You have organized a one-of-a-kind event with the perfect venue (virtual platform or in-person venue), a stellar speaker lineup, and a slew of sponsors to be showcased. Now you are ready to get people registered and promote your event.
We previously talked about pre-event strategies for success. We touched on creating a marketing strategy, but we want to go a bit more in-depth with helping you use an email strategy to market your event to the right audience.
With an effective strategy, your email campaigns will see higher open rates, increased click rates, and a boost in your conversion rates. And, with a few tips and tricks, you can encourage your subscribers to spread the word about your event.
Although marketing professionals widely agree that email marketing is the most effective method used to promote an event, it is not always utilized consistently due to a lack of staff, knowledge, or even budget. There are LOADS of great services that are available to support anyone wanting to have an effective email marketing campaign like:
Before you begin sending promotional emails for your next event, you’ll want to establish some goals. Consider answering these questions to get started:
Who is your target audience?
You may have multiple target audiences that you want to reach. That is okay! Without knowing who you are wanting to reach, the right message will never be delivered. Identifying all the possible target audiences impacts what you say, how you say it, and whether or not it will sit the correct way with them.
When reaching out to a variety of audiences, your message may have slight differences, by using one of the email marketing providers from above, creating separate emails or segmented email lists is easy and manageable!
Who is your target audience?
In a previous article, we talked about building event FOMO and that is exactly what you want to do with your email marketing campaign. You want your promotional emails to feature key information that gets your audience worried that if they miss your event, they will miss out on an AMAZING event. A few ways you can spice up your message and help with open rates and click rates, which can then lead to conversions include:
- Catchy Subject Lines: Subject lines are the first thing your audience will see, so you want it to set the tone for the rest of the email. They can be as simple as ‘Come Attend Our Event’ or something exciting like, ‘Don’t Miss Out On The Most Exciting Event Of The YEAR’. Without a catchy subject line, the email message doesn’t matter. The subject line is responsible for your open rates! So create some urgency. You have a split second to make an impression in an overly crowded inbox, that most likely has dozens of other event marketing promos, so make sure your email subject line stands out and grabs attention.
- Short, Sweet, and To The Point: What is your event and why should your audience attend? You may very well have a million reasons as to why an email recipient must attend your event, but you want to keep this short, sweet, and to the point. The more wordy and lengthy your email is, the less likely you are to see conversion to registration.
Pick out your events ‘top selling’ items to highlight and draw attention to, for example:
- Celebrity Keynote Speaker
- Featured Speaker Lineup
- Giveaways or Prizes available
- Exclusive content like Happy Hours or Speaker Meet and Greets.
Whatever you choose to convey in your email message depends on who you are and who you’re wanting to reach.
What do you want your audience to feel?
When we read something, we feel certain things. Whether we are reading a news article, a novel, a blog article, or even a social media post, a feeling about it sparks. In the same way, you want your event emails to make your readers feel. What feeling do you want that to be? How can you convey that feeling in an email?
What do you want your audience to do?
Sending an event marketing email without a call to action is not going to be enough to boost your registrations. Many event marketing emails will even feature the call to action in the beginning and at the end of the email depending on the design of the email. This keeps it at the forefront of everyone’s mind and there is no confusion on where to locate needed information.
Consider easy to click buttons that say things like:
- Register NOW!
- Access Early Bird Discounts!
- Save $75!
- RSVP for VIP Content
Making sure the audience takes the desired action is the key to conversion rates. Adding links to your event page or registration page, track email marketing metrics, and also know if the emails are working.
Once you have established your goals and answered the important questions, it is time to deploy your event emails and start spreading the word! Some best practices that we have seen many of our customers utilize are:
Event Launch Campaign: Just like companies have product launch campaigns, event launches can be just as valuable in generating interest. This could start MONTHS in advance and simply shares little informational promos emails letting people know what’s coming and when to expect further details. You can funnel people into this drip so that they receive regular updates about the event.
Exclusive Offers: Whether it is a discounted ticket, a special prize, or even access to special content use exclusive offers to encourage people to sign up for your event. Many attach exclusive content to a timeframe as this can create a bigger sense of urgency and ‘ACT NOW’ hype around your event.
Encourage people to share: A big reason many people attend events is if someone they know or an organization they support is attending the same event. Many customers have created special discount codes that organizations or already registered individuals can use to post on their own social media channels or in an email to their network that invites them to join in the event fun! Creating exciting content that easily can be shared by others is a great way to spread the word about your event.
Keep people informed: Events sometimes have last-minute changes in speakers, sponsors, or other content that your audience may want to know about. Making sure you inform them of any of these changes is important. It is equally important that you ensure they have ALL the information they need for a smooth event experience. There are two simple ways to send needed information. The first is an email to people who already purchased tickets, they will need details about event agendas and activities happening throughout the day, as well as how to access the event itself. The second is an email to people who haven’t bought tickets yet with the last calls for registering. Regardless of which of the two your audience falls into, you want to ensure that you are reminding people about your event before critical dates pass such as early bird registration deadlines, the opportunity to enter a raffle drawing or purchase special access tickets, or anything else that would be time-sensitive to your event attendees or possible registrants. Communication is IMPORTANT!
Contact Information: Even if you send a dozen amazing and informative emails, and create an awesome landing page for your event, chances are HIGH that you will still get questions from people who want to attend. Include event contact information on any marketing materials you use, including emails! You might also consider creating an FAQ that can be emailed during your event email campaign as well. Be clear about who can help them!
Once your event is over, does not mean your email campaign has to stop. Continuing the conversation is a huge part of increasing your network and growing your next event.
Wrap everything up by:
Thanking people for attending your event: Rather than incorporating event highlights, this thank you email encourages people to read more about the event via the event landing page or other platform. Thank You emails make people feel appreciated and go a long way in boosting your overall business.
Share information about any extended access event content, or resources
Invite them to share their event experience via social media, an event survey or other form of feedback.
When it comes to email marketing, following a well-crafted and thought-out plan can go a long way in achieving event success. The more effort you put into your event campaign, the better your email performance will be.