The use of email marketing in events
It is proclaimed that email marketing is dead! I would say far from it, email marketing still has a huge part to play within companies marketing strategies and in this blog we take a look at specifically how email can be used within the events industry. Used correctly, email can be an effective way for event managers to market their event, and increase communication with delegates in a cost efficient manner.
Promoting your event with an effective email schedule is a great way of engaging with prospective attendees and customers and allows you to direct them through a live event website and capture their registration whilst interest is still high. With the increasing cost of other forms of event communication such as direct mail and personalised printed invites, email marketing is fast becoming an ever more attractive option.
When planning your event schedule, email has many potential options in the way it can be used
- Generate awareness and promote your event
- Event updates and notifications
- Pre event news
- Post event follow ups and surveys
When integrated correctly into a live event schedule, email can boost attendance as well as give you results that you can track, monitor and repeat on future events.
Think about the basics
Before you begin mailing to your database, consider the basic principles of email and plan out a schedule of sends. Think about the following
- What do want the email to achieve? Is it a one-off invite send, are you going to send a series of communications that aim to increase attendance and engage with delegates
- Consider the design and content of the email. Are call to actions strong, is the key information above the fold, are you sending HTML or plain text email are all things you could be asking yourself
- A strong call to action – What is it you want people to do? Register onto the event, forward to a friend, provide menu selections etc.
- Where is the email pointing to? – An email can only work if it is linked to a relevant web page. Is this page hosted on your own website? Is it a separate event specific webpage? Tailored landing page? for example
- Timings – How soon are you going to start promoting your event? When do you need to close registration? What time/day are you going to send communications?
So often email can be overlooked and the proper care and attention not paid to the basics. Sending out invites through Outlook for example is bad practice and doesn’t look very professional. Think about these points and remember this could be the first time your delegates have seen anything about your event, so make those first impressions count.
Objectives and Design
When designing your email first you need to consider what you are trying to achieve. There are many objectives that can be set to measure an emails success, and when promoting your event think about the aims of your e-shot. The email could be used to
- Drive event registrations
- Build relationships with delegates
- Promote the event
- Encourage referrals and forwards
- Sell event related services/products
The email will need to be consistent with the branding and look of your event, sell the benefits of attending the event and drive people to a designated event website or landing page. You may also wish to think about the way people view their emails, think about highlighting key information above the fold and identify exactly what you want the recipient to do with clear and concise call to actions.
If pushing to a dedicated event website, ensure the look of both the site and email are consistent and make the registration process simple. Drive traffic into both the registration form and information pages on the event site and make sure the call to actions are in similar places, whilst keeping the form clean and simple.
Plan and Automate
As well as sending pre-event invites you also have the opportunity to stay in touch with your attendees and delegates through a series of planned e-shots. The best way of sending these e-shots is through a series of automated emails.
Perhaps you want to follow up once you have a registration with a thank you confirmation, maybe you want to send a series of reminders to delegates who have yet to register in a controlled way or simply send event updates at specified times, automation is the simplest way of achieving this.
Automated emails can be set up to go out when a user triggers a specific behaviour, taking away the need to manually control the sends and eliminating errors that could happen. For example a user has clicked on the email and gone on to register, this could trigger a ‘Welcome’ email to send at a pre-determined time after this event as well as follow on email’s announcing mor e details about the event.
Pre and Post Show
So you have the event planned, location is confirmed, speakers and agenda set, now you need to tell people about it. What better way than through a carefully planned email campaign. Promote the show, invite attendees, release scheduled information on the event and build excitement in the lead up to the event itself.
Following the show, email provides a great opportunity for feedback from your attendees, send out a survey or simply a thank you for attending. Taking it slightly further, how about sending an e-shot to people who didn’t attend, supplying them with notes from the event and giving them information on any potential events in the future.
Whatever you decide to do with email around your events, whether it is a single invite or a series of communications, it shouldn’t be overlooked as a cost-effective and efficient means of communicating. Following on from our previous whitepaper, how technology is affecting the events industry, the use of email in coordination with online registration software will really help to move your event planning forward and allows you to focus on other aspects of your event.
About In 2 Events
In 2 Events is a corporate events management agency with over 20 years’ experience between them. Year on year they deliver in excess of 600 projects for wide variety of clients, the likes of which are Toshiba, Carphone Warehouse and Hitachi.
With services covering event management, exhibition design and build and online event registration they are well suited to service any event requirement. Situated from their head office in Hampshire, with further offices in London and Manchester, In 2 Events work with a variety of industry sectors covering both the UK and Internationally.
For more information on how In 2 Events can help with your email and event plans contact us on 08453 10 22 22 or visit www.in2events.co.uk.