The hall lights begin to dim as tables are folded away, banners are rolled back up and leftover business cards are slipped back inside pockets. The event is over but your post-event marketing has just begun.
After all, you and your team spent time generating awareness and interest before the event and certainly worked hard during it – so why would your post-event marketing be any different? To turn prospective event leads into customers, your strategy must be well thought out and effective. The scheduling of your follow-up email communications is really crucial: overdo it, you risk scaring them off. Play it too cool, you’re forgotten and the hot lead turns into ice.
Previously we have written about the ABC of email marketing which stands for “Always Be Connecting”. It highlights the tremendous value in maintaining a strong and steady connection with a prospect without applying too much pressure. Email marketing is still the most widely and effectively used marketing technique for generating business – reportedly 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than social media.
To effectively apply the ABCs of email marketing to your post-event strategy, we’ve come up with five handy tips to help you achieve this.
1. USE AN EMAIL MARKETING FUNNEL
A good way to maintain a timely and effective connection with a lead is to implement a marketing funnel. A marketing funnel is typically described as a model set up to guide leads through various stages of a journey designed to result in the purchase of a product or service. In email marketing, the funnel might look like this.
This is a good example of how to engage, capture, nurture and convert a lead after an event through engaging email communications. This is absolutely the best way to ensure you maintain and nurture your leads until you pass the lead over to the sales team.
2. USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO HELP YOUR EMAIL MARKETING BECOME MORE PERSONAL
According to NewsCred, 87% of B2B marketers are using social media when it comes to professional communications. This means marketing teams have access to a wealth of information before their initial follow-up with a lead. But how does this affect your email marketing?
Well, for starters you’ll be surprised how many companies still don’t check the quality of their mailing lists before they press send. This results in emails being sent with missing or incorrect contact information – nothing shouts out hackneyed campaign management quicker them “Hello, [insert name]”!
If you connect with your leads on social media first, not only can you confirm their contact information but your funnel will become more effective. This is because your follow-up emails are more likely to be opened if the recipient recognises your name or company after you previously connected – thus advancing them through the next stage of the funnel.
3. BE READY TO FOLLOW UP
All event follow-up emails should occur within a maximum timeframe of 3-4 days of your event. That means you should have your emails designed and ready to be sent before the event has even started. This ensures there are no delays and you don’t get forgotten by your leads.
Poor planning results in poor emails. You can expect your leads will be receiving a number of follow-up emails after the event, so a good subject line and engaging copy is essential. Having your emails prepared along with inviting your lead to connect on social media will help ensure you stand out from the crowd.
4. KNOW IF YOUR LEAD IS HOT OR COLD
You might find yourself with two sets of mailing lists after the event has finished. The first set could be the event database, which is the list of email addresses belonging to everyone that attended the event, or perhaps a list of exhibitors. These will be your coldest leads as not everyone on that list will have had the chance to speak to you or see your event stand, which means that you need to include an engaging recap of your product or service in your email.
The other mailing list could consist of the leads that you interacted with at the event who possibly gave you their business card and/or email address directly (perhaps by entering a competition). These leads are the people you got excited and are interested in you – but that doesn’t mean they are ready for a sales call just yet! They will need to be entered into your email funnel, but here you should design a more personalised email for these leads. You might open with something like “Hey, it was great to speak to you at the event on Monday”. This makes the approach seem more personal, and will enforce the sense of familiarity and help advance the lead through the funnel.
5. DO YOUR EMAILS CONTAIN VALUABLE CONTENT?
When sending out your emails, ask yourself: is there anything in this communication that gives the recipient something of use?
Following up via email provides you with the opportunity to offer your lead some really valuable content. This is a fantastic way to demonstrate the power of your product or reinforce yourself as a thought leader in the industry. Good content could range from videos, high-value download guides and links to some really thought-provoking blogs.
So if your event has just finished or you’re in the process of planning for your next one, implement the ABC of email to make the most of your post-event marketing. A well-established marketing funnel with the right email content will help ensure you achieve a more successful conversion rate of leads to sales. For more effective tips please read Identity’s Guide to Organising an Event: Post-Show Marketing or contact us now to discuss your next event.