In our last post we shared the first step of creating a solid event marketing strategy.  This time around, we will be diving into tactics: What to accomplish with your event website and five best practices to guide your email marketing.

A. Event Website

An event website is the foundation of your promotional efforts. The aim of the website is threefold:

1. First, it should deliver practical information about your event to attendees.You may also wish to provide information for your sales reps and exhibitors.

  • Clearly indicate the name, date, time, location, and parking requirements. Include a contact form or email address so that visitors can get in touch with questions.

2. Second, it should include a portal to register attendees. 

  • Online pre-registration expedites the check-in process and reduces lines the day of your event. In conjunction with registration, it can be useful to provide survey questions to gather information about attendee/account preferences, interests, and seminar participation.

3. Third, it should get attendees excited about participating in your event.

  • Share information about guest speakers, seminars, and demonstrations. If you are running promotions, highlight what giveaways or discounts are being offered. Be sure to use lots of visuals like photos, videos, and call-outs to tell the story. 

B. Email  

While email may have become something of a redheaded stepchild in the marketing universe, it continues to be one of the most effective ways to connect with an audience. According to Experian, for every $1 spent on email marketing, $44.25 is returned.  How do you make the most of email to promote your event? (Tweet This)  We’re so glad you asked!

1. Choose your subject lines carefully: For your emails to stand out in a crowded inbox, the subject lines must be compelling. Here are five ways to make them inviting:

  • Use personalization: Include recipients’ first names or locations to establish familiarity.
  • Include action-oriented verbs:  Inspire clicks by encouraging action.  Words like “Join”, “Learn”, “Visit”, “Boost”, “Gain”, and “Lead” are aspirational, and help recipients to envision themselves benefiting from your offer.
  • Make an exclusive value proposition: Let recipients know exactly what they stand to gain by opening your message.  Are you offering, say, a 10% rebate on branded items to your attendees?  Then tell them in your subject: “John, Attend Our Show for 10% Back On Our Brands”.
  • Be brief: Try to limit your subject lines to 50 characters or fewer to make them easy to scan and avoid being cut off.
  • Avoid seeming “SPAMmy”: Email spammers notoriously use certain words in their subject lines to increase open rates, and as a result email providers have begun to filter out messages that contain those words.  Avoid terms like “Cash”, “Quote”, and “Save” to make sure that your messages reach their intended audience.  And if you are wondering if your subject line could be red flagged, try using a free online testing tool like the ones from Litmus or Contactology.

(HubspotHigh Output)

2. Send messages on the weekends: Studies show that click rates are higher on the weekends, when email volume is lower. (Adweek)

3. Send messages early in the morning or afternoon: Engagement is highest in the mornings at 8 AM to 9 AM both for opens and click-throughs; and in the afternoons at 3 PM to 8 PM for opens, and 3 PM and 4 PM for click-throughs. (Get Response)

4. Include social sharing buttons: Messages with social share links have a 158% higher click-through-rate (Get Response). 

5. Embed a ‘Register Now’ button: Encourage recipients to register and gather information about your event not addressed in the email.

In our next post, we'll delve into more tactics: How and what to communicate through social media, the role of your company website or blog, printed materials, and how to leverage search.

How are we doing so far? Is there anything we should have added to our recommendations for an event website, or some additional/different email best practices?  What has worked for you in promoting your events? Let us know in the comments below.