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Email Marketing and Making a Good First Impression

Subject lines are key in email marketing.  They determine whether a contact reads your message or not.

In October 2011, I posted a blog about understanding Email Marketing & Designing the Right Message for your Members.  This blog post focused on understanding which browser or device (desktop computer, tablet, smart phone, etc.) the recipient uses to view your message.

Along the same lines, your subject title deserves planning.  Consider the following:

LENGTH: Some research suggests keeping subject line to no more than 50 characters for desktop users, and less than 30 characters for people using mobile devices.

Because it can be difficult to determine how your messages are read (unless you survey those receiving your content), we would recommend aiming for the middle (between 35-45 characters maximum).  Within that short space, you need to deliver a subject line with impact, so that people see potential value in the content and want to open your email to view the rest of the information/offer.

PROMINENCE:  Because your subject line could get cut off, put your most important information first.  Instead of “XYZ Association’s National Conference Registration Now Open” try “Register Now - XYZ Association National Conference”.         

PRECISION:  Vague messages are less likely to be opened than those with a specific topic (e.g. Your Information Request).   Be careful about static email subject lines, as they may get overlooked over time.  For instance, our newsletter is titled “Greenfield Insights”, and it appears on our website as such, however when sending it out via email our subject line focuses on the topic of the email first. Examples are:
BUILD TRUST: Maintaining trust with your members/subscribers will ensure that they continue to be engaged with your messages, and act on what you have to say.  One way to ensure that you build and maintain trust is to ensure that your subject line coincides with the message your email contains.

TEST-TEST-TEST:  Test your message with different subject lines to see which subject line is more effective.  Always test at least two different approaches.
  • Example 1:  Subject Line A:  XYZ Tradeshow – Registration Now Open
  • Example 2:  Subject Line B:  Five Reasons to Attend XYZ Tradeshow
 If you can, deploy the test first, and then use the most popular subject to deploy the rest of your messages.
Give it a try, your audience may surprise you with more engaged activity!

Event Promotion and Twitter

Twitter is rapidly growing in popularity to engage your potential delegates for your upcoming event. When it comes to event promotion, it’s a great place to:
  • Connect with other marketers and influencers
  • Generate general buzz about your event
  • Create conversations which in turn generate interest in attending your event
Here’s how it works (and some tips to help you along the way):

Create a Twitter Account
Create one for either your organization as a whole, or specific to your event (i.e. you can have a twitter account specifically for your National Conference & Tradeshow).  Do your best to stay away from using your own personal twitter account for this purpose, as those following you on a personal level may be confused about your event posts.

Creating your Twitter account, by including design elements your target market will recognize or will easily relate to.

Create brand recognition by using your organization’s logo, the logo of the event, etc.  You have the ability to customize your background as well – try to keep it consistent with your other branding material, visually appealing but not “cluttered”.  Ensure that when it is found, followers recognize it for what it is.

Create a Hashtag for your event (#eventname)
What is a Hashtag and how do you create one?  Its simple.  It’s a keyword or acronym with a pound sign in front of it.  Anyone can include it in their tweets.  Twitter users can search hashtags and save their search to follow conversations and updates about the event.

When creating a hashtag for your event, keep it simple.  Make it easily identifiable for your followers and short so that tweets can have the hashtag included.

To create one that is unique to your organization, you can research existing hashtags first to ensure it is not already in use, thus, causing confusion when promoting your event.

Ensure you are advertising the event hashtag in all other areas (membership emails, print materials, signage, etc) generate more Twitter chatter.

Encourage Tweets with the use of your Event Hashtag
Using the hashtag will engage members who are attending, and those who are not able to attend your event to be kept up to date on all of the action!
  • Prior to the event:  When there is an update about speakers, sessions, sponsors, etc, tweet about it through your event’s Twitter account, and use the hashtag in the message.    Promote early registration deadlines (i.e #eventname register by Jan 15 and get $200 off conference fee), celebrate goals (#eventname just hit the halfway point for registrations), promote your sponsors (Its official! @sponsorname is hosting the opening reception at #eventname).
  • During the event:  Encourage your delegates to tweet about sessions, start a Q&A by tweeting questions to presenters.  Request your presenters Twitter handles and promote them in the conference materials.  Ask them to tweet about speaking at your event.  Prior to commencing the presentation, encourage speakers to promote their Twitter handle and the event’s, so that questions can be directed. 
  • Have someone monitor tweets with your hashtag and respond in real time at the event.  Though some organizers find this risky, display a feed of the tweets in common areas of your conference (or, if you can, in every session) to encourage users to keep the conversation going.  Yes, some delegates may tweet negative comments or may even diss the speaker.  But this is the ultimate audience feedback system!  Answering a negative tweet will show how you care about member engagement.
  • Remember that those who have not been able to attend will be watching… so give them something to talk about!  Tweet findings, “quotable quotes”, photos of the event.  Those monitoring the chatter will re-tweet, meaning that your event will get more exposure.
  • After the event:  Keep the conversation going!  Ask for feedback, suggestions on future topics, locations, etc.  to be posted with the use of your hashtag.
With over 380 million users, Twitter can be a great tool to help you engage delegates, sponsors, exhibitors and members at large.