4 Steps to an Effective Email Marketing Plan for an Event

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Written by Tim Grable

August 1, 2018

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When you’re scheduling and marketing an event, your top priority is making sure enough people are there. A well-crafted email marketing plan can make all the difference, so it’s important to focus on that throughout the marketing process.

As with any email campaign, best practices apply; focus on segmenting lists, tracking key performance metrics, and using tools like an email validation API. However, your campaign does require additional attention to properly market your event. If you follow these guidelines, there’s a great chance you’ll sell out your event much more quickly than you anticipated.

4 Steps to an Effective Email Marketing Plan for an Event

Online Events

There are two main types of events you’ll need to market, and each requires a unique approach. Online events include things like webinars, live-streams, and Twitter chats. Email marketing should be at the center of your strategy, as a number of marketers claim that it’s the most effective way to promote an event.

Offline Events

Traditional events are as important as ever, and compared to online meetings, they require significant investment in order to run successfully. You’ll need to fund the right venue, transportation, and staff for your event, which means it’s even more critical to attract an audience.

A poorly-marketed event is a major loss, but if done well, can prove a great success for your business. In fact, many event attendees believe in-person interaction is more important now than it was just two years ago. The most common types of physical events include trade shows, seminars, conferences, and the like.

Email Marketing Your Event

As you begin to brainstorm an approach to your new email marketing campaign, your first step should be ensuring that you have a sufficiently large email list. While it may be tempting to purchase an email list in order to quickly increase your outreach, this is a bad idea for many important reasons.

Instead, your email list should be grown organically, guaranteeing that your recipients are already interested in your business. Segment your campaign emails to reach out more directly to specific parts of your audience.

If you’re running a physical event, for example, you should only contact people within a relatively small radius of the location. Most users will probably ignore an email for an event they’re not close to, or even go as far as to unsubscribe.

Email Sequencing

Sending a predetermined series of emails (known as a drip campaign) is a great way to promote engagement and keep your audience aware of your upcoming event. For a short, informal event, your initial invitation may not need to be sent more than a few weeks in advance. On the other hand, you’ll want to reach out much earlier for a larger event like a conference or trade show.

Once people sign up for your event, they should receive an automated confirmation email allowing them to put it on their calendar or even invite others through social media or email. You can follow up with reminder emails, both to those who have already signed up and parties that have yet to RSVP.

After the event, it’s important to reconnect with your attendees. This shows them that you appreciate their presence and engagement, and offers them a chance to provide feedback. You can include photos or videos from the event, and place a call to action inviting them to stay engaged with your business.

Email marketing for events is more complicated than what can be conveyed above. However, following these guidelines is a great first step toward running a successful event and increasing your attendance.

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