E-mail is the fastest growing tool for attendance promotion. Here are some tips on how to use it effectively:
Be sure you have permission.(1) Effective e-mail marketers do not spam.
Gather appropriate attributes about your attendees/prospects so you can segment the database (e.g. newly promoted widget engineers). And keep this database up-to-date.(2)
Target your e-mails; for example, tell this newly promoted segment that you have five sessions specifically for them (and list the sessions).
The Subject gets the e-mail opened, so use a catchy subject line, such as "Tips for the Newly Promoted Widget Engineer."
Don't abuse the permission you have by sending too many e-mails. Once a month, six months out; once every two weeks, two months out; and once a week, one month out. And be sure you are delivering valuable information.
The best day to send e-mails is Thursday.
And be sure you get the recipient to respond right then. The shelf life for an e-mail is 2 seconds—most recipients will not save the e-mail for later action. Do more than say "click here for further info." Give them an incentive to go to an opt-in(1) page (such as offering a free copy of "10 Tips for the Newly Promoted Widget Engineer").
Three other internet marketing issues to be aware of are Link Exchanges, Search Engines and Conference E-mail Updates.
(1) See page 99 in The Profitable Trade Show (www.profitabletradeshow.com).
(2) Ibid. Appendix K: List Maintenance.