As we wrap us this year, we are getting ready to release our production product. Here is a quick snap shot of our MailChimp RSVP calendar invite tracking. See steps here, along with video and PDF guide. Happy Holidays from the team here at 31events.com!
So here is the use case. You have tried a Calendar Snack. You like it and you say wouldn’t be cool if I could upload an email list to send calendar invites to people that want to get direct Calendar invitations from me so I can track the RSVP’s? (Today we support CTA’s in web embeds and in Email vendors like MailChimp and 20+ others. )
We are working on this for our next build for January 2019 release.
So you create a calendar invite on your calendar client of choice – Google, Outlook or Yahoo and just invite us to your event with this email address ->firstname.lastname@example.org< . You will then receive your calendar snack email with all the information in it, including how to bulk upload a small email list for direct calendaring sending and RSVP tracking. Once you upload the list you will be able to review and confirm the send.
Here’s the punchline (in case you don’t really want to read the whole thing) …
If your time-limited marketing campaign is not on THEIR calendar, it doesn’t exist.
About two years ago, I reconnected with a friend from my past (we had worked together and later I worked for him at his company). He started telling me about this idea he had developed into an app — it sent calendar invitations for events (like webinars or seminars) and for time-limited sales offers (like coupons).
At first, it didn’t really sink in what he was telling me. Hell, people had been inviting me to webinars for the last decade, and I had managed webinars and training events (along with setting up registration) and all those things had just worked.
He just asked me to think about the process, just for webinars. And I started listing all the things I had to do to get a webinar up and running — the task list can get extremely detailed, but at a high level, it goes like this
He wasn’t looking the solve the whole problem, just the “Get The Word Out” problem — which is tied to all sorts of numbers, and filters, and dynamics — Like CTAs, Click-through, Registration, Multiple Clicks and Tracking, Open Rates, etc. and so on. There’s lots of numbers to help track what’s happened within that flow of “Get The Word Out”.
In general — all marketers know there is some level of resistance at every step of the way, and our job is to (a) create some level of interest to (b) break through as much resistance as possible. It all comes down to some simple things we are asking our wonderful customers and prospects to do … like …
That’s really a lot to ask, in a simple process where they know (and we know) our informational webinar is really a way to sell them something. It’s all a “wink, wink, nod, nod” thing between everyone.
But the question I have to you is …
Did they really get it on their calendar?
I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret, the Calendar is not easy — email is easy — and the mere fact you believe that you emailed a calendar invitation, doesn’t mean you really did. I have tested over 20 email/calendar clients over the past two years, and most fail. The email shows up, but the calendar part doesn’t really work. That’s why, most emails that include anything to do with the calendar have a little bar (similar to the picture below) that is supposed to be easy for the Invitee, but doesn’t work most of the time.
Now I get it. Most of us in marketing are worried about other things — like getting the content right, not the “flow” and if everything works properly. We leave that to the marketing ops folks to work out. Hell, your martech tools should handle that without any problems at all — that’s why you pay them money every month, to handle the minutia inside that involved flow. You have a presentation to create, presenters to prep and the show to put on.
Here’s the problem …
No Webinar vendor does it right
No Email Service Provider does it right
No Marketing Automation company does it right
No Landing Page company does it right
In fact, unless you are fairly technical, understand both email, webpage, and calendar technology — along with how to both “ingest” and “build” a well formatted calendar invitation — you won’t get it right either. As I stated earlier, it’s really hard.
I’m not hear to tell you we have all the answers, but what I can tell you is that we’ve thought through lots of the problems. But the first thing we did was figure out how to send a Well-Formatted Calendar Invitation. One that would work for 90%+ of the market (including desktop and mobile calendar clients). That’s one of the hardest things to accomplish — and we are at about 80% today, well on our way to over 90%.
Second, why not just send a calendar invitation? If you send an email, you know the hardest thing to get is a CLICK on your CTA. Why waste it — send a calendar invitation on that click. If you want registration, then land them on the registration page, but they may or may not register. Send them a calendar invitation anyway.
Next — right now you have ZERO tracking on the invitations sent. Remember, the calendar is a bit different. There are three actions someone can take on the calendar invitation — Accept, Decline, and Tentative — or they can decide to take no action (but the event is on their calendar, unless they delete or decline it). But you have ZERO insight into those actions. You are acting out of complete blindness as to the “intent” of those people who have been sent an invitation.
The last thing that is a complete pain in the ass, is having to “create” something — basically going to an online tool and adding information that you have probably entered about a dozen times into some other tool.
Here’s the difference — and you have to think about it a bit differently too …
The first thing we did was decide to get completely rid of the CREATE part. Literally, if you already have your webinar on your calendar, just invite us (we take care of the rest).
Second, we immediately send you a “Summary” page — that way you can test it right away. See if it works. We want you testing it right away.
Third, we give you a simple link for your MailChimp campaign, or a simple iFrame for you webpage. You can design around those as much or as little as you want. We didn’t want to get into designing your campaigns, just sending a calendar invite.
Fourth, we give you the results. How you sent, actions taken, and the ability to download a simple spreadsheet with name, email and last status of the invitees.
It’s your data, and you get to have all of it available. You want to upload that list to special mailing list — do it. Or include it in your sales force automation — it’s yours.
We wanted to create something that would end up taking you a few minutes, but provide you with information and data you never had before.
We’re still in beta, so there are a few kinks being worked out, but in general, it works. It is almost effortless once you start using it, but if done right, it’s extremely powerful.
All you have to do is go to …. https://beta.calendarsnack.com and follow the simple instructions. Test it for yourself.
Our goal is getting your time-based marketing on their calendar — and making it exist!
That’s it — nothing works like convincing yourself. And don’t worry, right now, it’s 100% free to use — and if you use it, come back here and let me know how it worked.