At SimBco we work on many different types of projects. It’s actually pretty rare that we end up working on the same kinds of projects for multiple clients. However, every once in a while we seem to get in a groove and the projects come together. From one such groove we enjoyed last year comes the Reverse Sequence.

Last year we had the opportunity to help in promoting more live events. These events included traditional in-person events such as Meetups, Open-Houses, and Conferences, but also extended into online-only events like Webinars and Facebook/Instagram/Youtube Live events.

The one thing all these events all have in common is that there is a date and time which everything is leading up to. In a traditional lead generation, we setup a sequence of messages based on when the users opts into notifications. A typical sequence might include immediately sending a confirmation email and then waiting 2 days before sending a follow up with additional information. But with Live Event marketing a user could sign up for an event the day of (or even hours before) and if we wait 2 days to send them info, the event will have passed. What ends up happening more often than not is that rather than subscribing the user to a sequence, the event promoter just manually schedules an email to go out to all registrants at some interval leading up to the event.

If your event is a one-off production that will never occur again, this may work out fine. However, if this is an event that will recur with any regularity, the manual scheduling is time consuming and prone to errors.

Enter the “Reverse Sequence”. A Reverse Sequence is a sequence of messages that are setup to send automatically, working backwards from a defined date and time. This is contrary to a normal messaging sequence because we are moving in reverse from the time of the event instead of forward from the moment the user registers.

Using a reverse sequence, we can set a value for the user when they register that includes the date and time of the event they are registered for. Then using messaging automation tools we can schedule appropriate reminders to key off that data. For a registrant attending an in-person event, a reverse sequence might look something like:

  • 30 Minutes Before – Send Information on Room Location and Registration
  • 2 Hours Before – Send Reminder and Directions
  • 1 Day Before – Send a Reminder and Agenda Timeline
  • 3 Days Before – Registration Confirmation and Event Reminder

These messages are scheduled and triggered automatically by your email/messaging platform. These are in addition to the event registration confirmation sent at the time of registration and include all the relevant information.

This method has two great advantages:

  1. The whole message sequence can be established once and reused any number of times for different events. The only data that needs to change is the date and time of the event that is stored on the registrant.
  2. Because the user receives all the pertinent information about the event at the time of registration, these emails serve as reminders and offer an opportunity to provide increased value to the user. Note that if a user signs up within 24 hours of the event, they do not need the extra reminders and will only receive relevant future updates.

We have implemented the Reverse Sequence for many different types of events and have had wonderful success. These include in-person events, but the place where this method has really proven its worth is in regularly repeating webinar and social media live events. If an event happens every Wednesday at 1PM, then we can setup up the system so it always registers the user for the next upcoming event and all messages automatically send using the Reverse Sequence from that date. We have been able to increase show-up rates in online events as well as leveraging the period of time before the event to “warm up” the client, preparing them for the sale or offer presented during the webinar.

While the Reverse Sequence has been revolutionary for our clients, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that, in many of these instances, we have also been able to make use of omni-channel (email, messaging, SMS) marketing to optimize the communication experience for the users. By combining the use of email messages and chat messaging together, we ensure delivery and satisfaction for the end user.

Let us know if you have any questions about Reverse Sequences in the comments below! I look forward to hearing about how Reverse Sequences helps your business!

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