Article by Craig Koopersmith
Taking part in the trade show and event industry means utilizing emails in a wide range of ways. Even with the growth of social media consistently gaining momentum as a way to connect and engage attendees and exhibitors, emailing still has a strong foothold as a preferred method of corporate communication. From sending pre-event blasts to your list of current prospects, to following up with all the new prospects you connected with throughout the event, your emailing initiatives will play a key role in strengthening and furthering your brand as well as boosting crowd interest at your trade show or event.
Use Emails Purposefully Throughout the Trade Show and Event Season
While most business owners acknowledge that they rely on email campaigns throughout the trade show exhibiting season, many often don’t have a clear cut strategy on how to effectively use this form of digital communication. Instead, they send notes with no plan, purpose, or call to action and hope they somehow command attention in their recipient’s flooded inbox. Without a doubt, emailing continues to be an effective marketing resource when used to create excitement and awareness about your upcoming event.
The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reinforces the notion that email tactics have more than earned their place as part of any exhibit strategy in their latest Guru report, Separating Signal From The Noise – How To Make Your Emails Better. This report reveals from a recent survey that of 480 exhibition and sponsorship decision-makers, 56 percent are moving away from traditional tactics to digital tactics. The most common of those is email marketing. The report goes on to note that 72 percent rely most heavily on their emails to generate actual income.
Have you and your team brainstormed the best ways to communicate with your specific demographic via email? If not, your online communication may be getting overlooked, ignored, and eventually virtually trashed before they even get opened. Don’t take that chance; follow a few simple tips to ensure your emailing campaigns resonate with your recipients and increase overall ROI at every trade show exhibit your company attends.
Know Your Audience
It’s no secret that knowing our consumer demographic plays a critical role in the overall success of our organizations. While we market to our customers in a way that caters to their needs, we don’t often email them with the same focus. Begin a discussion to pinpoint what your consumers will respond to via emails. Will all caps capture their attention? Do they respond better when the note includes freebies, contests and/or discounts? Knowing these details will help you best capture their attention in the subject line.
What You Say Matters
No matter how captivating your subject line, if you don’t continue with a compelling message in the body of your email, your recipients will quickly lose interest and move on. Don’t worry about flashy graphics and design components. Instead, focus on concise, yet powerfully written copy to get your recipients excited about what you have to say.
Yes, it will take some testing and trial and error with your email initiatives to see what’s working and what is still missing the mark. The key to ultimate success is consistently taking inventory and not giving up. CEIR writes, “… read through the emails you send prospects before and after an exhibition and see if a parallel pattern does not emerge. If so, you need to stop and rethink what path you are taking your prospects down.” Trying new tactics and approaches with your subscriber audience will not only help you recognize what they respond to, it can also help you create authentic, sustainable buzz among your network and establish your business as an industry expert.
Over time, engaging and purposeful emails can help produce a major marketing coup, like word of mouth referrals which often come in the form of (you guessed it) emails! CEIR’s Guru report notes, “Email is also the most common way the young professional shares recommendations about an event or an exhibitor.”
In short, when executed properly, your email audience will not only enjoy hearing from you, but they may also help spread the word among their personal networks about where your business is exhibiting and why they should stop by your booth or event.