Event Marketing

Marketing Idea: One-Click Event Registration

Over at the productivity consulting company I run, we do a ton of public seminars. We do the standard event marketing stuff: we’ve got the microsite, we’ve got the email newsletter, and we’ve got the online registration system. But we’ve got one more idea that we’re thinking about trying, and it’s a little crazy. Maybe you can help tell us if this is a good or bad idea: we call it one-click registration.

Here’s the concept. You sign up for an email newsletter, which contains information about an upcoming event. When you click the button, we immediately consider you signed up for the event. You don’t have to fill out a form. We would use a unique link in the email newsletter to determine who you are and track that click. Check out the mockup below:

newsletter sample

It seems pretty straightforward, but there are some complications that we’ve been thinking through. For example:

  • What Does Instantly Registered Mean? Event marketing really depends on people actually committing to showing up. So clicking the button might take you to a webpage where you could add in the rest of your details. Or it might take you first to an interstitial page that informs us you were ready to register, so we can follow up if you don’t actually complete the rest of the registration process.
  • What About Special Discounts? We already provide exclusive pricing to newsletter subscribers. The Sign Me Up button could also embed that discount into the registration page. That’s pretty neat, but do we want to make the special deals more obvious and intentional?
  • What happens if the email is forwarded to somebody else? – This is a big sticking point. If you forward the email along to a friend, and they click the Sign Me Up button, they will actually be signing you up for the event. Of course, we could ask them to confirm that their name is Bob Smith, but does that make it too difficult in the normal case?
  • Do we need to offer both a I’m interested and a Sign Me Up Now link?

The current email newsletter just has an Additional details link, which you can click to see pricing and event descriptions. There’s no danger in clicking on that link. But a Sign Me Up button sort of implies that you are making a commitment. Is that a good or bad idea?

So, what do you think? We’d love your feedback on this new marketing idea: should we do it?

(And if you love it, feel free to try it yourself and let us know how it goes!)

Robby Slaughter

Robby Slaughter is a workflow and productivity expert. His focus is helping organizations and individuals to become more efficient, more effective and more satisfied at work. Robby is a regular contributor in several regional magazines and has been interviewed by national publications such as the Wall Street Journal. His latest book is The Unbeatable Recipe for Networking Events.. Robby runs a business improvement consulting company.

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  1. I think clicking the button should auto fill in their info into your event registration platform of choice. That way you make the process more productive and the entry point easier. You would get the added benefit of the forwarding person being able to chang their name from the forwarder

  2. NO to two buttons. A “Sign Me Up” button would imply that I would be registered if I click on it (although, really, I would expect to fill out a form first) and an “I’m Interested” button would imply that I want you to contact me more about it, neither of which I think is the right way to go. The “I’m Interested” button seems more irrelevant next to a “Sign Me Up” button.

    I really like the idea of clicking on a button in an e-mail that takes me to a page with my information already populated, including a discounted price. Yes, I would make the discount obvious on the registration page — I love knowing that I’m getting a deal. Then all I have to do is add payment info to be registered, easy peasy. A follow-up reminder to attend the event wouldn’t be too obtrusive, but if I’ve paid to go then I probably won’t forget.

    If I forward the newsletter and the recipient clicks the button, then they’d have to populate their own information — not a big deal. They would still have to enter their own payment info so I’m not worried that they’ll sign me up for something against my will. My question to you, then, is do you want them to have the same discount as the newsletter recipient? Because that’s how this system would work (unless you have additional programming to associate the discount with a name and not the link).

    Re: getting additional details without registering, I suggest linking the name of the event to its associated web page. I think it’s intuitive enough for people to click on the name to find out more.

    1. Oh, I like it! Make the event title a link, and add a button for instant-register.

      (We already do all the follow-up reminders, but instead of doing them automatically we actually hand-write emails and make courtesy calls. This really increases who shows.)

      I think it’s okay for non-subscribers to use the newsletter discount. In that case, we’ll just suggest that maybe you should go ahead and sign up for the newsletter already. 🙂

  3. I like the idea. As others have mentioned, I would make sure that there are options for signing up for someone else, say if an administrative person wanted to sign up his/her boss for an event. This is similar to how Amazon.com does their one-click buying process. Maybe take some cues from them and put a ‘one-click sign-up’ button instead?

  4. I do a lot of event marketing and love the idea of the instant sign up. On the back end I would enroll the person in a drip camapaign which starts with a confirmation email. That way if my friend registered using my mail, i could pass that on as well.

    1. Awesome idea, Lorraine!

      So not only is this one-click event registration, but also an alternate path to drip campaigns.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  5. Stay Sourced, the promotional merchandise supplier, have launched a range of eco-friendly products that showcase some weird and wonderful uses for recycled materials. If your company is looking for exciting and ethical Marketing ideas, there’s plenty to go at: mousemats and coasters from recycled tyres, bamboo pens, yo-yos and pencils that can trace their ancestry back to the humble old CD case. Perhaps the most intriguing gadget in their eco-friendly collection is the battery-free, water-powered clock which sparked off some interesting discussion among the team here. For an intelligent bunch, there’s been some frankly worrying explanations for how this might be working and nothing that we’d want in the public domain. If there are any scientists, alchemists or voodoo-ists out there who can shine a light on this, please comment and put us out of our misery.

  6. Love the idea. Just wish it was also a stand-alone product aside from an email sign-up. I’m running an event. I already have the contact information of the people I’m inviting. I just want them to click a link in an email labeled “yes” if they’re coming and “no” if they’re not. Sounds simple but I have yet to find a tool that offers this service. If you know of one, please do let me know as I’m currently wrestling with Smart Sheets to find a workaround.

    1. @LisaDSparks:disqus Have you looked into a product like meetup.com at all? I’m not sure about the emails, but the site is definitely simple like that… with some added features to let you manage your community.

      1. Meetup is awesome, just not for what I’m doing right now. Will continue with Smart Sheet and hope for the best. Can’t keep obsessing over this. Bigger fish to fry, but would love to have the convenience of this service – and yes I’m willing to pay for it! Thanks, Douglas. – L

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