No matter how successful your event has been, there is always next year, or next month to worry about. E-mail promotions for your future event are a great way to keep your event schedule and offerings top of mind with key prospects and ensure attendance.
Think of Terms of Life Cycle
As any online marketer will tell, prior attendees or new prospects are not going to automatically attend your event without a little nurturing.
For every event today, you need to create high-value conversion funnels that gently nurture leads along the "attendee lifecycle" — and they may need to make multiple stops along the route. For example, if your event has a relatively high entrance fee, it might not make sense to share full pricing with someone who has simply requested more information.
We believe you should set up your emails in a "lead funnel" that captures information about your prospects and then "ladders" them up to your offer. This requires some basic work with audience segmentation and can pay big dividends down the line. First time inquiries, for example might be put into track that ladders the fees into increments as you build a trusting relationship.
(HINT: Life Cycle Analysis, Laddering and Funnels are all features of the best event management platforms today. As you examine your options make sure that the platform you choose can be integrated with equally strong marketing automation platforms like Eloqua, Hubspot or others.)
Moving Prospects Through the Life Cycle. In 5 Steps.
Gone are the days when a postcard would be sufficient to get people to your event. With the range of competitive options available to prospects, you need start early in the customer lifecycle to nurture them along to action.
The first part of the cycle is the Attract phase, where you acquire prospects by offering them free, gated content in exchange for their email address—or feedback on the prior show for prior attendees so that you can customize offerings. We will cover the complete customer lifecycle in future posts and focus on the "offer funnel" now.
The bridge between the attract phase and the ultimate action you desire is your offer funnel. A common offer funnel features five emails that are meant to push prospects toward action. We recommend writing all five emails at once so that the "laddering" of the message has a consistent voice. To help you get started, we've created an anatomy of an email offer that is easy to follow:
How to Build a 5-Email "Offer Funnel"
Delivery Date: Once your prospect has downloaded your free gated content in exchange for their email or prior attendance information, you should send this first e-mail immediately. Then wait another week till you send the next one.
Email Subject Line: The initial email should remind people that they signed up for something from you. Subsequent emails should be more catchy while remaining credible.
Email Pre-Header: A pre-header is the text that follows the subject line when your email shows up in the inbox. Make sure this says something that complements the headline.
Body: Keep all messaging down to three paragraphs or less or it won't get read.
Call-to-Action: Your last paragraph should be actionable.
How To Write 5 Emails:
Day 0: Email #1 – WIIFM?
The first email should be a WHIFM—or answer "What's In It For Me?". Make no mistake, your first email should highlight how much your prospect will personally gain by attending your event. You can use a tone that is direct and emotional because what your prospect feels about your event at this stage (if they feel anything) is more important than what they think.
Day 7: Email #2 – FOMO
We have write about the power of FOMO (fear of missing out) in previous posts. Your second email should lean heavily on the fear, uncertainty and doubt your prospect has about the future (it is always there) and how your event will offer some direct solutions to help them take control. This does NOT mean you have to go "all negative" but instead remain matter-of-fact and they will appreciate it...
Day 14: Email #3 – Logic
...Which makes your third email easy to write. Now that your prospect appreciates straightforward tone, you can spell out the benefits of what they'll get from your event. Using stats, stats and infographics here are unusually effective. (Hint: A good event planning platform should allow you to pull and format all kinds of information to support your points.)
Day 21: Email #4 – Are You Still…?
This email circles back to some element of FOMO, and how your event can put their mind at ease. For example, “Does Artificial Intelligence Still Feel Really Strange"?
Day 28: Email #5 – Have You Yet?
This final email goes for the hard sell. To be honest, you should be building some conversions already in the "offer funnel" so this email should be a last-ditch attempt to close the deal. You don't have to sound the least bit desperate but instead urgent about how your event will change things for the better.
Once you've written your emails you can simply upload them in your event marketing platform and synchronize them with your marketing automation platform and hit the "go" button—so to speak.
Once you’ve crafted your offer emails, all you have to do is place them into your conversion campaign within your marketing automation platform, and watch your leads turn into attendees.
Have any tips on email copy that converts? Tell us in the comments below.
Want to learn more about the problems event planners are solving with event management software? Check out our whitepaper that compares different platforms on the market!