3 Strategies to Elevate Your Events Through Email Marketing

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Events are a great way to bring communities together in an engaging space. However, whether you’re an association hosting a conference for professionals in the same field or raising money at a fundraising event, it’s important to understand that every event comes with its own set of challenges. One that comes up time and time again is how can we best market each particular event?

With the rise of instant messaging and video calls, some think that email has become a dying mode of communication. However, according to Active Trail’s list of important email marketing statistics, over half of the world’s population still uses email and 99% of consumers check their personal email at least once a day. Email is the top way in which individuals communicate, and can be an extremely effective method to elevate your events and attract more attendees.

You already know that email marketing makes it possible to reach a wide audience in a short amount of time, but there are other ways you can leverage it as well. With the right association management software, your team can take certain steps to increase engagement with members in smart ways. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. Integrating with your CRM.
  2. Keep up relevant year-round communications.
  3. Automate post-event communications. 

There are many benefits of email marketing, and this guide will walk you through the strategies to take advantage of them. Take a step back and review your AMS to see if it has the event management and communication capabilities you’re going to learn about. Let’s get started!

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1. Integrate with your CRM

Your association’s CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) system is also known as your member database. This is the digital location where your staff can manage all of your association members and their information, as well as pull up specific data points when needed. 

To fully utilize your CRM, your association should be using association management tools that can integrate with it, or better yet, one that is native to your CRM. This way, your data is consistent and centralized.

Salesforce stands out as a platform that’s very flexible and adaptable thanks to apps and integrations. An expansive system like this can ensure that your member data, as well as your management processes, are centralized in one location. If you use Salesforce, check out Double the Donation’s top Salesforce partners for managing events.

Your association management software should have event management features as well as email marketing capabilities. On top of that, investing in a platform that provides a single source of truth for your core operations will also help ensure that all your communications go out with accurate information. Additionally, you can segment your members and target your event communications towards specific groups.

For example, you can market your event emails to:

  • Members who have attended previous events. You can send them a specialized message indicating that they can receive an early registration code or another discount for being an active member of your association. People will appreciate this acknowledgment and it will incentivize them to register for future events.
  • Members on the same professional level. Some of your events will focus on helping those in a particular field advance to a higher level. Segment your members and only email those who don’t have a specific certification, or those who you know would want additional networking opportunities.
  • New members. If someone has recently joined your association, it is likely that they don’t know much about the events you host. Create targeted messages towards newer members with more information about your events that older members probably already know. This might include additional background history, testimonials from older members, or videos of past events.

Email marketing is a great way to build relationships with each of your members, so with your communications tool and your CRM working together, you can help foster that relationship. By segmenting your members into different groups and delivering more targeted messages, your members will feel more personally engaged. 

2. Keep up year-round communications

A great way to keep your members interested in your association’s events is to continuously build a relationship with each of them. Don’t just email them announcing when you’ve decided to host an event. Consistently keep your members engaged by expanding your year-round communications.

The best association management software will automate communications in order to maintain interest from members, as well as update them on relevant news and announcements. For instance, your members are more excited about an upcoming event when you’ve worked hard to build that excitement up with “coming soon” emails filled with enticing information. 

Automating certain year-round communications will save your association’s team time from a monotonous task. This way, they can spend more time better planning your events! To learn more about marketing automation, click here.

The mistake to avoid is overloading your members with so many emails that they begin to deem them irrelevant. They won’t appreciate you flooding their inboxes with messages that they don’t care about. What kind of things should your automated year-round emails talk about? Here are some common examples:

  • Association-wide conferences and other events. The most simple way to elevate your events through year-round communications is to consistently let members know about upcoming events. Let them know about upcoming events with enough time for members to register. Remember to clearly write the registration deadline, as well as send reminders as the date comes closer and closer.
  • eCommerce opportunities like branded merchandise. If your association sells merchandise or other materials, let your members know through your emails. To keep up your year-round communication, announce whenever your team launches a new product. This not only increases positive engagement and gives your members a chance to represent your association, but also helps you raise merchandise revenue.
  • Opportunities for learning. A lot of members will join your associations to help them advance in their field. Make sure to send out consistent communications of any learning opportunities that you offer. Whether it is a course to receive a certification or a well-known speaker giving a talk, your members will appreciate the chance.
  • Have a catchy subject line and direct them to your website for additional information. This is something that should be consistent in all of your email communications. Many times people will never read an email or delete it because the subject line doesn’t grab their attention. Make sure yours is short and catchy to pull them in. Once they’ve begun to read your message, you can include details such as how to visit your membership website, connect on social media and any additional information so that members can choose to engage with you further!

Don’t miss out on chances to keep up with your members and risk having those relationships falter. Keep their interest piqued with year-round communications and exciting news.

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3. Automate post-event communications

Even after an event is over, you can still use email marketing to gain extremely useful information. In many cases, your post-event communications are some of the most important. Post-event data can provide insights into how to make future events better, as well as help compile reports for your team to review.

As you know, the best association management software will also have event management and communication capabilities. As soon as your association’s event comes to an end, your AMS should automatically send out messages in order to start the post-event conversation. Segment your members to only target those who actually went to your event.

What kind of emails should your post-event communications include?

  • Post-event surveys. It’s always good to have feedback on your event so you know how you can improve it for the future. Ask questions like which part worked best and which part could be better. Your team can use your event attendees’ answers when planning your next event.
  • Post-event reports. After your event is over, you should send out an email to attendees that recaps the highlights of your event. Talk about what attendees liked and encourage members to post photos and videos on social media. They will appreciate the communication, and it also gives your team a chance to emphasize what your association just accomplished. 
  • Thank you emails. Send an email to the members who attended your event, thanking them for coming. Without them, your event and association wouldn’t be the same, so it’s always good to show your appreciation.

Find management software with automated communication capabilities so that your attendees are able to provide feedback while it’s fresh in their minds. Following up after an event is important, especially for organizations that are membership-based. 

It’s a good idea to keep up active engagement with members and always look for ways to better the member experience, especially at your events. If you need help finding the best management software for your association’s needs, check out Fonteva’s list and reviews of the top event management software.

Planning a successful and engaging event for your association members is always intimidating. From brainstorming event ideas to picking a venue, you can ease your team’s worries about email marketing with these three tips. Good luck!

 

 

Read more:

Boosting Year-Round Engagement for Your Community Center

8 Creative Ideas for Compelling Email Content

10 Converting Email List Sign Up Forms You Should Learn From