A great email marketing strategy is important. It can help your event boost registrations and attendance rates. While it may feel overwhelming, creating an automated event email marketing strategy is your best chance of sharing personalized messaging at scale.
Plus, it can be easy with CRM tools such as Hubspot or Salesforce. You simply need to create an automated workflow that then takes care of your email marketing activities. But it also does more than that. You can add and remove contacts to your lists, tap into new audiences, and manage your email subscriptions. Automation is vital to running event marketing campaigns at scale. It also makes sure no one gets overlooked or double hit.
What Is a Workflow?
Your marketing automation tool is called a “Workflow”. It is a series of automated actions that are triggered by a person’s behavior or contact details. This is a very human and helpful experience you are giving your contacts. Yet you are doing it at scale. You can use these to achieve different goals for your business, such as lead nurturing or marketing your virtual event!
To understand how to plan your event email workflows, we have put together some helpful tips.
Event Email Marketing Strategy
Segment By Users
Segmenting lists work because it provides an individualized experience via a mass medium.
You can craft content for various users, and send them in batches. This creates a higher chance to increase your email conversion rate. The more tailored something is to someone, the higher their interest. The great thing about CRM software now is that it can cater to each segment that you create.
You will need to create contact profiles through your contact list. It is crucial that you segmentize all your contacts. This is so each user is getting different kinds of messaging or calls to action. For example, your current customers might benefit from learning more about your event updates or promotional offers. However, new audiences would need to know how they would benefit from your event or what to expect. Here are some ways you can segment your users:
1. Demographic Data
You will have different types of people registering. It’s always good to segment according to gender, age, income, hometown, etc. This will help you determine your audience and their interests. You will then be able to leverage your event email marketing strategy accordingly.
Just by segmenting their list by gender, clothing brand Johnny Cupcakes saw a 42% jump in clickthrough rate, 123% more conversions, and a 141% increase in revenue through their email campaign.
Here is how you can segment data:
i) Gender – Women might want something out of your event that men might not benefit from. For example, during a virtual retail show, products would differ between men and women.
ii) Location – Perhaps your event is a hybrid event. It would help to know where some of your registrations are situated. Your email marketing could then encourage individuals nearby to attend the event in person.
iii) Job Title – Someone at a managerial level might benefit differently or have different access permissions at your event. Maybe a certain keynote speaker will be more relevant to them. Interns and other employees might have different opportunities. They could benefit from various networking features. You won’t be giving the same pitch to these segments in person, so why would you be doing that over email?
iv) Age – This will help you segment different audiences. Age groups will determine whether the age group comprises millennials, Gen-Z or even baby boomers. How you market your event to each through emails will have to be different. Millennials have very different interests compared to Gen-Z. Sending the same email to all will not benefit one or two groups.
2. Email Subscribers
You likely have a group of contacts already signed up for your email list that you send out a regular newsletter to. How would you sell your event to them? You can share promotional offers or discount codes as incentives.
However, these individuals may or may not meet certain criteria for your event. You may have to filter out a few options and see which subscribers might find your event most relevant. There might be some subscribers who have opted to be updated for any virtual events, and some that have not. Your CRM will provide filter options in order for you to find those individuals.
Contact properties can include information such as life cycle stage, job title, or contact owner. This can help you send different emails and messaging to those with the title ‘coordinator’ vs. someone with the job title ‘CEO’.
3. Time of Registration
Perhaps you want to know which users signed up farthest back. Earlier registrants will need to be kept engaged in order to keep them interested. Eventually, you will need to convert them from a registrant into an attendee when the event starts. This could be in order to send them reminders, and discounts, or to keep them engaged. Depending on how you are marketing your event, and how you want to engage with your audience, this is a great way to begin strategizing your event email marketing. You can refine by date of people who filled a registration form within certain days on your CRM software. These are called enrollment triggers You can refine your workflow according to people who may have filled out a form in the last 30 days.
4. Type of Industry
The likelihood of you having people from various fields attending your event is high. At the time of registration, make sure you have a field that includes their industry type. This will help you send emails more relevant to that line of business. For example, this will make it easier to market your job fair to various industry fields. How might each field benefit from a virtual job fair, and how can you leverage that in each marketing email.
Perhaps your existing list has the information you can use as well. Company properties can include information like, the number of employees, location of the company, company activity, etc. You could use these to target specific industries in specific locations.
5. User Journey
Sometimes it is important to know what stage your attendees are on on the day of the event. Event platforms such as vFairs have email features where you can create user segments. For instance, those logged in and not logged in. You can send reminder emails to those not logged in yet. Or send announcements about certain event activities.
However, if you are using a tool such as Hubspot, you can segment by even more user types. For example, those who have clicked on a previous email and those who haven’t. This can be really helpful to create very tailored messages for each different type of contact and encourage them to take action more specifically.
For instance, during your event, someone might have added items to their cart but did not complete their purchase. An email that prompts them to remind them that their cart is full can lead them to complete their purchase.
6. Time Your Campaigns 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 before 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 convert leads into actual attendees.
Take Your Event Email Marketing Campaigns to The Next Level
Here are some best practices to remember when creating your automated email marketing campaign.
1. Personalize Your Message
One of the most important rules of developing a great email marketing campaign is to think of the receiver. Many marketers don’t get quality results because they ignore the importance of personalization and adding the human element. A bulk email can look and read a lot like spam and will most likely be ignored.
When you personalize an email for the receiver, it instantly boosts engagement. People are more likely to listen to you if they think you are speaking to them directly. The right email marketing campaign focuses more on the people rather than the big numbers.
Here is an example from an email marketing campaign that uses the attendee’s name as the salutation.
2. Use Catchy Email Subject Lines & Vibrant Content
Each audience type will have its interests. Your email subject lines have to be catchy enough to draw their attention. Something that generates urgency, curiosity, and offers. Similarly bright and colorful content with positive language will be more inviting to individuals as well.
Here are 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 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.”
Drip marketing is a communication strategy that sends, or “drips”, a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over a certain period. Now that you have an idea of how to segment your users, promoting your event will require a drip email campaign.
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, and 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 into 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“.
3. Create Email Drip Campaigns
You will want to communicate with each user type accordingly. You will have to conduct thorough research and plan ahead of time. There might be different calls to action for each user segment and thus different emails that you would have to set up in your workflow. CRMs allow you to send emails at certain times and dates for each segment. You simply have to create a “branch logic” so that as the users divide, the automated emails will be sent to them.
Some things to remember when running your campaign:
- Start with pre-launch emails. They build hype for your event and send details about the event, venue, or what to expect.
- As the event approached send informational emails to help increase registration. The more people know about an event, the more likely they will attend.
- Different email marketing tools can boost engagement. To spread the word about your event.
4. Customize Your Email
Once you have caught the attention of your audience with the subject line, the body of the email should be your next big focus. Sending boring emails from Gmail or Outlook isn’t going to get you what you want. Event platforms like vFairs offer visual editors for designing custom emails for your launch campaigns. The email builder in the backend of the platform is one of the easiest tools to use and you can design a new email template within minutes. The tool uses simple drag-and-drop features to help you customize the entire email.
So, you can add logos, images, banners, etc. to add some pizzazz to your emails. The email builder also allows you to use templates so you don’t have to start from scratch. A completely white-labeled email campaign can look a lot more attractive and professional.
5. 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. By 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.
6. Create Interest Around Your Event
You may want to create teasers through a launch campaign. This could reel some people already on your contact list in. Curiosity is key, and well-curated content can potentially do that for your audience. You can share some details about the event, what’s coming, and what to expect from the event. You could keep it simple, but you could generate more interest through a dynamic approach.
7. Create Mobile-Friendly Content
81% of emails are opened on smartphones first. The email marketing landscape is changing. It is important to build campaigns around each customer’s reading preferences. All content should be mobile-friendly. If you have made a certain call to action, all buttons and outbound links should be visible to your user.
8. Encourage Users to Share Your Event
You can have certain users who further share your details about your event. You can simply ask them to include more email addresses during the registration process. As they do that, this user can be segmentized in the workflow. Eventually, they could receive a promo code or discount offer. The workflow will also receive a stream of new users. These individuals probably don’t know much about your event and will have an invitation email sent to them.
9. Know Your Audience
Targeting the right audience is one of the key distinguishing factors for a successful email marketing campaign. The vFairs email marketing tool can help you here as well. If you are planning to send out event announcements, your audience can be large. Your main purpose is to make sure you reach as many people as you can and let them know about your event. However, emails for registration confirmations, reminders before a webinar starts, or a thank you note can have specific recipients. Here, you only want to email people who have already registered for your event and plan to join.
The amazing vFairs email marketing tool allows event owners to make email lists for specific target audiences. You can save lists like VIP pass registrants, guest speakers, online attendees, or choose to send to all. This can be a great way to reach only your specific target audience and avoid spamming all the other attendees.
Here is an example of an email sent only to the attendees that logged in on day one of the event.
So, if there is a webinar starting, you can send an email reminder only to the attendees that are logged in right now. You can also send special guest speaker session invites to VIP or all-access attendees. Each contact segment can thus receive tailor-made messaging and a CTA that was meant for them.
10. Set Up Email Triggers
Keeping a hold of your attendees’ attention can be one of the most difficult things to achieve before, during, and after an event. As a host, it isn’t always possible to send the right email at the right time manually. However, the vFairs email marketing tool can help you with that.
The tool allows you to set up certain actions from attendees that can trigger an email chain. For instance, an attendee can trigger a reminder email if they don’t log in for a set number of days. Or you can set up an email reminder for an attendee who has signed up for a webinar. Such trigger emails are a great personalized way to make sure that your attendees make the most of your event and don’t miss anything important.
You can use the vFairs email builder to set up the trigger emails and design personalized templates for them.
11. Inform Attendees About Event Details
Depending on when some of your registrations took place, you may want to send updates or reminders. For instance, some people might have already purchased event tickets, and would thus need other details about the event. Some might still need to purchase tickets so they would need to gain information on ticket types and costs.
A lot of the time you need to send reminders and prompts for certain activities or that the event has started!
12. Leverage AI-Powered Tools
AI-powered event marketing tools can help you reduce the time it takes to generate email copy and create a complete drip email campaign. You can use AI tools like ChatGPT to create compelling email copy by providing a few prompts to the tool. It results in a much faster time to market for your event and reduced the effort it takes to create marketing collateral.
Make sure your attendees can have their questions answered about the event. Always include a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) link in your emails. Attendees can then be directed to your event’s landing page where a list of all event FAQs is provided.
Some Templates To Get You Started
vFairs has put together some email templates for you to help you in your event email marketing strategy!
Sample 1- Introduction Email Template
[Your company’s name] is excited to announce that it will be hosting [your event name]! Register for the event now in order and join us for an immersive experience full of important insights, networking opportunities, and some fun and games. Listen to world-renowned experts discuss [topic 1, topic 2, and topic 3]. Network with top companies in [industry], including [exhibitor 1, exhibitor 2, exhibitor 3]!
Register before [date of your registration close]. Stay tuned for more details!
Click the link below to learn more about the [your event name] today!
See you soon! 🙂
Sample 2 – Follow Up Email Template
Have you registered for [your event name] yet? Spots are filling up!
The event has [list benefits or features of the event to the attendee]
Don’t miss out. This is your chance to attend the event of 2022!
[Add something to look forward to. Such as speakers they’ll hear from, key insights they’ll gain, or influencers they can chat with].
Registration will be accepted until [last date]. After which, all registrations will be closed.
Learn more about the event [your event landing page]
Sample Emails for Conferences
Sample Emails for Job Fairs
Sample Emails for Trade Shows
Sample Emails For Education Events
When it comes to email marketing best practices for event promotion, the more effort you apply to email marketing campaigns the better your email performance. It is important to employ all of the techniques. Remember these tips when putting together your next event promotion. Want to learn more about how to market your virtual event? Read our event marketing guide.