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Every promotional method you use costs something. The simplest way to compute the success of your efforts is to use the “dollars out versus dollars in” method. Every marketing method you use to promote your event will have a different rate of return.

Here’s how to compute effectiveness. Forget about expenses for this system. Simply take the number of dollars generated by registrations and compare that to the amount of money paid for the promotion or advertising. Let’s say you spend $1,000 and make $2,000. That’s a 2:1 return on investment, which is average. Below this ratio would be poor. If a particular marketing methodology pulled 3:1, then it would fall into the good category. Any method of promotion that pulled 4:1 or better is a home run!

If you had two promotions that pulled the exact same number of people, you would obviously go after those people with the promotional approach that cost the lesser amount of money.

You should use every promotional means that pulls more than it costs. In some cases, where you know you’ll sell a boatload of products or consulting work, you may even be willing to use those methods that don’t break even.

If you know through experience that your average attendee’s lifetime value is $750, you should be willing to pay up to that amount (or some substantial portion of it) to get someone to attend your event.

But we also know that different people respond to different means of promotion. Some people will never respond to a solicitation made via TV. Others never respond to direct mail. You often will get a very different group of people from different kinds of promotion.

This simplistic approach works fine unless you sell products at your seminar. (And if you don’t, you’ve kind of missed the whole point, haven’t you?) Unless you include product sales in your calculations, there is no way to tell how well you’re doing. I recommend you use a measurement of Dollars/Person/Minute.

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