It seems obvious that an event marketer should use email to promote a virtual event. It’s an online platform, you can include links to your event ticket page, and it’s relatively inexpensive. But emails are not always an effective marketing tool for the very reasons just stated. EVERYONE uses email to promote their products. Seriously, have you looked at your Gmail Promotions inbox? I bet it is stuffed full of “Buy Now”, “Today Only”, and “Limited Offer” subject lines. How many of those emails do you bother to open? Not many, right?
What is an Email Drip Campaign?
These days, email marketing necessitates a well-thought-out strategy and a delicate touch to be effective. The most successful email marketing campaigns use a drip approach, which is a communication strategy that sends (or drips) a strategic set of messages to customers or prospects over a period of time. These messages are a progression of information that leads a prospect from awareness to conversion.
Strategy for a Drip Campaign
The steps to create and deploy an email campaign are:
- Identify the campaign goal. Understanding your goal is important so that you create content that will lead the prospect where you want them to go.
- Determine who will receive the emails. Will it be your past customers, cold leads, hot prospects, social media followers, a purchased email list, or a combination?
- Determine your key messages. What do you need to communicate with your receivers? What benefits and the content will drive them to purchase a ticket? A simple list of email messages for a virtual event could be Save the Date, Early Bird Ticket Discount, Official Invitation, Announcement of Speakers and Sponsors, 3 Days Before Event Prep email, and See You Tomorrow Reminder. We’ve included a couple of templates for you below.
- Using your list of key messages and your timeline, decide how many emails your drip campaign will have and when they will be sent. A best practice is 5 to 7 emails over 3 to 4 months.
- Create your email content. This is not just the emails but also the useful and impactful content linked in the emails. This could include speaker videos, downloadable infographics or checklists, blog posts, or social media posts. Remember, the content should inspire action. Also, make sure that each email is personalized to the receiver.
- Pivot the campaign plan depending on each prospect’s behavior. For example, take prospects out of the campaign after two emails go unopened and try a different marketing method. Once prospects purchase a ticket, place them in a separate attendee email drip campaign starting with a thank you email.
- Harvest the data you collect. The behavior your prospects exhibit when they receive each email is critical information. Note the open rate and click-through rate for each email. Take stock of what content was downloaded or viewed. Check to see where in the campaign the most tickets were purchased. Keep all of this data handy for your next drip campaign.
To help you get started, here are a few templates to use in your drip campaign. Just add your event details where indicated and press send!
Announcement of Speakers and Sponsors/Agenda
Subject: Here’s an Exciting Announcement for You
Are you as excited about EVENT NAME on DATE as we are? Well, we are about to amp the anticipation up even more with this announcement. Drum roll, please!
The keynote speaker is NAME
SESSION INFORMATION, DATE and TIME
BIO AND PHOTO or VIDEO
To give you a little taste of the keynote address, here’s a sneak peek.
LINK to DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT
If that’s not enough, the complete agenda and speaker line-up can be viewed at LINK. Highlights include:
SPEAKER NAME and SESSION INFORMATION and PHOTO
SPEAKER NAME and SESSION INFORMATION and PHOTO
Tickets are going fast so if you haven’t snagged yours yet, get moving!
REGISTER NOW link or button
3 Days Before Event Prep email
Subject: It’s Almost Here!
EVENT NAME is only three days away and we are working hard to make sure that your experience is extraordinary. To that end, here are some tips for you to consider as you prepare to attend.
We are looking forward to virtually seeing you in three days! Get ready to be inspired (or get ready to learn or get ready to network – depending on the goal of the event)!
1 Day Before Event email
Subject: 24 Hours to Go!
We are counting down the hours until the EVENT NAME starts tomorrow. We can’t wait to see you.
Just in case you need it, here’s the link to our virtual event platform.
Don’t forget the first session starts at TIME and the complete agenda can be found here (LINK).
Lastly, if you find you can’t make it or have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at EMAIL.
The countdown is on! We’ll see you soon.
We hope these strategies and templates will help you sell more tickets for your next online event. As we move into the virtual future, online marketing noise will get even louder. These strategies will set you apart from the crowd.