Increase Trade Show Attendance and Booth Traffic with Targeted Email Campaigns

Email can be an effective and low-cost method for promoting trade show attendance and increasing booth traffic at your next event. But too often, marketers fall short by using a one-size-fits-all email strategy. Truth is, different audiences respond to different triggers, so the savvy email marketer should take time to develop targeted campaigns and messaging for each of their email target audiences.

Segment Your Email List for Better Trade Show Attendance

If you’re using a best-of-breed email marketing platform, you should have the ability to slice and dice your email list in a variety of ways. For event marketing, you’ll want to start by splitting your list into at least three main segment buckets:

  1. Clients and Customers – People who are currently paying for your service or who have purchased your product within the past 18-24 months
  2. Prospects and Leads – People who have been scored as qualified leads over the last 12 months due to either their level of interaction with your brand (whitepaper downloads, webinar participation, etc.) or because your sales team has been in one-on-one communication with them*
  3. General Subscribers – People who have signed up for your newsletter or blog feed with only minimal information provided (such as just an email address and a first name) and whom you basically know nothing about

*Note: The prospects list can (and should) also include previous or lapsed clients who are no longer using your service but who are still subscribed to your email newsletter or blog feed.

Crafting Targeted Email Content for Prospective Trade Show Attendees

When attempting to convince folks to attend an upcoming event via email, don’t make the mistake of focusing solely on the trade show and booth details. Instead, the content featured in these types of emails should be tailored to the target segment’s known interests. From a content marketing perspective, your goal is to seamlessly weave into your email the benefits of attending the show from the point of view of the customer or the prospect.

Think about your three segments — clients, leads and subscribers — and try to see your upcoming trade show through their eyes. Specifically:

What are the interests or concerns of each segment? 

  • With regard to those interests or concerns, what benefit might each segment realize by attending the show?

Once you’ve determined the answers to these questions, you can build your email content around that information. Hint: You’ll get bonus points if you can also offer exclusive booth or show activities that are directly related to an attendee’s specific interests.

Here are a few ideas ….

Clients and Customers Segment

Interests / Concerns:

  • How can we get more value out of what we already have?
  • If we invest more heavily in your service (upgrade to the next level), will it save us more time and money over the long haul?

Email Content Focus = Benefits of Attending the Show:

  • The first 30 show attendees to sign up at our booth will have the opportunity to participate in an exclusive roundtable discussion hosted by our top three customers on creative, cost-saving ways to get more value out of your current platform.
  • One lucky attendee (current customer) will win a free upgrade of their existing service, including 90 days to try out our premium tier at no charge.

Prospects and Leads Segment

Interests / Concerns:

  • What similar products are other companies in my field using, and how would they rate this one against those others?
  • We have an unusual situation and we don’t want an off-the-shelf, cookie-cutter solution. Can this company customize a service just for our particular software environment?

Email Content Focus = Benefits of Attending the Show:

  • An after-show cocktail party will provide the opportunity for both clients and non-clients to network, ask questions, share ideas and offer insights.
  • One lucky attendee (non-customer) will win a free on-site consultation with our lead tech engineer to personally survey your current system and then determine exactly what level of service (or service customization) would work best for your account.

General Subscribers Segment

Obviously, with general email subscribers, you can’t properly determine their specific interests or concerns, but you can still promote show attendance. You just have to be more broad in your email content focus.

For example, in addition to offering general details about the upcoming show, you might include additional teaser information, such as:

  • Insider tips for attending this event
  • Behind-the-scenes tidbits from the show organizer
  • Little-known nearby tourist attractions
  • How to get free stuff
  • and more

Key to Success: The Right Content Delivered to the Right Person

With today’s best-of-breed email marketing platforms offering so many amazing tools and features, there’s really no excuse for not segmenting your email list and tailoring your email content to target specific segments.

Give it a try for your next event, and let us know in the comments below how it worked for you.

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