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How I get a 57% Conversion Rate from Live Events

Yesterday I spoke at the Create Leaders BAWSE conference in LA.

The speaker line up included Russell Simmons, Jillian Manus, myself, etc.

It was so much fun!

I ran a workshop on Building Apps Without Code

And I got 57% of the audience to subscribe to my blog & request more information about my Apps Without Code Bootcamp (happy to have you guys onboard!)

To get this crazy conversion rate, I tried a wacky tactic that I totally planned LAST MINUTE…

Honestly, I set everything up 1 hour before my presentation, and it completely paid off.

Here’s the strategy I used…



Part 1- Where do you get these crazy ideas?

Before I share the details of the crazy experiment I ran, I want to tell you WHERE the experiment idea came from.

Because it actually came from merging 2 separate tactics together.


Tactic #1 came from my friend Danielle Leslie.

Danielle is a crazy genius when it comes to course selling & list-building.

And a few weeks ago, Danielle recommended that at the end of my presentation, I should offer 1:1 office hours to the first 10 people who came up & talked to me.

She recommended I get out a pen & paper & have people sign up for office hours on the spot.

The strategy was to generate urgency by creating a big line waiting to signup!

At first, the idea worried me…


As a digital girl, it seemed inefficient to have people write their name on pen & paper for office hours.

But I understood the psychology of creating in-person urgency around free office hours with me….

… And Danielle is usually right about this kind of thing…

…So I was willing to try the idea.

That was Tactic #1.

Old School Pen, Paper, & Urgency (details on how that performed below).


But a few days after talking to Danielle, I was listening to the Conversion Cast podcast & heard something that also really inspired me!

The podcast episode discussed a case study on how marketer, Bob Jenkins, uses SMS text messaging to convert audiences at live events.

Bob asks his audience (on the spot) to text a ‘word’ to a ‘number’ in order to get a special gift.

And I thought- Oooh I should try that!


That was Tactic #2

The New School way- SMS lead generation.

Here’s the Podcast episode that inspired me:



Part 2- Last Minute Implementation

Now remember I told you that I set this all up 1 hour before my presentation?

Well honestly,  it’s true!

Last minute, I worked up the courage to try this live experiment…

Here’s how I set it up:


Step #1- I stumbled around!

I started off looking for the cheapest solution. I searched ProductHunt, but I was super surprised to not find many options there.

Then I found &, which were $19 & $49 respectively, but user onboarding was taking a long time & I was in a RUSH.


Step #2- I spent 5 mins setting up LeadDigits

I landed on LeadDigits, which was more expensive than the other options, but given my time crunch, the price was totally worth it.

It took me 5 mins to set everything up.

  • I created my own unique code (BAWSE1, inspired by the name of the event).
  • I customized my opt-in instructions & ‘gift’ email copy
  • DONE!


Step #3- Then I updated my final presentation slide

…and pressed ‘save’!



Part 3- The Experiment Results

So I stood there on stage & delivered a killer presentation!


And at the end, I offered to share my slides & details on my Apps Without Code Bootcamp with the audience.

I encouraged everyone to get out their phones & text me if they were interested.

And then I paused to give the audience time.

The novelty of the text code made everyone smile & a lot of people pulled out their phones.

Next, I explained that people often find it helpful to talk 1:1 with me about their app ideas & the best way to start building them. So I offered a handful of 1:1 calls with the first people who signed up on my list in the back of the room.

I combined the old school way, which created urgency with the newer school, which felt really novel to the audience.

As a result 57% of the audience opted in.


But that success was totally reliant on the fact that I COMBINED the two strategies.

While most people engaged with me via SMS, there were A LOT of people who rushed to talk to me immediately afterwards.

  • If I had done ONLY the SMS strategy, I would have lost over 40% of my conversions.
  • And if I had done ONLY the pen & paper strategy, I would have lost over 50% of my conversions

So I’m super glad I tried both!

But there are definitely some things I’ll be improving for next time…

Lessons learned:

  1. Fully Test Your Tech: Some people had trouble with the text code. Still not sure why, but I bet my conversions would have been EVEN HIGHER if I had time to fully test my technology
  2. Offer a Juicy Digital Gift: Since I planned everything last minute, I didn’t have time to make a juicier lead-magnet (like a checklist or getting started guide). I bet a sweeter gift would have converted better than an offer for the presentation slides & more info on my Bootcamp.
  3. Pitch the Text Code Twice: I only pitched my text code once (at the end of the presentation). Next time, I’ll try it TWICE: once at the beginning of the presentation and AGAIN at the end.
  4. The In-Person Line Effect Is Still Valid You can be high-tech if you want, but FOMO (fear of missing out) still sells & works best in-person.




Stay tuned for an update on this post. I’ll let you know how I’m converting these leads into paying customers.





TaraReed_ View All

Hi there- My name is Tara Reed & I’m the founder of Kollecto. I'm a non-technical founder building software without writing any code.I’m also a first-time entrepreneur who swore I'd never become an entrepreneur…Oh well, sh*t happens! :) Follow my journey as I build a cool art startup...

2 thoughts on “How I get a 57% Conversion Rate from Live Events Leave a comment

  1. Hi Tara, Im Agustin from Argentina. I have a proposal for you in order to launch the app Kollecto in Argentina, the spanish version. Contact me if you have interest, Thanks

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