According to the Event Marketing 2018 report, email marketing is the single-most effective channel for promoting events. Are you emailing effectively?
To say that email is a common form of communication would be a gross understatement. By the end of 2017, over 132 billion emails will be sent and received every single day. Talk about competition.
As an event marketer, how do you ensure that email recipients engage with and understand the message that is being conveyed?
Given the variety of audiences that event marketers must communicate with, email messaging can be a significantly effective and efficient marketing channel to use. Below you can find fifteen tips to maximize the impact of your email campaigns.
1) Distill The Core Message
Even before drafting up an email, make sure you clearly crystallize the message you are about to send. What is it you want the recipient to know? Key in on the main points that need to be conveyed without having to include any superfluous information. The importance of distilling the message lies in the fact that a lean, concise, and captivating email is what will be most memorable for your readers. Below are a few points to keep in mind when crafting the message.
Keep a checklist like this handy when drafting your emails to ensure that you don’t stray from the core message.
2) Keep A Short, Catchy Subject Line
When sending an email, the opportunity to make a first impression comes before the actual email content. The subject line is the first thing the recipient sees so the focus should be on optimizing the subject line to maximize their interest.
According to study done by Informz, emails with subject lines less than 10 characters had open rates of nearly 50%. Though correlation never equals causation, it’s worth considering the impact of having a short, to-the-point subject line. One of the core aspects of successful event marketing is the ability to keep things simple and memorable for attendees so applying the same principle to email subject lines makes perfect sense. Including an emoji as well has also shown to increase open rates. Test out different subject lines and figure out the ones that work best for your particular audience.
3) Personalize The Message
A constant struggle when sending mass emails is the loss of personal touch. No one likes being sent generic messages that don’t seem to address you in any particular way. To avoid this, take advantage of the personalization capabilities that many email automation platforms are now capable of. Making the effort to make a personal connection can make a huge difference.
Including the recipient's name in the subject line or within the email is always a great attention-grabber, as shown in the example above. Inserting the recipient’s company name in the body of the emails is another good way to maximize engagement. Methods like these have proven to be successful through several studies. According to a study conducted by Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than emails with generic subject lines. Additionally, research done by Aberdeen shows that personalized emails improved click-through rates by an average of 14% and improved conversions by an average of 10%.
4) Create Simple, Crisp Email Design
While personalization is one way to grab the attention of your audience, aesthetically pleasing emails can be just as effective. The overall design of your emails is just as important as what you’re trying to say. Just having a few blocks of text with a call-to-action button at the bottom will not be enough to persuade the reader to engage with your email. Be intentional with your design choices and remember, keep things simple. To ensure outstanding email design, it may be worthwhile to hire a graphic designer. If you’re choosing to design on your own, here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your masterpiece:
- Enticing email header
- Consistent design theme
- Accented colors throughout
- Simple, sleek email aesthetic
Check out this beautifully designed email from HubSpot's INBOUND event:
Be creative in the style of text you choose to use in the emails by applying different rich text features. The means bold, italicized, and different sized texts all help to capture your reader’s attention. Surveys show that readers enjoy rich text emails as opposed to only plain text.
A HubSpot study concluded that 64% of people prefer rich text emails which is important to keep in mind. The golden rule here is to never overwhelm the reader with so much varied text because then the rich text ultimately loses its effect. Instead, be intentional with your usage of rich text and apply it in the places that would be the most effective in getting your point across.
6) Include Links In The Email Signature
Remember that every part of the email is an opportunity for you to engage the reader. The email signature is often overlooked piece of real estate that can have significant impact on engaging the recipient. Below you can see how Social Media Marketing World uses the email signature to their advantage.
After conveying the core message, use your email signature to offer an additional link to the reader. This may lead to the event website, social media channels, or a sponsorship application page. The point is to take advantage of this portion of the email and to not pass up an opportunity to offer something to the reader.
7) Optimize For Mobile
Photo credit: Emailonacid.com
The world is increasingly becoming mobile-first which means that all forms of digital communication should follow suit. As shown in a 2017 Consumer Report done by Movable Ink, people open emails on their mobile devices first by an average of 59% across multiple industries. One can assume that this number is only going to increase as the people become more and more dependent on their phones as a main source of not just communication but for content as well.
8) Highlight Your Speakers
One of the great parts of being an event marketer is the many parts of the event you get to show off. Having a panel of great speakers is not only helpful for your event content but also can be leveraged as a marketing tactic to pique interest among potential attendees. A shown above, the video hosting and analytics company Wistia does well to put their speakers front and center when marketing for their event, Wistiafest. When creating an email campaign dedicated to promoting your own event, don't be afraid to show off your speakers.
9) Use an Email Marketing Platform
Many of the tips on this list are much easier to execute with a high-performing email marketing software. Technologies such as MailChimp and Emma specialize in creating quality email campaigns through plenty of personalization features.
To take it a step further, connect your email platform with your event management platform through software integrations. for the optimal data analysis experience. This would help ensure that key data points are being communicated between platforms which makes for a smoother experience overall.
10) Create an Automated Email Workflow
One of the many strengths of using an email marketing platform is the ability to automate the sending of emails within the same campaign. According to a study done by the Direct Marketing Association, over 75% of email revenue is generated by automated triggered campaigns, rather than one-size-fits-all campaigns. Additionally, automated email campaigns account for 21% of email marketing revenue. The role of an event marketer requires you to send hundreds of emails throughout the event organizing process. Having an automated email workflow would save a significant amount of time.
11) Include An Engaging Video
Video is a great way to engage a reader as soon as they open the email. If the email is inviting them to register for the event, include a “sizzler video” that showcases highlights from the previous year’s event. Or have a video of you enthusiastically inviting them to register.
Either way, people have proven time and time again that they are much willing to engage with an email that has a video as opposed to one that does not. In fact, a study done by Syndacast showed that even having the word “video” in the email subject line increased click-through rates by 65%.
The example above shows Influitive, a customer success software company, encouraging registration for their event series, Advocamp, with a fun video.
12) Track Email Campaign Performance
Any savvy event marketer will know that the only campaigns that are worth conducting are ones that are measurable. Email campaigns are no exception. In fact, email campaigns should be more closely monitored than others because it is such a key form of communication for you as an event marketer.
Staying on top of performance throughout the campaign will help you to understand what's working and optimize accordingly. The best way to track campaigns is to use an email marketing platform. This way, you can keep all of your metrics in one place. (Just like you are measuring your event metrics, right?)
If you are just looking for some basic tools to start off, we recommend the following extensions for Gmail:
- Streak - Track up to 200 emails for free.
- YesWare - Free limited trial.
- Boomerang - Free limited trial.
13) Segment Your Campaigns
As with any marketing campaign, segmentation is key to making sure that your content is as relevant as possible for the target audience. Proper segmentation can have strong ROI implications as well. Campaign Monitor’s report showed that marketers noted a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns. Applying the same framework to email campaigns will likely yield similar results.
As an event marketer your emails will differ depending on the audience you are targeting. The message you send to attendees will be different from the one you send to speakers which is also different from the emails to potential sponsors. Keeping this in mind, conduct separate email campaigns to maximize engagement with each type of audience. Doing so will make it easier for you to track the progress with each campaign and compare which ones are performing best. Such insight will be helpful when conducting future email campaigns.
14) Embed Testimonials
If the objective of the email is to convince the reader to purchase something, whether that be a event ticket or a sponsorship package, including testimonials from previous customers is an effective tactic to persuade your reader. Doing so will also keep the message simple and clear as opposed to writing a lengthy paragraph about why your reader should take a certain action. Social proof is oftentimes a very convincing argument so make sure to leverage your positive reviews through embedded testimonials.
This example shows Amy Porterfield, an independent coach for entrepreneurs, use testimonials from Facebook to promoter her webinar.
15) Review Every Email Campaign
After the email campaign is all wrapped up, set aside ample time to review the campaign’s performance. Doing so will only improve future email campaigns and provide the insights necessary to elevate your skills as an event marketer.
Email will remain a core form of business communication for the long-term so learning and improving previous campaigns is what will separate you from the rest.
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