We have all heard the stats. One in eight users on earth has a Facebook account. Twitter has 555 million active users. In the face of such mind boggling numbers, many B2B event marketers today question the relevance of email marketing. There is certainly a case for putting in an increased effort in engaging your current and potential event participants on popular social media services.
However, there are any number of compelling reasons why email should continue to be a cornerstone of your B2B event marketing strategy.
Let’s start with some numbers:
- 77% of us want to get marketing messages via email.
- In 2011, the typical corporate email user sent and received about 105 email messages per day.
- 59% of marketers perceive email to be the most effective channel in generating revenue.
But numbers alone don’t always tell the whole story. Email communication has certain inherent qualities that are keeping it not just alive, but kicking as well. Here are some aspects of email marketing that event marketers should consider when deciding on the channels that deserve their time and marketing budgets:
- Opt ins
Unlike online advertising or social media marketing, both of which can be a bit hit or miss, email marketing enables you to communicate with people who have voluntarily opted in to receive marketing communications from you. This is a demographic already committed to your event and the industry you serve – which may not be the case for every person who likes you on Facebook or follows you on Twitter.
- Targeted communication
With email marketing, it is easier to send targeted messages to select segments. Your exhibitors receive one set of messages, and the attendees another. You don’t have to worry about one set of participants seeing information relevant only to another.
Social media platforms invariably put numerous constraints around the look and feel of your pages and messages. Whether it’s the size of your logo, the character limit or the number of links you can include in your message, the rules can be frustrating and inexplicable. Emails are far easier to customize to match your event’s branding and marketing collateral. Moreover, a well designed email can be relied upon to generate immediate response and activity from your audience.
Smart technologies and automation services enable marketers to include real-time, dynamic and personalized information that is relevant to only to the email recipient. Most popular social media services haven’t evolved or matured to be able to replace this vital characteristic of email marketing.
- Confidential information
By their very nature, social media platforms and messages are open and visible to everyone. Email continues to be the most trusted channel for delivering information that is confidential and sensitive in nature.
- Track-ability and ROI
Email has been around for a long time now. It’s easy to think of email as old and outmoded. However, savvy marketers know that email technology has truly come of age. There are any number of smart automation services that enable marketers to roll out targeted email communications at low cost and with high deliverability rates. Such services also provide detailed reporting on open and click-through rates, enabling marketers to accurately gauge their ROI from each campaign. The same is not yet true of most popular social media services.
- Revenue opportunities
This is one of the most overlooked and undervalued aspect of email marketing. Marketing emails provide an excellent opportunity for event marketers to promote event sponsors and offer them additional visibility. Acknowledging your sponsors by embedding their logos and links in promotional emails to event attendees is an effective way of generating interest in future sponsorship opportunities, as well as in garnering increased visibility for current sponsors.