Event technology is getting more sophisticated. Yet, one of the most effective ways to promote events and other experiential marketing activities is through a technology that was invented in 1972 — email.
Despite the emergence of more advanced marketing channels, email still boasts of one of the highest ROI at 4,440% or $44 dollars earned for every $1 spent. According to MailChimp, the average open rate for emails related to events is more than 20% with click-through rate averaging at more than 2%. Additionally, with 44% of adults in North America checking their emails 1-3 times per day, it’s difficult for event marketers to imagine disseminating information for their events without email.
Email — as a communication technology — hasn’t changed much over the years, except for a few innovations. That said, it comes as no surprise that best practices in email marketing have remained relatively the same, yet many event marketers struggle to get the most out of their email campaigns to promote their events.
So, as a gentle reminder, here are 6 secrets of event email marketing that most marketers probably know, but are not able to maximize:
1. Write Subject Lines that Capitalize on FOMO
It’s a term that was popularized by millennials, but Fear of Missing Out, or simply FOMO, is an age-old concept that when used correctly in event marketing could be a powerful weapon. Event producer Jenny Stanfield explains: “FOMO or Fear of Missing Out is the anxiety we get when we think we are being left out of an amazing experience. FOMO is a major drive for your prospective attendees, and one that you can easily capitalize on in our social media-driven, shareable world.”
From the moment potential event participants receive an event promotion email, they should already feel FOMO if they do not open the email and take action using a FOMO-driven subject line. Any special offers like an early bird discount should be front-loaded to create a sense of urgency. Likewise, anything that would add a “cool factor” or wow experience (e.g., any advanced event technology) should also be highlighted with a FOMO subject line.
2. Provide Enough Information to Get Them Interested, But Deprive Them So They Actually Attend
One of the biggest mistakes event marketers make is providing too much information in their promo emails. Why would potential event participants register or attend an event if they already know everything that’s going to happen?
Event email marketing should contain enough information to pique audience interest but leave out enough to encourage registration and increase attendance. If an event app is an essential part of the event experience, this is also the time to provide instructions describing the app, how to download it, and how to use it.
3. Create a Strategic Email Autoresponder Campaign
There is power in numbers. When it comes to email marketing to promote events, the magic number is 5.
According to research, the ideal number of emails that marketers need to send out for the best conversion rates is 5. This reiterates the importance of multiple touchpoints in marketing. The key to creating multiple touchpoints with email is to write emails with varying messages, moving within the same narrative. Utilize essential email marketing tactics such as guiding recipients through an email promotion funnel based on their actions (those who open versus those who don’t; those who click versus those who don’t).
It’s also important to invest in the right tools. Most event management software integrates with email autoresponder platforms. Many event planning software also have built-in email functionality making it easier to manage everything in one place.
4. Use Video Where and When Appropriate
Pictures are worth a thousand words. Videos, even more.
According to video content solutions provider EyeView, videos can increase conversion rates by as much as 80%. That’s a number no event marketer can ignore.
Below are some “sizzler” or teaser video ideas that can be seamlessly incorporated into event promotion emails to increase registrations and attendance:
- Highlight reel from previous events to create excitement
- Messages from keynote speakers
- Short blurbs from influencers who will be present at the event
These videos may take time and resources to produce, but the return, when done right, is worth a hundred-folds that effort.
5. Targeted Messages for Targeted Audiences
One size fits all marketing will no longer suffice in this day and age. Segmentation and personalization rule email marketing and event managers need to get on board to achieve the best results.
Every email list for event marketing should be segmented based on buyer personas. Different event email marketing campaigns should be created with targeted messages that will resonate most with specific profiles.
6. Create Clear Calls To Action
This is another rule of thumb that is often forgotten.
Each email should have one, single-minded, simple, and compelling CTA. Whether it’s to register, review the event’s agenda, or download a mobile event app — an event email should always end with a call to action.
At the end of the day, email marketing is a crucial ingredient in the success of an event. The email inbox is one of the fastest routes event marketers can take to achieve positive business results. The key is to implement these not-so-secret best practices and to continuously analyse, experiment, and optimize.