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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2019-03-20

It’s that time of year – the spring meeting season has arrived. Is your travel schedule jam packed yet? I know mine is. It’s one thing to be attending a meeting or conference, but if your business is putting on the event, it’s a completely different ballgame. From a communications standpoint, your ability to inspire interest in the event and keep your attendees updated on all the details is crucial. In fact, how well you use email to market your gathering can make or break its success.


Whether you’re planning a tradeshow exhibit, customer user group conference, investor roadshow, new product launch event, important live webinar, or some other meeting or event, here are five “must dos” for promoting it via email:


  1. Get animated: Instead of sending simple text-only emails, liven up your promotional email message with color, graphics and movement to make it eye-catching and memorable. Many marketers are turning to animated GIFs to create a big wow factor that highlights the key message, benefit or call-to-action (CTA). How well does it work? Experian found that 72% of email marketers who use animated GIFs enjoy higher conversion rates compare to standard emails.


  1. Love your speakers and sponsors: Don’t just promote your event for the benefit of your own company; show your event speakers, sponsors or other participant organizations some love by highlighting their services or related offerings. This would be essential if your event benefits or is sponsored by a charity or non-profit. Not only will this make them happy, it will show your company’s place in the world (reinforcing your brand), tie you to bigger messages or causes, and make your audience aware of additional resources available at your event.


  1. Be mobile friendly: Over half (54%) of email is opened via mobile devices, and 70% of consumers will simply delete an email that doesn’t render properly on their mobile device. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure (and test) that your emails look perfect on mobile phones. Make the content easy to view with large fonts and bullets and call out the “who/what/where” (e.g. dates and location) clearly to your audience. Don’t use acronyms or assume everyone knows what they stand for. Make the CTA large, obvious and “tappable” so that mobile users can click on it to easily register. Lastly, ensure the registration landing page works and looks perfect on a mobile device as well.


  1. Summarize all logistics: A few days before your event, summarize all event logistics in chronological, step-by-step order. Make it easy for guests to add important dates and times to their smart phone calendars and provide the details your attendees need to get from their plane or hotel room right to where you want them to be. Include all directions and addresses (e.g. for Uber or cab drivers), conference ticket requirements and/or confirmation codes, start times (in local time zones), and contact names and phone numbers in case they get lost, have questions or if something comes up. This type of  logistical summary will almost certainly help ensure participation and be welcomed by busy executives who may have several other events going on at or around the same time, such as for a trade show.


  1. Plan for post-event follow-up: After your successful event, send a follow-up email thanking participants for their time and asking for feedback via a simple survey. These thank you emails can deliver an impressive 42% open rate. Equally important, provide any promised content, recaps or key takeaways, and include any special offers for event attendees (e.g. free evaluation or consultation) for taking the next step in the buying process.


In this age of digital communications, engaging with prospects and customers face to face can be a great way for them to see your people and products in action, and make real, long-term connections. If you use email the right way, you can optimize the success of your events for your business as well as for your attendees.


Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.


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