Over the last 3 years, we at Event Technologies have sent over 1.25 million pre and post show emails to trade show attendees on behalf of over 1,000 exhibitors. We have learned a lot along the way, especially that sending emails to attendees requires a very different strategy from other email marketing efforts (newsletters, emails to prospects, customer relations, etc.). We did a brief analysis of the top performing emails and the bottom performing emails and here is what we found:
The subject line is arguably the most important part of your email. It will often determine whether or not the recipient opens your email. You can have the best designed email of all time, but if the recipient doesn’t open it they won’t ever see it. What we found was pretty basic, but seemingly extremely important. The emails that mentioned the show name in the subject far outperformed those that did not.
Pre-show: Of the top 50 performing emails (by open rate), 44 of them mentioned the show name. Of the bottom 50 performing emails (by open rate), only 16 of them mentioned the show name. Pre show emails that used the show name in the subject line had an open rate of 24%. Those that didn’t mention the show name had an open rate of 18%.
Post-show: Of the top 50 performing emails (by open rate), 40 of them mentioned the show name. Of the bottom 50 performing emails (by open rate), only 18 of them mentioned the show name. Pre show emails that used the show name in the subject line had an open rate of 30%. Those that didn’t mention the show name had an open rate of 26%.
Once the email is opened, we gauge the success of an email by the click through rate. Emails need a clear call to action and something compelling that will entice the recipient to click through to your site. Here is an analysis of the top 50 performing emails and what they offered.
For pre-show emails, the most successful emails promote an event at the show. Parties, hosted breakfasts, dinners, and live music. There is always a clear call to action (Click Here to RSVP to our Event) so it makes sense that these emails perform so well. Unfortunately, not all companies host large parties at every trade show. If your company is not hosting any special events, we recommend you promote any new content your company has, a free giveaway in your booth, any seminars and presentations your company is involved in and/or a new product launch. Make sure to have a clear call to action – Click here to RSVP, click to register, click to download, etc.
Post show emails need to take a different approach. Because the event is over, exhibitors can’t promote an event. It’s clear that for post show emails content is king. eBooks are popular as are whitepapers, case studies and session recaps. If you don’t have any new content to link to, other ideas that perform well are continuing to promote a giveaway from the show, product launches and showcases, and job postings. Again, make sure to have a clear call to action – click to register, click to download, etc.
In conclusion, when constructing a trade show email make sure to mention the show name in the subject line and promote your most enticing offerings with clear calls to actions. Additionally, mentioning that content in the subject line along with the show name will also help get your message read by the recipients.
If you would like to talk to Kevin Ehlers of Event Technologies regarding email marketing to attendees, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To continue to read the Event Technologies Blog, click here: http://www.event-techs.com/blog/