Email is the holy grail of event marketing, and that doesn’t look set to change just yet. Chances are you’ve got a healthy and reasonably responsive email database, but event companies can’t afford to rest on their laurels – growth is key, and sustaining a consistently increasing number of sign ups is a must. There are a number of ways to go about this, but if you try even one of these tips in the next couple of weeks we’re certain you’ll see the kind of results which will undoubtedly aid your event email marketing strategy for 2015.
1. Place your subscription option front and centre
Believe it or not, some people will want to hear about your upcoming events without being coerced! Make it easy for them to do so by placing your opt-in box in a visible place on your homepage, and any other appropriate pages on your website (this could be all of them). Use a colour that is markedly different and direct visitors with a clear call-to-action (CTA) e.g. “Be the first to hear about our UK events and sign up to our newsletter today!”.
2. Create a free content offer which requires an email address
A great way of obtaining a prospect’s email address is by providing something valuable in return. Offer a relevant and enticing piece of industry content and place it behind a form. This could be a free report, white paper, event programme, or even an ebook. Again you’ll need an appealing CTA to describe exactly what they need to do.
3. Promote an online competition, like a free VIP pass to your event
Competitions can work really well as long as you’re not running them too frequently. If you offer a free pass to your event and require an email address to do so, those who don’t win the grand prize have still shown an interest in your conference, so could be ideal candidates to attend in the future.
4. Go green - if you’re using direct mail, offer your prospects the chance to sign up online instead
Many event companies use a combination of digital and print content to promote upcoming conferences, but if it’s email addresses you really want, try offering an alternative way of contacting you. Not only will this increase your green credentials, but you’ll have a way to get in touch instantly, rather than having to compile an entire print campaign.
5. Create multiple subscriptions types and allow your prospects to self segment!
Prospects may not be interested in receiving a general newsletter about all of your events. Allow them to select the type of content that will be most relevant to them (and segment themselves in the process). This will also help lower your unsubscribe rate, as your contacts will be able to remove themselves from only irrelevant email groups, rather than all of your communications.
6. Promote an offer through an email from one of your media partners or affiliates
If you’ve got some great media partners on board, you’ll want to maximise the value of this relationship. Do exactly that by promoting an in house offer to their database. Of course, this only works if you’re targeting the same demographic (and they’ll only say yes if your organisations are not competitors), but providing this is the case, it’s an opportunity you cannot afford to pass up to gain some new contacts and spread the word about your events.
7. Show off your event organising skills and host a webinar from the comfort of your office
Any interested prospects will have to provide an email address in order to register, and it’s a great way to keep your event community engaged between conferences. You could even repurpose content from a previous event to give them a taster of what to expect at the real thing.
8. If invited to guest blog, maximise your exposure by directing readers to your own blog
If you’re in the fortunate position to be invited to publish somewhere other than your own blog, make the most of that opportunity. Use your ‘about the author’ section to link to your own blog or newsletter sign up, and gain access to a whole new audience.
Don’t be afraid to trial new methods
Email is a much loved and much abused tool in event marketing, and we make it our business to find ways to maximise the returns you can achieve from this channel. Essentially it’s all about making consistent, if incremental, improvements to your methods – and recognising that standing still achieves nothing.
Image Credit:Heather Paul