In any given vertical, deciding how often you should email your audience with updates and announcements is not straight forward. In any case, the needs and demands of the events industry are a bit unique, and somewhat different from those of marketers in other domains.
For event organizers, a major part of their attendees, speakers and exhibitors may not be familiar with the event’s processes and resources. Even returning participants may need a refresher on tools they haven’t used in months, or resources and processes that have been introduced for the first time for the current event.
To deliver a high quality planning experience, and help them maximize their ROI, it is imperative for you to keep your event participants informed and updated through as many channels as possible. Email remains an integral part of the marketing mix. 68% of the 5,000 marketers interviewed by Salesforce for their 2015 State of Marketing Report, have rated email marketing as a very effective/effective digital marketing channel.
The key here is to ensure that the communications are targeted and provide strategic information at the right time. A large majority of your contacts will not complain about receiving multiple communications if these are geared towards ensuring their success. On the other hand, they’ll complain and become disillusioned if they are not kept updated on all the excellent tools you have invested in as a service to them.
Here are some tips on how to improve the ROI of your email marketing programs:
Hit the ground running
Reach out to your potential audiences immediately before you open your attendee registration portal, your space selection program or call for papers. Give them clear instructions and enough information so that they are equipped to take action as soon as a resource becomes available to them. If your audience is informed in advance, you’ll start on a high note by ensuring their engagement from the get go.
Guide them through the process
Trade shows and conferences have complex, multi-step processes spread over weeks if not months. Email communications are an excellent means of keeping audiences updated on the next step without overwhelming them. When we, at a2z, are communicating to event attendees on behalf of the show organizer, we highlight a tool or resource that is most relevant to them at that point in the show cycle.
Segment and analyze to provide personalized updates
Whether it’s exhibitors who have incomplete data in their profiles or potential speakers who haven’t completed their proposal submissions, email reminders are important for getting desired action from your contacts. Review reports and ROI analytics to identify and communicate with targeted contacts only. a2z’s digital marketing team watches these analytics closely, as well as, the utilization of the event tools to decide what to communicate to attendees and how often. The open, click rate, and unsubscribe rates of your emails can be good indicators if you are sending too many or even too few emails. On an average, a2z’s open and click rates are above the industry average and we strive to continually maintain this standard.
Step into the high gear closer to the event
For most event organizers the frequency of email communications will naturally increase the closer you get to an event, as this is when event participants are most engaged with the event. The key is to ensure that you are offering valuable content and real-time information in each message.
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