My last blog entry discussed my experiences on the receiving end of post-conference email campaigns. Sales 2.0 sponsors used the conference attendee list to try to engage with conference participants.
Common Email Marketing Mistakes
- Assumption of familiarity
- Links to the vendor's website not included
- Signed up as subscriber
- Pushing an unrelated offer
- Poorly written copy
- URL showing in hyperlinks
I am not talking about "name use" here (though in certain cultures and situations familiar use of given names can be considered inappropriate when no relationship exists). Each of the vendors made several assumptions. First, they assumed that the conference registrant showed up to the conference. Second, they assumed the registrant visited their booth. Third, they assumed the registrant spoke with someone from their company. Three assumptions. Three opportunities for error.
If you are trying to interest a conference attendee in your company and products, why wouldn't you make it insanely easy for the attendee to get to your web site? Vendor emails should always provide a link to their web site. When making statements about their company and/or product, vendors should enrich the email by providing direct links to related content on their web site.
When you use an email from a conference attendee list, do not subscribe the recipient into your automated campaign program. At most, you can justify sending two emails to an individual as a follow-up to the event. Anything beyond that will be perceived as SPAM. Conference list recipients did NOT subscribe to your email marketing campaigns. They should not be treated as if they did.
If you are sending an email to attendees to a conference, make sure the offer in your email ties in to the conference. Don't just push generic white papers, webinars, or other standard content. Develop content related to a popular conference subject to ensure a maximum return on your campaign.
Each email you send can either initiate, renew, or stop persuasive momentum. Poorly written copy in your email is sure to stop any persuasive momentum you may have achieved to that point. Don't give the email recipient a reason to leave you in the dust. Take the time to create interesting, relevant, well-written copy.
Don't show the reader ugly URLs. Take the time to set up a descriptive label and a hidden link to the content. If your inside sales or account teams are sending follow-up emails, either give them well-designed hyperlinks to use in their emails or teach them how to set up their hyperlinks so that the URLs don't show.
Creating Reasons to Click Thru
- Encourage exploration
- Create a relevant offer
- Use the attendee identity
- Develop your relationship
- Take the time to make the email look nice
A conference attendee is still in discovery mode. Use your solicitation opportunity to facilitate your email recipient's exploration of your company and product. Design in multiple links to related content on your web site. This makes it easy for your recipient to start exploring at an entry point of interest to them. Take the time to create descriptive link labels. Don't show the underlying URLs.
Coming out of a conference, you have a perfect reason to create new, relevant content. Offer content related to popular conference topics to your email recipient. Tie that content into value you product can offer. Stimulate post conference interest by continuing to deliver conference-related value.
The conference list should have provided you with enough information about the attendee to establish a basic identity. Don't make the email recipient register to receive more information. Use the latest technologies to carry their identity from the email links to their visits to your web site and downloads of your content. Capture their activities with you to develop a profile of their interest in you.
Email is about personal contact. Write your email content in a personal voice. Sign the email with the name and title of a real person in the company. Send the email with a return address that goes to a real person in case the recipient wants to start a conversation with you.
Every contact counts. Your attention to detail in the look and feel of the email (as well as the content) magnifies the recipient's impression of your company. Sloppy, poorly written email is an instant turn-off and says volumes about your company.