Email marketing gives you an average 3600% return on investment! This in itself is a good enough reason to choose email marketing to promote your upcoming event. Experienced marketers understand the kind of impact an email marketing campaign can have when done correctly.
A myth in the digital marketing world is that “email marketing is dead”, however, Sony Playstation enjoyed a whooping 508% ROI from their email marketing campaign. Despite such successful examples many people still fail to believe in the potential of email marketing. Why is that?
Do you read your emails? All of them? Neither do I. And this is precisely why many people get fooled into thinking that no one’s going to read that email we sent.
Let me tell you, we do open some emails. Emails that catch our attention with their subject line, and then take us on a journey to discover something special towards the end. We do read such emails.
Crafting an email that people would actually read is an art. You may or may not be an artist but you can indeed work on it.
Whether you are a small business owner who is handling the marketing by yourself or a marketer wishing to improve the performance of your email marketing campaign, this article is for you.
Why do I like email marketing so much? Out of all the other ways of marketing, like commercials, influencer marketing, quality blogger outreach, social media, and the list goes on, the one marketing method that takes the least amount of investment (so if you fail you don’t lose much) and yet promises a hefty ROI (if done rightly) is email marketing. If you have never enjoyed the benefits of email marketing, now you will, because we are sharing here some of the best practices for promoting an event using email marketing.
For the next event in your pipeline, make sure you use email marketing, and to get the most out of it, also follow the tips we will share.
Before we get into the main course, let me serve a few appetizers.
How does email marketing work?
Email marketing, as the name implies, is marketing via email. It is a simple strategy where you send marketing emails to targeted customers. That is all there is to it. There are no complicated procedures like media buying, planning the media mix, etc.
When to use email marketing?
For today, we are focusing on the promotion of an upcoming event but there are multiple occasions where you can use email marketing. The following are examples of where you can use email marketing effectively:
To build relationships: you can send emails that are informative and useful for your audience.
To ensure that the audience remembers you: becoming a TOM brand (Top-of-Mind) requires you to constantly remind your audience about your existence. Emails can help with this.
New launch: If there is something new coming up (product or campaign), you can share it with your audience via email.
Follow up on a lead: Email marketing is very efficient in lead nurturing.
Because they subscribed: If people have subscribed to your newsletter, you will need to deliver news and other quality content to their inbox.
Give special discounts: If your lead is really close to becoming a customer, give it that extra push with a personalized email containing a sweet offer.
What is an email list and how can you build one?
To implement an email marketing strategy successfully you need a list of email addresses to send your emails to. This list should have the email addresses of people who are your target audience. Sending emails to people who don’t belong in your target market is a waste of time, money, and effort. Moreover, it leaves a bad impression.
So the list of email addresses of your target audience is what we call an email list. Building a long list takes time. You might be starting with just 20-25 email addresses, but there is no need to worry about that because the list will grow as your business grows.
Although there are some under-the-table methods of generating email lists, we would recommend you stay away from any shady practices.
You can use an Email list generator tool to get an automated list of emails in your niche, but if you want to make a list from scratch, here are some things you can do:
Use your website and social media platforms to exchange email address information for something of value. You must have seen these CTAs (calls-to-action) like “click here to get your free guide” or “click here to win a free lipstick”. These are purposefully inserted to get email addresses from those customers who are actually interested in your product or service.
Adding CTAs like this is not possible on every webpage of your website, so you can also try using pop-ups. They are a bit annoying for viewers though, so at least let the reader be on your website for a minute or two before you use a pop-up.
Use your copywriting skills to the fullest. We need an interesting, witty call to action with copy that helps convey the benefits to the reader.
If you have a blog, use it to urge your audience to sign up for your newsletters.
Always mention that they can unsubscribe any time. It gives readers reassurance that if they find your emails annoying they have an easy way out. Creating a “might enjoy, and anyway, nothing to lose” profitable situation such as this is the best way to motivate people into taking action.
Alright, we are almost done with the appetizer. Let’s get into the main topic of discussion here: the most effective email marketing practices for event promotion.
Effective email marketing practices for event promotion
Research and segregate your audience
A good marketing message is one that is written FOR the audience. Age, gender, location, income, habits, interests, and a lot more things matter when you are writing an email. To ensure that the email appeals to your audience, you need to study them well and identify their pain points, attention span, the language they are comfortable with, and a lot more.
Only, researching the audience isn’t enough. Go a step further and segregate them into groups. You might be writing emails for a single campaign, but an email written for one group of people may not appeal to another group.
For example, think about a brand like Byju’s which is an ed-tech company. Let’s say they are organizing an event for kids and their parents. A sales promotion activity.
Now the benefit that kids will get out of this event is that they get to play games. The benefit that the parents get is enjoying time with their kids and learning more about a company that will help their kids get good marks in school.
You will have to write two different emails, one for the kids and one for the parents. The kids’ email would be about the games they will be playing there and all the fun they would have. The email to the parents would have more emotional pull and convey all the benefits they and their children will get if they participate. The design will also be a bit different, as will be the language.
So before you try out any of the things below, make sure you know your audience.
Create buzz way before the launch
Do you know how movies and shows are released? A basic announcement is made followed by teaser1, teaser2, song1, song2, trailer, and then the actual movie. All this happens while the team is promoting the movie across various platforms.
For your next event, use the same modus operandi. Start with an announcement via email. Then keep revealing small details about the event as the day of the event nears. The more buzz you create, the more people will talk about it on social media, and the more attention your emails will get.
There is nothing more attractive than a discount offer
If there is some discount you are introducing, say, for the first 1000 people who register, make sure that a major goal of that email is to make this offer visible to the audience. Use your subject line to lure in your audience and make sure they see the offer at first glance. Make it visible enough to catch their attention but not too much in their faces. If you generated leads on your website or social media and observed that prospects are interested but somewhat hesitant, then sending a personalized email with an exclusive discount can increase the rate of them signing up for the event.
Follow-up and use social proof
If you don’t follow-up, you may lose the interest of your leads. Throughout the day we are exposed to so much information, so many ads and so many existing and new brands that it is very difficult to remember even a few of those ads that we have seen. Everyone is fighting for the customer’s attention, but not everyone succeeds. Therefore, make sure you send a follow-up email to remind them of your very special event. Moreover, an ad on Instagram, say, may not be sufficient to convey all the information you want, so an email gives you a chance to share additional information.
Give a satisfactory amount of information
Your marketing efforts should do the job of increasing excitement about the event. So you need to give recipients a considerable amount of information so that they at least know what is going to happen at the event, who is attending, and why they should attend.
Now while you are at it, make sure that you don’t give away too much information. We just want them to anticipate an amazing experience at the event, but giving away too much information is like spoiling a film for someone.
People love surprises, if you can, drop a hint of something surprising that will happen at the event. The reason I said “if you can” is because all events cannot have surprises. For example, you are marketing an upcoming webinar on digital marketing from a subject matter expert, there are going to be no surprises here. In this case, use your copy to convey the benefits.
Focus on the CTAs
Calls to Action are game changers. You might have used the best design, the best subject, and even the copy was great, but if your call to action is weak, then the chances of people registering for the event are reduced.
So what is a weak call to action?
If you think having 3-4 calls to action would make your copy strong, then you are wrong.
Have ONLY ONE call to action in your copy. Make it very specific. Don’t confuse your audience with too many CTAs. A strong call to action is very specific, easy to understand, and leads to immediate action.
Another important thing to do is to add CTA buttons. So instead of having a CTA that says “go to our website to register” or a link that reads “click here to register”, use a button with text written on it.
There are two reasons why you should choose buttons. One is that people are wary of clicking on links. The second reason is that a button is a much clearer and accepted way of navigating. There is no confusion that you must click on a button to progress.
The subject line is the hero
Out of hundreds of emails in my inbox, I’ll click on the one whose subject catches my attention. Your subject line and your profile picture are the first few things that will catch my attention. Use your subject as a hook to lure your readers into opening the email. Keep it short but effective. Open a loop of curiosity and allow readers to close the loop only after they open the email.
Keep the mail copy engaging
The rest of your copy is as important as your subject line. Remember your reader’s attention span is very low. They might be in the middle of the first sentence of your copy and a Whatsapp message pops up and they are gone. Your copy (words and images) should quickly convey what the email is about. Keep the words simple and engage the reader from the start.
Use a conversational tone throughout your email. Make use of emojis if your email has a fun vibe to it. Make use of different appeals like appeal to emotions, fear, urgency, scarcity, etc.
Your copy should have a good balance of text and images and it should also have a nice flow that leads to the call to action. Pay attention to colors as well. Your text should be legible and accord with your theme colors.
Personalize the Email
You don’t get a chance to personalize a TV commercial, social media ad, or print ad, but you do get a chance to personalize an email and make it more appealing to readers. Something as simple as “Hey, Danny” is enough to make it sound as if it is addressed to them and them only. Using copy that is relatable to the audience will also help.
Don’t rely on templates
Templates are a good place to start if you are not yet sure about what works and what doesn’t. However, don’t rely too much on templates. Put yourself in the shoes of your readers. Imagine receiving 10 emails that look more or less the same. Honestly, I’d be too bored and wouldn’t want to read any of them. If you are aiming to draw your audience into reading your whole email, using a template all the time won’t work. Try to bring some uniqueness to your email. Make it as exciting and fun as possible. You don’t have to stick to the boundaries, think outside of the box and create an email that your audience will actually read.
Creating a brand new layout for each email you send can be tormenting for your copywriters and designers. In that case, you can create templates that are not “free” and solely belong to your brand. Use it with little changes here and there wherever you need them. Refresh your templates every few months to avoid too much repetition.
Test if your emails are doing well
So if you have been anticipating a sweet dessert, here you have it – the A/B testing method. It is a simple method to figure out which type of email works best for you.
In this testing method, you can send 2 different emails to two different sets of subscribers and analyze which one works better.
Start with an objective. For example, you want to test which subject line gives you more clicks. So to test this, you can simply change the subject line of the second email and keep the rest as it is. Then it is a simple comparison of the data. Similarly, you can test a lot of other email marketing performance metrics.
Alright, let's wrap things up now. We saw how effective email marketing is, and that the rumor of it being dead is false. We also covered when to use email marketing and how you can create your own address lists to send emails to. Creating an email for an upcoming event is not very difficult if you follow the guidelines. Just pay attention to your CTAs, colors, layout, and the copy. Make sure to understand your audience before you start creating emails. You might have some genius inventive ideas for the email but think about your audience and what they would like to listen to. Help your copywriters understand your audience and share the results of A/B testing with them to help them improve. Email marketing is very efficient if you do it correctly and I hope, armed with the best practices we have shared here, your next email marketing campaign for upcoming events will give you plenty of sign-ups and great returns on your investment.