Tips for Improving Your Audience Acquisition Through Better Emails


By Nicole Bojic, Group Executive, Strategic Solutions Group

We all know that email marketing and your event website are two of the primary workhorses in any audience acquisition strategy. But in a world where people receive hundreds of emails a day, how can you ensure anyone is even noticing your email, let alone opening and reading it? In this article we will cover 8 tips for improving the performance of your audience acquisition email marketing.

8 Tips for Better Email Marketing of Your Event

1. Only Send to Opt-In Emails. Never buy a list!
This isn’t just a best practice, it’s the law in many places. With the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), companies who do business in and market to individuals in the EU must obtain explicit opt-in consent before collecting personal data. But there’s an even better reason for utilizing an opt-in email list. By limiting your outreach to only those individuals who are actually interested in your event, your engagement rates are likely to be higher (due to inherent relevancy) as will efficiency. That means you should never buy a list of emails, which are unqualified at best and completely irrelevant and inaccurate at worst.

2. Personalize, personalize, personalize.
Segment your audience (and your lists) and then map key messages to each audience. For example, if you’re announcing a new product, your email messaging around that product announcement might be more technically oriented for a developer audience and more business objective-oriented for an executive-level audience. Same product announcement, different messaging. On top of that, you can add true personalization, such as the recipient’s name in the greeting and/or the subject line. By targeting and personalizing the content of your emails, you’re more likely to grab the attention of your reader. In fact, according to Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.

3. Plan messaging by attendee status.
Just because a prospect registers for your event doesn’t mean you should stop communicating with them. You’ll want to keep them excited about the event (especially if the event is free) to ensure they attend, but this outreach should happen at a different cadence and with different messages than what you would use with prospects. Create a dual-path email plan and use nurture messaging to drive registrations and engagement messaging to drive excitement and attendance as shown below.

4. Be emotional. And specific.
If you want to capture the attention of your reader, you’ve got to resonate. To resonate, you’ve got to appeal on an emotional level. Segmenting your audience will make it easier to pinpoint what they care about, and then you can leave a curiosity gap or appeal to their emotional triggers (e.g., fear of missing out) to hook them. But you also need to balance all of this with a level of specificity that gets to the point as quickly as possible. This is especially important with your subject lines as that is the first engagement barrier you’ve got to cross. Consider these examples: 1) Hurry! Only 15 Seats Left for ExpCon with Michelle Obama Speaking; or 2) Join Us at ExpCon – Register Now! Which of these two subject lines would capture your attention?

5. Follow the rule of 7.
It’s going to take a lot more than a few emails to convert your prospects to attendees. In fact, multiple marketing research studies have shown that, on average, it takes seven touches before someone will take action on something. And, when messaging doesn’t resonate with a lead, they’re less likely to move along the funnel, which means more touches may be needed. Some research says that it takes 8, 13 or even 20 touches to convert a prospect.

Building a comprehensive communications outreach that incorporates the rule of 7 is a key factor in your success. But the emails must be unique, relevant and compelling. Your customers don’t want to get two save-the-date emails and five registration reminder emails. Your email campaign should tell a story that aligns with your event narrative. The effect on the prospective attendee should be one of an experience that builds and becomes richer with each communication.

6. Invest in design.
The emails you send should have an attractive design that is consistent with your event branding and website to ensure a cohesive experience. They should also be designed to render flawlessly on desktop and mobile, including the range of mobile devices, email clients and their various versions. The best way to achieve this is through responsive email design, but if you’re unable to deliver on this, we recommend focusing on perfecting the default preview widths (about 600 pixels) to ensure the most important content is viewable as desired.

7. Use images.
It’s probably no huge surprise that people prefer pictures over words. And in fact, research shows that images can actually significantly boost your click through rate—as much as 42% higher than emails without images. So, it’s worth it to take time to select relevant, compelling images and integrate them into your email designs. These could be images from last year’s event (to show the overall experience), an infographic (to show a concept), portraits of speakers (to put a face with a name), location and venue shots (to illustrate the environment and create a mood), and so much more.

8. A/B test your subject lines for better open rates.
I introduced A/B testing in my last article on audience acquisition strategy because it’s a great way to optimize your efforts. When A/B testing with email subject lines, you compare two different versions of a subject line within one email campaign to determine which version produces better open rates.

Let’s say you’re offering a special registration rate but are not sure the best way to message the promotional offer. You could offer the lower rate to the first X number of people to register, or you could provide a specific window of time. Testing both options could not only give you valuable information about which option people respond to better in email, but also which promotional offer they prefer. Other things you could test are various types of personalization. You could even compare one subject line that uses emojis and one that doesn’t.

Improve Your Email to Drive Audience Acquisition

Think of your email campaign as a rich story you’re telling prospective attendees as a prelude to your event. You’re providing a peek into what the experience will be with the goal of creating desire. Need help in pulling it all together? InVision has the full-service team to deliver. Read our press release or contact us to learn all about our comprehensive audience acquisition offering.

 

 

How Like the Wallendas Are We New Yorkers

Black-outs, 9/11, blizzards and now Sandy strike our very being every few years. Like the Flying Wallenda Family, we have been hit by unimaginable setbacks and grief, but we endure, we persevere, we come back for another day; first with grace and civility, but ultimately with the raw grit, tenacity and determination that characterize New Yorkers as it did and still does the Wallenda clan.

The machinery of New York has taken a huge blow, but already, within five days of the destruction, subways are coming back to life, tunnels are being emptied of the invading waters, cell service and land lines are being restored, the internet and the systems of electrical commerce, wire transfers and equity trading, is humming again with activity.

Today, as I emerged from the darkness of my home to the darkness of the morning, I saw a glimpse of the nearly full moon in the Western sky and the first glimmers of the sun igniting the Eastern horizon.  The whir of generators indicated that our neighbors were fighting back – fighting to regain control of their environment just as the heavens were overcoming the darkness of night.

The pulse of life is quickening again.  We’re all ascending the wires where we are more comfortable than others would be to get on with the lives we know.

Fred Bailey, Director of Client Services, New York, InVision Communications

DISCOVERED! Support NYCRC!

What the heck is NYCRC??? Funny, you should ask…

New York City Rock Camp (NYCRC), is a certified 501(c) 3 non-profit, mixed genre music camp that focuses on empowering youth and building community through shared musical expression. NYCRC is only made possible thanks to the generosity of its supporters and volunteers. These people consist of local musicians who donate their time to act as instructors for the week or perform for the campers; people in the community who lend their gear and make monetary donations; public and private schools who open their doors and house camp for the week; and local businesses that do anything from host fundraisers to donate raffle items to just help spread the word.

NYCRC’s goal is to bring music experience and education to NYC kids who might not otherwise have the means or opportunity. We support a culture of positive self-esteem and collaboration among all campers, building a community through music. NYCRC recognizes the potential of every young person to be a strong, talented, creative and empowered individual while providing a safe space where ALL KIDS ROCK! In order to do so, we keep tuition low and offer need based scholarships to all campers.

I started volunteering with NYCRC in 2009 and was so moved by the experience that I came on as a Director in 2010 and now work year round to keep NYCRC going strong. This program truly changed my life. The transformations I have seen in our campers and the confidence and empowerment they get from their camp experience is amazing and I am honored to be a part of it. The fact of the matter is there are just so many children out there who can’t afford instrument lessons, do not have access to music education, and are certainly not encouraged to pick up a guitar, microphone, or drum sticks, form their own band, play shows, and express themselves freely, openly and loudly. NYCRC’s goal is to change that!

The money we’re raising goes toward camp expenses such as venue costs, workshop supplies and gear and most importantly to our Adopt-A-Camper Fund which helps insure we never have to turn a camper away because they can’t afford camp.

So, if you are able and interested, please check out our gofundme page (watch our sweet new video) and donate here: http://www.gofundme.com/NYC-Rock-Camp-2012

All donations (big and small) are greatly appreciated and…TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!!!!!

Issa Meyers, NY Office Operations Manager, InVision

IVC News – June 2012

  • IVC New York is taking Team Toast National as they participate in the National Brain Tumor Society Walk on June 16th in NYC.
  • IVC in SF Bay Area also recently united to help raise money by participating in the National Brain Tumor Society Walk on May 5th. The team we support – Team Toast – raised the most money at the event. You can still help us help those find a cure and donate.
  • IVC New York recently produced CoreMedia Systems’ 20th Anniversary celebration, a fund-raiser for Good Tidings Foundation, on Thursday May 24th at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. It’s not too late to donate! Please visit the site for more details.
  • Check out IVC intern Gabby Cowden’s daily blog! Gabby recently spent three weeks here at InVision to learn the ropes and insights of our industry.
  • For the 2nd year in a row, IVC helped support Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Network’s benefit in San Francisco on May 31st. You can help too by clicking here!

DISCOVERED! A Diamond in the Rough

There are lots of gems to be found in Brooklyn, home of the quirky, colorful and creative. This borough loves its festivals in the summer, from free dance parties under the Brooklyn bridge to pop up flea markets, music in the parks and my newest find, Smorgasburg.

Huh?

It’s the Brooklyn Flea Food Market overlooking the East River in Williamsburg. You can catch a ferry from various points in Brooklyn, Queens or Manhattan and arrive at a compendium of New York’s best food vendors. Maple bacon mini cupcakes, Asian tacos, lobster rolls, grass fed beef jerky, you name it! It happens every Saturday. Additional information can be found at http://www.brooklynflea.com/smorgasburg/

Erin Warnock, Account Manager, InVision