1. Start marketing early.
If you are marketing events via direct mail and advertising, sooner is better. Ideally, you want to get your promotional materials in prospects hands 6–8 weeks before your seminar. However, if a significant number of the attendees travel from out of state, a rule of thumb is to drop the mail piece or to start advertising 16 weeks out.
2. Twice is better than once.
Research has shown that contacting prospects more than once increases your response rates. With repetition, you have a better chance of breaking through the various marketing messages they receive every day.
3. Hit prospects on multiple fronts.
Use a combination of marketing vehicles to get your message out. Use Course Search advertising, do a mailing or two, advertise it in trade publications or on appropriate websites, and look for new e-media opportunities to promote your program.
4. Register your course early.
Only courses offered by ASHA Approved CE Providers and registered with ASHA CE show up on Course Search. The earlier your course is registered, the sooner it will be seen. And it’s FREE. Course Search receives over 40,000 pages views a month.
5. Review the ASHA CE provider guidelines.
Each mailing piece is reveiwed by ASHA staff. If you are providing ASHA CEUS, please reveiw the guidelines to ensure that your mailing piece will be approved quickly.
6. Explain the value of your event.
Help your potential attendees view your seminar as an investment. Make sure your brochure/ad explains how your seminar will help them.
7. Gather information about your attendees.
Who is the typical attendee? What is the age range of their clients? What type of communication disorders are they working with on a daily basis? Use the information to purchase lists using those demographic qualities to target potential attendees in the future.
8. Target your advertising.
Promote your program by placing ads in issues with editorial content that is related to your seminar topic. Take advantage of e-newsletters geared to a specific population (e.g., school-based professionals) they usually have a limited amount of advertising space available for sale.
9. Continue to sell after the sale.
Promptly confirm the receipt of every registration. Send them an email reminding them about what they will learn and keep them updated about any changes in the program.
10. Usually, a response rate of 2% is very good.
When deciding how much to mail, it depends very much on the mailer’s experience with a given list. Generally, a response rate of 2% to a direct mail piece would be considered very good. So to fill 100 seats, you should start by assuming you’ll need to promote to 5,000 names or more.
11. Seek professional advice.
ASHA sales and marketing professionals are here to help guide you in your marketing efforts. Contact Liz Barrett, Advertising, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 301-215-6710, ext 114 or Leah Byndon, Mailing Lists, at email@example.com, or by calling 800-997-4237; we’re here to lend a hand.