Using Act-On Webinar Programs for In-Person Events

by Paul Scondac on July 31, 2018

5 minute read

Last month, we organized an in-person event for our NY-based Sugar customers with SugarCRM executives, Larry Augustin (CEO) and Jerry Straw (SVP Sales) as guests. To handle registration, auto-responder messages (confirmation and reminders), promotion, and follow-up, we used Act-On’s webinar program functionality, which works surprisingly well for onsite events too.

In this blog post, we’ll go ever how we used Act-On to set up signup forms and messaging for location events. Note that you will need to connect your online presentation platform, such as GoToWebinar or Cisco WebEx, to Act-On to access this functionality.

Configuring Act-On events is roughly the same as it is for webinars, and consists of three main steps:

  1. Creating an email list: segmenting an Act-On marketing list based on field values
  2. Configuring the registration form: customizing form appearance, adding fields to fill in and hidden fields
  3. Setting up auto-responder, promotion and follow-up messages: building out and scheduling emails, following up with attendees

Creating an Email List

Since this was an event for Sugar customers located in the New York area, we created a segment containing our customers from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. To do so, login to Act-On and go to ContactsMarketing Lists, then go to the folder where your All Contacts list is located. Then, click the dropdown arrow and Create a Segment.

Act-On List Segmentation

Since this list contains all of your contacts from your CRM (in our case, Sugar), we created a segment using the following Sugar fields as filters:

Act-On Segmentation Rules

After determining your criteria for creating the segment and saving, Act-On will filter through your All Contacts list, and add records to it (depending on the size of this list, this may take a few moments).

Configuring the Registration Form

After creating our promotion list, we went ahead to create the Act-On event program from the “webinar session” we set up in GoToWebinar. To do this, from Act-On, go to Automation → Webinars, click on the event and then click on Create Default Form. This creates a form that includes the default fields from GoToWebinar (First Name, Last Name, Email, and Organization).

Act-On Forms

While this default form contains some of the fields we needed people to fill in, it wasn’t exactly a looker. It also wouldn’t have provided enough information for our sales team to reach out to contacts who registered and proper CRM sync wasn’t configured.

Act-On’s webinar form composer includes three tabs:

  • Layout - allows you to edit the form’s appearance, content, and fields.

    Act-On Form Composer Layout
     
  • Settings - Allows you to configure the form redirect URL, confirmation email, pushing signups to your CRM, expiration, and more.

    Act-On Form Composer Settings
     
  • Finish - Allows you to edit the form’s field mappings to list Columns, and save the form.

    Act-On Form Composer Finalize

The information provided by visible form fields is not always enough for your sales team to reach out to registrants, and adding too many fields to fill in will turn off people from submitting it. To solve this, Act-On forms may include hidden fields - they are not publicly viewable, but their values are pushed in your CRM. Some of our hidden fields include:

  • Lead Source
  • Product Interest
  • CRM Type
  • Outreach Date

If you want to track the number of signups based on the form’s URL location, you can create trackable form links. Act-On will then display how many views and signups each trackable link got.

Act-On Webinars Trackable Links

After we finished customizing our form, this was the final result:

Webinar Event Form in Act-On

Setting Up Auto-Response, Promotion and Follow-Up Messages

Now that our form was done, it was time to lay out our email messages. If you’ve ever registered for one of our webinars, you may have noticed that we send out the following emails:

  • Signup Confirmation
  • 2 Reminders
  • 2-3 Promotional Messages
  • Event Follow-Up

You have multiple options to build out your emails:

  • Creating a new message from scratch
  • Using a template
  • Using previously sent messages
  • Using draft messages

We personally prefer using previously sent messages, because they already include our customizations, so all we have to do is update the header, the copy, and the URLs.

Speaking of URLs - this is where Act-On’s trackable signup links come in handy. For each promotional email, you can use different trackable links, then measure and compare form submissions for each of them. This will help you figure out which email performed better, and improve your messages that got fewer people to register.

Act-On offers many options to set up whom to send follow-up emails to, including all attendees, or signed up and not attended.

Act-On Webinar Event Follow Up Emails

However, for live events, Act-On can’t determine who actually went, so we kindly asked our sales team to provide us with a list of attendees. Then, we created a new list, selected the Custom Follow-Up List option, and scheduled the email to send out - and that’s it!

If you want to see Act-On’s webinar programs in action, feel free to contact us at any time for a live demo.

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