By Shannon Delmarle

Imagine that it’s a Monday morning brainstorming meeting with your marketing team, sales team, and CEO. Your CEO is frustrated that there weren’t enough attendees at the last conference they organized. Those that did attend did not have any appropriate follow-up communication in place, so moving them down the funnel fell flat. This scenario happens all too often because putting on an event—whether it’s a seminar, webinar, or conference—involves a lot of moving pieces and a ton of strategy before the event even happens.

Now your CEO is demanding that you figure out how to make the next event more successful and, more importantly, repeatable.

Here are some ideas for the next time your organization decides to put on an event and a way to repeat a process that your boss will be happy with. Check out these three types of must-have automated emails for your event:

1. Pre-Event Automated Emails

These emails are crucial to getting the word out to your target audience about the upcoming event. If you don’t implement a series of automated touches that urge the contact to register, you might as well throw in the towel! Make sure you define a clean target list that you want to send these messages to.

Here’s an example of emails you can automate:

  • Email 1: A promotion of the event that includes the event’s details, who the event is geared toward, what the attendee will get out of the event, and a clear way to register using CTA buttons and landing pages.
  • Email 2: In this email, it’s important to nudge the person, while still acknowledging that you’ve already sent them an email. Using automation software, like HubSpot, you can automate sending the next few automated emails to only people who have not yet registered and are one of the event’s target personas. By doing this, you won’t annoy those who have already registered. This is a great time to use language like, “In case you missed it … we’re putting on an event! Save a seat.” Make sure to give this email some urgency.
  • Email 3: A testimonial email focused on past events or testimonials about the speaker or your organization can support the quality of the event and possibly eradicate the doubt someone might have about whether or not they should attend.
  • Email 4: This is your final attempt to get someone to sign up for your event. Let them know this is their last chance to register! This is something you can reserve for the last week before the event.

2. After Registering

These are emails that you can send to people who have registered in order to keep them engaged, offer additional insight about the event, or promote a giveaway to get them excited about attending the event. You want to avoid having attendees register for your event and then forget about it until the event comes around. By sending gentle, automated reminders with extra goodies, you can increase your chances of them keeping that commitment.

Here’s an example workflow:  

  • Email 1: Follow up with people who registered with a thank you message and include all of the event details, such as instructions around the event, such as parking, checking in, where to sit, what to bring to the event, or next steps. You can also make an additional offer in this email, like inviting them to subscribe to your blog or download your latest e-book that ties to the upcoming event’s theme.
  • Email 2: Automate a reminder to the registrant. Get them excited and remind them of how soon the event is. You can also give the attendees tips on where to eat locally, things to do or see if they have extra time, and some local travel tips. Add social media share buttons and encourage your registrants to share the event to their social networks and let their followers know they are going to be attending your event. In addition, you can provide them with additional insight into your organization or the main speakers of the event.
  • Email 3: This is a final email that gets automated either the week of, the day before, or the day of the event. This message lets them know that you can’t wait to see them at the event. It’s also helpful to include and last-minute tips and instructions for details on where and when to meet and how to check in.  

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3. Post-Event Automated Emails

Just because the event is over doesn’t mean you stop communicating with the people who attended. These are perfect leads to continue nurturing and re-engaging. Don’t let them slip between the cracks. Use these post-event automated emails to engage and get someone sales qualified to rise to the top.

Here’s an example workflow:

  • Email 1: Send an automated email to everyone who attended the event with a thank you, telling them you hope they enjoyed the event. Include a link to the event’s presentation notes or recording. Give them additional value for attending by offering them one-on-one time or the opportunity to talk and share questions or concerns with you.
  • Email 2: Send an email that links to a blog that highlights key takeaways from the event or blog posts that were written post-event about the event.
  • Email 3: Offer a download of premium content (like a checklist or e-book) that syncs with the theme of the event. Remind them that your organization is the thought leader in your industry by providing valuable educational resources.
  • Email 4: Offer a free consultation, demo, trial, or one-on-one exclusive to the attendees. This approach can produce an increase in your bottom funnel activities if they feel that this is a custom experience that only they can be a part of.

Now that you have a better plan to automate emails for your next event, you can look like the hero to your boss and will be able to nurture the people who attended your event! The best way to decide which automated emails you need to create for your event is by tracking, measuring, and analyzing the emails from the events to see what works and what doesn’t.

What are your thoughts? Are there any automated emails that have been super successful for you when putting on an event? Care to share? Leave a comment below!

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Shannon Delmarle

About the author

Shannon Delmarle Shannon is a marketing strategist for SmartBug Media. She has been a HubSpot power-user since 2011 and believes in the right mix of pairing inbound marketing with traditional marketing strategies. Her experience in lead generation, lead nurturing and content marketing have helped many clients across a variety of industries. Read more articles by Shannon Delmarle.