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Do you use email marketing to promote your events? Learn how to increase the open rates.

Remember our article about email marketing and how it can help you increase the number of attendees for your events? Hope you’ve read it. Today I want to talk to you about what you can do to increase the open rate of your emails (in the long-term). We all want to have as many opened email as possible but with over 2.5 million email being sent every second it’s obvious that is harder and harder to gain people’s attention. So, without any further introduction, here are some ideas that will help your emails perform better:

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Timing will influence the open rates

“…timing is an art”. And fortunately, with email marketing, you can become a real artist.  Email marketing services help you gather relevant information about your subscribers, information that will help you contact them at the right time. Find out their time zones (you can add this into the registration forms, so every subscriber will enter the preferred time zone) and send emails accordingly.  When speaking about open rates you will see that there are some days and some hours that perform slightly better, but I strongly recommend testing to see what works better.

 

So will do the subject line

Almost half of the email recipients decide if they will open an email or not based solely on its subject line; just like people decide to read articles based on their title.  If you want to increase the conversion rates of your email campaigns (clicks, goals etc), you will have to start with the open rates and to do this you will need to work on your subject lines. How? I gathered I list of the most common ideas:

p.s. The best way to see what works and what doesn’t is to use some A/B testing for subject lines, sending the same email with two different subject lines. Your subscribers will help you out.

 

Don’t use long subject lines as more than 50% of emails are opened on mobile devices, devices that will cut down the displayed length of the subject line. It’s fine to use shorter subject lines as they just need to provoke the interest of your subscribers. Don’t over-communicate within subject lines, just do your best to make people interested in what’s inside.

Sell the sizzle, not the feature. In other words, you must concentrate on your subscribers, not your products/services. What ‘s important for them and how will you help them achieve what they want? If you plan a conference tell your subscribers what they will learn if they attend (this is what really counts), not that you have a 20 years experience in the event planning industry.

p.s. for example when talking about a cashless payment system (based on NFC technology) we know that the benefits are: less time in queues, no more fraud, increased order value and more…so we don’t start talking to our partners about the communication protocols (until after they see how NFC can help them).

 

Add a personal touch. Generic email addresses tend to make us lose interest, so try to use your personal email to send information. Although technically speaking you send a newsletter, a no-reply email address will make things difficult for your subscribers that want to get in touch. Take this “risk” of using the email address of a real person and you will see an improvement in the engagement of your subscribers. We use this method here at Oveit and I can confirm that you will see an improvement in no time.

 

Don’t get spammy. If you search information about ways to improve open rate of your email you will find many great bits of advice from countless professionals. As you probably already know people react to scarcity (it’s one of the six big principles of persuasion from doctor’s Cialdini famous book) and you will find many articles encouraging you to use the ideas of urgency and scarcity to convince people to take action. But be aware that is a very thin line between a great subject line that involves urgency/scarcity and a spammy one. And if you use it (in some cases you must apply it) don’t go “the tabloid way”: LIMITED TIME! OFFER EXPIRES IN X HOURS doesn’t sound like a professional way to announce that your early bird offer will expire, especially if we talk about a premium business conference (and also can trigger some spam filters – read more here).

 

Offer useful information

Although your subject line is very important because it influences your open rate is what you communicate to your subscribers that will determine their next action: will they respond to your CTA or will they unsubscribe from your marketing list? If you deliver what you promised (and offer useful information about your next events and one-time deals) people will have a reason to open your email (and give you some of their time). If you use spammy or misleading subject lines your subscribers will soon lose interest (not to mention that, in some countries, misleading subject lines are against the law).

Newsletters are a great way to stay close to those interested in your events and convince them to attend. You can share information, promote special offers or ask for feedback. As said before, you are the sole “owner” of your subscribers’ list and this makes it extremely valuable for every event planning organization, no matter its size or budget.

Use email marketing to boost your event management business

39 years ago the first mass email was sent, and the results were amazing. Starting that moment email marketing caught everyone’s attention and even though what worked a few years ago doesn’t work anymore, email is still one of the most used channels for marketing. And this article is meant to show you how a strong email marketing strategy can support your event management business and why you should use this powerful marketing tool.

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One of the main reasons for which it’s so used is that it is easily measurable: a report from MillwardBrown Digital states that marketers find email marketing as the easiest marketing channel to measure ROI for. Another significant reason is that while social media channels have 100% ownership over your followers (and your reach can be affected by an unannounced algorithm change) emails give you absolute power; those people gave you their email addresses and you can reach them as long as the internet is still out here.

But besides these two reasons, email marketing has many more advantages than you should profit from:

Helps you save time and money

Email marketing is cost-effective itself, but it can also help you reduce costs with printed materials that you now use. Ok, maybe you have some old-fashion clients that still prefer to touch their birthday cards or the discount vouchers, but for the rest of them you can use emails and reduce the printing costs. You can also automate emails so you use your time for other activities that help your business.

Another way to monetize your email influence is by offering space for companies to brand your email template. It’s an unobtrusive way to promote your partners and it’s easy to see the results of your campaigns.

Increases brand awareness

It is crucial to keep your customers engaged, and also it is crucial maintaining a strong connection with your subscribers in order to make them buy. Studies reveal that prospects need more than 4 online interactions before buying a product (or service), so you see why is crucial to have rhythmic interactions with your (future) customers.

It’s easy to educate your clients

By constant communication, you can educate your customers so they will be able to use all the benefits that you offer.Maybe you plan your annual festival but, for the first time, you will use NFC technology for cashless payments. If you have the email addresses of your customers (if you used a smart tool to sell tickets, you have them) you can educate them on how to use NFC. You can put up a trigger-based set of emails so when someone buys a ticket automatically receives a “Thank you” email, followed by another email that offers indispensable information on how NFC works.Trigger-based emails (that are automatically sent based on different actions performed by customers) have the highest open rate, so make sure that you use them.

You can (and must) segment your subscribers

Segmentation is a very powerful marketing tool that we strongly recommend you to use. It helps you to ensure that every one of your subscribers receives relevant information (as mentioned before if you send a lot of irrelevant emails your subscribers will start to unfollow you). Assuming that you hold a conference twice a year follow up should be segmented separately for each event; let’s call them conference A conference B. It’s unprofessional to send a thank you email for attending conference A to someone who wasn’t there. If one event is focused on medicine and the other on marketing what is relevant for a segment of your audience is irrelevant for the other segment. So make sure that you provide useful emails for your two different groups of attendees.

Maybe you hold a music festival that groups different types of music; let’s say you have an indie rock stage, an electronic stage and one for reggae. Although your attendees want to enjoy the festival experience, each one will be more interested in one type of music. Use your registration form and ask them what stage they prefer and segment your guest into 3 categories based on their music preferences. Keep them up to date with relevant info from their field of interest.

Of course, for general info regarding access and on-site activities you can use only one newsletter.

Email marketing is easily measurable

As I said before, another reason for which email marketing is so used is that it offers you easy access to data. You can see who opened your email, which links are clicked, who forwarded your mail, which emails bounced, unsubscribers and much more. This is great because it offers you a lot of hints on how to adapt your message.

Nathan Hangen, the creator of Ignitiondeck, offers a great piece of advice: “If they’re leaving after a certain autoresponder email, then re-work it. If they’re leaving after marketing messages, then re-work the way you present offers. If they’re leaving early on in your funnel, then you need to fix your original call to action so that it’s in harmony with what you’re sending.”

As you see, email marketing is a great marketing tool if used wisely. But you must keep in mind that, on a daily basis, the average office worker receives about 92 emails, 16 of which are spam (link report radicati.com). No one wakes up hoping that their day will be full of unsolicited spam messages so the first important step when creating an email marketing campaign is to obtains permission to email your future customers. The second is to provide quality information, otherwise, you will become just another unread email.

p.s.make sure that your registration form contains an email field and do ask for permission to send informative emails.