Ask anyone in event management how they promote their events and email marketing will be near the top of the list. Despite being one of the most effective and reliable marketing channels for the promotion of events; email marketing is often neglected.
TIP 1: Start Building Your List Now
If you don’t have an email capture form up on the home-page of your site stop reading now and get it sorted. If someone’s managed to come along to your website, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to get more information about your event.
As soon as you decide to host an event, put together a holding page with an email capture form to start collecting the details of people interested in the event. This may go as far as putting up email capture forms for “events coming soon”. The rate of email sign ups can help you decide whether to host the event in the first place.
TIP 2: Write to an Actual Person
Which emails do to read and reply to? those from an actual person or those generic newsletters? Try to make your emails seem as much like a ‘normal’ email as possible because you will get a better response to these types of email.
Also, make one email about one thing, not a dozen, you spread people’s attention too thinly.
You can always split multiple topics into several smaller emails, what was a monthly email could now be weekly, it will be much more punchy, have more specific subject lines and will have more of the type of interaction you want.
TIP 3. Simplify Your Template
There’s all kinds of reasons to do this. It’ll save you time testing across different email clients; it’ll work better on mobile, where a lot of your opens will come from and it’s more likely to appear the same as you designed it. The more complex your design is, the more likely it’s to get elements removed by over-zealous spam filters. If it doesn’t work in plain text, then it doesn’t work!
TIP 4: Test Different Subject Lines
Most email marketing technologies will allow to test a number of different elements of an email on small segments of your list, and send the best performing to the rest of your lists.
One of the best things to test is the subject line. The subject line is essential, trying out two or three variations is a no-brainer.
TIP 5: Personalize the Emails, Not Just the Name
Chances are, you know quite a bit about your list, you can use that insight to personalize the emails you get. A couple of things that might work for you, can you use the subscriber’s first name or company in the subject line? How about tailoring the description of your event based upon the interests of audience. If you know they’re interested in a particular topic or theme so set up your email so that can be automatically included in the copy.
TIP 6: Don’t Overload People
You can normally judge which events are struggling based upon how frequent their emails get in the last couple of weeks before the event. Often you’ll get multiple emails from an event per day, those might not be coming back next year.
In many cases this email overload might not even be deliberate; you might have lots of different auto-responders all running concurrently, One that sends an email five days before the event, one sent out on behalf of a sponsor, another that goes out the 30th of the month etc.
You’ve got to look at how many other emails are going out to your list, especially in larger teams.
TIP 7: Protect Your List
Every event has got to make money, and will mean doing deals with sponsors, but be really careful who you share your data with. Even ignoring the legal implications it can have a real effect on the way potential attendees view your event.
WordPress is usually the first choice to host event websites for event professionals (with 23% of all websites powered by WordPress). Here are a few professional WordPress themes that we think look great and will help in powering your event's website presence.
Today we're opening up invitations to try a new app by GoMobile Events that is just for attendees. Now event managers can provide an app that allows attendees to view their tickets, event schedule information, site maps, flyers and event information.
If you have an event with GoMobile Events the app will be available to them in early March but you can try it out earlier by participating in the beta test. To sign up just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll provide instructions on how to try it out on your iPhone/iPad/iPod (Android version coming soon).
For more details on the app check out the Attendee app page.
Check In from Statistics Page
You can now select the "Checked In" or "Yet to Arrive" item on the statistics page. This shows a list of all event attendees and allows you to check them in (or undo checkin) quickly by simply selecting them.
Android / iOS Features
The new "Checked In" and "Yet to Arrive" items are also available on the Android and IOS apps. The feature requires internet connectivity. We've also added a vibrate feature on ticket scanning to confirm a ticket without looking at the device.
Cover Images on Events
Images for your event can now be uploaded from the event details screen. The cover image will appear on the ticket purchase and event information pages.
An app is only as good as how it feels to use. To test this I recently helped out at a new years event in Las Vegas working the front line at the door. What I found has led to the release of our 1.35 update of GoMobile Events.
At the New Years event by Epyk Entertainment (and like many night life events in Las Vegas) there were long lines to get in the door. This is where your door procedures and staff training really come into play to process each ticket holder as fast as possible. This event had everything from pre-paid ticket holders using paper tickets, using their smart phone, buying tickets cash and charge, hand stamps for ID verification, wristbands for reentry.
With only a couple of people working the ticketing portion of the process it demonstrated what parts of the process could be improved from a technical aspect and process aspect.
The Small Things Count
The first thing found was that (especially on Android phones) using the web application portion can be slow. Load time between pages was the issue and this led to people waiting a few extra seconds here and there.
The number of checked in people on each device differed. This was of course until you hit the sync button but it would have been useful to know at all times the exact count.
Whilst cash sales were done at the event there were some that wanted to purchase via card. This meant that once purchased, the ticket scanners required a sync before the purchased ticket could be scanned.
Whilst each of these issues were relatively minor they were there and so they were fixed in the latest update.
SignalR to the Rescue
These issues all relate to a problem that occurs with all web applications: your web page is not up to date until you refresh it. This is where SignalR technology comes in. What if it updated whenever anything it was showing was out of date? Well, it would mean that the check in counts on each page would be up to date on every device, that any newly purchased tickets would be shown on every device and that any page you were looking at, you knew had the latest information on it.
Lets See it in action!
The video below shows two devices showing GoMobile Events side by side.
When is this feature available?
Its available right now for the web site and for the Android app. We're in the approval process for the Apple App store at the moment and you can expect an update for that in the next couple of days.