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Events MarTech Stack

Event Marketing Automation - The Best Tools for Success in 2020

Take your event marketing strategy to the next level using automations and integrations. We’ll walk you through the best martech stack of tools for successful event marketing.

MarTech Stack Diagram for Event Marketing Automation

 

We've tried and tested dozens of tools to come up with the only martech stack you'll need for a world class event automation. See our diagram above and full list of tools below.

The importance of event marketing

Your next event is on the horizon and it’s time to kick off your marketing campaign. Getting the right ‘bums on seats’ is a recurring challenge and it’s time to automate your marketing activities. Your email outreach tools aren't syncing with your event platform and you’re not sure how to engage with past attendees. It’s time to implement an event marketing automation stack.  

 

Events are a powerful channel for lead generation and growth. 67% of B2B marketers see events as their most effective marketing tool, spending 20% of their marketing budget on them (Entrepreneur). 

 

Spend your money wisely in this channel and make sure you’ve got the right tools, systems and analytics in place. This event marketing automation stack is optimised for online events and Webinars, but the structure applies to offline events as well. This article will outline the best MarTech stack for your event marketing automation. 

 

>>>> Read more: What is a MarTech Stack

Is this stack for you?

Who is this marketing stack for? Founders or marketing managers looking to explore event marketing as a channel to market.  

 

How difficult is it to put together? Medium difficulty. There are some manual processes and data alignment challenges that make this tricky to manage.  

 

What about our existing tools? The tools in this stack aren’t set in stone and can be subbed-out if you’re using other tools. Especially Stripe if you’ve already got a payment infrastructure set up. 

 

The Best Events Marketing Automation Stack 

Growth Division has tested this growth marketing stack for our masterclass series and across a number of clients. Out of the 100s of tools available, these are the best marketing technology tools that allow you to run smooth and effective events. Integration is key with any martech stack, so we’ve built and tested them thoroughly. 

Lauren, Invigorate Platform
 
gss.png
What is this tool? A shared spreadsheet  
What’s the Unique Selling Point? It’s online and integrated 

At the core of the martech growth stack is a Google Sheet. This is a very powerful tool that is fully customisable, shareable and well integrated. Your Google Sheet is where your unique data and processes can be captured and optimised. We recommend having your customer profiles clearly mapped out in one tab and these variables as columns in a separate ‘data bank’ tab. 

 

Top tip: Think about the data points that represent your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). You can then use these data points to enrich your data bank and personalisation capabilities. 

 

Demographic data: eg Gender, age, occupation 

Firmographic data: eg Industry, number of employees, amount fundraised 

Psychographic data: eg Interests, goals, pain points 

Unique campaign data: eg Online articles, ad positions on google, tripadvisor rating

A sneak peek of Growth Division’s spreadsheet template

Your Google Sheet will centralise the lead data, which is your fuel for the growth engine. Structuring this correctly is vital as it will be pushed and pulled across the tools. Growth Division has built a template for this purpose, so get in touch if you want help with your growth.

Plan required: Free 

 
LinkedIn Growth Division.png
What is this tool? A business-to-business social network
What’s the Unique Selling Point? Basically everyone uses it

Assuming you have a clear customer profile, you can search LinkedIn for parameters such as job title and company. We’ve found the most effective method is to search for the customer persona using LinkedIn search. We strongly recommend doing this using LinkedIn Sales Navigator as the automatic scraping capabilities of GetProspect are best suited here. You can try and do it using the standard LinkedIn, but you’ll have to do it manually. This process can be repeated for various customer profiles and tagged up accordingly. 

Plan required: Sales Navigator (recommended) / Monthly cost: $79.99

 
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What is this tool? A lead scraping tool  
What’s the Unique Selling Point? Its automation capabilities with Sales Navigator

GetProspect and LinkedIn Sales Navigator are a match made in heaven. You can use the powerful search and filtering capabilities of LinkedIn and then ‘export’ these contacts into your growth stack. The genius of GetProspect is that it cross-references the company domain with the individuals’ name to get a business email address. Just instal the browser plugin and get started! 

GetProspect automatic prospecting tool

Run a search, set the number of pages to scrape and add to a list 

Be careful on your usage of the GetProspect automation tools, they can cross the LinkedIn activity thresholds. We’ve got a warning from LinkedIn now and again. 

Top Tip:

 
zirtualll.png

What is this tool?  A remote assistant

What’s the Unique Selling Point? Zirtual reps are time efficient and reliable

A virtual assistant is a vital component to automate this growth stack and ensure the integrations are oiled sufficiently. For example, your VA can upload your GetProspect data into your Google Sheet data bank in the correct format. 

 

If your engine is thirsty for more leads, then we recommend using a VA to search for leads and update your Google Sheet on a monthly basis. Test out new sources and data points and include the data source as a variable. You can then message prospects along the lines of ‘I am reaching out following some research on {leadsource}’. This is a small personal touch to improve engagement.

Think carefully about data sources for your leads. The more creative and unique, the more likely you are to engage with them if you include this in your outreach.

Top Tip:

 
Octopus CRM Growth Division.png
What is this tool?  LinkedIn automation
What’s the Unique Selling Point? The user interface is intuitive

Once you’ve got the data acquisition mechanics in place - it’s outreach time! We love a bit of LinkedIn automation, especially if you’ve got a strong ‘Social Selling Index’ profile in LinkedIn. Just don’t be one of those companies who spam or pester people. 

Octopus CRM LinkedIn automation tool for events

Run a search, set the number of pages to scrape and add to a list

Use LinkedIn and email in combination to maximise your chances of engagement over a short period of time. Octopus is our favourite tool for this. A suggested schedule is below.  

 

Campaign 1 - {customer persona} hypothesis: 

 

  1. Day 1: LinkedIn view  

  2. Day 2: LinkedIn connection message 

  3. Day 3: Email 1

  4. Day 5: Email 2

  5. Day 7: LinkedIn message

  6. Day 8: Email 3

 

Octopus doesn’t have a pull integration with Google Sheet, so you’ll need your VA to upload the LinkedIn URL data into the tool along with the messaging you’re testing. Once in Octopus, you can forward the prospects between View > Connect > Message according to your schedule. 

 

Plan required: Unlimited (startup plan) / Monthly cost: $39.99 

 
Reply.io Growth Division.png
What is this tool?  Email marketing outreach 
What’s the Unique Selling Point? Message builder and mass personalisation 

Your Google Sheet should also be synced with Reply.io. The reason we use Reply.io here is due to its people tagging and data management capabilities. The built in artificial intelligence email copy tool is decent as well - try to get your copy to have a ‘high chance of response’. 

Reply.io Email marketing automation tool

Build your emails that have a ‘high chance to receive a response’

If you want centralised reporting back into your Google Sheet or Databox (analytics tool), then you need to push back the campaign data. This is a manual process at the moment and requires a Zapier integration with lots of integration tasks on your account. For simplicity, we’ve left this out but if you want more information on this, don’t hesitate to get in touch.  

 

Plan required: Individual (1000 contacts) / Monthly cost: $70

 
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What is this tool?  Events management platform
What’s the Unique Selling Point? It’s cost-effective and well-integrated  

It’s event time. By this stage you should have sold out with your ideal customers signed up to attend. There’s no better platform in our opinion than Eventbrite for management and organisation of events. Eventbrite’s CRM integrations are relatively good, making it a perfect tool for this pivotal role. 

 

You should push data to the Active Campaign with attendees segmentation tags and put them into different re-engagement funnels. For example, separating the follow up campaigns by people who registered and didn’t attend vs those who actually turned up (and then reward the latter with extra content!).

Top Tip:

If you want to get really smart, you can also plug in data from your event hosting platforms. Ideally you track registrations and take polls during the event. This is the ideal time to further qualify your prospects and segment accordingly. 

 
zoom-logo1.jpg
What is this tool?  Online video event and webinar platform   
What’s the Unique Selling Point? It’s reliable

Your choice of events platform will vary depending on the type of event you’re conducting. We like online events as it enriches the data available about participants. For example, you can see who attends a webinar, the time they stayed for, the questions they answered and the polls they took. These digital fingerprints can be synced to your CRM and used to trigger more defined and personalised follow up campaigns. 

 

We recommend using the reliable Zoom platform as the polling and presenter features work well. Zoom can also be integrated with many other tools using its Zapier integration. 

Qualify your attendees using Zoom’s polling capabilities

Top Tip:

If you’re hosting an online event, take polls that enable you to qualify your prospects for sales purposes. You’ll see much higher engagement during the event than with any follow up questioning .

 
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What is this tool?  Tool integration API
What’s the Unique Selling Point? The vast amount of integrations

A martech growth stack wouldn’t be complete without Zapier plugging an integration gap. Zapier’s ubiquity is undeniable and it is getting better and better everyday. You can integrate tools more effectively that they allow on their own, adding in querying and filtering parameters if you go pro. 

 

We use Zapier in this stack to create a Zoom meeting, if you’ve got lots of regular events. You can also set it to create registrants. This is particularly important when pushing registrant attendees and polling data from Zoom to Active Campaign.   

Top Tip:

Growth Division still lean towards native integrations and avoid Zapiers API where possible. You sometimes find ‘Zaps’ being turned off when a tool misbehaves and this can be detrimental to your automations. Monitoring your Zapier account and keeping on top of testing the integrations can be a challenge. 

 
ActiveCampaign Growth Division.png
What is this tool?  Customer relationship management tool
What’s the Unique Selling Point? Its campaign automation builder

If these tools make up your growth marketing engine, then Active Campaign acts as your campaign pistons. Your CRM drives learning and experimentation for every revolution of the campaign or event cycle. 

 

We recommend Active Campaign for event marketing because of its workflow and segmentation capabilities. You can get very clever with the different campaigns and follow up schedules. The campaign builder makes this very achievable to set up for new users. 

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Segment prospects into automated campaigns using Active Campaign

Remember the different data points you’re sending over from Eventbrite? Use this data for personalised nurturing campaigns. If you’ve tagged contacts up correctly, you can quickly search for a list and email them about a specific event or topic. 

Top Tip:

Ensure you have a contact property or tag that aligns to the topics of your events. This way you can run a specific campaign to prospects who previously were interested in this topic if you need to fill some last minute spaces.  

 
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What is this tool?  Automated meeting booking and management

What’s the Unique Selling Point? The user experience and common usage 

We love Calendly. It’s a tool that saves marketing and sales managers heaps of time. We’ve included it in this stack as a recommended addition for lead generation purposes. Use this meeting booking tool to track your conversions from email to lead and then sync this data with your CRM, Active Campaign. 

Plan required: Pro / Monthly cost: $12

 
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What is this tool?  Digital payments platform
What’s the Unique Selling Point? Its integration capabilities 

The final piece of the puzzle is your moneymaker - Stripe. Stripe is the hero-product of integrated digital payments and is our recommendation for handling your revenue. Stripe will slot into your business operations and technology stack seamlessly. 

 

Tracking revenue (and the customers that generate you the most revenue) is a vital element of your growth marketing stack. If you’re attracting the wrong type of customer to your event and they don’t end up converting to a lead and then a sale, this needs to be addressed. Data points we recommend sending between Stripe/Active Campaign/Databox are: 

 

  • Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) 

  • Churn 

  • Failed Charges

 

Granted, if you’ve already set up your payments infrastructure then an overhaul to Stripe is costly and time-consuming. Nonetheless, you need to ensure that your current system can handle the required integrations to Active Campaign and Databox. 

 

Plan required: Integrated / Monthly cost: TBC

 
Databox Growth Division.png
What is this tool?  Analytics platform
What’s the Unique Selling Point? Integrations with most marketing tools 

Just as real-time data has revolutionised Formula 1, tracking and optimising your growth stack metrics will give you the edge over your competition. In 2020, advanced data analytics platforms are much more affordable and well worth the investment. At Growth Division, we highly recommend Databox for this purpose. With hundreds of integrations right out of the gate, it meets the requirements for most marketing technology tool integrations. You can also layer on query builder formulas if you so wish. 

 

Determining which metrics to track and setting up the dashboards is out of the scope of this article. Growth Division has a number of templates available we’d be happy to talk through, just reach out. 

An example template of a Databox dashboard plugged into Eventbrite

Top Tip:

A good place to start is to define a metric for each stage of the AARRR funnel (Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue). Once defined, find a way to pull this metric through to your dashboard and then integrate with Slack or get a daily email update. 

Final Thoughts...

On Event Marketing Automation 

 

Much like your event planning, don’t leave your marketing stack creation until the last minute. Get ahead of your competition and start building an effective events marketing automation stack today. Start small - focus on a couple of the most important tools and build from here when you can. The core of your event marketing automation stack is your CRM (Active Campaign), event management platform (Eventbrite) and outreach engine (Reply.io/Octopus). Remember that ease of integration is key! You don’t want to spend your time manipulating and editing data between systems, life is too short. 

Growth Division’s Top Tips

One thing we wish we’d known earlier: Ensure you track registrations with Zoom and then do as many polls as possible to qualify your attendees. Upload this to Active Campaign and see your conversions go through the roof. 

 

Trickiest integration: Getting your Reply.io email data to be accessible in Google Sheets and then onto Databox is a bit messy and requires a few hacks. 

 

Estimated monthly stack cost: 

Software: $411.98

Time/VA: $449

Total cost: $860.98

 

Money-saving tips: Growth Division can save you 30% on Active Campaign or sign you up as a client under our Databox and Reply.io accounts.   

 

Tools used (click to sign up)

 

Google Sheets

A shared spreadsheet  

Type

Plan

Cost

Automation

N/A

Free

LinkedIn

A business-to-business social network

Type

Plan

Cost

Social Tool

Sales Navigator

$79.99

GetProspect

A lead scraping tool 

Type

Plan

Cost

Automation

Starter

$49

Zirtual

A remote assistant 

Type

Plan

Cost

Automation

Entrepreneur

$449

Octopus

 LinkedIn automation  

Type

Plan

Cost

Automation

Unlimited

$39.99

Reply.io

Email marketing outreach

Type

Plan

Cost

Email Marketing

Individual

$70

Eventbrite

Events management platform

Type

Plan

Cost

Managemnt

Essentials

Free / TBC

Zoom

Online video event and webinar platform

Type

Plan

Cost

Managemnt

Pro

£11.99 +VAT

Zapier

Tool integration API

Type

Plan

Cost

Automation

Starter

$19.99

Active Campaign

Customer Relationship Management tool

Type

Plan

Cost

CRM

Plus

$49

Calendly

Automated meeting booking and management 

Type

Plan

Cost

Automation

Pro

$12

Stripe

 Digital payments platform

Type

Plan

Cost

Payments

Integrated

TBC

Databox

Analytics platform    

Type

Plan

Cost

Analytics

Plus

$99

NEED HELP WITH YOUR GROWTH?
 

Growth Division 2019