Tips for building your Event Email Strategy

In the last two weeks I’ve attended seven different events, covering a really wide range of topics, from venture capital, advertising, to audio visual technology. It was interesting to compare how they were communicating with the attendees before, after & during the event – ranging from almost non-existent through to incredibly engaging. Here’s a quick peek at what they were doing & some tips on what you should & shouldn’t be doing with your event communication.

I registered online for all the events, and they all sent me a confirmation/e-ticket. Only three of them sent me anything after that though. The first sent me a thank you email after the event. The second sent me an email at the end of the first day, saying “sorry we missed you at the event” – Despite the fact that I’d been at the event, had been electronically registered at the counter, and had my badge scanned on entry? That was a bit weird. No thank you email though.

The third was playing in a completely different league. Here’s the summary of the emails they sent me:

  1. Day one: Registration e-mail , detailing basic information, social media channels for discussion and the event hashtag
  2. Two weeks prior to the event: Event instructions, directions & tips for making the most of the event
  3. One day prior to the event: Details of sponsored cab ride to the event (more on this later)
  4. Immediately after the event: Thank you email, link to a survey and details of informal event after party
  5. Three days after the event: Event photos, videos, recap of keynotes
  6. Six days after the event: Moderated message from one of the sponsors with an invitation to the sponsors own event

All the emails had (mostly) non-promotional, useful and relevant information. They weren’t so frequent that they were annoying, and because they were relevant I was happy to read them. A really good example of a well thought out, and executed event email strategy. There was a little extra work in making sure that they took photos, videos and the actual design of the emails themselves, but it was far more impactful than any of the other events.

A timely and professional email campaign can have a huge impact on how your event is perceived, and on the overall volume of conversion you enjoy. It’s worth putting in the effort in advance & I’d strongly recommend this approach if you’re planning an event. I promised you some do’s & don’ts so here goes:

Don’t:

  • Assume that event email marketing means just sending a welcome & thank you email
  • Send the wrong emails to the wrong people
  • Have too many specific emails designed for specific groups of people
  • Spam attendees with rubbish

Do:

  • Send as much relevant & useful information as possible
  • Include a prominent hashtag
  • Prepare your emails and formats in advance
  • Send helpful/interesting emails during the event (especially if it’s multi-day)
  • Capture event feedback via email