Tips and Trends

Five Elements of Effective Pre-Show Marketing Emails

Thursday, October 03, 2019


Every day our inboxes are filled with emails – event promotions, webinar invites, newsletters, coupons, daily deals, password resets, and more. It's a lot to sift through, let alone open.

Now put yourself in a trade show attendee’s shoes. They’re bombarded with emails to both their personal addresses and work accounts, dramatically increasing the chances those emails are ignored – or worse, deleted.

The key to getting emails read instead of passed over is to apply these five highly effective elements.

1. A brief subject line
According to data from Marketo, a marketing automation platform provider, 41 characters – or seven words – is the sweet spot foremail subject line length. BTW, this is about ten characters less than the current average subject line length.

The majority of recipients glance at emails on a mobile device, where wordy subject lines are cut-off. A brief, fully readable subject line facilitates scanning and enables recipients to zoom in on relevant and intriguing messages.

Carefully chosen words in subject lines that tap into the fear of missing out (FOMO) are especially effective for trade show and event marketers. For example:

  • Last chance to join your peers
  • 30 seats remain
  • Register now before the price increases

2. Personalized elements
Adding personalized elements boosts the likelihood that your emails will be opened and read. Plus, the recipients often feel as though the email you’re sending was created just for them.

One easy way to incorporate personalization is to include the recipient’s first name. Campaign Monitor, an email marketing platform provider, found emails with personalized subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be opened.

Another simple way to add a touch of personalization is to have a specific person’s name in the “from” field – instead of a company name.

3. Scannable content
Just like lengthy subject lines, dense body copy text blocks are unappealing.

Litmus, a web-based email provider, has studied the time people spend reading emails and concluded that the average time is just over 11 seconds. As you can imagine, it’s a huge turnoff for a recipient when they open a pre-event email and see a big block of copy that will take minutes to read.

Instead, opt for short paragraphs and bullet points. These approaches promote readability and are effective in calling attention to important details like event dates, times, and locations.

4. Eye-catching design
Pre-event emails will likely be the first experience recipients have with your event campaign.

Create consistency by aligning your overall email design, header, fonts, style – and even copy tone with the design of your exhibit and/or other marketing materials. This will strengthen brand awareness, making it easier for recipients to connect the dots and recognize your exhibit on the show floor.

5.Visible and prominent call-to-action
In addition to the effective email elements above, pre-event emails need to include a prominent call-to-action (CTA).

This might sound obvious but think carefully – what are the next steps you’d like recipients to take? Sample pre-event email CTAs include:

  • Meet us at our booth
  • Register now for a demo
  • Learn more about our new product
  • Save my seat at the event

Depending on the goal and content of the email, you might have more than one CTA. If that’s the case, place the most important next step above the “fold” –meaning high enough in your layout that recipients don’t have to scroll to see it.

While these aren’t the only components of highly-effective pre-event marketing emails, applying the tactics on this list will increase the likelihood that your emails will be seen and opened.

Tell us how you’ve increased the effectiveness of your pre-event marketing emails.

 

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