People don’t just go to your event website for more information — they go there for proof they can trust your event. Building that trust is vital to take unfamiliar site visitors to committed attendees.

In a recent webinar, digital strategist Filip Matous, author of How to Get Your Website Noticed, shared his strategies for turning your event website into a sales tool. Here’s his advice to convert those site visitors into proud ticket-holders, in three steps:

1. Attract traffic to your event website

The first step in converting website visitors into attendees is getting those visitors. But just getting anyone to come to your page isn’t necessarily useful. Not all visitors are created equal, and it’s important to know the difference to maximize your marketing budget.

Matous categorizes traffic as cold, warm, and hot. Cold primarily comes from ads. It’s people who are curious enough to click an ad but didn’t necessarily know anything about your event before. The problem with “cold traffic” is that most of these visitors won’t be convinced to buy tickets after that first visit to your site.

“Let’s say you send 100 people to your site, and it’s cold traffic. You’re maybe getting five or ten people to warm up and actually revisit your site,” Matous says.

Warm traffic can come from reaching out to the social media followers of your speakers or bands or vendors since you know they’re already familiar with and interested in some of your event’s program.

Hot traffic can come from your performers or speakers reaching out to their followers. “Because they trust the person, because they’re totally in with the brand, when that traffic hits your site it’s going to perform as hot traffic,” according to Matous. “Hot traffic is the easiest to convert.”

2. Make the value of your event clear — in seconds

Just bringing people to your site isn’t enough, particularly if tickets to your event aren’t cheap. “There are basically no purchases on the first visit,” Matous says.   

On that first visit, especially for cold traffic, people are asking, Why am I here?  And why is this worth my time? You need to answer those questions in about 10 seconds.

The most important part of that is probably having a clear “unique selling proposition” — essentially, why would someone want to attend your event? It sounds straightforward, but it’s crucial. Ideally, it would play off your audience’s pain points. If there are a lot of similar events, it should say exactly why your event is different — and better. And it should be jargon-free and err on the side of clarity over cleverness.

Another major turn-on (or -off) for first-time visitors can be the design of your page. A lot goes into design — make sure the layout is straightforward and it’s easy for potential attendees to picture your event and what will happen there.

“The first time they come to your site you’re going to want to make sure that it’s not boring,” Matous says. “Just keep in mind, if you’re using stock images, you’re probably hurting your conversions.” Use photos from past events, or at least photos of your speakers or bands on stage elsewhere.

3. Bring visitors back until they buy

You’ve got people coming to your site. They seem to be interested.  But how do you get them to come back and actually buy a ticket? Retargeting.

With retargeting, you’re reaching out to people who are already interested — i.e. warm traffic. These ads turn more event page visits into ticket sales — with average of six times return on investment.

Retargeting shows social media ads to specific audiences: previous visitors to your site, your email list, or audiences who resemble those visitors. This means you can capture sales from interested individuals who just weren’t ready to purchase before.

You can also send personalized follow-up emails to your audience, perhaps with a discount codes or a warning that the event is selling out to build urgency.

Want to learn about how to use your website to turn cold traffic into committed attendees? Check out the full webinar with Matous, How to Get Your Event Website Noticed.

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