Deliver a virtual summit with emails and communities

1. Configure the email address for your summit correctly and add the SPF and DKIM records to improve your delivery rate and prevent emails from being marked as SPAM.

How you do this depends on the email service provider you use. See your email provider product manual for specifics on adding SPF and DKIM records.

2. Set up a new domain or subdomain for your email address and send a few batches of emails to a small list of engaged subscribers ton increase the deliverability of future emails.

Sending a few batches of emails to a list of engaged subscribers tells ISPs that you are sending emails people want to read and respond to, further increasing the deliverability of your emails.

3. Set up an email sequence that triggers on the summit start day and sends two emails per day, one in the morning outlining the sessions that go live that day, and another one six to twelve hours later targeting the unopens from the first email — both including direct links to your summit sessions.

This sequence is the lifeblood of your summit, it is the only source for your attendees to get direct links to the sessions. Keep the summit delivery to email only, or you risk losing the reason for attendees to sign up to your event and won’t grow your email list. How you set up the email sequence depends on your email service provider and the tools you use. For example, you can use the Campaigns feature if you use Deadline Funnel.

4. Test the email sequence for the correct links, correct trigger times, and correct sender/reply-to information before activating it.

If this email sequence fails, your attendees won’t see the summit sessions and your event will fail. So, you need to test it thoroughly.

5. Create a group on Facebook, Slack, LinkedIn, or any other platform commonly used in your industry to stream any live sessions and allow summit attendees to engage with each other.

This group is meant to foster connection between summit attendees, allowing them to network and get in touch with each other – as they would at an in-person event.

6. Run community events like Ask-Me-Anything sessions with speakers, live streams, or giveaways within your community to spark engagement.

Reserve time for playful and fun engagement with your attendees during your summit schedule. You need to make this event an event your attendees will remember, and having them take part in fun activities with other attendees will certainly set your summit apart from other events in your space. For example, you could: Invite speakers to host Ask-Me-Anything sessions. Do a livestream during which you give away prices for people who join you live. Create a quiz based on the summit sessions and award prizes to the winners.

7. Add a follow-up email sequence for to stay in touch with new subscribers and explain what they can expect from you after your summit ends.

One of the biggest mistakes summit hosts can make is losing touch with their new email subscribers after the summit ended. The opportunity to build a relationship with them and promote your offers to them is still present.

8. Repurpose your summit content and regularly share it with your community and via email to keep your audience engaged.

A great way to keep marketing to your audience is by repurposing your summit sessions into social status posts or emails. Stay present for your audience and they’ll learn to know, like, and trust you.