Email segmentation is nothing new, but recent developments in event marketing have made it possible to target specific contacts in unusual ways.
How to segment your email list for an event marketing campaign
Email segmentation has become a widely-known strategy that continues to become more nuanced and effective with evolving technology.
Getting started with email segmentation should no longer be foreign territory for any modern-day marketer.
But, segmentation can mean something different when you’re running an event marketing campaign.
While the same general rules apply, understanding what to segment, and how to manage these contacts as an event marketer is not as universal. Live event initiatives have different end goals than traditional email marketing campaigns. That's why they need a different type of strategy.
Here, I offer key tactics for segmenting your email lists to align with your event marketing goals. As segmentation serves different purposes depending on the event timeline, I’ve broken down the list into pre-registration and post-registration.
Understanding segmentation in these ways will help you get the most out of your email marketing strategies.
If you want to grasp the basics of email marketing first, read Email Marketing for Beginners.
1. Past attendance
People who have been to your event in the past will already be familiar with your past emails. It’s especially important for them to receive more personalized messaging.
Noting that they were a past attendee, and that you’re thankful for it, can be an effective way to personalize the email. Express your gratitude for previous registrations. They'll feel appreciated and prioritized. Moments like these are what convince people to register again for your event.
2. Job level
Tone and message positioning is crucial when it comes to emails. You wouldn’t message a CEO the same way you would a marketing coordinator due to the difference in experience. That’s why you should always segment basing on job experience level.
If the email is for C-level executives, the copy should focus on the direct ROI and actionable takeaways that the event will provide. If the email is meant for coordinators and associates, give them reasons to convince their managers to invest in attending the event. Attach a sample justification (or “convince your boss”) letter they can use. You'll surely increase the likelihood of registration.
Here’s an example from the event marketing team for ZoomInfo’s Growth Acceleration Summit, that ensures high event registration:
Chances are, a digital marketer interested in your event will be looking for different takeaways than an academic researcher who works for a business school professor.
That’s why segmenting based on industry ensures that your emails are relevant to the potential attendee’s interests. The more you understand each industry you’re messaging, the stronger click-through rate and higher registration rate you get.
4. Incomplete registrants
Not everyone completes their registration process in one sitting. With an advanced event software system, you can filter individuals who started the registration process but didn’t complete it.
Segmented campaigns based on incomplete registration are crucial. These campaigns target people who showed an intent to buy, but for some reason couldn’t finish. Sending a follow-up email that nudges them to finish, would be exactly what they need to become an official attendee.
1. Session registration
Once someone has registered for the event, they’ll also start registering for different sessions. These session registrations will show each attendee’s interest. It may help you send more personalized emails. Also, you can expand the topics of these sessions. Or, give tips on how to get the most out of them.
Messages like these could build up anticipation for your event and motivate attendees to expand their registration package or to encourage their friends to register.
2. Ticket type
The type of ticket that an attendee buys is a good indicator of what they are looking to get out of the event. Some people will be going to the event as sponsors, some as speakers, some as VIP guests, and others as regular attendees.
Using this data, prepare email campaigns specific to each attendee’s role and let attendees know that this event will address their needs.
3. Community engagement level
Once people have registered for the event, you’ll want them to download the mobile app and encourage them to interact with other attendees. The level of engagement within the app is a tell-tale sign of those who are particularly excited.
With your event management software, you’ll want to identify these advocates as early as possible to use their enthusiasm for organic marketing campaigns.
Metrics like number of messages sent, or profiles viewed, show their willingness to be active attendees. Using this data, you can create extra email campaigns and encourage people to promote the event for you, since they already seem very excited to do so.
4. Survey response
On the online registration form, include questions for attendees to fill out. Depending on their answers, send an email that addresses their responses.
If 30% of attendees say that they are looking forward to the collaborative workshops, launch an email campaign that details the benefits of each workshop. This will build up enthusiasm, resulting in high attendance and engagement during the event.
The basic principles of email segmentation apply to event marketing as they do to other initiatives. Still, event marketing consists of unique end goals, and so the segmentation strategy must follow suit.
Here are some high-level takeaways to keep in mind for your next event marketing campaign:
- Find out the needs of the recipient. Then, send personalized messages based on them.
- Segment emails not only basing on static data (i.e., industry, job level), but behavioral data as well (i.e., incomplete registration, community engagement).
- As a rule of thumb, always test and alter your segmentation strategy to optimize performance.
If you have your end goals in mind, segmentation for event marketing campaigns can be as intuitive as it is rewarding and effective. Mix and match these tips to create a strategy that works best for your event.
by Stephen Kim from Bizzabo