Email Marketing Strategy to Promote Events

Promoting events through email marketing is very popular.  And why not?  It allows for a targeted audience to receive event information and provides a simple and immediate way to register for the event (or at least it should).  However, because it’s an ideal tool doesn’t mean a strategy doesn’t need worked out.  Plan your email marketing event promotion schedule and stick with it.

Here is an outline for a typical plan:

  1. Identify the Audience and Segment – Will there be a single invite or multiple invites for subsections of the audience?  For example can you send the invite to “Marketing Professionals”?  Or do you need subsets with different content for “Print Marketing”, “Online Marketing”, and “Social Marketing”?  Do those need broken into “Professional” and “Executive” categories?
  2. Account for Logistics – Your email marketing plan needs to adhere to logistic guidelines.  If registration closes a week before the event, sending a reminder on that day is pointless.
  3. Set a Schedule – A send schedule broken up into segments is critical. Setting a schedule really depends on the event. Is it a large event needing months of lead time?  If so, a save the date invite might be appropriate, followed by an invite a month away from the event, and a “last chance” invite a week before the event.  Is it a webinar?  An invite 2 weeks beforehand might suffice.
  4.  Craft the Email – Get all the content together.  Make sure it holds true to any other marketing materials (mailed invites, ads, etc.)  It  needs to have a clear next step which for event emails that is likely a link to more info or a registration page.
  5. Send the Emails – Follow the send schedule making sure that each audience segment receives the right information at the set time.
  6. Track the Results – You’re not going to have a perfect plan to promote your event through email right off the bat.  Track the results so you can tweak your strategy and implement it for the next event promotion.

This is general and can fluctuate from event to event.  However, it gives a good checklist.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to follow the plan.  You likely will be asked or be tempted to do an “on the fly” email for events, especially if attendance isn’t what the event coordinator hoped it would be.  These requests are invariably made right before the event.  If you’re forced into it, do the best you can but be aware that it’s rare to have an impromptu email sent have it be well received.  Successful event promotion from email happens when the email marketer is prepared, knows why and when they are sending invitations, and refines that strategy for future events.