Let me take you back to a time in the late 90’s. A time when I was starting my career in the marketing and events space. A time when event attendees sent their registration forms in by fax. A time when attendees were manually entered into event management systems (using some clunky desktop based events system). Eeeeek!
I think most people would agree that using email marketing makes running events much easier – it’s that simple!
The team here at Vision6 have run the annual Email Marketing Summit since 2006 and over that time we’ve learned a thing or two about email marketing for events. I’m constantly surprised by how much time automating emails can save.
So today I wanted to share this simple event marketing automation blueprint that we use all the time. It’s a great starting point for your own events, although you’ll need to work out what timing suits your email. Hopefully this will free you up to spend more time organising a fantastic event and less time doing tedious and repetitive tasks.
Automating event marketing
You can have these emails with automation triggers in place as soon as you kick off your marketing. This way you know that the right emails will go out at the right time.
The key is to be flexible and change content as you go along. For example if you find something is resonating better and getting you more conversions include similar approaches in future emails.
Automating attendee management
When it comes to the attendee flow it’s all about making sure they have the right info and add the event to their calendars.
It’s also important to continue the momentum and keep attendees excited about coming to the event, which will in turn prompt them to share with their own networks.
What is the one thing all event marketers hate? No shows. I’ve found that triggering an SMS one day prior to the event significantly helps reduce the amount of no shows at your event. Yay!
Having your triggers set up for your post event communications means that attendees get sent event surveys when the event is still fresh in their mind.
In my next blog post I’m going to cover off how you can use marketing automation to increase brand engagement at events. This is especially important for those marketing professionals of us that sponsor events and are looking to get the maximum amount of exposure for our marketing budgets.
The Email Marketing Metrics Report has just been updated with the latest stats from March and this video will shed some light on what these reports mean for your email marketing.
Today I’m also going to tackle a topic close to my heart. Send anxiety. You know, that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach right before you send out a big email? I’m going to share a practical checklist that you can use to overcome send anxiety.
We’ve pulled together a handy checklist to help you get started with your own email marketing pre-send ritual.
Content Marketing Manager
Email Marketing is still one of the most cost effective ways to engage your customers and grow your business. Therefore it’s crucial that you track your campaigns so you can measure, test and optimize your emails to ensure you are achieving the best return on investment for your efforts.
Why you should track your email campaigns
As well as our in-system interactive reports, you can gain additional insight on your email campaigns and subscribers’ behaviour using Google Analytics.
By tracking your emails in Analytics, you see what people do on your site after they click through from your email. It’s great to see who’s converting and to measure your return on investment. You can see how long they spent on your website, what pages they visited, and if they followed through on your call to action in your email.
Types of Tracking
There are several ways you can track your email results in Google Analytics. In this post I’ll take you through two of the simplest methods:
- How to track where your customer came from (with Link Tracking)
- How to use Goals to determine which site visitors are taking action
Link tracking in Google Analytics is simply just a tag applied to the links in your email campaigns (or any online campaign) to track how users are getting to your website.
If you are a Vision6 customer, you can easily set up link tracking within the Vision6 system using our Google Analytics integration guide. Once you’ve followed the steps, tracking will automatically be applied to your emails.
For non Vision6 customers you can create a tracking link by adding additional text (tag) to the end of the url – or a UTM String. Google’s URL builder walks you through how to easily create a UTM String.
Where to find your email campaigns in Analytics
To see your tracking links in action, navigate to: Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns. There you’ll see a table of your campaigns that you have set up link tracking for. You’ll be able to see data such as how many users clicked your link, how many pages they visited, and how much time they spent on your site.
To determine how many users are taking action i.e. did they do what you told them to do, you will need to set up goals.
Goals are your website conversions. It’s another Analytics feature that allows you to track one of the following things:
- Destination – how many people reach a specified page (URL)
- Duration – how many people stay on your site for a specified amount of time
- Pages per session – how many people have viewed a minimum number of pages on your site
- Event – how many people have triggered an event (such as downloading a file)
What to track
Before you create a goal, it’s important to take the time to decide what you want to track. Do you want to track how many people subscribe to your blog? Watched a video? Or made a purchase? Knowing this will help you determine what campaigns are working and not working, meaning you can optimize sooner and grow your business faster.
There will be any number of actions you can track on your website, so be sure to pick ones that will provide the most useful insight. This is even more essential if you’re using Google Analytics for free as the number of goals you can set up is limited.
Creating a Goal
For this post, I’ll take you through a simple example of how I would use a goal template to track email sign ups on the Vision6 website.
To create a new goal in Analytics, navigate to: Admin > Goals (in the ‘view’ column) > New Goal. Then follow these three simple steps:
- Goal setup – Choose from three goal options (template*, custom, or smart goal)
- Goal description – Input a name for your goal and choose type (Destination, duration)
- Goal details – This will depend on the goal type, i.e. destination (URL)
Tip: Don’t forget to test your goal by clicking ‘verify this goal’ to ensure the data shows in Analytics.
Value and Funnel are optional extras and depend on what type of goal you are setting up. Whilst I haven’t assigned a value or specified a funnel for this example, the data they provide is extremely useful and worth setting up.
For a detailed guide on how to set up different types of goals see Google’s create and manage goals page.
Where to find your Goals in Analytics
Navigate to: Conversions > Goals > Overview. Or to see your goal in actions, navigate back to the same place as your link tracking: Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns. There you’ll see a column on the right hand side titled ‘Conversions’ – simply select your new goal from the drop down menu and you’ll start to see data within 24 hours.
Link tracking and Goals are easy to set up and provide additional insight on your email campaigns and subscribers. But goals can very quickly become complex with when tracking e-commerce actions or when used in conjunction with events and tag manager. I’ll cover these in future posts, but if there are any other advanced Analytics features you would like me to cover please leave a comment below.