Course Promotion

Guidance for promoting ECF 2019 to your contacts and networks.

You have offered to deliver a pre/post ECF event course or workshops. Here is information to help make it a success.

Key points

From past experience success is not guaranteed, so  read and act on this ASAP and I have some advice for making it a success (and you advice/experience is welcome too!)

  1. Promote soon and often: Participants come more because they have heard of you or know you than just because of hearing it through me or others. So promote to your network too - especially via phone, email, communities (like ECF) and presentations... plus Slack, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

  2. Location: To be determined once enough bookings are made. If the event doesn't have enough people, one successful tactic is to offer a free place if an NGOs hosts the day on premises at no cost (catering is separate) which allows someone without budget to come and eliminates the venue cost - a win-win.

  3. Deadline for decision of go ahead/cancel: Until Mar 15th so I can ensure there is a room and the location can be shared with participants. Each course needs to get enough people to make it minimally viable by then. I encourage this to be enough to pay you fairly for your time, but if you wish to take the risk of the revenue being gobbled up in costs, its your call.

  4. Revenue share: The revenue sharing spreadsheet can help you calculate how much you earn from it. It is meant to be a fair and transparent split that values my time and risk while still paying you fairly - but it does require a minimum number of paying participants. If you wish to have a skype call to go through it together, I can do that!

  5. Hashtag: #ECFOxford is the ECF event hashtag (makes it more unique than ECF<year>). If you wish to use your own and combine it with this, feel free. Part of the reason for having multiple courses at the same time is that it is is easier to organise and promote since there is more on offer. My experience is that Tweets and FB posts do almost nothing for generating bookings, but still worth it just in case ;-)

  6. Check the booking process: Your trainings are listed at - check everything on the page works, that the link works, and go through the booking process to know how your booking looks. Any mistakes let me know. I think I've found most of them, but there can always be more!

Promotion (inc tracking and discounts)

Getting people to book on trainings is hard work! I've found most people book because they know the trainer either in-person or via a virtual relationship - or for larger organisations because one of their colleagues does. So no magic, just good old one-to-one / word of mouth marketing!

Since you are specialised in a specific area, you know best who to promote to and how to pitch it - so get to it :-)  People from the ECF community who book often either know me/the community and/or you, and you are each encouraged to promote your training on the ECF list. It is an ECF event which is what the list is for so don't feel squeamish about it.

I will also promote on ECF list, but most of my effort these days goes to promoting the events (ECF and trainings) in direct emails to list members, so you may accidental get one from me too!

The lead-time between finding out about a course and booking can be 1-2 weeks (e.g. find time to ask manager, time to get managers' approval, time to actually get back to the booking).

I can also give each of you a list of who has booked on your course so you know and can chase the right people (and follow up with the right people).


You are free to offer discounts. While it does reduce the course profitability for you, I have some strategies for ensuring that you make the most. What I've done in the past is:

  1. Focus first on full-price bookings
  2. Anyone who contacts you for a discount you can see you can offer one if the course gets enough people. Suggest £300 or £250.
  3. Offer last minute deals to small charities and independents (and privately to your contacts). This can be publicly positioned that since you have enough full paying participants, a limited number of discounted places are available to small organisations / independents. Ask them how much they can afford and suggest £250 or £200. The minimum would be the cost of catering. Below £50 I don't take a logistics fee and you don't earn much/anything once catering and venue osts are deducted.

Since there is no in-build discount field, just tell people to put the agreed rate in the final 'comments' box and it will be applied.


FairSay provide tracking capabilities to help attribute bookings to you...and if people book another course someone else runs due to your promotion efforts, then you get the £50 'results' fee for that. Since tracking isn't perfect, if you wish to dispute a booking attribution, that is OK and we can explore a fair solution (since often our networks and promotions will overlap!)

It happens in one of two ways:

  1. The 'referral' page is recorded for people clicking through to the booking form. this means it can be on your site or mine and as long as it is a web page (and not from a Tweet, FB post or email) it will get tracked with their booking (secure pages may block this - not sure!)
  2. The landing page to the booking form is also recorded, so if you link directly to it (e.g. from a Tweet, FB page, email or webpage) it will be picked up.

The technicalities of tracking are:

  1. FairSay (or other) referral page: To the course booking page itself you can add: "?s=" followed by a code. I suggest: something like PdrCcsF350 where:
    1. 'P' = 'promoted by' followed by the initials (e.g. 'dr' for Duane Raymond')
    2. 'C' = 'course' and in this example 'cs' is 'content strategy'
    3. 'F' = 'Fee' and normally this would be £350 unless specified
    4. This should usually (if they don't click around the site) be picked up by the form url as the referrer and thus allow me to see the source.
    5. Example - for The Planning Effective Campaigns course the url with tracking would be when it is promoted by Duane (dr), for the content strategy course (cs) at a rate of £350

  2. Direct links to the booking page you can use the same as above or replace the ?s= with a '/' so /PdrCcsF350 at the end of the booking URL and the form will pick that up as the landing page e.g. for the same course as above it would be

There is no automation in this, so I would need to adjust the pricing manually (would be good to tell people you make discounted offers to) once their booking is received.

I would also need to check the data of where people came from when they booked and we know this form of tracking is far from perfect - so you can also 'claim' a person who has signed up and likely I will agree to allocate it to you :-)

However if people start the booking process but don't complete it, I still see these 'abandoned cart' source tracking and can thus followup to convert them (and they are still attributed to you).

by Duane Raymond published Feb 23, 2014,
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