109: Driving 3,500 Paid Accounts Through a Virtual Event (w/ Anna Tutckaia, ManyChat)
Why a Virtual Event?The event is called IG Summit. The website is beautiful (it actually won some awards) – But what made Anna believe this was a bet worth making? Or put differently, how could you know if a play like this would work for you?It started by analyzing their Net Revenue Retention (NRR). They found that users who signs up via educational channels or who were looking to solve problems related to Facebook or Instagram retained at a higher rate.They also stood to get the most value out of the product. So when they set a goal to drive new signups and paid accounts, they knew that using educational content around Facebook or Instagram would be successful.Besides that, they had experience with doing events in the past, though nothing to the size they were about to aim for. May 2021 they launched Instagram Automation, and were working on a go-to-market strategy to promote it. The plan was to use paid ads. But for reasons outside their control, they didn’t perform well (like the rollout for Facebook Automation had), so they needed a new plan.So Anna and the team made a quick pivot, and a big bet. The goal was to put on the biggest virtual IG summit in the world, securing 25k registrants, and 1k new paid accounts. In the end, they ended up surpassing these goals.How They Improved It1. They figured out what content resonated with their ideal customer persona (ICP) and tried to create the best content possible for that audience.They surveyed their Facebook community of existing customers, to learn what content would be the most valuable. Then they performed research to know what topics were trending, what the market was interested in learning, and what existing content was already out there.From there, they defined 3 “levels” of content the summit would include:High-level: over-arching business lessonsMid-level: more practical applicationBottom level: ManyChat experts showing how to grow business with ManyChat toolsFinally, they set the niche categories they thought would resonate best, and then found speakers who could best speak to those topics. Each speaker had the freedom to formulate their talk however they wanted but was asked to stay within the topic range they had been given.2. They asked all the speakers promote the event.They encouraged all the speakers to promote the event (though not all did), and every time a speaker joined they made a series of content they’d promote across various channels.3. They used existing, and new influencers to help promote.They had some influencers they worked with before the summit, who they partnered with to promote the product. But they also brought in new ones who they hired to specifically promote the event. Generally, they found that the existing influencers (who had already promoted the product to their audience) performed better. They also found that all the influencers got better engagement by promoting the educational event, over the product directly.4. They ran paid ads, and honed in one which drove $3 registrants 🤯Initially, they ran ads on Facebook, Instagram, and paid search. They quickly found FB ads that used the native lead form vastly outperformed the others.How well? $3 for every registrant.The results were so good, Anna had the team check for errors – thinking they might be spam emails. But after analyzing the emails against signups from other channels, along with the summit email open and readthrough rates, they found the results were truly that good. But these results didn’t come easily. They involved lots of great design and creative, and lots of tests.They also continually changed up the ads with new content every time they landed a new speaker.5. They heavily nurtured the list of registrants.They maintained constant communication with registrants the entire time leading up to the event. If they didn’t, Anna doesn’t think they would’ve seen the same results. Each registrant was sent a series of emails leading up to summit.And if they ended up registering with the product right away (as a result of seeing the marketing or ads), they were sent various In-app messages about the summit. And throughout the summit, they sent a regular volume of relevant messages to the attendees. This included messaging which emphasized, “here’s the content you’re about to consume, if you sign up for the product, you’ll be able to better take action on what you learn.”6. They tracked registrations all the way through to product signups.They had tracking in place (which users could opt out of) If that was the case, they had the registration email they could match to an account in signup. Influencers had their own campaign funnel, so they could track those referrals separately. They used an attribution model where they attributed 40% to the first touch, 40% to the last touch, and 20% to the channel they interacted with in betweenResults26k registrants and 3,500 actually paying accounts (not free trials) – 91% of whom were new to ManyChat.