E-mail is one of the most popular ways for b-to-b marketers to publicize conferences or other events they’re hosting or attending.
In this article Tara Lamberson provides some tips to make the most of your event-oriented e-mail campaigns:
1) Make sure the right people get invited to events they’d care about.
If you already have established groups of people who come to conferences, e-mail is a great way to retain those attendees and give them information about upcoming seminars or conferences.
If you’re just beginning to gather subscriber data, use surveys to determine what kinds of events customers and prospects would be interested in. Tapping advanced relationship marketing and behavioral targeting also can provide intuitive recommendations for relevancy, she said.
In addition, marketers are moving away from sending long newsletters listing upcoming events for the month or quarter, Lamberson said. “Marketers assumed the user would scroll through and pick the one that’s relevant for them,” she said. “The trend now is to send a targeted communication that has only two events instead of 10 to a customer who might be more likely to check them out.”
2) Timing matters.
Marketers that send messaging out too far in advance run the risk of participants forgetting about the event. But if there’s too short a window, there’s a strong likelihood the e-mail recipient won’t attend.
If the event is offline and participants need to book travel or seek budgetary approval, It is recommended to send an initial notice between six months and 90 days in advance. For online events, messaging 90 days in advance gives interested recipients enough time to put it on their calendar.
Sending out reminders as the event nears is important, too. Some companies ask people who sign up when and how they’d like to receive reminders—for instance, more e-mails or a text messagemeaning texting via cell phones?
Personally I think 90 days for an online event is way too long. One month is more than enough notice in my opinion.
3) Keep event announcements concise.
A short e-mail is critical. The top of the message should contain a brief sentence or two describing the event. Then, use a bullet format to tell e-mail recipients why they should attend, she suggested. Add a link to another site for more detailed information, and always have a call to action in every e-mail so recipients can sign up immediately if they want to.
4) Don’t focus exclusively on the acquisition end of the event.
Most marketers focus all their energy—and budget—on drawing people to their company’s events. However, there’s also great value in connecting with attendees via e-mail once the conference is over. She suggested sending attendees from a recent event an e-mail with a link to an online survey to provide feedback. “It’s a great way to capture quantitative data, get testimonials and find out if this kind of event is still relevant for them going forward,” Tara said.
One more tip:
If you are trying to get top-level executives to your event, try to make the email as short and as personal as possible:
- go for a short, simple text email that focusses on the benefits of them attending the event. Remember, these people typically have hundreds of emails in their inboxes and they will very likely read your email on a blackberry or smartphone.
- if relevant, put a familiar name in the sender name to make it look like the email came from someone that they know, or have heard of eg. your CEO.