How To Use Site Retargeting To Gain Registrants


March 12, 2021

Chris Mazzon

Chris Mazzon VP, Association Partnerships

The event is set. You’ve got a good venue or virtual event platform. You’ve got a great lineup of speakers and education sessions. The only thing unimpressive about the event is ticket sales. Solve that with some retargeting.

There are the standard ways of advertising your upcoming event, be it the annual conference or a summit of industry thought leaders. You can promote it through email and social media, and hope that it gets spread through word-of-mouth. But what happens when you notice a lot of web traffic on your event landing page or website, but few conversions to actual purchased registrations? You retarget these leads.

People who visit your event page go there to get details about it. For a variety of reasons, they may leave the page without purchasing registration. Perhaps they just weren’t ready to buy. Maybe they need to get approval from their boss or company. Perhaps they found the price a deterrent.

Regardless of what reason turned away these potential registrants, you now have the ability to keep the event top of mind and provide them additional incentive to convert. These prospects have already shown interest, now it’s a matter of making sure they follow through with attendance.

Retargeting prospects for your event isn’t unlike consumer remarketing. You know, like the pair of shoes you looked at online that seems to follow you around the internet, reminding you that still want those shoes (as explained here). The concept for event retargeting is the same. When the prospect visits your event page, a pixel is placed in their browser allowing you to serve them ads that invite them to finish the process of registration.

The great news about retargeting is that you know the prospect already has interest in the event. Now, you can address some of the reasons they may have navigated away without registering. Bearing in mind these prospects probably already got the basic info in their initial research, such as the date and place, your retargeting campaign can be used to really push the event’s value proposition. That means your creative needs to incorporate some or all of these aspects:

Urgency - Research has proven that people will make purchase decisions if they feel time is of the essence. Think about how your purchase path changes when the shoes you’re looking at online say “only 2 pairs remaining.” You’re far more likely to follow through with the purchase now, fearing that if you wait too long, you’ll miss out. If prospects are aware space is limited, they will be more inclined to commit earlier. Urgency can also be tied to …

Incentives – Many events offer discounts for early commitment. You can ramp up the urgency by promoting incentives that will expire soon, such as early-bird pricing or discounted room rates. You could also offer incentives to register through the retargeting campaign itself, such as “Click here to save 10% on registration.” Prospects who declined to register initially had a reason for their decision, and incentives might be enough to change their mind.

Video – One of the most effective tools in the retargeting arsenal is video. You can learn more specifically about video retargeting here, but the impact of video is undeniable. What’s better than a display ad promoting your keynote speaker? A video of the speaker herself. What better way to show the size of your trade show and exhibition opportunities than video footage of the massive layout. Studies have shown how much people rely on reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations, so think of the impact a video testimonial could provide.

Retargeting is a popular tactic in digital marketing because it’s effective. When it comes to promoting an event, retargeting isn’t confined only to site retargeting (prospects who have visited your event landing page). You have past registrant lists, member lists, a CRM or AMS. You can target all these prospects as well, finding them in the places they are, like Facebook and email. The prospects have already taken the bait, you just need to hook them with a creative and tactful retargeting campaign that resolves their hesitancy to register.

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