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How we got 1297 leads for our startup for free

Hello everyone! I'm Anton Viborniy and in this article, I'll tell you how we gathered subscribers before the making of the product. When a startup has just been created, the founders don't know exactly what the users need. And there are some hypotheses that need to be tested.

To test hypotheses, you need users. To attract users, you need money. A standard startup doesn't have money for advertising, since all the money goes to development. So, we have to find ways to make promotions for free.

Our startup Apiway.ai operates in the B2B segment. We help people integrate different software for free in two clicks without programming. Our target audience is digital marketers and digital entrepreneurs. We understood that digital services with which we plan to integrate have our audience. Also, business schools have.

We decided to make joint online conferences on marketing automation.

To the first conference, we invited 6 speakers in this field. Each speaker represented a business academy or digital service.

They have their own subscriber base.

The condition for participation in the conference was to make a newsletter on their own database. Thus, we got free registration, and speakers performed for free on someone else's audience. It's beneficial to everyone.

To increase the number of registrations, we involved information partners. The conditions are the same: newsletter through the base, post on social networks and the announcement in the blog. But here it's important to understand the "weight category" of the info partner.

Big guys like AmoCRM, Bitrix, Tilda won't make the newsletter. The maximum that they can do is to tell about you somewhere on social networks. But there were info partners who simply included the announcement of our event in their newsletter.

For example, Ecwid company informed about us in a blog and newsletter. We got 40 registrations just like that. Thank them very much for that.

That's how the email looked like:

Guys don't answer you very often, but sometimes it happens that they just do the newsletter.

To increase the chance of such an event, it is best to find responsible people in the company and write to them directly. It shows good human relations and the chance to get into the announcement is much higher.

Some info partners didn't make any result, and someone made a good one. Telling this, I want to convey to you the following: you never know what will shoot and what will not. You just need to knock on all the doors and hope that someone will open.

At the first online conference, we got 699 registrations.

The conference was attended by 232 people. It is worth considering that the conference lasted almost the whole day. At the peak time, there were 160 people online, at the end of the day 80. There were 60% of registrations from the newsletters of the speakers, 40% from the newsletters of information partners.

We didn't invite a lot of speakers to the first conference, because we were afraid to screw up. For such events, you need a good webinar platform. It's better to have two. By the way, you can negotiate with the owners of webinar platforms for free for mutual PR.

We wrote to about 120 companies.

Every third agreed to be our information partner. I can't say that they were eager to participate, but there was an interest. To do this, we made a chart where we wrote down all the potential information partners and speakers.

Then we noted those who agreed and in Trello managed the mailing process. This is very important because people forget to do the newsletter. On average, we had 2-3 reminders.

It's okay.

At the online conference itself, we had inserts of info partners, where the presenter spoke in a nutshell about the offer of info partners.

This didn't bother anyone, since the proposals were relevant for the conference participants. I want to point out that there's no need to take everyone in a row. You need companies that are useful to event participants.

We held our second online conference a month and a half later. We got 596 registrations.

The principle was the same. So, we had a database of info partners and finding new ones was a bit easier.

We could show previous experience and reveal metrics. But fewer people came to this event. 160 in total and at peak time there were 120.

I think it was due to the frequency and novelty. A month and a half is a too short period of time. Such events need to be held once a quarter.

How to increase the attendance rate of the conference?

If you use only email notification, the attendance rate will be 10%. The day before the start and 15 minutes before the start of the conference, we sent SMS notifications. Also, we sent a newsletter to the Facebook messenger. After people signed up for the conference, we redirected them to the lead magnet in the messenger. That's how it looked like:

That's how the email looked like:

As a result, for two conferences we got 2581 clicks on the landing page, 1300 leads to email and phone, and 370 chatbot subscriptions.

I should say that the conversion to registration for such an event is 2-3 times more than for a usual lead magnet. This is due to the fact that the partner's traffic is warm, the event has a deadline, and many speakers participate. There is a feeling of movement.

The second nuance that will increase your attendance rate is a paid recording. We set the price of $ 39 and we even had 3 sales. When people know that content will be paid, they value more what is happening now. At the conference itself, you can also say that the recording will be paid and then people will sit until the end.

For all startups, I recommend trying this way of attracting customers at least once. It is free, gives targeted leads, and raises the company's branding.

Apiway
Articles — Other
ActiveCampaign
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ActiveCampaign is a marketing and sales automation platform that helps growing businesses meaningfully connect and engage with their customers. Its SaaS platform enables businesses to create optimized customer experiences by automating many behind the scenes processes and communicating with their customers across channels with personalized messages.

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