Email is NOT Dead
In the world of event planning, email marketing is still a very effective channel. In fact, this article states email and e-newsletters were noted as delivering the best ROI in event marketing campaigns by meeting planners.
Although it’s the most common form of event marketing, it’s not always easy. Below are some best practices for event planners to consider when working through their event email marketing strategy.
Create an Email Calendar
An email campaign calendar is the best way to setup your email marketing strategy. Look at your event’s important dates, such as early bird registration deadline, and schedule emails around those dates. Decide how often you’ll send emails out and let your registrants know when to expect your communications.
Send Targeted Emails
A good way to get your emails read is by segmenting your emails by registration type. That means you don’t need to share exhibitor setup details with your attendees. It’s also important to remember to include the benefits of attending to each group. Include the event’s basic info (time, date, location) but also let them know the awesome networking sessions they’ll be able to attend.
Optimize for Mobile
I’m sure you hear it over and over just how important mobile is in today’s day and age. In case you haven’t, you should know 66% of emails are opened on a mobile device. Ensure your emails are optimized for these screens so you don’t miss out on this large percentage of viewers. This optimization will give your attendees a seamless experience between all devices, increasing your open and click rates.
In addition to all the mobile talk, it’s no secret we also live in a social world. Share anything about your event that’s related to social media, such as your event hashtag, your Facebook event page, and your organizer’s LinkedIn pages. Also include social sharing links in the header or footer of your emails to increase your event’s visibility and hopefully registration rates.
Mix it Up
People have different preferences in the way they like their content. Some like snippets of info while others like in depth stories. So change your content style when communicating details about your event. Announce sponsors in a bulleted list one week then offer detailed bios about how they’re benefiting the event the next week.
What About Event App Users?
Having an event app is just one more communication channel to connect with your attendees. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send event marketing emails. (How will they know about your awesome new event app anyway?) For those event planners with a mobile event app, here are some additional things you should consider when crafting your emails:
- Be sure to explain how to get the app in a number of ways. Provide app store links for native apps, the URL for web apps, and QR codes. Include detailed instructions to ensure just about anyone with any mobile device can access the app.
- Offer ways to get support on the event app. Whether it’s an email contact or support form directly in the app, let your attendees know exactly how to get tech support if needed.
- Similar to expressing reasons for attending the conference, let your registrants know how they’ll benefit from downloading the event app. You could send an email describing your top features or do an email blast focusing on a feature one at a time.
- Remember how we mentioned to segment your emails? Well, your event app information should be targeted as well. Let your sponsors know how they’ll receive the best exposure through the event app. Tell speakers to upload session materials to the app so attendees can have them for later reference. You get the idea.
- Encourage registrants to download the event app early. Not only will they be familiar with the app’s functionality before the event but it will also alleviate the issue of having everyone try to download the event app at the event. Complementary venue Wi-Fi + 100s of app downloads = no fun.
Event email marketing can be overwhelming for anyone. But with the right mindset and guidelines in place, you’ll be sure to see your open and click rates increase in no time.
Was there something I missed that you think should be mentioned? Feel free to include it in the comments below!