There are many ways to send out event notifications: via email, SMS, private messaging apps, and event platforms. And as we embrace event technology as the base of our events, they’re becoming increasingly more important. How we communicate with our attendees matters, so it’s vital to learn what mode of communication they prefer and not be too spammy.
So, what is the best way to deliver email notifications? Is it push notification or a text? Brandt and Will go over several solutions, discussing the pros and cons of which. But as always, what matters the most is that event planners know their stakeholders well. Don’t force anything they do not like or know on them just because it’s the newest event tech trend.
Emails: Overused Event Notifications
Will and Brandt first talk about notifying event attendees via email. While it’s an effective medium of communication, some attendees might feel as if they’re being bombarded. And nobody wants that. “If you send too many emails out, you will annoy those who strive to have zero unread emails in their inbox. But some people might need to get eight emails so they end up opening at least one,” says Brandt.
The matter gets all the more complicated when we consider that most people have more than one email address. How do you keep an inbox organized with all that email? “I’m using a tool called SaneBox, which is an auto-filtering tool,” says Will. “You can set up manual filters for various emails, but mine does that automatically.”
One of the greatest uses of email notifications Brandt has seen is after the event. “You get a trip report to your email. It tells you all the sessions you went to, the contact information of all the speakers, people you’ve connected with on the event app, and which sessions or exhibitors you didn’t go to but are related to your other activities. That’s how you also add value to exhibitors too. That way, you use the analytics of your event to benefit the attendee, not just tracking them for tracking’s sake.”
SMS: Effective Event Notifications
How about SMS as a notification channel? Will says that it’s particularly great for quick, short messages as well as last-minute alerts. “SMS is an old technology that is coming back. There are a lot of software solutions where you can send a mass of text messages and get replies back. However, I don’t think many event platforms are using them.”
“42chat and their event bots communicate almost exclusively through SMS,” replies Brandt. “SMS is such a direct type of communication, so let’s make sure to not turn texts into emails. Don’t take advantage of them.”
Brandt also reminds the listeners that some people don’t use text. “They might have a non-SMS plan, so the texts don’t land anywhere.”
Private Messaging Apps Becoming More Popular
Private messaging apps make for great event notifications and are gaining popularity. Choosing one over the other will depend on which one your audience uses. “There are many softwares that allow people to subscribe to get notifications, almost like email newsletters on WhatsApp. It’s better than a text message, but allows you to keep your inbox tidy,” says Will.
“Start adding every attendee into a gigantic WhatsApp text message group. That way, you don’t need to pay for a fancy event platform. The hardest part is getting people’s attention. When you do announcements, you can use emojis at the top.”
Push Notifications: A Godsend
Push notifications make for a great event notification channel, but they too have caveats. “Not everybody has their notifications turned on. There are people that swipe away every single notification. Some fine-tune their notifications and use focus modes on iOS,” says Brandt. “That’s why it’s a good idea to use multiple channels and know which of those your attendees will use. If your attendees use Instagram, then that’s probably going to be your primary mode of communication.”
A great benefit of push notifications is the ability to send sponsored push notifications,” adds Will. “I think that push notifications as event notifications are a godsend. You can add your own logo or name of the event. You can look at it really quickly and swipe it away. Additionally, push notifications can give you a rich experience. If the event platform is the sole place where attendees go to watch content and interact, then the push notification can take you directly to the part of the event app they’ll be using.”
“Make it worth my while to keep these types of event notifications turned on and not muted. Make it so that when people show up on the event platform, there are already conversations going on there. I should want to subscribe and be notified,” adds Brandt.
Conclusive Thoughts About Event Notifications
In conclusion, when it comes to event notifications, it’s important to understand that it’s a delicate balance. You need to know what’s going to feel spammy and what will truly be useful to your community.
“Add value first,” says Will. “That’s the one thing that’s never going to go out of style, whether it’s SMS, email, or push notifications.”
“You need to look for opportunities to build in reasons to share that information,” adds Brandt. “Those who get an event notification can therefore be in the know. They can tell others they need to subscribe because of some added perk. That way, attendees do your work and heavy lifting.”