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If you’re looking for a powerhouse way to engage your customers, generate leads, and build your brand, then hosting a series of killer events is the way to go.

free audience engagement guide

And, a majority of marketers agree. In fact, 83% of B2B marketers are heavily interested in events, and 80% of marketers believe events and event marketing are critical to their company’s success.

80% of marketers believe events and event marketing are critical to their company’s success

It’s with good reason that 31% of marketers believe event marketing is the most effective marketing channel.

 31% of marketers believe event marketing is the most effective marketing channel

In an increasingly digital world, event marketing gives consumers and brands a unique opportunity to meet in person, create real relationships, form personal connections, and get hands-on experience with new services, products, and brand advocates.

When push comes to shove, it’s no secret that event marketing stands out as the way to form permanent and lasting connections with consumers.

While the value of live events are uncontested, when it comes to spreading the word about live events to attract attendees, your brand has several digital options. You have traditional advertising, paid search, organic search, social media, content marketing, and email marketing to promote events at your disposal.

With a limited marketing budget, how do you know the best way to digitally promote your event to attract the most attendees?

I’m glad you asked.

Most event marketers (40%) believe email marketing to promote events is the most effective digital marketing channel.

Email marketing is consistently rated as the most effective digital marketing strategy, with the highest ROI of 4400%, or $44 for every $1 spent. Email marketing is also 40% more effective than either Twitter or Facebook.

When it comes to promoting your event, allocating a majority of your budget to email marketing just makes sense.

It’s also important to note that email marketing is an art and a science. When you follow data-driven best practices, you can rest assured your email marketing strategy will work wonders to promote the perfect event.

Here are some of the top email marketing best practices along with email marketing stats that will ensure you get the most out of email marketing.

Prioritize Personalization in Email and Event Marketing

When you think of email personalization, the first thing that probably comes to mind is including the name in the subject line. While including a subscriber’s name in the subject line is part of email personalization and results in increased open rates of 22%, personalization is so much more.

Delta subject line

Before we delve deep into how to personalize, let’s look at some of the data as to why you want to personalize in the first place.

Top Email Marketing Personalization Stats

Here are some of the top email marketing personalization stats to convince you of the importance of including personalization in your email marketing strategy:

  • Open rates for personalized emails average 18.8% compared to 13.1% without personalization (Statista).
  • 94% of customer insights and marketing professionals said personalization is “extremely important” for meeting email marketing objectives (Conversant Media).
  • 66% of marketers are working toward securing internal resources to execute personalized marketing programs (Conversant Media).
  • Marketers have seen a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns (Campaign Monitor).
  • 50% of companies feel they can increase interaction within email by increasing personalization (Experian).

As you can see, personalization is an integral part of the success of any email marketing campaign. Now let’s talk about best practices for including personalization in your email marketing campaign.

Best Ways To Personalize Your Emails

As mentioned before, personalization goes way beyond personalizing subject lines. Here are some additional ways you can personalize your emails.

Behavioral Personalization

With the help of an email marketing provider and data collection tools, you can easily send personalized emails based on subscriber behavior.

For example, if a customer showed interest in your brand by purchasing products from a past promotion, you can use that data as a trigger to send similar follow-up emails.

You can also use non-action as a behavioral trigger. For example, if a customer signed up for your email list, but has not yet signed up for your subscription service, you can use this as a trigger to send promotions related to sign-up.

Birchbox is a great example of a brand that uses behavioral data to personalize messages to different subscriber groups. In the following email, you’ll notice they send attractive sign-up offers to subscribers who have not signed up yet.

Birchbox email

For subscribers that actively use their services, Birchbox sends different, yet equally relevant, personalized messages.

By using behavioral data, Birchbox keeps emails relevant.

Personalization Based on the Weather

Subscribers across the globe are subject to different climates and weather patterns, and companies that know it have a unique opportunity to send personalized emails based on weather.

Barnes & Noble uses this personalization tactic to appeal to subscribers in various areas. For example, whenever there is a wild snow storm in New York, they send out a promotion that is good enough to encourage New Yorkers to throw on their coats and brave the icy temperatures.

Barnes & Noble email

As an event company, you can use localized weather information to personalize your invitations. Are you hosting an event in sunny California? Consider coaxing subscribers that live in the freezing mid-west with the promise of sunshine, drinks with umbrellas, and a pool.

Personalize your Content

We’ve talked about using a name in the subject of an email, but you can further personalize your content by referring to individual subscribers by name in the content of the email.

Sephora does a great job showing individual subscribers they care about them personally by employing this tactic.

Sephora emailConsider this approach when inviting subscribers to your event, especially if they’ve attended past events with your firm.

Personalize Based on Location

Personalizing based on location is an absolute must for companies planning events. This is especially important if you plan events based on regions.

Are you hosting an event for subscribers in a specific state? Are you hosting an event in the North, South, East, and West regions of the United States? Personalization by location will help you let only your subscribers in those specific regions know about upcoming relevant events.

Fiji Airways personalizes their emails by location and it works wonders for their brand. When they have a deal from a specific city, they notify subscribers that fly from that city, rather than letting their whole entire subscriber base know.

Fiji emailWith this strategy, Fiji Airways sends targeted emails to the right customers at the right time.

Personalize Based on Status

Another personalization win for brands holding events is personalizing based on status. Do you have special events based on reaching certain qualifications, VIP status, or membership to a certain club like a President’s Club?

You can use subscriber data to create profiles for members with different statuses, and then segment your lists to make sure you only send invites to the right members.

Sephora follows this exact plan. They segment lists to send regular offers to regular members, and VIP special promotions to customers who have spent a certain amount of money at Sephora, and thus been promoted to VIP status.

Sephora new email

Sephora VIP email

The ways you can personalize your content are robust and will make the difference between winning over subscribers and annoying them.

Using Automation in Email Marketing

The next part of killing it at email marketing is to utilize automation tools. After all, you don’t want your marketing team to spend their precious time manually completing tasks that can easily be completed by your email marketing provider.

Top Marketing Automation Statistics

Here are stats on marketing automation that will give you extra insight into why it’s important to invest in automation tools:

  • Automated emails generate 320% more revenue than emails that are not automated (Campaign Monitor).
  • Transactional emails have 8X more opens and clicks than other emails and can generate 6X more emails (Experian).
  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases (The Annuitas Group).
  • 78% of marketers say list segmentation is the marketing automation they can’t live without (Gleanster).
  • Customers who receive automated abandoned shopping cart emails are 2.4X more likely to complete a purchase (Experian).

Email marketing automation is one of the top ways to engage your customers and increase your ROI. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can supercharge your email automation processes.

Create Templates For Automation

Setting up email templates for your automated emails may take time in the beginning, but the payoffs are huge in terms of reliability, customer engagement, and overall ROI. Not to mention, when you create a template, you know your email is well-designed, mobile optimized, and that you’re delivering the perfect message to subscribers every time.

You may be wondering what types of emails you can automate. Here is a list of the most common types of emails brands use templates and automation for every time:

Welcome email

Welcome emails are an absolute must for brands. They see 3X the transactions and revenue per email over regular promotional mailings, and real-time welcome emails see 10X the transaction rates. When creating templates for your welcome email, keep your designs simple, your content short, and offer a promotion.

Birchbox welcome email

Curation emails 

Whether it’s your top content, your best selling products, or a review of your most popular events, subscribers love curated content. When you create a template for curated content, you can gather data on your top most interesting info for subscribers, and build a “choose your own” adventure type email that is bound to produce results.

Postable email

Engagement Emails

Creating templates for engagement emails is a surefire win. Customers always want more information, promotions, and links to good deals. You can even create a template, so it’s recognizable as a promotion and change out the images and promotion details depending on the holiday, season, and/or deal.

Kidly email

Loyalty or Rewards Email

You have an active group of loyalty or rewards member, why not take the time to let them know how many points they have? For this, you can easily create an awesome template that keeps subscribers in the loop.

Starbucks email

Referral Emails

Do do you have an awesome referral program? Create a template and send out automated messages to help your customers take advantage. For events, consider sending a referral code with a discount on products and services to help spread the word more quickly.

Ibotta email

Thank You Emails 

Saying thank you goes a long way, and you can plan to say thank you before you even need to by creating an awesome thank you email template. Say thank you when customers make a purchase, sign up for your email list, join an event, reach a milestone, etc. You’ll be glad you said thank you when you see engagement levels skyrocket.

Fitbit email

There are several other types of emails you can create customizable templates for including retention and reactivation, summary emails, reminders, and more.

Set Triggers to Send out Templated Emails

Now that you’ve created a series of templates for various types of emails, you want to make sure they are automated to send at the right time. For this, you need an email provider with top-notch automation tools.

There are a few ways to automate emails, but you’ll never go wrong with setting “triggers” that tell your email automation system to send out an email in real time. For example, when a customer signs up for your email list, you can set a trigger. Then, your email provider will send your “welcome email” template to that new subscriber in real time. This use of real-time automation is how you see the difference in 3x higher transaction rates and 10x higher transaction rates.

For every type of email template you have, you should set up a trigger. Triggers can include when someone purchases a product, other buyer behaviors, when a customer abandons their shopping cart, and more.

Here is a great example of how this works from Dote. When a customer abandons their cart, it acts as a trigger for an automatic message. Dote will then send an email with the product in the cart as a reminder.

Dote email

Segment Your Lists

Segmenting lists is one part personalization, another part automation, and results in delivering relevant content to the right audience. With segmented lists, marketers have seen a 760% increase in revenue, making it an email marketing must.

The best way to segment your lists is to acquire customer data. A few examples are shopping preferences, age, gender, location, and more. Segmenting allows you to create customer profiles based on that information. Once you have collected the necessary information, you can create different lists to send personalized and automated messages to the right subscribers.

Adidas is a great example who uses segmentation to send automated messages to the right audience. As you know, Adidas has a men’s collection and a women’s collection of shoes and apparel. When Adidas releases a new collection, they use lists segmented by gender to send only the men’s collection to males and the women’s collections to females.

adidas email

With this powerful tool, Adidas ensures automated content stays relevant to the right audience.

The power of email automation is clear when you consider 77% of ROI comes from segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns.

Optimize All Emails for Mobile Devices

Another integral part of email marketing is optimizing for mobile devices. By the end of 2018, it’s predicted that worldwide email mobile users will total more than 2.2 billion people. The majority of people use a smartphone to access the web, and if you want your emails to get noticed, they must be optimized for mobile.

Don’t believe it? Here are the numbers to show you how important mobile email marketing is to your overall success:

  • The number of new smartphone subscribers is growing by 20%+ per year (Mary Meeker via TechCrunch).
  • 68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy (Salesforce).
  • Email open rates on mobile grew 68% in 2016 compared to 21% in 2012 (Campaign Monitor).

Today, sending out emails that aren’t optimized for mobile simply isn’t an option.

How to Optimize Emails for Mobile Devices

Optimizing your emails for mobile devices is fairly straightforward. It involves following a quick process and then testing to make sure your email looks good on all devices. Here is what you should do:

  • Use a trusted template – Rather than crafting your own email, consider just using a trusted and proven template from your email provider.
  • Don’t overdo it on images – A smartphone is small and people don’t have time to scroll through image after image. Instead just pick a couple simple images that get your point across.
  • Tone down the copy – Sometimes less is better, and that’s true when people are reading on mobile devices. Pick quality copy over quantity when optimizing for mobile.
  • Use buttons – Draw attention to your call to action by including a link in a button. Button CTAs stand out on mobile devices and will help subscribers easily understand what you want them to do.
  • Use white space – Break up images and texts with some white space. That will make it easier for mobile readers to digest your entire message.

Once you have followed the advice above, test your email across all devices to make sure it looks great. Most email providers will have both a mobile and desktop button you can press to display how your email will look in both versions.

Wrap Up

Event marketing is one of the best ways to engage with your subscribers. However, you need email marketing to make sure everyone on your subscriber list gets the invite. If you follow the best practices listed above, you can rest assured your email marketing and event marketing strategies are up to par.

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Andrea Robbins

Author Andrea Robbins

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