Using email correctly before, during and after trade shows is essential to having a successful event.
Now I know some will be thinking – but why should I use email as an exhibitor when there is social media and videos and google?
This post explains why – There are over 3.7 billion email users active worldwide and over 269 billion email are sent each day! Go and read it now for the 8 steps to follow for a successful email strategy.
This post is part of a series of 17 steps to mastering your trade show ROI. If you haven’t already seen in you need to go back to the first post in the series that covers your goals and objectives. While you can take the information in this single post by itself and improve your results - you will have far greater success if you approach it like a mini course and move from one step to the next.
Most email marketers look at open rates and click rates to judge success. However, the messages you send out shouldn’t be only judged on those factors.
The key point is to not view email as an isolated marketing channel. For your objectives, it is an amplification channel. It interacts with all of your other tactics – branding, direct response, social media, offline – to build your brand’s awareness and drive your ideal client to your stand.
Some simple ways to do this is to use a message that says that everyone who registers for the event and visits you on the day will go in a draw held on the last evening of the tradeshow for “X”… a good quality item that your target market will appreciate. To verify this and make sure you don’t just get people registering and not showing up, you would need to tell them they will have to write their name on the draw sheet at your stand.
You can use it to connect with visitors, invite them to a meeting and keep them updated and involved.
With all your preshow emailing there are 2 main “lists” that you want to think about.
Exhibition Registry List:
The first is anyone who has registered that they are going to be at the show. These should be entered into a drip campaign. Start out by sending a summary of the event and what is going on overall – not just in your area, as they are going to be keen to learn about everything at the event.
The next in sequence could be a white paper or e-book about the industry, and you can also include a free trial if your product or service allows that. It’s about building trust and demonstrating that you are always ready to help solve their problems. Whatever you do – don’t try and sell them! And also make sure you limit your emails to one a week unless your industry accepts otherwise. As long as you are keeping them short, relevant and valuable – your subscribers won’t want to unsubscribe.
Make sure all of your emails have links that get them to the landing page. If they happen to forward it on you want to make sure any new people that get it have the opportunity to sign up as well.
Regular Email List:
The second “list” is your main database of clients and prospects. You need to craft two or three emails telling them why you are going to the expo and inviting them to come along. Most companies will be emailing their list on a regular basis anyways whether it's once a month or once a week, and if this is you then just include it in your regular mailing. Often companies don’t even think to say anything about the upcoming tradeshow in these regular emails so make sure you be the “ab-normal”.
We have more to say about using email in the follow-up stage after the show as well. It's the last step in the process so we decided to keep it seperate.
The last point about using email is your signature. You will no doubt be sending out hundreds if not thousands of personal emails during the weeks leading up to the tradeshow. This is the perfect opportunity to change your standard company email signature to include your targeted expo message and link to your registration page.
There you have it - start using email and watch your results explode!