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.