What happened when we moved to ONTRAPORT?


Powering our event management with ONTRAPORT

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Imagine this. You’re running a business event, inviting guests, taking bookings, re-inviting the same list, sending out SMS reminders, checking people in, sending a survey to attendees and sending an email to non-attendees and so on.

If you do all this manually, your life as you know it – sucks the big one.

Pre ONTRAPORT our to-do list was exhausting

Pre ONTRAPORT  we used the following online tools –

  • Campaign Monitor
  • Eventbrite
  • BurstSMS

An email invite would go out to our invitation list. That email points to an Eventbrite booking page. People book and Eventbrite either takes their cut or PayPal does depending on how you have it set up.

The email invite sequence would be set up weeks out from the event.

The email capability design options are limited in Eventbrite so this is why we used Campaign Monitor. Plus it gave us better stats, open rates and click throughs. We could make it look more personalised.

Issue: It would be a manual process to remove those that had booked off the list to not resend them another invite. So we didn’t and labelled the emails as reminders!

On the day of the event, we’d need to export the list of attendees to a CSV file to import into BurstSMS. A great solution but it required manual set up every time. Mind you they did bring out ZAPIER integration not long ago.

We’d set up the SMS reminder message to go out. It’s something that I see Dale Beaumont and Troy Dean do so when these guys do cool stuff you follow.

Guests arrive and we check them in. Eventbrite have this cool mobile app to easily check people in.

We can do the same with ONTRAPORT to a certain degree by adding the email addresses of those that attended into a custom form we have set up. Using an iPad we can enter their info. But that to me is a little pedestrian so we wait until we are back at the office to copy and paste the names from the fulfillment list ONTRAPORT sends us. If we can automate that even more – we will. That’s the stage we are up to with that for now.

In our ONTRAPORT sequence we have already set up the SMS message. That will go out at a set time. Now machines are great and do not make mistakes. Humans do so when your PC is set to AEDT and ONTRAPORT is set to AEST then your message goes out an hour later from when it should. It’s a slight tweak our end, but ONTRAPORT Support is insanely great and they’re all over it.

When we add emails to the custom check-in page, the system tags them as attending that event and this triggers a rule to email them our survey a few days later.

ONTRAPORT like Infusionsoft does not create lists like other email marketing solutions. These tools are CRMs not Email Marketing which it can do as well.

ONTRAPORT uses tags so a customer can have multiple tags meaning all sorts of things and have rules and sequences applied to them all based on the tag applied to their name. Extremely powerful stuff. It’s heady to imagine the possibilities.

Using built-in features we saved so much extra time before, during and after our event

So in the end, we went into our event pretty calmly. We had all this extra time to do things. We kind of sat around wondering what else to do. All the time-consuming tasks got handled. All that was left was to pack the car and go to the event.

Upon our return we added all attendees to a quick form we created and added their email only that tagged them on the way in that they attended. Then those attendees automatically get sent a survey request 3 days later.

Looking after our clients with love

  1. Pre – Event:
    1. Include what they need to bring or set up prior
    2. A couple of days and the day before they receive an email reminder
    3. A few hours before they receive an SMS Reminder
  2. During Event:
    1. Sometimes we have presentation notes / slides that get sent to the class.
    2. An invitation to the Closed Facebook Group for our students.
  3. Post Event:
    1. Follow-up HOW TO emails.
    2. Invitation to a FREE Webinar to cover anything they are struggling with
    3. Feedback emails
    4. Sharing emails

So what inevitably happens?

Lot’s. It’s always on and working in the background. There is so much it can do it is a good idea to keep track of all the automation you are doing as it is easy to forget how smart you were at implementing something only to repeat it later. This is a PEBKCAC issue not an ONTRAPORT Issue. PEBKAC = Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair. It was all me getting too clever.

Now ONTRAPORT is just an indispensable part of the business. We wouldn’t dream of using something else to handle our events and nurture students and clients.


Running events, lead magnets, nurturing sequences, reminders and more. It's just silly stupid how good this application is and what it can do for your business.

About Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is the Founder & CEO of MerlinFX. For the past 16 years Daniel has been building websites for businesses and working with other digital agencies, graphic designers & printers; marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and WordPress Websites. Daniel is also the co-creator of Content Kitchen, a training / workshop resource to help business owners reveal their secret sauce. Daniels' expertise also extends to being an ONTRAPORT certified consultant. Daniel brings a unique perspective to marketing online with skills in web development, CRM and content creation, delivery and automation tools.

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