Reflecting on 2016: Driving crowds to events with email marketing
With an increasing pressure to improve performance and adopt the latest innovations in tech despite shrinking budgets, benchmarking your results against your peers is an easy task to push aside. We’ve all been there; we know that there are only so many hours in a day. That’s why we started the ‘Reflecting on 2016’ series. So far, we’ve looked at successful email campaigns in the Retail and Travel & Leisure sectors, with Events up next!
We’ve said it time and time again: the only way to find out what really works for your audience is to test. And that’s exactly what River Street Events did. Coupled with a suite of new mobile responsive templates and streamlining data processes to increase efficiency and allow greater segmentation and targeting, this led to fantastic results. What did it test? Areas of focus included:
- Day of send testing to improve open rates
- Subject line testing to improve open rates
- Video content to improve click rates
- Heat map analysis to improve click rates
- Ticket offer: landing page vs booking page to improve conversion
Looking at the results overall, both open and click-through rates improved across the shows compared to the same period the year before. In particular, BBC Good Food Scotland saw a 16 percent increase in open rates and a 23 percent increase in click-through rates. Not only that but River Street Events identified what type of communications appeal the most to its audience and when it’s best to send them. The commercial impact of this is significant as every click is estimated to be worth on average £6.29 in ticket sales.
Wyevale Garden Centres might not be an events company, but when it comes to the email promoting its Halloween event, marketers can learn a thing or two. Going completely against the company’s general template, Wyevale went with an animated children’s illustration showing ‘little monsters’.
It segmented its audience carefully to include those subscribers who had expressed an interest in this type of event and those who had previously clicked on children’s products. With a target of 57 percent of total ticket sales, the pressure on this campaign was intense. How did Wyevale do? It surpassed its goal, selling 60 percent of total tickets.
The event industry involves working in a fast-paced environment, which is why an efficient use of time is critical. With the 2016 Email Census showing that marketers spend too long on creative and not enough on strategy, Ecobuild (a UBM company) decided to take a different approach to its email design. It started using a modular template which could be used to communicate to both visitors and exhibitors before and after the event, with simple adjustments for messaging.
This approach allowed it to reduce campaign creation time to an average of 30 minutes and has encouraged it to spend more time on targeted campaigns and content tailored to key segments.
Another event example from outside the industry comes from Historic England. While the public body focuses more on historic places and culture, there is definitely something we can learn from the way it managed and promoted this event. It put together a photography exhibition called I am London to showcase interesting Londoners and places they find significant in the city.
Historic England turned to email to find the final portrait and story for the exhibition. By using crowdsourcing, it generated more interest from the audience for the event, which was proven by the fact that 66 percent of the clicks went to the ‘Plan your visit’ call-to-action.
Clerkenwell Design Week’s emails have been historically designed by Media 10’s in-house studio team. But that made them time-intensive and limited the information that could be included in them. To address this issue, Media 10 adopted a modular template created for Adestra’s Email Editor.
This not only allowed non-HTML experienced users to create and send emails, but it allowed it to do so live from the event. Now the company can include updates on what attendees can expect on the day and send reminders about key speakers and presentations soon before they start.
Which tactic are you going to take back to your team?