There is so much emphasis on social media when it comes to event marketing. Social network promotion is important, but don’t neglect the power of email correspondence.
Yes, this means email marketing, and no, contrary to what some people say, email marketing is not dead. In fact, it’s so profitable that it yields an estimated 4,300% ROI, according to a 2015 statistic.
With that figure as a motivator, be sure to incorporate email marketing into your next event campaign. Here are 10 tidbits of advice to help you get started.
1. Plan Your Campaign
You don’t just send out a single newsletter and leave it at that. You’re going to drip feed posts on a regular basis. Plus, it’s also better to relay information through multiple short emails rather than cramming everything in a single post.
Plan ahead of time how many emails you’re going to send and at what time intervals. Perhaps you can send the first starting eight weeks out and send one per week until the last two weeks where you’ll send two to three from then until event day.
However you do it, just plan it out rather than just sending them whenever you have something to say.
2. Personalize the Emails
By personalizing, this doesn’t mean just including the first person’s name in the subject line or as the first word in the body of the text.
Depending on the size of your list, you may not be able to personalize every newsletter, but you can do so for higher prospect clients. Perhaps Jimmy is a regular follower on your company’s social media channel.
You also know from his social media profile that he is an avid fan of Pokémon Go. Well, then perhaps you can incorporate that into the newsletter, such as in the following:
Hi Jimmy, the event will be held at the Earth Hall venue. We also like to add that the location is a popular hotspot for catching rare Pokémon creatures.
3. Make It Mobile Friendly
53% of people open their email via mobile device. That means they’re going to be looking at your newsletter from a miniature screen. With that in mind, optimize your messages for mobile device users.
This means keeping messages short, using a larger font, and limiting the use of images. Keep the template simple; this isn’t the place for lengthy posts, HD images, and GIFs. These will add to the loading time, not to mention it will also cause more scrolling.
The bottom line: just get to the point, add a link to the event RSVP page, and that’s all.
4. Test Your Subject Line
The open rate for a business email is about 22.87%. across all industries. Test different subjects to see which yields the highest open rates. Consider headlines that begin with a question versus those that use command language.
Example subject headlines for an event newsletter may include the following:
Jimmy, Have You RSVPed Yet?
Jimmy, RSVP now before all the seats Fill Up
Whatever type of subject line you use, keep it short enough so that it can be read in its entirety on the email dashboard.
5. Timing of Emails
Don’t just send emails at your earliest convenience. Numerous researches have been done that reveals the time of day when people are most likely to open emails. Send yours too early, and it will be at the bottom of other unread emails to be sorted through by the reader.
According to a compilation of studies, Tuesday has the highest open rates. In terms of time, 10:00am to 11:00am is optimal. With that in mind, definitely consider Tuesday between the hours of 10:00am and 11:00am for best results.
Don’t just rely on the study, though. Test out different times and days to see which timeframe yields the best results.
6. Incorporate the FOMO Principle
Most marketers are familiar with the term fear-of-missing-out (FOMO). It all comes down to your use of language in the subject line and body of text. Make the reader feel that if they don’t act now that there is a real possibility of missing out on what could be an unforgettable event.
Examples of FOMO language may include the following:
- Only X tickets left; act now before they’re all gone
- Seats are limited; reserve your ticket before they’re sold out
- Only 24 hours left before ticket sales close; we will NOT be accepting walk-ins
The language above all convey a sense of urgency, prompting the reader to act before their window of opportunity closes.
7. Send Reminders
Your analytics will show who never opened the email. Maybe they really don’t care what you have to say. On the other hand, it’s also possible they were just busy and overlooked your email. You can send a friendly reminder to these people. The newsletter can be the same, though you can change the subject line.
If the original email subject was:
Jimmy, RSVP now to reserve your spot
Then the reminder email can be something like:
Jimmy, it’s still not too late to reserve your spot
8. Types of Email to Send
Okay, so what are some types of newsletters recommended for an event?
Here’s a few to give you a variety of content:
- Announcements – send out announcements whenever there’s an update, such as venue or speaker confirmation.
- Testimonials – show what some of the guests had to say about the previous event.
- Incentives – inform followers of new offers and incentives, such as discount ticket prices or two-for-one deals. This can be sent in the final week or two if you’re having trouble selling last minute conference tickets.
- The schedule – give guests a tentative breakdown of the event, such as when doors open, when the main presentation is, when lunch is served, etc.
9. Don’t Forget the CTA
Newsletters should be informative in nature. Any promotion should be left to the final paragraph or sentence where you add the call-to-action. This is where you inform readers to take action by clicking your link to the official events page.
CTAs should be short, precise, and use action words. With that in mind, don’t just settle for a generic “click here to reserve your ticket.” It should have a little more bang, such as:
Click the link to order your ticket and secure your spot to what will be an event for the ages.
10. Analyze the Data
Most newsletter subscriber services provide analytics. Study the data intently. Don’t just look at the open and click through rate. You should also analyze other data segments to see which subject headers are performing best, and the days and times that yield the highest open rate.
It’s a continuous trial and error process; don’t get discouraged if the numbers and percentages look bleak. Treat the data as something to learn and improve from.
For maximum attendance, you have to go beyond social media. Email newsletters provide a whole new outlet for making your event known. It gets people talking and creates a sales funnel from which you can slowly edge your followers towards clicking that link and buying a ticket.
About The Author
Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Ultimate Experience, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.