This article was originally published On The Collective's portfolio
When delivering events (especially B2C events), a significant part of their success depends on how well you market them. Emails can support in not only communicating the finer details, but driving increased sales and helping to instill the event messaging. Whilst one of the best and most cost-effective methods for getting the word out about an upcoming event, crafting a great email campaign that delivers on engagement can be complex. To make sure that your emails reach the right people and have maximum impact, there are a variety of principles that you should follow. In this article, we'll discuss our top eight to create effective email campaigns for events of all sizes.
8 Principles for Event Email Marketing
1. Use split testing
Split testing is a critical step in the process of developing successful event email campaigns. Comparing two versions of an email based on their performance helps event marketers to better understand which version produces the best results – allowing them to tweak their content to better engage. It not only improves the success of your current campaign but can also inform future decisions, such as which style of subject title performs better or whether video gets higher engagement than static graphics.
2. Segment your email list
One of the keys to successful email campaigns is segmentation; breaking up target lists into smaller groups so messages are more highly tailored and relevant. For event email marketing specifically, segmentation can be a great way to ensure the right message goes to the right people. For example, you could divide up your list based on a variety of factors, like age, location or interests, whether they’re event first-timers, the tier they’ve previously purchased or seniority level. Each segment might require different messaging with varying degrees of urgency or a different tone of copy in order to achieve maximum engagement.
3. Send the right content, at the right time to the right people
An effective email marketing campaign requires more than just a well-crafted email with an interesting message - it also needs to be sent at the right time and delivered to the right people for maximum success. If the timing of the campaign is wrong, recipients are unlikely to engage as you’d expect, reducing open and click rates and ultimately reducing event registrations. Additionally, if your audience isn't relevant and interested in your content, they won't adhere to it or gain value from it. You'll reap the returns by ensuring your messaging is on point, sent at the right time for that particular audience, and sent to a segmented email list.
4. Use automation to your advantage
Automation helps to ensure that you never miss a beat when sending out emails to subscribers in your mailing list. A vital part of successful event email marketing, it helps to streamline processes and opens new possibilities for converting your audience. Automation allows event marketers to craft custom messages that suit the different segments of their customer base at the exact time a certain action happens - resulting in more personalised and engaging messaging. Additionally, automated emails can be set up in advance and left to run themselves, freeing up important time for those who manage them. Received at the right moment, automated emails can act as a prompt to customers such as signing up for an event, downloading agenda content or learning more about keynote speakers. Moreover, these automated emails also give valuable insight into customer behaviours, helping to further inform decision-making.
5. Always offer something of value
When creating event email campaigns, always ensure each email offers something of value to the reader. That can be as simple as more information on the event agenda, special offers on the event tickets, exclusive first access to event updates or valuable industry insights. Always aim to give something back to your audience, making them feel appreciated for being part of your email community. By ensuring you always offer valuable content, you will support better open rates and engagement on the lead up to your event.
6. Monitor results and analyse metrics
Don't forget about tracking results - it's essential for understanding how successful (or unsuccessful) certain campaigns were so you can make adjustments accordingly for future campaigns if need be. Analyse metrics such as open rates, click-through rates (CTR) and unsubscribes, so you know exactly how well certain strategies performed over time.
Related article: What data should you be tracking at your event
7. Create compelling subject lines
A subject line of an email can determine if a recipient will open or ignore a message. An effective subject line is intriguing, engaging, and straightforward, and it gives the reader an expectation of what the email will contain. Keep the subject line short and sweet (so it shows on their mobile notification), and experiment with different subject lines that entice people to click. Avoid using spammy words, such as ‘free’ or ‘trial offer’ as these may push your emails into your audience's spam inbox. A/B test subject lines across the course of the campaign, so you can see which are better resonating with your audience.
8. Make it visually appealing
Whilst plain text emails certainly have their place, event emails will likely see more engagement if you use compelling images and visuals in your email marketing efforts. Photos or videos help to break up the content, allowing readers to digest the information more easily. Eye-catching images, videos, and catchy designs give value to the event, making it more appealing to attendees.
Are you looking for support with the email communications strategy for your next event? Get in touch to be connected with our comms and data experts.
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