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Email Marketing Best Practices for Virtual Events [+Free Email Templates]

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Email Marketing Best Practices for Virtual Events [+Free Email Templates]


Emails remain one of the most effective and contemporary forms of marketing. And nothing should distract you from this channel.

Why?

Because more than 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months, especially since the pandemic.

This also holds true for virtual events. This blog talks about email marketing best practices, especially for virtual events, so that your email doesn’t go undelivered or unread.

(Bonus: You will also find 3 virtual event email marketing templates that you can use to promote your event.)

Why Email Marketing for Virtual Events?

76% of online event hosts agree that email is the single most effective way to drive event registrations. Most virtual event attendees join an event through emails, and businesses also follow up leads via emails. This makes email an indispensable part of virtual event marketing strategy.

Besides this, the right email marketing strategy will,

  • Offer global reach of campaigns: This form of marketing has a larger reach. In fact, even if it can be argued that social media reaches the masses faster, to sign up on a social media platform, you’ll still need a working email id.
  • Convey the right message: While marketers often convey that emails can land up as spam or remain unread, emails help convey the right message. The content of the email campaign can state the upcoming events, the keynote speakers, who attended the previous events, and more.
  • Serve as a preferred form of communication: An email remains a professional method of receiving information about products, services, and events.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of event email marketing, here are a few hacks to optimize your email marketing strategy for better results.

15 Email Marketing Best Practices that You Should Follow

1. Design Landing Pages that Grab Your Attention

Quick bite: What is a virtual event landing page?

An event landing page encourages users to sign up for upcoming events. Usually different from other web pages, these landing pages come generally with CTAs and have a focused directive, like ‘sign up,’ ‘schedule a demo,’ or even ‘book your seat.’

Begin with an easily navigable landing page that gets the attention of your target audience.

Remember to include deets about your hosts, speakers, event time and date, and some sharing buttons. The landing page will be linked to your email body.

Some examples of successful virtual event landing pages:

SaaStr Annual 2021

What we love: Clear visuals and video that showcases SaaS leaders and entrepreneurs. The page also comes with clear-cut CTAs, event schedules, featured speakers, and sponsors. It also has a sign-up after every fold to take action.

24 hours of UX

24 hours of UX

What we love: Bright, bold colors and the use of clear CTAs on the landing page. The landing page also redirects the attendees to upcoming podcasts and recordings.

Quantum Latino

Quantum Latino

What we love: Minimalistic design with clear CTAs and value props. The event schedule is also listed for easy navigation for Latin America’s biggest virtual conference.

2. Frequency of the Email Campaigns

When should you send that email (especially to a global audience)? How many emails are too many?

If these questions keep you awake at night, here’s the lowdown – your emails should be consistent but not overwhelming or spamming in nature. Just 1-2 emails a week, and you are good.

Pro tip: Your virtual event invitation email should go at least 2 weeks in advance. You can also keep some email newsletters to keep your open rates high.

Remember about triggered emails. These are emails that get sent to your audience as soon as they take action on registrations. Ensure that these emails have the right details, like the ticket, the link to join the event, etc.

3. Focus on the Subject Lines

The most important but the most difficult to crack, subject lines that clearly state the purpose of your email, works best.

Since this is the first thing your audience sees, it will also affect the click rate, so keep your subject lines catchy and innovative.

The ideal length of a subject line should be around 41-50 characters long. Use the preview text (the small section that shows up after the subject line) to add more data.

For virtual events, you can talk about famous speakers, attendees, or even your sponsors. You can even use emojis and personalized content to make the email more relevant.

Some good examples of subject lines for your virtual events:

  • Join us for the ultimate job fair of 2021
  • You’re invited. Learn more about xxx productivity hacks
  • Listen. Connect. Network with legendary marketers

4. Content is Everything

Your email content should be brisk and talk about why anyone should attend the event. But should you give your audience other curated content pieces to read? The answer is YES.

This compelling content helps generate interest in the event and also establishes the significance of the virtual event thereby increasing event registrants.

Pro tip: If you do not have a blog, you can ask your speaker to write some curated pieces that you can use to spread the word.

5. Don’t Forget to A/B test

This is more of a strategy than an email marketing best practice. A/B testing (if done right) can tell you about the open rates, the click-through rates and rework your strategy if needed. Amazing, right?

Here’s the thing, A/B testing helps in understanding how small changes can impact results. Here are a few things that you can learn from your A/B testing campaigns:

  • Which day of the week has a better open rate?
  • Which subject line works well – one with an incentive or one with a teaser?
  • What time of the day an email campaign is run affects the click rate?
  • Does your audience click on the gifs/images?

Pro tip: Most email marketing tools will help determine the variable done in A/B testing only after completing the right segmentation.

6. Right Tools for Right Results

Here’s the thing, while the market is filled with email marketing tools, you need to find the right fit for your virtual event marketing.

So, here’s a small comparison of sorts of different marketing automation tools based on pricing, integrations available.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp

Without being overly complicated to use, Mailchimp comes with a free forever plan for up to 2000 contacts and integrates easily with hundreds of software.

It’s also fairly easy to use and offers hundreds of ready-to-use templates that can be easily used in your campaigns. However, the platform quickly becomes pricey for a larger list of subscribers.

Mailerlite

Mailerlite

Mailerlite’s drag and drop interface can make it easy to create & design emails. It also comes with a free plan for up to 1000 users and a 24/7 live chat and email support.

The platform comes with 30% off on annual plans, but Mailerlite features lack integrations and often require a lot of information to set up an account.

Hubspot

Hubspot

Hubspot is easy to use and is one of the tools that offer the full marketing suite even for an event host – CRM, social media, blogging, etc. It also tracks email delivery rates and comes with helpful articles.

The biggest negative of this tool is that it doesn’t have any free or low-cost plans for small and medium businesses. Also, if you do use any other CRM, it might become difficult to integrate.

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign comes with hundreds of in-built integrations that help simplify customer interactions. The software comes with a 14-day free trial post which you have to choose from one of their four pricing plans.

Their in-built automation is what gives ActiveCampaign an edge over all other tools mentioned here.

7. Give the best CTAs

Whatever your CTA is in your email – it has to pop! Your subscriber has an 8-second attention span, so the rule of the thumb is you have to leverage well-defined CTAs to get the maximum outcome from your email.

Things that you can do:

  • Create unique CTAs
  • Opt for buttons rather than hyperlinks
  • Make it a noticeable color (and bigger)
  • Keep CTA text short
  • Use action verbs so that your audience doesn’t miss it

8. Leverage Gated Content

Humans are born curious, and it’s time to feed their curiosity with content that will help them make their decision. Gated content helps to achieve that.

Here are some types of gated event content that you can use in your email marketing strategy:

  • Case studies to make people aware about how you helped businesses achieve their objectives
  • Ebooks especially from your keynote speakers, can create curiosity around their expertise and drive conversions
  • Market research reports that your target audience can use

9. Polls and Surveys that Your Audience Loves

If you want to get quick insights from your audience, as in what clicked and what did not, a poll and survey often work! But ensure to ask the right evaluation questions and DO NOT make it more than 2 minutes.

This will give you an idea of what your audience loved, what your audience hated, and what can be improved before hosting another virtual event. Keep a record and make adjustments.

Here are some questions that you can ask your audience in a post-event survey email:

  • How likely are you to recommend the virtual event to a friend or colleague?
  • How did you hear about the event?
  • What made you choose this event?
  • How satisfied are you with the speaker session?
  • How satisfied are you with the quality of the session?
  • What was your least favorite part of the event?
  • What was your most memorable part of the event?
  • Any other comments or suggestions for us to improve.

Feel free to use these or tweak them according to your requirements.

10. Templatizing to Succeed Faster

If you know that your email marketing strategy works, it’s often a good idea to templatize it and use it for your next virtual event.

One of the best things about an email marketing strategy template is that you can create templates and replicate them for reals. (We are going to give you some samples below) This will save time and effort. (Who doesn’t love that!)

11. Making it Mobile-friendly

Nearly 1.7 billion users check emails on their mobile phones, for desktop, which is around 0.9 billion users. This number itself is enough to tell you that all emails need to be mobile-friendly. To make the emails mobile responsive, ensure the following:

  • Be concise in design and content
  • Use single-column templates
  • Avoid tiny fonts; no one likes to zoom in on your mobile devices
  • Find out which operating systems your subscribers are using
  • Recheck the time you send the emails
  • Definitely run tests to check if the email is working properly
  • Optimize the images used for the mobile

Try and get your customer feedback on these emails and optimize again if needed.

12. The Social Proof Formula to Success

Take your social proof to a whole new level by including it in your email body. Include smiling faces, and that helps to build trust and increase your email conversion rate.

Establish an immediate emotional connection with your subscriber by using your speakers to break down complex terms for your target audience to understand.

13. Use Images/gifs to Drive Conversations

Nobody wants to read 100% of text emails cause they are often boring or bombarded with too much information all at once. Let the image do the talking for you, instead. Use minimal text to echo your message.

In this post-Covid world, where everyone seeks human connections, even if virtually, it’s always a nice touch to add the images of your keynote speaker, especially in your invitation/agenda emails.

14. Keep a Close Eye on the Analytics

As soon as your first email campaign for the event sets out, it’s time to measure the good, the bad, and the ugly. Overperformance or underperformance of any metric can lead to undesirable results, so keeping a close eye on the numbers will help to optimize your marketing strategy.

Here is a list of metrics that you should keep an eye on:

The open rate of the emails tests your list as well as your subject line. While the industry standard may vary according to the type of event, it is important to keep checking. If your open rate is not satisfactory, it can mean the following:

  • Your time and day are not working for your audience. For example, maybe you have scheduled your email for a Tuesday, mid-day when your audience is working, so they might have missed your email completely.
  • Your subject line and preview text are not catchy enough or are too spammy for your audience. Go ahead and tweak both and try sending the emails. (Sometimes, just by making it more-FOMO works.)
  • Your contact list size and segmentation are not done correctly. Remove the email subscribers who have not engaged with your brand in the past 6-12 months. This might make your subscriber base small, but it will essentially send emails to an audience that is genuinely interested in your brand.

The click-through rate of the emails will help determine whether the copy of the email is clicking with your audience. Feel free to zhoosh it up a bit and personalize it according to your segmentation to add value.

15. Show Your Gratitude with Thank You Emails

Once your event registrations start rolling in, ensure that you have set up ‘thank you emails’ as part of your trigger campaigns. These emails can be simple, with probably a gif, to express your gratitude and show how happy you are.

Now that we have the email marketing best practices strategy in place, it is time to explore some ready-made templates that will up your email campaigns.

3 Email Marketing Templates for Virtual Events

1. ‘Save the date’

What is it?

This is similar to an announcement email.

Who to send?

Anyone who has attended your past events as well as your subscriber list, patrons.

When to send?

At least 2 weeks prior to the virtual event.

2. Second Teaser

What is it?

To maximize registrations, it’s always a good idea to send across 2 invitation emails.

Who to send?

This email should go out to all those who have received your first email and are still not registered for the event.

When to send?

Ideally, you can use this template 1 week before the event date.

3. Thank You

What is it?

Once the event is over, it’s time to reconnect with your audience one more time. This email is specifically for all those who registered and attended the event. It acts as a touchpoint for you to continue your conversation even after the event.

Who to send?

This email should go out to all those who have attended the event.

When to send?

Ideally, you can use this template up to 1 week after the event has ended.

Summing it Up

Every event comes with different forms of promotion. What you need to know is what your end objective from hosting the event is. This should drive some sense in your email marketing campaign as it can actually make or break your event.

Just remember to bring in a kickass automation tool, weigh in your audience requirements, sprinkle some personalization and add in relevant content that makes a person click!

And while you’re busy prepping up your emails, don’t forget to promote your webinar or virtual event on social media. The idea is to drive more registrations for the event.

Pre-schedule your posts with the help of SocialPilot. To know what more it can do, take our free trial today.



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A Small Business’s Guide to Marketing on Google My Business

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A Small Business's Guide to Marketing on Google My Business


Just Google it!

That’s what you (and I) do when we’re looking for a restaurant, a car repair shop, or practically anything under the sun. It’s no wonder that 82% of people use search engines like Google to find local businesses.

If you own a local small or medium business, you understand that’s a considerable number of customers. Now, consider this: 70% of your potential customers look up your business online before making a purchase decision or visiting. For this reason, services like Google Places, Maps, and Google Business Profile have been very crucial for small businesses.

In June 2017, Google went a step further and launched GBP posts – a way for you to advertise your business listings for free.

How do GBP Posts Help Small Businesses Achieve Their Business Goals?

Customers love stories and details. They connect more with your business when they feel that they know enough and are delighted when they see the experiences of fellow customers in the form of reviews and pictures.

This helps build their trust in your authenticity which in turn contributes to a better brand image. And it increases the chances of drawing those prospects to your doorstep.

According to Google research data – “businesses which continuously keep updating photos on their listings tend to receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps. They also get 35% more clicks through to their websites.”

A GBP post can contain information about events, special offers, promotions, new products/services, etc. that you want to share with your customers. The post may contain, images, videos, URLs and calls-to-action. URLs can direct consumers to your website or product listings. In other words, GBP posts provide some more information to the people who search for your business or location on Google.

Now, let’s specifically take a look at how GBP posts can help people optimize your businesses’ online presence.

1. You can share the latest, important and exclusive information

Customers are usually inclined towards searching for specific information such as events, specialties, offers, discounts, and comparing different businesses on the basis of their products/services.

In the above example, we can see that Kama Bistro has posted on their GBP listing about a special offer. These updates bring in the crowds to your business when you keep your audience updated.

You can make your business stand out by sharing the latest photos, offers, and other relevant information through your posts using Google Business Profile tools.

2. You can influence the buying intent of customers

If people search for something online and stumble upon your business listing, the most important thing which will then influence their buying intent is whether or not your business seems relevant to them and inspires some action.

With the help of GBP posts, you can highlight your offers or specials and give genuine reasons to potential customers to visit your store. The more your posts emphasize the uniqueness of your products/services, the better are the chances of success.

Many businesses have used Google Business Profile to find and attract customers. Take Otis James for instance – he uses GBP to get his handcrafted items to people across the world.

3. You can help customers discover what’s new

Modern-day customers no longer wish to remain in darkness. They would prefer visiting your store only if they come to the conclusion that whatever your business is offering to them is something really unique and special. Using posts, you can share information about any updates you’ve made to your product/service or recently added products/services. This helps customers discover your business in greater details.

Your GBP posts can highlight:

  • Special offers
  • New and upcoming events
  • Product updates
  • Announcements

Posts can enable your customers to know more about your business and interact with your services easily.

When I searched for Joe Allen restaurant on Google Maps, I came across this interesting post which showed that the place was clearly all decked up to celebrate Pride month. This shows me that this is an all-inclusive place. This made me want to check the restaurant out and book a table.

customers discover

4. You can draw more visitors to your site

Modern-day marketplaces are changing rapidly. The number of options to explore has rapidly increased – for customers as well as businesses. Overwhelmed with the choices, customers now want to find out what really suits their interests. This is why the number of people who search for shopping lists on their phones has increased by over 150% in the past two years.

This has created a massive opportunity for small businesses to come in the limelight and draw more customers to them.

Perfectly created GBP posts answer the right questions for the overwhelmed customers as they start searching for options. And this is why: 80% of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies whose sites/apps help them easily find answers to their questions.

draw more visitors

A visibly unique and informative post can draw the attention of a large number of customers towards your website and ultimately increase your brand awareness.

Want To Make Your Posts Special? Let’s Explore Some Unique Ways.

Your GBP post must be unique and showcase relevant information. You can make it better by adding quality pictures, videos, calls-to-action, and encouraging potential customers to try out your products or services.

Here are some tips to help you while creating GBP posts:

1. Select your post type

The best thing about GBP posts is that they can be used to fulfill a lot of purposes. You can share important announcements, promote your special deals, mention your memories with employees and customers and constantly keep building bonds. So, consider in advance as to how your post is going to target the specific business goals and align the details accordingly. You can choose from various post types like:

  • Event Posts
  • Product Posts
  • What’s New Posts
  • Offer Posts
  • Covid-19 Update Post

2. Make the words count

The size of a typical GBP post is limited to 300 words and out of those, only up to the first 100 words may be visible to your customers during the first impression. So, be really sure about what will be the highlight of your post. Only include necessary details and make it as brief as you can.

For instance, in this post by Junzi Kitchen, you cannot read the entire sentence. It’s a possibility that they want us to feel intrigued and hit ‘more’. However, it’s advisable to keep the headline short.

Keep the headline short

Include the important details in the starting paragraph of your post itself. You can also ensure the inclusion of the focus keywords and accomplish SEO goals simultaneously.

3. Use keywords in your business name

The name of your business will be the first thing which your customer will see. If your business has a name that contains keywords you want to target, the positive impact will surely reflect on your SERP rankings. Try to be accurate with your business title and avoid unnecessary keyword stuffing. Stick to one which perfectly introduces your brand, something like this:

business name

4. Be personal and showcase business values

“We make sure that your reunion with friends always stays special. Special discounts for groups.”

Posts like these become incredibly impactful when you show your customers that you really care about them and their loved ones. Customers usually are more inclined towards businesses which reflect values and understand their true needs. One such GBP post may look like:

You may also feature your employees and customer testimonials. This will allow your customers to connect more easily with your business and will have a longer-lasting impact on their memory.

You can also introduce special promotions when local events are taking place in your community. You can use the best social media management tools for small businesses to share these promotions.

5. Use pictures and videos wisely

To make your posts stand out, you need to use photos and videos efficiently and wisely. Use vibrant pictures which are well-lit and well-focussed. The minimum resolution of the photos should be 720px (width) X 540px (height).

Also, make sure that the pictures are well-centered and the important part doesn’t get cropped out. It would be better if you preview your post first and check for any cropping anomaly. Sticking to images with little or no text on them is much better as there are chances that the text part of your image may get cropped out on certain mobile devices.

New way to share content in search

Videos have always remained the favorites of the online community and they can transform your GBP posts as well. More than 60% of customers agree to the fact that online videos give more inspiration to their purchase decisions.

Holiday shopping think with google

Think of the ways in which your post can fulfill more wishes of your customers and accordingly make videos to reach out. The videos should be less than 100MB in size and also in a proper format. GBP accepts MP4, WMV, FLV, AVI, MKV, MPG and MTS video file types.

6. Calls-to-action

Your post is a great opportunity for you to talk directly to your customers. You can be more creative and add CTAs to influence customers to use your services. While promoting events or offers for your business, including a call to action in your GBP post can really do wonders.

You can include instructions like “Buy Now”, “Book Online” or the recently added “Call Now” to boost ticket sales for events or activities. You can also:

  • Promote contests and giveaways through your posts
  • Share coupon codes and unique instructions and restrictions on offers
  • Abbreviate hours, days and months in order to utilize limited word count
  • Use key selling and popular products more extensively
Add call to action

And, you shouldn’t:

  • Use slang and inappropriate words
  • Offer deals with too many exclusions. A typical example is an offer which contains phrases like: “Not Applicable to this, Not Applicable to that, etc.”
  • Offer multiple deals in one post

How does SocialPilot boost your brand on Google Business Profile?

Being a business owner is not an easy feat. Managing your operations along with effective marketing to attract customers, the task list is endless. And digital marketing is a whole new ball game! Google has really doled out a great platform for small-scale business owners to showcase their brand to a wider audience.

Now, to use GBP to its fullest potential, many social media tools are available for your assistance. SocialPilot is one of the best and most cost-effective tool for this purpose.

Scheduling and Publishing

it is very important that you keep your GBP listing updated. For that, posting regularly is a must, and the best move for this would be to plan, create and schedule your GBP posts ahead of time with SocialPilot.

Creating posts with images, GIFs, videos and URLs is a cakewalk. Customize your post with CTAs to incite reactions from people.

GBP Scheduling and Publishing

You can repeat your previously published post and create posts in bulk. Schedule them in advance or publish them instantly; up to you.

What’s more?

You can create and publish from multiple GBP accounts from the same dashboard — an essential feature for agency marketers handling multiple GBP clients.

Social Media Calendar

Plan your GBP posting schedule beforehand with SocialPilot’s content calendar. When you have a complete picture of how your long-term content strategy is going to be, it becomes effortless to manage the moving pieces.

Social media calander

Through the monthly or weekly schedule overview, you can move any post around to any day and time slot of the month, edit right from the dashboard or repost the ones you want multiple times.

GBP Inbox

Google Business Profile already allows the audience to ask questions and post reviews of a business directly. Addressing these questions and reviews is very important for a business. This helps in effective engagement and familiarizing yourself with your audience.

To access all the responses from your listing, SocialPilot’s GBP Inbox can be of great help.

LinkedIn Inbox on SocialPilot

Here you can get a clear overview of what the audience thinks about your business through their reviews and questions. Answer their queries as soon as possible to give them a genuine image of your business.This makes for effective reputation management.

To access questions and reviews separately, you can apply filters to view only one type at a time. Your brand’s reputation is in your hand, and with SocialPilot’s GBP inbox, you can manage it very well.

GBP Analytics

While making all the efforts on posting and engagement, we must keep a keen eye on the results. Monitoring your GBP metrics is crucial to understanding the current content efforts and mapping out plans for your business.

GBP Analytics

SocialPilot’s GBP analytics provide you with robust data like search performance, customer actions, reviews, views, etc. And all these metrics will help you get better clarity on how the audience is receiving your business.

Know how the audience comes to your page and optimize your strategy to boost your traffic further.

Check out more on how the GBP tools in SocialPilot boost your brand and drive traffic effectively to your business’s doorstep.

google business profiles

To Summarize

More than ever, people have become reliant on online searches to decide whether they want to visit your store or not.

Based on trends like these, it has become beneficial for the small business to prioritize their marketing decisions in order to inspire the purchasing behavior of customers. Google Business Profile is, without a doubt, a market pioneer when it comes to empowering small businesses and enables them to connect with their customers directly.

Posts on GBP have enabled businesses to inspire customers to buy more, have helped narrow down the purchase options for customers and also enhanced the bonding between the brand and the customer. Your business features can no be made visible on platforms like Google Maps and Search with the help of posts and this has massively enabled the business owners to reach out to more and more people across devices and screens.

Overall, GBP posts are a remarkable way to align your business goals with the ongoing market and customer trends and are not less than a boon for current and upcoming small businesses.



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How Brands Can Benefit From Web3

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How Brands Can Benefit From Web3


Should you be working Web3 into your business? Wondering how to get started? In this article, you’ll learn how Web3 can enhance your business and discover multiple ways you can begin to integrate Web3 into your business today. Why Is Web3 Important for Business? Right now, four signals point toward a very possible change in […]

The post How Brands Can Benefit From Web3 appeared first on Social Media Examiner | Social Media Marketing.



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The Biggest YouTube Mistakes Marketers Make (and How to Overcome Them)

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The Biggest YouTube Mistakes Marketers Make (and How to Overcome Them)


Has your YouTube channel growth stalled out? Looking for advice to pinpoint where you’re going wrong? In this article, you’ll learn common mistakes marketers make and what to do instead. You’ll also discover some overlooked metrics that can help you grow faster. YouTube: The Best-Kept Secret in Social Media Unlike other social networks, YouTube rarely […]

The post The Biggest YouTube Mistakes Marketers Make (and How to Overcome Them) appeared first on Social Media Examiner | Social Media Marketing.



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