Ask any event marketer what the most effective channel is and they might say social or direct mail. They’d be lying because for every event I’ve ever worked on, attended or not attended it’s been email. Get your email marketing to work. You’ll have better attended, more profitable and more successful events.
But if I stood up in front of a room of a thousand people and asked them. Hands up who would like to get more email? I’d be amazed if a single person put their hand up.
There’s a big issue. Supply doesn’t equal demand. Especially where supply is infinite. What you need to do is make sure that there’s an overlap between what you want to tell your potential attendees and what they’d want to know about. It’s the sweet spot of overlap where successful email marketing lives.
In this blog post I wanted to share with you a few tips and tips on email marketing. I think they will help you to get more of the reaction from your emails that you want.
A real person is better than a company.
Who organises your events? Unless you’ve invented the Event-O-Matic-Manager-Bot and not told me about it your event is organised by people. You can do a lot to get a better reaction to your emails by putting those people front and centre. Rather than have your emails ‘from’ the company as a whole, have them from the people doing the organizing. Have the event line-up announced by whoever’s curating your events. Have emails about the details of the day coming from your event manager, etc.
Even if the person in question didn’t write the email. It’s good to surface and draw attention to the key people in your organisation.
Nothing says “I don’t care” like a No-Reply address.
You’ll know the guilty – companies who send their emails from firstname.lastname@example.org. There’s no reason at all to do this. Other than to say “we don’t care about the people we’re sending this email to”. If you can’t be bothered to read replies from people on your mailing list then you don’t deserve to be able to send emails to them.
Surprise is good.
The reality is people aren’t going to read over every word of an email you send. They aren’t going to pout over every single element of your email. They’re probably just going to skim read.
Some people though will pay more attention. These may be your super fans, or people who attend your event without fail. How can you reward these people? Sometimes we’ll subtlety drop a link to a funny YouTube video or sign off our emails with the preposterous, Your’s SEO-ly. Little in-jokes and quirky piece of personality are well worth the effort of adding.
If it doesn’t work in plain text, the email doesn’t work.
I love well designed emails, emails that look beautiful on every device and are a work of art. I think too often the attention is all on the design and not on the content of the email. So I have a simple mantra, if it doesn’t work as an email with all the bells and whistles stripped out, it’s not a good email – no matter how pretty it might look.
Talk about the benefits of your event.
It’s an easy trap to fall into, where you describe your events based on the facts or the features. Who’s attending, who’s speaking, what topics you’re covering etc. When what you ought to be taking about is what attending your event will allow people to do.
It’s a subtle but important distinction to make summed up in this image.
Kelvin Newman is the founder and managing director of Rough Agenda, a company with the lofty ambition of helping Digital Marketers do their job a little better, the main way we do this is through the free to attend specialist digital marketing events BrightonSEO, Content Marketing Show, MeasureFest and Biddable World.
Written by: Kelvin Newman