Email marketing is a proven way to get the word out, promote your virtual event and start raking in valuable registrations that you’ve been eyeing all this time. However, this ease comes with an often overlooked pressure. The total number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day exceeded 293 billion in 2019 and is forecast to grow to more than 347 billion by the end of 2023.
So, how can YOUR virtual event’s email marketing stand out from the crowd?
Needless to say, boring, visually unexciting and haphazardly structured emails will not be making the cut; messaging composed to impress takes more thought and effort than most hosts may have anticipated. The good news is, there’s no need to stress! We’re putting our years of virtual event marketing to use and sharing our best tips on composing emails that recipients will be interested to open and lead you to an immediate spike in event signups. So, let’s get started!
1) Time Your Campaign Right:
The secret to getting results with event email marketing lies in timing it right so that it’s not too early, nor too late. If you kick off your email campaign too early, you risk losing the audience’s attention over the waiting period. On the other hand, if you hold it off for way too long, you might lose out on precious leads due to inadequate campaign reach.
As a rule of thumb, we recommend setting up your virtual event’s landing page 2 to 3 weeks prior to the date it goes live and kick off all marketing efforts. This will give it the ideal safe space on your potential participants’ radars to drive up sign-ups and get the desired buzz building. Even if the virtual environment for your event isn’t set up, there’s no cause for concern. All you need to accomplish is the routing of traffic from email to the registration pages to nurture and converts leads into actual attendees.
2) Use Catchy Subject Lines:
Once you’re done fine-tuning your content, the next challenge to conquer is finalizing a catchy subject line. If your email isn’t opened, it doesn’t matter how good your content is. Marketers spend a considerable amount of time on choosing the subject line- one that gets the recipient clicking instantly. This is also why A/B testing is essential (more on that later).
Here’s our suggestions for subject lines that will motivate your audiences to open your message:
- Use actionable language: Make it clear for your audience to understand the action they should take as a result of opening the email. Creating FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) gets you bonus points for example: “Don’t miss the recruitment event of the year!“, “Join us for the ABC Career Fair 2019“.
- Personalize: Personalizing subject lines has become a new way to really win over audiences. For example, an email with a subject line that stays: “(First Name), Are you ready to hire top talent?” sounds more targeted, exclusive, and in turn a convincing reason to open the message.
- Display the value that you are providing: If your email content is focused on encouraging exhibitors to sign up for an upcoming virtual trade show, your subject should reflect the same action. For example, “Amplify Your Sales At The XYZ Trade Show 2020” is a better subject line than “Attend The XYZ Trade Show.”
3) Prepare Compelling Content:
In order to capture your attendees’ interest and ensure event participation, you have to start from the basics – your core content. Your prospects want to be given a clear picture of the value they can derive from signing up and taking part in your upcoming virtual event, thus enticing them is the key to securing registrations here. Take a minute to identify your target recipients and how to cater to their pain points. Best practices that we encourage you to follow include:
- Ensure that the email’s preview text is irresistible
- Use short paragraphs (ideally one main idea per paragraph, for example, an introduction highlighting the event/date/time, main attractions for visitors, how to register).
- Don’t use uppercase text, email marketing must always be polite
- Speak to your audience – it goes without saying that segmenting your email list to target the right people will always get you better campaign outcomes. However, pay special emphasis to the problems that your event will solve for them. For example, will you provide a platform with top employers? Amplify business branding? Bring in keynote speakers to share expert opinions on topics that matter? Brainstorm your niche to incorporate that in your communications
- Avoid being boring: A memorable email can go a long way in helping registrations pour in so think of ways to leave a mark on the reader
- Offer rewards for signing up: Audiences love freebies. By providing content as a reward such as a free e-book or product trial, you can be sure to boost your event’s registrations like no other strategy you’ve tried or tested.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget a powerful CTA (Call-to-action)! A magnetic CTS that is prominent and practically impossible to ignore is what compels your audience to your landing page. For example: “Yes, I Want to Register Now“, or “Sign Up for Free Event Access“.
4) Conduct A/B Testing:
A/B testing is a proven route to assess how the simplest of changes in your email marketing content can increase conversions and registration numbers. Allowing event hosts to test what content, images, design or subject lines are performing best, you can attract and retain your audience. Using A/B testing helps in identifying the best email campaign that drives the maximum visitor traffic to your event’s landing page. Marketing tools such as Mailchimp or Marketo are very useful to A/B test various subject lines and email versions. Get creative and experiment around to see how you can improve your email campaign’s reach and conversion rates.
5) Use Automated Email Marketing To Your Advantage:
Executing an email campaign takes more effort than building just one spectacular email. Sometimes you have to set up a sequence of emails to be sent out after every few days to win over disengaged audiences. Persistence pays off, and what’s even better about drip campaigns is that you can choose triggers that decide which email to dispatch next. For example, if a person doesn’t open the email, a reminder message will be sent, meanwhile, if a user registers for the event, they can be dispatched a detailed event schedule to their excitement levels. Behavioral emailing is a super strategy to boost registrations, and tools such as Hubspot or Mailchimp are great at automating your email marketing to ensure a hassle-free execution.
Bonus Tip: Event hosts should monitor email campaigns by keeping a check on their open rates to assess their influence in highly competitive inbox environments. Tracking your open and click rates to analyze how recipients interacted with the email, and what actions they performed on your site, allows you to adapt your content for subsequent email campaigns till you find the sweet spot. Every virtual event is different and you need to “test” which value proposition clicks with the intended audience.
Email marketing is an area of expertise that takes time, effort and persistence to master, but the returns are worth the resources pumped into it. Using carefully crafted content catering to the audience’s needs, personalization, and creative subject lines, you can secure a safe spot in your recipient’s inbox. Take your results up a notch with A/B testing and email tracking- your registrations will skyrocket faster than you thought possible.
At vFairs.com, we strive to build a top-class online event platform that will help event organizers make memorable connections with their target audience. We’re obsessed with taking out the hassle normally associated with physical events and leaving organizers and exhibitors to focus on what’s most important: engagement with the audience. Get in touch with an expert to learn more about vFairs here.