. In a study of over 200,000 event declines, Constant Contact set out to find the reasons why the invitees didn’t attend. For 50% it was a date/time conflict, 29% it was some other reason, 10% it was the location, and for just 0.01% it was the cost. What this shows is that you shouldn’t be afraid to charge for your event. Those who pay in advance are less likely to be no shows come the day of the event, so it’s better to collect payment ahead of time. With the Constant Contact Toolkit you can give your registrants the option to pay when they register online. Payment methods include credit card and PayPal. You can also offer a discount code.

6. Connect your social network with an event hashtag.

When creating your event campaign, you can create a hashtag which will help you connect live tweets to the event. Registrants will see the hashtag in their confirmation email and if they tweet about the event, they can include the hashtag. When you tweet the event from within Constant Contact, the hashtag will auto-populate in the box. Don’t forget to use the hashtag on Instagram as well to build the buzz with fun pics that excite people about the event.

7. Track event interest with Google Analytics. 

When you link Google Analytics to your event campaign, you can see where the traffic to your event landing page is coming from, learn if and where prospects are falling out of your registration process, and collect geographical data on where your registrants are coming from. Simply input your Google Analytics Web Property ID and it will track all registration pages.

8. Brand your event with a custom registration form.

When you customize the registration form, you can edit the logo and design, and select the information you want to collect from your registrants. You can even decide what’s required for them to answer.  You can create badges within Constant Contact, so if you’ve decided you’re going to do that you can ask them to fill out the badge information, too. Want to know more about your registrants other than personal and business information? You can create custom questions that are either required or not required to answer.

9. Send a post-event thank you and survey. 

After the event is over, it’s important to send out a thank you email to those who attended. In Constant Contact, you can include a survey to get feedback on key insights such as the event venue, timing, food, entertainment, interests and demographics. You can also include a newsletter sign-up so those who aren’t already subscribed have the chance to do so.

10. Review event statistics and data. 

Now that your event is over and everyone is raving about what a success it was, you can analyze reports through the Constant Contact event management tool. You can identify shows and no-shows, review revenue or funds raised, and segment follow-up lists based on registration questions, activities participated in or behaviors. If you created an event hashtag, you can check out the social media activity that’s been tracked, and you’ll see the amount of tweets over time and at what time they were tweeted. Maybe a certain speaker stole the show or a specific moment had people excited. You’ll be able to identify the most popular portions of the event and see who your top participants were so you can start following and interacting with them on social media.

As a Constant Contact Solution Provider, inBLOOM is offering a 60 day trial so you’ll be able to get  hands-on experience using Toolkit to develop an event and registration campaign. Register for the Toolkit here.

You’re going to love it! Let us know what you think and leave a comment on this post.

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How the Media Uses Twitter and Tips for Tweeting Them

Tips for Tweeting the Media on Twitter

It’s 7 a.m. You’re enjoying your morning cup of joe, preparing breakfast, and turning on your favorite morning show. One of the hosts shares a thought-provoking segment and you immediately tweet your social love for the story. Before you can put down your coffee, your iPhone is alerting you to dozens of Twitter RTs and favs. The story has gone viral.

The media is savvy to its audience’s need to digest, communicate and share bits of news and trending stories at all hours of the day. Learning to connect with media on Twitter can help you to pitch a story, idea or product. Now there are no guarantees that you’ll get a response on your first or 50th tweet, but knowing how to participate is a good first step.

Journalists and producers are using Twitter to engage with their audiences, track down stories, and build their personal brands. With approximately 255 million monthly active users, a 140-character tweet is one of the most valuable resources in the 21st century. In Oriella PR Network’s report, “The New Normal for News” it was reported that 59% of journalists worldwide currently use Twitter.

Most news organizations and television programs have Twitter accounts. You may have noticed a news anchor’s Twitter handle pop up on the bottom of your TV screen or the stream of live tweets shared during popular shows like FOX’s American Idol, Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, and The Oscars. For the 2014 Oscars, an astounding 19.1 million tweets were viewed 3.3 billion times worldwide within a 48-hour window.

Rachael Ray, best known for her thirty-minute meals and her syndicated daytime talk show The Rachael Ray Show, which has 1.13 million Twitter followers, has used Twitter to connect with viewers since 2009. The show’s social media team shares a range of content, including recipes, segment highlights and scoop on guests. They also make social media fun by engaging their audience weekly. On “Tasty Tuesdays” viewers tag @RachaelRayShow and share what they’re cooking up on that day. As an intern for the show last summer, I thought it was fun to see that some of these recipes were featured on quick segments at the end of broadcasts.

Recently, I spoke with Rosanna Scotto, Co-anchor of WNYW’s Good Day New York, about her thoughts on Twitter as a tool. “I use Twitter to promote what’s coming up on the show,” she said. “It’s a great way to engage viewers during the show and gauge what’s working or what’s not.” With 37,400 followers @rosannascotto, Rosanna uses the hashtag #GDNY to engage viewers and share teasers on upcoming stories.

She also loves receiving instant feedback from her viewers. She recalled one of her favorite Twitter moments with me. Before a live airing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Rosanna and the Good Day New York crew spontaneously decided to play a game they created called, “spot the hipster.” They spotted a man walking by with facial hair, carrying a cup of coffee with a phone glued to his ear. They yelled “Oh, definitely a hipster!” while catching it all on camera. Instantly, viewers were tweeting Rosanna about how much they loved the segment. “I told my producer don’t pull the camera away let’s continue and play ‘spot the hipster’ throughout the show.”

Rosanna also added that Twitter makes it possible for viewers to give her helpful feedback, which, in turn, helps her to become a better journalist. She also uses Twitter for breaking news situations, but makes sure she is careful to avoid misinformation. “I have used it during the Boston Marathon bombings and other large breaking news events because you can get resources and information very quickly,” she said.

Twitter is also a valuable resource for media professionals behind the cameras like Ivy Charmatz @ivycharmatz, News 12 New Jersey’s Executive Producer of News and Special Projects. I am currently interning with News 12 New Jersey and had the chance to speak with Ivy about the ways she uses Twitter. “Twitter is a great way to reach a large group of people with a shared interest,” said Ivy. “People who follow me or News 12 New Jersey are interested in keeping up with what’s going on in our state. Twitter allows us an opportunity to share information quickly and very effectively.” Not only does Ivy like to use Twitter to research story ideas, she also uses it to interact with colleagues and viewers by incorporating popular hashtags into her tweets. “Hashtags are always changing, but two of my favorites are #NJOnTheRoad, which refers to News 12’s On The Road weekly summer series and #NJMorningShow,” she said. With approximately 9,000 users tweeting per minute, it’s possible for tweets to get lost in the timelines. “Using hashtags related to our shows gives viewers a chance to tweet about what they like or don’t like and for our producers and anchors to notice the tweets and respond,” she said.

Ivy also uses Twitter to connect with publicists. “There are several publicists I follow,” she said. “It’s great when we follow each other because it makes sending a direct message to follow up about something quick and easy.” The way we interact and how we receive information has changed drastically. Ivy thinks the social media network brings together people from different businesses. “If you have a great idea and you want to pitch it to me, you don’t have to try to find my email address or phone number,” she said. “When used the right way, Twitter has the ability to bring people and ideas together-140 characters at a time.”

No doubt, Twitter has become a powerful tool for media, and if you’re pitching a story, service or product it’s time to get tweeting.

Here are inBLOOM’s 5 tips for tweeting the media:

1. Follow media personalities on Twitter. Be cautious and watch out for fake accounts. A blue check next to their name will help you to know the account is official.

2. Pay attention to their activity. The more active they are on Twitter or the more personal their tweets are, you have a better chance of getting them to interact with you. Whether it’s a Q&A or live chat, take a chance and tweet them! You never know.

3. Use hashtags they use and retweet their tweets to your followers, especially if they’re promoting something about the show they’re on. If they ask a question, respond to their tweets with your thoughts. Believe it or not, they may remember you and follow you back. Just be sure to time your engagements well and don’t respond to every tweet.

4. Make your tweets stand out. Be humorous but respectful. Make them interesting because nobody wants to respond to a boring or tasteless tweet!

5. Timing is everything. Sending a random tweet won’t increase your chances of getting noticed. If you’re on at the same time they’re responding to viewers or fans, it’s a great time to reply because you know they’re online reading tweets at that moment.

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Get on Google Places for Business and Google+

Get on Google Places for Business and Google+

You’re spending the day in Red Bank, NJ and need to find some place to eat for dinner. You’re thinking some kind of Italian restaurant. Not too pricey, though. You type in the Google search bar “restaurants near Red Bank NJ” and hope for the best. Several listings appear so you skim through them. Basil T’s Brewery and Italian Grill might be a good one. Italian food, not too pricey, it has a great rating of 4.7 stars, and 309 reviews. Before you make your decision, you decide to check out those reviews.  For the most part, people have some excellent things to say about this place, and most of them have given 5 star ratings. Looks like you’ve found the place you’re going to eat tonight!

Ever gone through this process? You need to find a place to eat in a certain area you’re unfamiliar with so you search for it in Google and base your decision on the listings, their ratings and reviews? This is actually how many people make decisions on places to go for something specific. Looking for a bakery in NYC? Google it. How about a dog groomer near Jersey City, NJ? Go ahead and Google that too. You’ll see honest reviews, ratings, photos, business information and website show up right away in the search results. That is, of course, if the business is listed on Google Places for Business and Google+.

Google Places for Business and Google+ are managed on the Google My Business dashboard.  The single dashboard makes it simple to make sure your local business information can be easily found across Google, including Maps, Search, and Google+. You can edit your business information, share updates, get insights on how people find your business, stay on top of reviews and manage multiple business listings all in one place. You can also use the Google My Business app to access the dashboard from your phone or tablet.

Here are inBLOOM’s 8 reasons to get on Google My Business:

1. GET FOUND WITH GOOGLE PLACES

When people go through the process of searching for a certain type of business, you’re going to want your business to show up and be the chosen one. We can’t stress enough the importance of creating a Google Places listing for your business. Be sure to maintain your business listing and keep it up to date with the correct information including address, phone number, and website. If a person shows up at the wrong address, you can expect some bad reviews and an unhappy potential customer. Your information will also appear in Maps, helping customers find directions to your business.

2. PEOPLE TRUST GOOGLE RATINGS AND REVIEWS

When it comes to your business, what people want to hear most of all is true, honest experiences from real people – plain and simple. The main goal is to have a high overall rating because that is what people will notice first when your listing shows up. But when it comes to the reviews, you want those negative remarks to keep at bay. Be sure to keep tabs of your reviews. Check often for any new ones and respond to them if necessary.

3. YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A GOOGLE+ PAGE

Google+ has over 500 million users, however it’s still not getting as much buzz as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or Pinterest. Even so, it still has so much to offer in terms of marketing your brand. If you’ve been ignoring Google+, you’re falling behind. Begin engaging now and get a head start before this platform starts blowing up and maybe even dominating the social world.

4. GOOGLE+ PAGES KEEPS YOU CONNECTED

On your Google+ Page you can share an update or start a conversation with customers, business and organizations. Customers can +1 and comment, giving you a direct connection to their feedback. You can bring your page to life by posting photos and videos about your business. Since Google owns YouTube, your business YouTube account syncs right up to your Google+ Page. There is even a tab so people can find your videos easily.

5. GOOGLE+ POSTS GET INDEXED QUICKER ON GOOGLE

Evidence suggests that active profiles doing well on Google+ get indexed quicker on the search engine. Status updates are indexed right into search results, increasing the possibility that your Google+ network will see your content in their search results. In addition, Google+ Pages show up on search engine results pages.

6. GET INSIGHTS ON YOUR CUSTOMERS

You can access Insights right from the Google My Business dashboard. With Insights, you can see how many times customers find your business on Google, and trends over time. You’ll also see the number of clicks, driving direction requests and website visits you receive. And you can track where customers are when they get directions to your business. This is a fantastic tool for understanding your audience and learning how successful Google My Business is with helping you get customers.

7. HOST WEBINARS AND BROADCASTS WITH GOOGLE HANGOUTS ON AIR

Here’s your chance to really get connected with your audience and potential customers. Use Google+ Hangouts On Air to host a live webinar or broadcast. Go live in HD on Google+, YouTube, and your website. Your webinar or broadcast will be recorded and automatically saved on your YouTube channel. The great thing is that it’s free and you don’t have a limit on how many people can view your Hangout On Air.

8. GOOGLE IS THE RULER OF SEARCH ENGINES

There’s no doubt that Google is the most used search engine in the world. As you know, if you’re using Google My Business, you’re likely to show up in the Google search results. This being said, you should still list your business on directories like Bing, Yelp and Yahoo; however, keep in mind that Google Places for Business and Google+ take priority.

If you’d like some assistance with creating and managing a Google Places for Business listing and Google+ Page, feel free to contact us. We’d be more than happy to help your business achieve success with Google My Business.

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