There about as many ways to market your company before and after a trade show, as there are different trade shows each year. But one of the most tried and true methods of getting the word out about your booth, and your company in general, is email marketing. And not only is trade show email marketing a cost-effective approach to reaching your audience, but it’s also a great way to create buzz prior to the event and re-engages leads afterward. However, not all emails are created equal. Here are some tips to keep in mind to make this strategy work for you.
Quality Over Quantity
As with most things in marketing the quality of your emails matters far more than how many you send. In fact, sending too many emails is likely to alienate some prospective customers altogether. Instead, think about the value you can bring to your target audience and how you can bring that value to the forefront in your emails. Consider crafting an invitation to your booth offering prospects either something tangible or of immediate worth when they come by.
If you sell software, for example, your email should focus on the benefits your customers get by using your software – not the specific features it has. Here’s a trade show invitation email sample for that scenario: “Hey Lisa! We’d like to invite you to come by booth #123 at the XYZ show next week. We’ve found a way to help other product managers like you solve <this specific problem>, and want to find out if we can help you do the same.”
Another piece of this puzzle is to be straightforward in your pre trade show email subject line. It’s tempting to get salesy or fancy when coming up with a compelling subject, but oftentimes it pays to be conversational and honest. Something simple like, “Let’s say hi at XYZ show!” or “We’ve got coffee waiting for you next week,” can actually be a refreshing change from the tired sales pitches attendees are used to getting.
Run A/B Tests
Whether you use MailChimp, Infusionsoft, Constant Contact, HubSpot, or something else, you most likely have the capability of running A/B tests automatically. This means you’ll craft two versions of the same email, and send out a test batch to a certain number of show attendees. Whichever email version gets more clicks, opens, etc. will then be sent to the remaining attendees on your list. This is a great way to try a couple different subject lines or email marketing approaches, and then quickly adapt to go with the one that’s most successful.
Segment and Strategize
In addition to A/B testing, it’s important to segment your attendee lists so you make sure you’re sending relevant content to the right people. You can segment your lists by stage of the purchasing funnel, or by job title; whichever method makes the most sense for your company. But the goal is to make sure you’re emailing specific content to targeted individuals in order to make it resonate, rather than taking a “spray and pray” approach. Also, remember to keep your lists fresh by removing outdated contacts, and always keep in mind GDPR rules that may pertain.
Finally, your trade show email marketing is only as effective as the time at which you send it. Ship it out too soon, and attendees will forget about you. Send it too close to the event, and attendees may have already mapped out which booths they’re visiting – and won’t have room for you. A good rule of thumb is sending your email out three to four days prior to an event. Email marketing is a great and cost-effective way to promote your company and your booth for your next trade show. Just make sure to follow the guidelines above, and you can actually cut through the noise of crowded inboxes and get on your prospects’ radars. If you have any questions on trade show marketing, contact us today.