This three-step plan will help establish a solid foundation for marketing your events.
As much as you may think emails are a dated form of marketing, they still hold a massive amount of power in promoting your events. In fact, for every $1 you spend on email marketing you can expect a return of $32.
We’ve personally seen great results with email marketing. We take great care to design meaningful messaging and send them to the right people at the right time to maximize the impact and results. When you begin an email marketing campaign you will need to outline some basic criteria to ensure it runs smoothly and is effective:
- Identify what you are trying to say
- Define why you are saying it
- Make sure there is a call to action
- Align your messaging and design to your goal
First, identify what it is you need to say. If you are promoting an upcoming event then the details about that event should be clear and easy to find. After that, a call to action is needed so your audience knows what they are expected to do – like registering to your event. Link your reader directly to your registration page (this can be a button in an eye-catching color). You now have a skeleton of engaging copy and a CTA button, let’s put some meat on those bones to really wow your reader.
Sure you could stop here and send out a plain text email with a gentle reminder about your event, but by using a little color, imagery, and styling you can direct your recipients’ eyes to the most valuable content.
When designing your email be sure to include your brand’s colors and fonts, this will provide consistency and build continuity resulting in higher trust and better results. Take a look at others in your industry, competition, and partners to see what their messaging looks like and adopt stylings you feel would benefit your campaign.
It’s almost time to launch your campaign. But before you can hit send we need to make sure it’s going to the right inboxes.
This is where segmentation comes in. Segmentation is when you split up your recipient list into groups of people based on similar characteristics or behavior like interest level, size of team, length of partnership, or relevance. Having lists that are well segmented will prove to be incredibly effective in your email campaigns. We advise that you tailor your messaging to each of these lists accordingly. If you have a list of recipients that are highly engaged with your events then you can be more casual with your wording. If you have a list of recipients that are ‘cold’ then you should rework that email to target their needs directly.
With your tailored emails and segmented lists established you can now move forward with executing your email campaign. Great job!
If you feel like a challenge, go the extra mile with automation and workflows. This is where some magic happens to make your life so, SO much easier. Email automation lets you create a series of emails that are sent out to segmented lists in predetermined time frames and/or based on behavioral triggers. Sounds sweet, right? It is.
There are a number of businesses out there that offer automation. Some we’ve liked using are:
Although our platform doesn’t offer full email automation, we do have templates and custom segmented lists within your Dashboard. Making it easier to craft a message that works. EventConnect has also automated certain marketing emails on your behalf to help increase performance and experience. This service includes a reminder system that sends out behavior-based messaging depending on a user’s interactions. So, for example, if a hotel block cutoff is approaching and a team has a low rate of reservations, our system automatically sends out a reminder email encouraging them to book rooms. It may sound like a simple fix but this automation has proven to be incredibly efficient and boasts a high booking rate amongst all sport types.
This is one of the largest arenas for you to market your business. Of the 4.1Billion internet users in the world over 3.2Billion are active social media users, 2.9Billion of which are mobile social media users. That’s roughly a third of the Earth’s population using and viewing social media.
It’s not too late if you haven’t already jumped on the viral bandwagon. But it’s very important to create on online social presence. It’s so important, we’ve dedicated an entire article to how you can leverage social media to market your events.
Easily the most important piece in proper online marketing is having an all-in-one integrated website for your audience to visit. Having a social media strategy without a website is like owning a car but never buying gas. Eventually, you’re going to run dry and slow to a stop. Your website doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to be accessible, up to date and easy to navigate. There are different routes you can take to achieve this goal which we will begin to cover below.
Before looking at what your website looks like, let’s first determine its purpose. You don’t want your website to be an online archive of all the possible information you have to share. It should be focused and precise. You should carefully consider all forms of content you produce, details about who your organization is and what you do, and ways to contact you. Don’t make your visitors search for the most important information. Be clear and upfront. Use visual elements to supplement your message and guide your users where you want them to go. Include photos of events and locations, participants, graphics, and any other visual cues that will show visitors what you’re about. Research websites you enjoy and take note of elements to include on your own page.
At this point you have a few options:
- Hire a developer to professionally build your site for you (recommended)
- Purchase a WordPress domain and customize a website theme yourself
- Use an online web-editor like Wix.com or Squarespace
Depending on your budget it may be more feasible to build your site yourself but do be warned that it can be intimidating even for experienced web developers. Companies like WordPress and Wix have built easy to use templates where you can essentially ‘plug & play’ but they are limited in functionality and can be cumbersome to maintain.
Hiring a professional web developer will produce the best result. They will be able to create exactly what you require and also lend their knowledge on user experience to give you a wonderful end product you’ll be quick to show off. This is a more costly option but will bring the greatest return for your organization.
Once your site is developed you can work towards integrating your social media and email materials into it. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram all have fantastic widgets that are easy to install onto your site creating a hub of information. EventConnect also has widgets to integrate for easy registration and accommodations or updated schedules and scores.
All Together Now
You’ve made it! The basic building blocks of your marketing campaigns have been built and are ready to be utilized. Your social media accounts will handle ground level inquiries and push content to a broad collection of users. Your email campaigns will target segmented lists with highly refined information at the perfect time. Your website is going to be a headquarters for all things relating to your organization where visitors will be able to fully interact with your brand.
Stay tuned for part 2 where we dive deep into strategy and show you how to get the most out of all these tools we just created.