It happens that several of our team members have a prior experience organizing events. That is why, this is a topic we loved working on and feel proud to deliver. Email marketing for events is a really exciting area as it is the nature of events to be one-off projects with specific durance.
Marketing an event or a conference is not a procedure that should start a week or so before. Most of the time, depending on the event, planning starts 3-4 months in advance, when organizers start taking the word out. Collecting emails for an event must be super effective and targeted. Things will probably go wild and you really need to optimize your time.
Social media presence, a simple, descriptive landing page and some initial media coverage is enough to start generating some traction and capture visitor email addresses, so what you will need is a cheap and effective way to let the right people know about it.
All your marketing efforts should be focused on your Social media and Email marketing. If you wonder how this will lead to email collection, just have in mind that every marketing activity you are performing should have some call to actions and these must be based on priority
1. to collect email
2. to connect on social media!
What to communicate
Does the event has a team around, some stakeholders, sponsors, speakers, a venue, supporters? We bet you have enough content to share at least twice a week.
Until the time is right, every email coming to your subscribers’ inboxes should focus on raising excitement around your event. Excitement is something that is measured with a magic way: Interactions. Your calls to action should be focused on driving clicks, discussions, word of mouth and shares.
How to communicate
Personalization and simplicity. You do not need fancy templates here, even some plain text will do a great job and will boost your open rate really high. The reasons are two and simple:
Gmail is rewarding non commercial emails with a landing in the personal tab
Subscribers reward personalization!
The level of personalization you can reach is always up to the data you have collected and the data you should collect depends on your event. Will your event have different types of tickets? Can you segment your potential applicants? For example, let’s say you are organizing a Startup Weekend in your city. Startup Weekends have 3 types of tickets: For devs, for business people and for creatives. Would you communicate your content in the same language for all of those categories of people? Probably not.
As a starting point you can use some data that we have crunched out of our database: the average open rate is calculated at around 18% while the click rate approaches 4%.
Some actual implementation tips
Now that we are done with the theory, let’s focus on some useful implementation tips that will support your efforts even more:
1. Endorse your partners. Endorsing your partners will create credibility to your event and will give an air of coolness to your simply designed email.
2. Be responsive. The data talk by themselves. more than 4/10 people open their emails through mobile devices.
3. Make it shareable. If you insist on using a template, do not forget to make it shareable.
4. Test on the subject lines. Use some simple criteria and test a lot on your titles. If you followed the advice above, you have enough time to test on the style
5. Let them unsubscribe easily. Be super careful with it if you do not want your emails to land on the spam folder when it’s time to sell some tickets.
6. Link a lot. Every word that can lead to useful information about your event should definitely be linked. That way you will also be able to measure the level and the quality of interactions and optimize.
7. Apply the Mid-day, Mid-week rule. Emailing between Tuesday and Thursday after the lunch time, approximately between 2pm and 4pm seems to be the most effective, according to our analysis.
And some things we have already pointed as a sum-up:
– Use simple templates around plain text
– Personalize, not only with first name, but also according to needs
– Start soon, focus on bringing the right people into your field
This was a guide on how to set up and deliver high quality email marketing for your event or conference.
Have you run an event? What was the biggest challenge you had to face?