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How can event marketers take full advantage of mobile and automation?

events-full-room

For many event marketers, email has become one of the most important channels of communication. From sending sign up confirmation emails, the ever-important updates helping participants make the most of their time during the event, to the “thank you for coming” email, the focus is to keep people engaged up to and around an event. But what happens after the event? How do you successfully cut through the clutter, differentiate your emails and keep people interested?

Exploring mobile marketing beyond email

In September 2016, the mobile email opens reached a high of 53.3 percent in our database, with other studies from the industry reporting similar numbers. As event registrants are likely to be using mobile devices while attending an event, optimising their experience is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. And marketing executives are realising this.

In one of our recent case studies, Media10 used Adestra’s Email Editor to significantly reduce the time it took to create emails, which enabled them to send live updates to participants on site. The results revealed that the email sent shortly after the start of the event had an impressive 25 percent open rate and 48 percent of that audience was engaged on a mobile device.

Worryingly, our report The State of Digital Personalisation in 2016 shows that mobile is not considered very high in terms of personalisation opportunities. In the future, this is something that could change, particularly for post event emails. So, when you plan your post-event engagement strategy, why not make use of mobile to its full potential?

personalisation-opportunity-by-channel

One way to do that is by implementing SMS. As Ryan Phelan recently discussed, customers might be reluctant to reveal their mobile numbers as they believe the channel might be rather intrusive, but event marketers are in a different position.

Including SMS in your post event communication could be beneficial, if exercised with caution. Why are event marketers in a different position? Because attendees have recently interacted with your brand, they’re aware of your values and have hopefully had a good experience. You have built an offline relationship as well and have managed to gain their trust, so as a result they should feel more comfortable with receiving SMS. This would be an interesting avenue to explore, particularly when thinking of raising awareness for your next event – by sending reminders or potential discounts, for example.

Automation needs to be personalised

The 2016 Email Marketing Industry Census found that automation is still one of the focus areas for marketers. With considerably higher open rates and time saving opportunities, it’s undeniable that it can be a great tool for all marketers . That same study revealed that the only other area to increase from 2015 to 2016 by five percentage points was personalisation. This is no coincidence.

Email Focus in 2016

A recent report from Forrester, Vendor Landscape: European Marketing Automation Vendors, pointed out that automated programs in Europe are incredibly versatile, as it is paramount they comply with intricate data security regulations and longer sales cycles. There are many case studies which prove that the more targeted and personalised the program is the better results it can deliver.

This is essential for your post-event emails if you want them to stand out, as it is no longer enough to simply send a ‘Thank you’ email. Here is what you need to do:

  • Personalise the message and send them information that relates to their experience
  • Segment your data based on the interaction you have just had with them
  • Use the knowledge you have – their areas of interests, concerns and challenges
  • Give them further insight to establish brand affinity

Keeping people interested and engaged after an event is one of the main challenges that event marketers have, while also being one of the most important. Next time you’re planning your post-event emails, here are some tips that might help:

  • Mobile optimised emails are crucial to post-event communications.
  • Use SMS, as the recently developed relationship may result in attendees feeling it is no longer an intrusive manner of communication.
  • Behavioural triggered messages in the events industry have better open rates than standard emails.
  • Personalising your automation and segmenting as much as possible will make a difference.