How to get started with Conference Management Software: Part Six – Successful Event Email Marketing

This series has been reviewing how event technology can be employed at various points in the lifecycle of an association’s annual conference. After you have opened online registration and your online trade show sales, you can now start using event technology to drive revenue. In particular, targeted Email communications still remains one of the best ways to get companies and individuals to sign up for your conference.

Event technology can help you communicate with potential attendees in a number of different ways:

  • Scheduled Email Campaigns. Great event management software will let you plan out your marketing campaigns in advance through prescheduled Email blasts, set days or event months in advance.

  • Smart Conditions. You should be able to set conditions for who should received an Email blast. In particular, you do not want to harass those who are already registered for your event. Being able to set a condition such as “Not Already Registered” will solve that problem.

  • Spam Free. It is mandated by law (the federal CAN-SPAM act) that people can opt out of your Email lists. All blast messages should have an easy to find and use “Unsubscribe” link.

  • Upload lists. You should be able to upload lists of people you wish to contact about your event. These lists should have been obtained using CAN-SPAM guidelines, of course.

  • Historic lists. It is also crucial that the event management software let you send Email blasts to past attendees. If your event management software has been used previously, the online registration platform should have the list of past registrants ready to use in your campaign. After all, the most likely people to go to your event are those who have attended before.

  • Target Your Lists. There are many ways to improve the efficiency of your Email campaigns by mining your past registration data. As the linked article attests, your event management software should give you many ways to easily access and act on crucial potential attendee segments.

  • Auto De-duping. If you have uploaded many lists into the software, it is likely that an Email appears more than once. Once more, you do not want to harass people. Your system should automatically note who has already received an Email message and not send it over again to that person.

  • Track Everything. Metrics are the key to the success of your campaigns. A quality event management system will let you view your campaign results in aggregate or down to an individual level. Key metrics include open rates, click-thrus, and actual registrations. Even better is if the system can report bounce-backs and bad Emails.

  • Easy to register. Ultimately your goal is to get people to register. Hopefully your online registration software will make the process straight-forward while also preserving your brand identity.

Many of these same principles apply to signing up exhibitors and sponsors. While sponsors will probably need a more personal touch, your best source for exhibitors will be from your previous trade shows. High quality exhibitor management software will make it easy to access past exhibitor lists for your Email campaigns. Of course, your end goal is for the potential exhibitor to buy a booth, so you want to have attractive and user friendly trade show software to make the purchasing process easy.