Presentation is all about mastering email marketing for events, covering the core essentials and touching on social media and email automation. Prepared and delivered for the Active Network, October 2012.
Thanks Ana for the introductionWe’re going to spend the next 30 mins or so looking at ideas for how to use email effectively to drive event attendance.Email is often overlooked with all the hype around social media marketing, but done well, it is still one of the most effective and affordable forms of marketing communication.
In the next 30 mins I hope we will achieve these core objectives.First of all, we’re going to look at getting the basics right. I’ll talk to you about my experiences and we’ll also look at some industry examples we can learn from.Secondly, we’ll look at testing. It’s vital you start to test all of yoru email marketing to ensure you are getting the best results possible. Did you know for example you can easily test two different subject lines and send your best performing subject line to the majority of your contact database? That’s AB split testing. Finally we’ll look at automation and social media. I’ll introduce some of the basics of each so that you can go away and start playing with these in your own campaigns.
Before we go any further, I’d like to properly introduce myself. My name is Andy Bargery and I run a marketing and event production agency called Klaxon. My role, other than managing the agency, is to look after those clients who specifically want to use events and other tactics for sales lead generation. My career in marketing began in 1998 when I joined computer company Compaq – which is now part of Hewlett-Packard. Since then I have organised well over 300 events, from large conferences attracting several hundred attendees, to executive dinners, workshops seminar and taking clients industry exhibitions.Klaxon has been in business since 2006 and we are based in London in the UK.Our experience spans companies of all shapes and sizes, from multinationals like Oracle and Vodafone, to small and medium enterprises and one man band consultancies. Our core expertise is producing, running and organising events for our clients and our small team has a significant amount of experience in this area.
Email marketing is and should be your primary event promotional tool.Why?Exact Target in 2012 of consumer channel habits and preferences found 77% preferred to receive permission-based promotions via email: 6% preferred such messages via social media. A similar survey of UK consumers found 69% with a preference for email as the channel for brand communications. See Marketing Profs.com for sources. The DMA puts email marketing's ROI for 2011 at $40.56 for every $1 invested. The figure for 2012 is predicted to "fall" to $39.40, when email will account for $67.8 billion in sale. See DMA for more information.But what can you do to improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns?
HTML and plain text in tandem as not all recipients can see images.HTML email templates should be no more than 600pixels wide. Think about what appears above the fold, in the top 200 pixels, for example can you include a call to action? The most important thing to remember about images in email is that they won’t be visible by default for many subscribers. Using Images:Don’t forget alt-text – Avoid PNGs – use jpegs or GIF imagesFallback colours for background imagesMake sure your design is responsive to the format of the device people will read it on. In other words, if Footer should include: unsubscribe instantly & physical addressIf you start your design with that assumption, it forces you to keep things simple and ensure no important content is suppressed by image blocking.
This is an example of an event our company organised for our prospective clients in February this year. Highlight elements in red boxes.
Highlight elements in red boxes.
Getting the opt-in / preference management right. Highlight elements in red boxes. Background image – important to remember to set a default backgroundcolour too, incase images are blocked.
Highlight elements in red boxes.
Establish relevancy early – personalisation is key, but if you can further segment you list then do so e.g. you watched our video, now register for the eventLong vs short, again, depending on what you want to achieve you should test each. Key is to make sure the copy is succinct, not long flowing prose. Use sub-headings, bullets, bold key points, focus on benefits and not featurese.g. by attending you will improve your fitness by 20%, rather than come along and use the state of the art rowing machinesWrite in the second person to keep the focus on the customerWrite a bold headline statement to get a point across early. Match the tone of voice with the rest of your communications, be consistent and people will find it easier to interact and engage with your contentSender name is important, what’s your relationship with the customer? Is t personal, or a brand relationship? Try both and see what works.
Research by MailChiump found that emails with one link received a2.59% click rate on average. Those with 20 links had a 3.36% click rate.This would suggest the more links included, the more likely you are to achieve a click. However, take this with the caveat that you might find more links and too many offers confuse your audience and dilute the impact of your campaign. Think back to the objective? If it is event registrations, include a number of links that all drive the the event registration page. Fewer offers, more links.
When it comes to subject lines, boring is best, don’t sell what’s inside, tell what’s inside.
The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 came into force in the UK on 11th December 2003.In effect this means: You must have an existing relationship with a person and permission to contact them by email i.e. the user must tick that box to opt-inYou cannot obtain permission by emailing to ask for itIf you’ve had a prior trading relationship, you can communicate with them about a similar productYou must clearly identify the sender of any email and provide a valid reply addressIt must be easy for recipients to unsubscribeIn late 2009 the Information Commissioner’s Office was granted to ability to impose fines of up to £500kfor serious breaches of the data protection regulations.
Create custom landing pages, that relate exactly to the call to action in your email.Register now, click through to a page with more information about your event and a clearly defined registration path.What happens if your users are reading email on a smartphone, or tablet? Is the landing page going to be optimised to work on mobile too?
It will be different for each audience, it’s important that you test, monitor and get to know your audience segments.However as a rule of thumb, think about time of the day, day of the week and the period in advance of the event to broadcast your emails. If we look at corporate event marketing, which is my background, we typically follow a programme like this: 1. first email should be sent latest 8 weeks in advance of an event, probably a lot further in advance. This will give your target audience time to get the date of the event in their diary. That’s the main goal of the first email.2. second email, sent around 4 weeks before the event. This is a much more detailed communication, selling the key benefits of attending the event to your customers. Make sure the content is compelling and to the point. 3. For those who have already registered, a separate email, promoting other opportunities to engage with the event and encourage people to turn up. For example find us on facebook, or YouTube, or download the app – make sure they attend and you get the most value from their attendance. 4. Third emailsent approx 7 days before the event and includes the final details of the event, highlighting guest speakers, core topics and reinforcing the key benefits.5. Last but not least, the final email is a reminder to those who have registered. We use this a lot to help reduce the no show rate – those attendees who register but do not attend. Clearly for sports events and charity fundraising, you will be working to a much longer lead time. People need time to train and for charity events, to raise funds. You’ll therefore need to think much farther in advance. For annual events, encourage sign-up for next year with a follow-up email for this year’s participants.Perhaps include in your email campaign a monthly training update, or links to dietary advice on your blog for exanple. Make sure you are adding value to your target audience to increase the impact of your campaigns.
It will be different for each audience, it’s important that you test, monitor and get to know your audience segments.The chart above is an average of all email sent from email service provider mailchimp, clearly showing the best time to get people to open your email is somewhere around 2-4pm.
The chart above is an average of all email sent from email service provider mailchimp, This chart shows that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the best days for actually sending email. Bear I mind this research is cross sector, so not event specific, but it is worthwhile considering.
Delivery – data collected during the transmission of the email to the recipient In-email – activity within the email itself, for example clicking a link Post-click – activity that takes place on a website reached from a link in an email Sharing – passing on the message to others Remember that statistics are captured and displayed in real-time, so when analysing a campaign you may need to wait 24–72 hours to see the most relevant results. Analytics will enable you to :Identify your hottest prospects: who clicked and took an action? Can you follow-upIdentify what the best day and time is to send your emailsIdentify which landing pages are converting and which are notPersonalise your campaigns and create focussed niche segments based on their activity
Events specific averages.
Using Google analytics, or other web analytics software, you can see what happens to your target audience once they click on your email and hit your landing page.Are they taking the action and completing your goals?
All about optimisation. Enhancing the performance of your email marketing campaigns to increase open rates, click through rates, shares etc. With email, testing is simple to setup and easy to use.There’s no excuse for not testing on every single email campaign you broadcast.But what can you test?
When you test more than
Just to be really clear, I know you are not an event company. I know you are a sales organisation, working with principal suppliers of capital goods into manufacturing industry in Eastern Europe. I understand.However, I’d like for the next few moments, for you all to imagine that your product is an event.
Buttons for facebook, twitter, delicious, stumbleupon, linkedin – whatever is relevant to your audienceAdd Pinterest sharing button for images on your landing pages too
Build an open graph app to manage registrations and increase virality of your content. After a user adds your app to their Timeline, app specific actions are shared on Facebook via the Open Graph. As your app becomes an important part of how users express themselves, these actions are more prominently displayed throughout Timeline, News Feed, and Ticker. This enables your app to become a key part of the Facebook experience for users and their friends.
Email Marketing for Events
Ideas for How To Use EmailMarketing to Drive EventAttendancePrepared for Active Network.Delivered online, October 2012.
Session Objectives1. Getting the basics right2. Understanding testing3. Review automation & social media
Who is Andy?Marketer & Agency DirectorEventsLead GenerationDigital & social mediaPR & Communications