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Nine Ways to Make Email Work Harder for Your Events

by Gwen Parsons 5. March 2013 03:03

1.Target attendees!  Rent the attendee email list from show management or have them broadcast your message to attendees for you.  Because people are already planning to attend, you don’t need to convince them to come to the show. Instead, your message should focus on getting them to visit your trade show display. Target the companies you want to reach and omit the ones you don’t as competitors.

2. Start with a snappy subject line!  It’s often the determining factor in whether or not a message will be opened.  Make your subject line compelling so the recipient will want to open it.  Test different subject lines by sending half of your audience the email with one subject line and the other half with another.  Measure which one gets opened more often and use that to plan subsequent email campaigns.

3. Personalization is key to connecting with readers. People love hearing and seeing their own name.  Include their name in the subject line, salutation and/or body copy.

4. Design for the golden triangle! The upper left corner of an email is often viewed by recipients in a preview pane so they can determine whether or not to open it.  Your headline, image and copy within that triangle should be designed to express the key benefit of your message and prompt them to want to learn more.  Keep the copy brief and to the point.  Tell them why they should visit your trade show display.

5. Include a call to action! After the list, the offer is the second most influential factor in the success of a campaign. Some of the best incentives are free but offer real value.  Consider what will best motivate your target audience -  a VIP pass to the event? a demo of your newest product?  a special report on an industry topic of interest?  a sample or trial? Coupons are enjoying a resurgence in popularity so don’t forget show specials. 

6. Remember to include your booth number.  Invite people to follow you on your social media sites, too.

7. Be sure your email complies with the Can Spam Act for US recipients.  The big 6 provisions that you are required to include in your email are:
  • Use a valid, non-deceptive from line
  • Use a valid, non-deceptive subject line
  • Give conspicuous notice of the opportunity to opt-out
  • Provide a functioning opt-out with every message
  • Complete the opt-out within 10 business days.
Some email services automatically filter opt-outs from broadcasts already in cue.  If yours doesn’t you may want to include language such as “We have received your request to be removed from our mailing list.  Please be aware that you may continue to receive messages from us in the next week.  However, we will ensure that your name is removed within 10 business days.”

8. Send it twice!  Release the first time about 3-4 weeks prior to the show.  Then resend it to serve as a reminder a week or two before the event.  Send your email at an optimum time for it to be opened and read which many B2B marketers currently feel  falls between Tuesday and Thursday.  Getresponse.com recently conducted research indicating that emails delivered between 8-9am or 3-4pm get the most opens and click throughs.  Keep in mind that you may need to segment your list by time zone.
9. Evaluate performance! No matter what marketing medium you’re investing in, you want to know if it worked.  Many email services enable you to view a list of the recipients that opened and clicked through your message.  Give that list to your Account Executives to follow up.  Cross match your email open list to your show leads to determine the % that were influenced by your broadcast and visited you.