B2B event marketers love email - so why do they suck at it?

Posted by Ricardo Molina on Thu, Nov 20,2014

Email marketing is a tricky business. It seems to be most event companies' go-to tactic for spreading the word about their events. They love it. Ironically, they also happen to be rubbish at it. No offence B2B event marketers, but take a look at your conversion rates and tell me I’m wrong!

There are several simple dos and don’ts for increasing your email conversions, and the sales guys will probably buy you a round if you not only find out what they are, but put them into action.

Growing your list

DO

  • Make your subscription sign up super easy. This opt-in box should be prominent on your web pages, particularly your blog

  • Consider partnerships. A non-competitor, say an industry publication, or organisation, may have the same buyer personas and target audience. Try partnering for an event or webinar – something that’s mutually beneficial and exposes both of you to new contacts

  • Minimise unsubscribes. Give recipients the option to unsubscribe from a certain channel of your email marketing (as well as all communications of course) – you’ll keep people who aren’t entirely uninterested in your events this way

  • Target buyer personas. Irrelevance will lose you more contacts than anything else (unless your content is truly terrible). Send the right content to your personas and they’ll be far more likely to remain engaged

DON’T

  • Buy lists. This will lower your deliverability rate, and could increase your chances of falling into a spam trap, or even getting blacklisted (if you hadn’t guessed from the names, both of these things are really, really bad)

  • Forget how it feels to be interrupted. You might think you’re gaining access to people who haven’t experienced the joy of hearing about your events yet, but consider how likely you’d be to respond positively to such an email yourself?

  • Annoy the sales team. Your click-through rates will suffer dramatically if you engage with unknown recipients, and if you do manage to generate any leads, they’re likely to be of a very poor quality. Take it from us – good leads are generated, not bought

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Want to hire an industry expert for your events? You'll have to find one first!

Posted by Ricardo Molina on Fri, Nov 14,2014 in Marketing Recruitment, Event Marketing, Conference Marketing

The term "event producer" is old, tired and needs to be retired. Aside from being outdated, it has so many meanings now that it’s not really a position you can effectively recruit for. What one company deems an event producer is another event organisation’s content officer, project manager, planner... the list goes on and on!

You need to seek the kind of individual that lives and breathes the industry your event is based around, and is very active within it. These are the people who will truly know what our prospects want, and how to package and deliver it. To get these high quality experts on board you’ll need to discover them at work. The best way to source an industry expert is to think like one – so these are the places you’ll find them:

No surprise; events (maybe even yours!)

Consider an industry event the expert’s natural habitat. They’ll be the ones confidently networking, engaging with speakers and demonstrating a thirst for industry insights. This is where you’ll need to unleash your own networking skills, and approach people you know. You may have come across their name before or recognised them from their social media profile. Get chatting, swap details and if appropriate, let them know you’re looking for someone to drive your events, build a community and truly embody your brand.

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14 Must Follow Essentials That Make Killer Event and Conference Websites

Posted by Ricardo Molina on Thu, Nov 06,2014 in B2B Websites, B2B communities

Your event homepage is a really important platform for promoting your B2B event, and getting it spot on will make you stand out from the competition. There’s some cool stuff you can do, and some really innovative approaches to tackling both the layout and the functionality – but first you must perfect the content, and the elements and steps that are absolutely imperative.

We’ve compiled this list of essentials for you to compare your own homepage against; if anything is missing, then rectify it today!

1.       Launch or update your event website as soon as you have a date confirmed

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6 Epic Ways to Fail at Your Event Marketing on Twitter

Posted by Ricardo Molina on Thu, Oct 30,2014 in B2B Social Media, B2B Marketing Best Practices, Event Marketing

twitter can be a hugely useful tool in the run up to your B2B event. You can use it to shout about any ‘VIP’ speakers, get your delegates involved before the day, and generally create a real buzz around your conference. For old school event marketers, the way twitter, and other social media outlets have revolutionised the events sphere, and B2B marketing generally, is a daunting prospect. But if you want to keep up with the ever quickening pace of the event industry, you need to get on board.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen quite a few examples of event companies jumping on the social bandwagon, just to have a presence. They’re not using it to add value, engage with their audience or even post interesting things about their events – they just populate it with links to their registration pages, standard event information which could be easily sourced online, and repeat tweets of their updates. How likely do you think it is you’ll be trending with this approach? Here are our absolute worst practices for event marketing on twitter – avoid at all costs!

1. Not creating an event hashtag or using relevant industry ones

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11 Tips to Craft the Perfect Event Marketing Email

Posted by Ricardo Molina on Thu, Oct 23,2014 in B2B Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Lead Generation

Email marketing is still the majority of event marketers’ go-to tool for promoting their events, and with good reason. When done right the results can be astounding, but in the hands of an old school marketer , email can be an overused (and even harmful) tool.

We’ve observed that the pattern is pretty much always the same: 12 weeks out from the event, marketers start blasting. They don’t segment their lists, meaning they end up sending a blanket email which attempts to provide something for everyone and as a result is pretty lengthy and vague, and try to cram in as much information as possible. The cycle is then repeated until the event takes place, causing recipients to disengage and in some cases even unsubscribe completely.

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5 takeaways from the event marketing summit

Posted by Ricardo Molina on Wed, Oct 15,2014 in B2B Marketing News, Event Marketing, Conference Marketing, B2B communities

It's great to see that events specifically talking about "events and conference marketing" are on the up and the newly launched Event Marketing Summit by the Global Conference Network took place just recently. Over 150 people attended - from event marketers to senior management, old friends as well as new faces.

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5 Tips on how to become a B2B thought leader for your events

Posted by Ricardo Molina on Thu, Oct 09,2014 in B2B Social Media, Event Marketing, B2B communities

As a content officer, conference producer, event planner or even a CEO for an event company, you probably have a lot on your plate already – and the prospect of striving to become a thought leader might seem daunting. However, as the face of your organisation with your potential delegates, it’s absolutely critical that you outwardly portray that you’re an authority within the industry your event serves. There isn’t a quick fix to ensure you’re regarded as such, but we’ve figured out the ultimate approach to get yourself, and your events, noticed.

1. Be social

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17 Examples of B2B Online Communities That Drive Event Registrations - [Slideshare]

Posted by Ricardo Molina on Thu, Oct 02,2014 in B2B Marketing, B2B Websites, Event Marketing, B2B communities

These are 17 of the best examples of B2B online communities launched by event organisations, or companies with a strong event presence. Most of them center approach on simplicity. We hope this ebook serves as some inspiration, or a means to show your teams that it doesn't have to be complicated. 

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[Video] Old school vs new school event marketing - which side are you on?

Posted by Ricardo Molina on Thu, Sep 25,2014 in Marketing Trends, B2B Content Marketing, Event Marketing, Conference Marketing

I was recently interviewed by Events Uncovered TV, to share my observations on the ever changing shape that B2B event marketing is taking. The premise of my argument is that while some traditional marketing techniques may have worked superbly in their heyday, the industry is undeniably evolving (and some event marketers are struggling to keep up). Enjoy the interview and please comment away if you have views of your own.

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How to take on publishers in the battle for B2B event revenues – and win

Posted by Ricardo Molina on Thu, Sep 18,2014 in B2B Content Marketing, Event Marketing, Conference Marketing, B2B Publishers

A clear trend is emerging: B2B publishers are becoming increasingly aware that events are a profitable opportunity not to be passed up. Simultaneously, event companies are realising that the industry needs to change. They must think more as publishers do in the battle to fight declining revenues and add value to both sponsors and attendees on a 365 basis.

The current sentiment on both sides is "yes we know we need to behave/think/act more like them", but nobody seems to know where event and publisher paths converge. Neither side knows how exactly how to get to this sweet spot, where to start, or who internally is best placed to drive the change.

Largely, the challenge lies in finding the employee who can be bothered to propel this internal shift in attitudes with different stakeholders, and get their buy in.

The actions publishers and events need to take are clear and they don't have to be complicated! Here's my rundown of where the covergence lies, and what kind of results each side can expect to achieve:

What publishers do very well (and events don't):

  • Base quality content at the heart of their business

  • Write a lot of content for various different sectors/segments/value groups

  • Think in stories, narratives and news pieces  ideally those that engage their audience

  • Compose content with a view to provoke opinion and inspire readers to react

  • Truly know their industry, and the people they serve, in great and granular detail

  • Acquire lots of data, ensure it is clean and keep it up-to-date

  • Know their database in all senses. How big it is, the segments, readers (how many of them) etc. Some publishers are drowning in data - can event marketers say the same?

  • Their websites are huge in terms of assets  they have plenty of content pages (an approach highly rewarded by Google, which gives them preference as news providers)

  • Nurture their community and readers with content – and lots of it  sometimes it’s hard to keep up!

What publishers can improve upon (and learn a thing or two about from events):

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