If you manage any kind of event for your business, it’s likely that you have two main goals.
1. Get people to register
2. Then get people to turn up
It’s possible that you have a third goal to convert attendees to customers or something similar, but today I’d like to focus on the second goal – attendance.
Getting people to turn up to your event isn’t usually a problem when they’ve paid for a ticket. But it’s a completely different story for free events.
So if you run free events – whether they be product demonstrations, customer training sessions, or other types of webinars – read on as I’m about to provide you with a tip to help get more people turning up to your event.
It’s something I’ve used to boost the attendance rate of my free live training sessions and it’s so simple that anybody can do it.
Are you ready?
Include an Add to Calendar link in your event registration confirmation email.
Here’s how to do it for two of the most commonly used calendar applications.
Microsoft Outlook Calendar
- Use this link to set up an appointment for your event.
- When prompted, choose the option to save the file as per the instructions on the page.
- In Vision6, edit your email and add text (or an image if you wish) to “Add to Outlook”.
- Insert a link on your text or image and choose the option to “Link to: An uploaded file or image”.
- Upload the .ics file (created at step 2) to the File and Image Manager.
- Click ‘Use file’.
- The text/image is now linked to the file which will allow recipients to save the event to their calendar.
- Use this link to set up an appointment for your event.
- Click the option to “Create your button HTML” and then copy the code.
- In Vision6, edit your email and click HTML from your formatting toolbar.
- Paste the copied code into the part of your email where you want it to display.
Hint: If you’re not comfortable working in HTML, add a Plain Paragraph component into your email and paste the code in there. This means you won’t have to worry about where specifically to paste the code.
- Click ‘Update’ and the button image with a link to your calendar event will be displayed.
I hope this helps and if you experience any difficulty with your Add to Calendar links simply reach out to our Support Team via the Knowledge Centre.
The e-messaging pulse is a collection of articles relating to email, sms and social media marketing that we thought were share worthy from the last week or so. Inside most articles are helpful tips and interesting news and sometimes they can just be a little fun.
This edition includes:
How To Sell Without Selling – Copyblogger
If you want a simple way to make your emails more profitable, without any hard pitching or looking even remotely “salesy”, then check out this article over at Copyblogger. It talks about building trust by solving your reader’s problems and provides a really good example.
Is Content the Next Email Marketing King? - GetElastic
Similar to the above, this article from GetElastic talks about the power of story-selling in email and how to turn a product’s value propositions into an engaging, persuasive or educational story.
LinkedIn is 10 years old today: Here’s the story of how it changed the way we work – The Next Web
Did you hear? LinkedIn turned 10 this week. Check out the story behind the business-related social network and how it has grown to become a successful public company with more than 225 million members and nearly $325 million in quarterly revenue.
Spam Turns 35; Time to Say ‘Thank You’ – The Magill Report
Here’s another birthday in the mix… Spam reportedly turned 35 last week. Now why is that worth celebrating? Well as Ken Magill points out in this article, email users, email marketers and others in the email industry owe a lot to the changes that spam has forced upon us. Read on for more.
Have you read anything from the realm of e-messaging that you’d like to share? Let me know using the comments section below.
If you’re a long time reader of our blog, you’d know that we share a lot of advice on different areas of email marketing.
And there are two words that tend to pop up somewhere in most of our articles — test it.
It’s only right that we follow our own advice and testing does play a huge part in our email marketing strategy.
We routinely test various elements of our email marketing campaigns, including subject lines, send times, images, call to actions, layouts etc.
But there was one thing that until recently we hadn’t tested.
Resending an email to people who didn’t open it the first time.
After recently writing a blog post on the topic, we thought it was time that we tested it out for ourselves. It was an interesting experience and the results really surprised us.
So much so that we decided to share our experience with you in case you want to try it out for yourself.
When a new customer joins Vision6 they have the option to turn on SMS features in their account. But not all customers see this option so a lot don’t even know that it’s available.
In an effort to change that, we recently made the SMS features easier to find and decided to send an email to customers to let them know about it.
Naturally we didn’t want to bother customers with this message if they already had SMS features turned on. So we segmented our database and only sent the email to those without it.
This is the email we sent them (click to view in full) with the below subject line.
Send and track SMS messages in your account
This is how it performed
Open rate: 37.5%
Click to open rate: 8.5%
Conversion rate: 1.5%
But we thought we could do better than that and decided that this was the perfect opportunity to test the tactic of resending an email to people who haven’t yet opened it.
The idea being that we might achieve a few extra conversions by doing so.
Why this email you might ask? Well we knew it’d be low risk because it’s only being sent to a small segment of our database.
And what we’re asking customers to do is also low risk because turning on SMS features in their account is free and only takes a minute to do.
Conducting the resend
As I said earlier, we do try and follow our own advice so we made a few changes to the email before resending it.
1. Tweak the subject line
We knew this second email had to work harder to get noticed in the inbox as it was being sent to people who didn’t open the first one. So we made a couple of changes to the subject line.
The new subject line greeted the reader by name and was framed as a question in an attempt to capture the reader’s attention and entice them to open the email.
The new subject line looked like this.
%%First_Name%%, did you know you can send and track SMS messages in Vision6?
2. Tweak the copy
Given that only 8.5% of people who opened the email clicked a link to find out more information, we decided to re-write the value proposition in the header image.
We felt it needed to be stronger and speak more directly to the value that SMS marketing provides to small-to-medium businesses.
What we came up with was this.
Reach customers with important and time critical messages.
This is what the second email looked like (click to view in full).
3. Adjust the timing
Previous experience suggests that most of our customers open our emails within 3 days of us sending them. This pattern held true with our first email which you can see in the timeline report below.
It was sent on a Tuesday morning so we decided to hold off from sending the second version of the email until 3 days later on Friday.
Again, previous experience told us that product related emails sent on a Friday afternoon largely go unnoticed. So we decided to send the second email in the morning for maximum impact.
4. Define the measurements – good and bad
Before we sent the email we discussed what our measurements were going to be in order to determine its success.
Whilst we wanted additional conversions (customers to turn on SMS features in their account), we didn’t want it to come at the cost of additional unsubscribers or complaints.
Here’s how the resend performed
Open rate: 13%
Click to open rate: 16%
Conversion rate: 0.5%
At first glance these numbers are quite uninspiring. But when you look at the conversion rate, that’s a 33% lift on where it was before.
Whilst this particular email isn’t directly linked with revenue, imagine if you were able to achieve the same results from a promotional campaign. You’d receive an extra 33% of revenue just by resending an email to those who didn’t open it the first time
As a test case, this was quite encouraging for us. Particularly because there were no unsubscribes or complaints from the email resend (nor the original email for that matter).
So this was a successful test as far as we’re concerned. It’s shown that (for us) resending an email to people who didn’t open it the first time can drive increased conversions without having a negative impact on our database.
But is it right for you? Well you’ll just have to (you guessed it) — test it.
And when you do, be sure to let me know how it goes in the comments section below.
P.S. For helpful tips and advice on conducting a resend, be sure to check out our blog post on resending an email to non-openers the smart way.