Some say you are only as good in this business as your last event. What is more accurate is that are only as good as your next event. Creating a strong email marketing campaign can help to “future proof” your plans.
What follows is a compilation of content that our readers have found useful as guide to planning, writing and executing better email. We encourage people to look at email as a process and not a project that begins with a look at the attendee life cycle.
As any e-mail expert will tell you, you can’t count on repeat performance from attendees or prospects without a little nurturing.
Before every new event, therefore, 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. Existing “fans” can be put on a “insiders track” with expert tips, etc.
Data Driven Enterprise Event Platforms offer life cycle analysis, laddering, funnel metrics and many other tools.
Popular platforms such as those offered by G2Planet and others integrate with popular sales, registration and marketing automation platforms as depicted below:
Source: G2Planet, 2018
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 papers 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 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.