Are you thinking of using events as a way to draw visitors to your ecommerce site? Unlike sales and other promotions, event marketing can help attract leads, new partnerships, and build brand presence even before and after the event.

Plus, you don’t have to host the whole event yourself. Some of the most success can come from being a co-host, participant, or sponsor in another company’s event.

Below, we highlight some great tips and tools you can use to maximize the ROI from your events.

Start with a clear understanding of your KPIs

It’s impossible to maximize ROI from event marketing for ecommerce if you don’t have a clear reason as to why you’re hosting the event.

How does it help meet your business goals and KPIs? What do you expect in return for your time and effort?

If you have trouble answering these questions, you may want to take more time to plan out your event marketing strategy.

Keep your event marketing efforts focused tightly on a small number of KPIs that can be recorded, reviewed, and repeated. Also make sure everyone involved in the event is aware of these goals and the concrete steps needed to deliver them.

Focus event marketing on audience benefits

It’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing your pre-event marketing on your business, such as when it’s held, how to attend, and what products or services are being featured.

But to give real value (and see a real ROI from your events), you need to focus on how your audience will benefit from attending it. Why does it matter to them? How will it improve their lives?

Creating audience personas is an excellent way to understand what benefits to highlight. It gives you insight into where your audience is coming from, what events they would likely be interested to attend, and what benefits to offer them.

Once you understand the value for your target audience, highlight the benefits in your pre-event marketing campaigns. For example, you could say your event will help solopreneurs increase customer referrals by 10%, or teach marketers how to build a growth strategy in five steps.

If you need some help creating your audience persona, HubSpot has a free tool you can use to get started.

Enable and encourage customer referrals

You want as many of your followers and customers to attend your marketing events as possible, especially if you’re launching a new product.

However, the ROI from your event will be enhanced if you can also get new people to attend. This is where your followers and customers can also help. People who don’t know about your brand will be more receptive to invites coming from their peers, rather than a cold call inviting them to an event.

What does this mean for your event marketing? To maximise your attendance and ROI, it’s best to enable and encourage customer referrals.

You can do this easily through Referral Rock. Our robust platform allows you to integrate refer-a-friend programs and other customer engagement tools into your event marketing campaigns.

With an ecommerce referral program in place, your customers are encouraged to invite others to attend your event and experience your brand in just a few clicks.

The result? More attendees and an increased ROI for your event.

Delight and educate your attendees

You’ve established your KPIs, created your audience personas, marketed your event’s benefits, and encouraged customers to refer their friends. Now, it’s up to you to throw an event that educates and delights your attendees, and convert their interest into a sale to secure your ROI.

Focus on how your products and services can improve their lives. For example, during the event, you can share the benefits through an example or guide that’s relevant and actionable. Then, after the event, you can send a recording they can use as a reference or even share with others.

There are many easy-to-use recording tools, like Learning Revolution, Snagit, and Movavi, which explain how to record and share your video online.

By creating a video of your event, you can turn your one time event into a long term educational resource, which others can watch at their convenience. You can share the video with more people and create a track record for upcoming events.

Follow up with your audience after the event

Don’t forget about your audience once your event is over. Many benefits of event marketing can also come well after the event is finished.

For example, you can maximize the referral program to strengthen relationships with your existing customers and create new ones. You can use the event as a starting point for other similar functions, or hold a regular event every quarter or year.

To get the maximum ROI, you need to keep the event alive even after it’s taken place. The best way to do this by following up with your audience.

Not all the people you engaged with throughout the event will have built the connection with your business that you want them to. For example, they may have seen your event advertised, but weren’t able to attend. Or they may have attended the event, but not bought any of your products. A friendly follow-up email gives you a chance to bring your relationship with them to the next stage.

Email marketing is a great way to reconnect with your audience. Tools like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Drip are just some of the many tools you can use to keep in touch with potential customers.

To start your mailing list, encourage your audience to sign up with their email at all stages of your event’s lifespan. This includes when they sign up for the event, a reminder the day before the event date, immediately after the event is done. Just be sure to stop email requests if the attendee has already signed up.

Wrapping it up

As you can see, event marketing can bring a lot of benefits for your ecommerce business. As long as you know your KPIs, highlight the audience benefits, encourage referral invites, and have a strong event follow-up plan, you’ll be able to maximize the ROI from your events marketing efforts.


About the contributor


Rodney Laws is an ecommerce expert with over a decade of experience in building online businesses. Check out his reviews on and you’ll find practical tips to build the best online store for your business. Connect with him on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio.