You may feel stuck when it comes to getting creative with email marketing. It can start to feel like every time you host an event you’re putting out the same type of email over and over. While people do like consistency and predictability to a certain extent, they too get tired of seeing the same event email over and over.
So what are you to do?
The reason people get stuck because they don’t expand on their already great ideas and develop them further. In this article, I want to give you a step-by-step guide to improving your email marketing for a specific event.
Step One: Multiple Emails
People tend to respond well to event information spread out over multiple emails rather than one email containing all of the information all at once. This is understandable on your end as well, as you may have new information that comes along as the planning progresses.
In fact, it is very likely that you will come across new information the entire time you are planning, so tell them! If you have a new speaker or sponsor, highlight them in a separate email to get them excited. If you’ve lined up new high-profile attendees or are working with a charity, all of this could make for exciting email announcements.
Step Two: Consider the Timing of Your Emails
As I mentioned before, you definitely want to be sending multiple emails leading up to the event, however, if you are still three or four months out from a big company event, you probably shouldn’t be email blasting every week, and especially not multiple times a week.
I have constructed a timeline of minimum-maximum emails you should be sending in preparation for an event. This is not ground-breaking, and you certainly can feel free to disagree with me, I see this particular timing working well for most.
Kissmetrics wrote an article about email marketing and timing in a general sense, and I abstracted their findings for a specific event situation:
- 3-4+ months out: 0-1 email every two weeks.
- 2 months out: 1-2 emails every two weeks (this will depend on the amount of new information and the size of the event).
- 1 month out: 1 email per week, as new information comes along.
- 1 week out: If something really exciting comes up last-minute, or if you feel the need to send an extra reminder of sorts, go ahead and send two emails out the last week.
Step Three: Highlighting Your Speakers and Sponsors (in Style)
I’ve seen a lot of people fall into the habit of doing the same type of speaker/sponsor emails again and again. It is nice to present a blurb about them with their picture or logo, but you can get much more creative than this if you really want to.
Here are some ideas of how to do this:
- Conduct a short interview: Ask them if you could do a short phone interview with them beforehand, and talk to them about their expertise. You can use the direct quotes to write a blog post about the person or company sponsor and how it relates to your event (two-for-one content idea), or even just use a couple of relevant talking points in a short bio that you have created for the email itself. This is a good way to get people excited about the speaker or sponsor and your event as a whole.
- A short blog post: If you do end up writing a blog post, you can send the link to attendees in the email blast so they can go look at it directly. As a bonus, in addition to having this content for your email marketing, you can also post it to social media to get more attention for the event. This is especially true if, for example, one of your speakers happens to be high-profile in your industry.
- Use their website and other media sources: Your speakers and sponsors are likely to have their own website or any kind of relevant media. You should definitely get their permission and link it to any webpages you have on the event, as well as in your email marketing.
- Get creative: Do not feel like you need to do the same speaker and sponsor profiles over and over again. Try to be creative in your emails and take a new angle. Keep in mind that if you do a profile on one speaker, even if they are high-profile, you will likely want to do at least a little something for everyone.
Step Four: Types of Emails You Can Send
By now, you probably understand you are going to need a lot of content in order to have a successful email marketing campaign for your event. Here is a breakdown of some of the different types of emails you might want to send in addition to speaker/sponsor highlights that I just mentioned above. You can email about:
- Different sessions at the event: Talk about new sessions or sessions that are being offered that may be particularly relevant to a certain crowd of attendees, such as talks for “beginners”.
- Testimonials: You can write about both general information for anyone attending the event as well as specifically about high-profile attendees. One thing to consider is your attendees from past events can offer you content in the form of simple testimonials or in depth articles on how your event has helped their business or career. People like this kind of information and it can get new attendees very excited.
- Contests: Are you planning on hosting a contest at the event? Do you want to do giveaway tickets to the event? You can try to get sponsors on board for these as well, and it is a really great way to promote the event, the sponsor, your company, and boost general attendance.
- Incentives: Offering incentives such as discount admission to those who sign up through your newsletter, or having access to VIP enrollment for your sessions—or even a post-party night one with free admission, you can get really creative here, and again get people even more excited and ready to attend the event.
There are many ways to get creative and try new things leading up to the event. This article put out some ideas as well as a timeline for how many emails to send at any time leading up to the event, but also remember that there is so much that you can do. Do everything you can to get your event attendees and those considering attending your event excited about what they have to look forward to.
Do you have any ideas for event email marketing that I didn’t cover? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.