I think it’s safe to say that there isn’t much point putting on a great event if nobody turns up. This is where events marketing comes in, helping to get bums on seats and ensuring attendees receive the necessary information. Events marketing strategies involve various channels all with the purpose of converting leads into attendees, where a blended approach is often used to maximise registrations This can be through telemarketing, in-person networking, social media, and email campaigns. Here we focus on email marketing and the role it plays for the events industry in 2023.
Unsurprisingly, the events industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing many event businesses to adapt or risk closure. In-person events simply weren’t possible due to lockdown restrictions and social distancing, which resulted in a rise of virtual events and expos. However, the dark side of virtual events is that less staff who specialise in the operational side of in-person events were required. In the UK, leading to a shocking 126,000 job losses in the events industry.
Fortunately, the events industry as a whole managed to bounce back and in-person events are back on the agenda. What’s more, the digital transformation of the events industry that has occurred over the past couple of years has seen some exciting innovations remain, including digital touchpoints and improved data capture and usage for future events. Email marketing for events has also evolved, with improved automations for registered attendees and incorporation of AI.
Power of Automations
When integrated with automations, email marketing for events allows complete control over which information goes out and when. The most common example of automations would be registration confirmations, event reminders and providing important details such as dress code and timings. There are numerous approaches to automations for events, the simplest of which would be sending a ‘thanks for registering’ or ‘sorry you couldn’t make it’ email once they complete a specific goal, in this case registering or cancelling. Date-based campaigns can also be set up so that contacts who register will receive reminders and updates leading up to the event.
In 2023, automations are a staple of email marketing strategies and the tools available within email marketing platforms allow for potentially complex automations. There are now a staggering number of automation recipes and templates that can be used, supplying digital marketers with plenty of freedom. ActiveCampaign alone has over 900 automation recipes that can be used for a wide range of purposes.
Another common use of automations for email marketing is using engagement scoring. Points can automatically be applied to contacts who complete certain goals and actions, such as clicking a link, visiting a specific page or attending previous events. This allows digital marketers to target specific segments of contacts that have shown lots of interest in the events. Using automations for those already registered means focus can then be applied to creating high quality content for converting leads and getting people signed up.
Partnering Up With AI
Artificial intelligence is rapidly becoming a part of our everyday lives and has affected businesses dramatically over recent years, or even months. AI technology is beginning to reach its potential and transforming the way businesses from all industries operate on a daily basis. The events industry is no exception, with the integration of AI allowing for increased personalisation and smarter marketing strategies. Personalisation is a key concept and something that many of us are naturally attracted to. Seeing advertisements and content that directly relates to you instantly boosts the chances of engagement.
Events businesses can use AI to gather key information on contacts that allows for targeted email campaigns. Their behaviour, past engagements, locations and interests can all potentially be accessed and used to our advantage. As mentioned, personalisation is such a powerful tool and AI makes it much easier. As well as personalisation, AI can help increase the effectiveness of email campaigns by analysing huge amounts of data to provide recommendations on the best subject lines, sending times, frequency and even how contacts may interact with the content.
We’re observing near constant digitalisation in all sectors, with email marketing further solidifying its reputation as an excellent channel for communicating with leads, both for conversions and nurturing. In the events industry, email marketing is a vital tool for getting registrations and informing attendees of important updates. In 2023, this hasn’t changed and in fact only continued to grow. Email marketing is evolving, refusing to shy away from the emergence of artificial intelligence and instead embracing it to increase campaign effectiveness. Automations are still necessary for events and are now seeing even more advanced options for having full control over our email marketing strategies.
Inflowing is a B2B marketing agency. We help B2B organisations do meaningful things with marketing. Whether that’s getting more leads, more visibility, or supporting their sales teams.
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