Earlier this week, I hosted a roundtable discussion with a group of select clients to discuss the future of trade shows. Instead of sending a blast email to our entire list, my marketing team sat down with me to discuss who we wanted at the discussion. We only wanted clients that have trade shows and wanted a mix of trade associations and professional societies. We also wanted Director level or higher. We sent out the first email. We got one response.
Rather than continue to send emails, we decided I should make phone calls to the Directors, VPs and CEOs who we most wanted at the event. I called, left messages and spoke with a few people. And then I re-sent the promo email. The response was terrific. Nearly all of the organizations we targeted sent a representative.
When clients ask us to help them increase meeting registrations and/or exhibit sales, we ask: Who do you want at the meeting? Anyone? A specific slice of your membership? Or do you want members that meet certain criteria, like members in a specific geographic area or members at risk of canceling? And then we ask: how we can let this group of companies or individuals know that you want them at your meeting?
No, I don’t believe sending a generic, blast email is enough. In our experience, a mix of blast emails, personal emails, phone calls, and direct mail works best.
When Matrix Group is planning its webinar series, I sit down with my team and ask them: Which clients should attend this webinar on Sitefinity, cybersecurity, design, Twitter or x topic? If my marketing team is doing its job right, they will have a list and that list gets a personal email from me, a Director or a Project Manager, or a phone call from my Cultivation Manager, in addition to getting the blast emails. We get the best response from the personal emails and the phone calls and I bet you’re not surprised by this finding.
The next time your organization is planning a campaign to promote a meeting, publication or show, ask your team these questions:
- Who do want to target and why?
- What is the best way to reach them and why?
In the end, it’s easy to just send another set of emails to your entire list but I believe you must be intentional with your marketing to get the best results.