Stay Classy and Go Old School: CadmiumCD's Direct Mail Secrets
Here at CadmiumCD, we love to reach out to new and existing clients in a variety of ways. From email, social media, and our blog, to hosting user's groups and webinars we want to reach our friends and colleagues through various channels. But the method we love most is direct mail.
Why is that, you ask? The conversion rate is about the same as online advertising. The price can sometimes be steep. And it takes a lot of work to put together a campaign. What's the big idea?
Well, it's our favorite method of outreach because it can make the biggest impact. It's the most personal and thoughtful.
Take a few tips from us and start marketing your event (or exhibitor booth if you're an expo manager) like we market our products. You, your sponsors, and your attendees will be thrilled with the results!
Here's a couple of our direct mail secrets to get you started:
Say Thank You
When we have clients who are especially easy-going, or work with us through difficult times, we like to send them personalized thank you cards. The response is almost immediate and the effect is much greater than an email. It allows us to have a one-on-one direct interactions with the people we care about. But it also lets them know we're truly thinking about them. Nowadays an email or phone call is just too easy that it doesn't really make an impact.
We also send out Holiday Cards during those special times of the year when everybody is celebrating something. This way we can keep in touch and show our clients that we're thinking about them. We show gratitude that they are part of our community with such a simple act.
For your event, make a note to keep in touch and let the people who have seen you at your worst and helped you be your best know that you're grateful for them. Maybe you had a sponsor who was especially understanding, perhaps you'd like to wish your attendees happy holidays, or it's likely that you have a member of your own team that's been working their tail off to make your event possible.
The best thing to do is to send them a little sign of your appreciation!
Make It Fun AND Relevent
In addition to sending thank you cards and other thoughtful signs of appreciation, a surefire way to get people excited is to send them a post card or flyer. But you can't send them any old post card or flyer. It must be well-designed, provide a little bit of humor, and relevant to your event.
Remind attendees to finish their registration, book their hotels, or plan their conference session itinerary with a cute minature poster that falls right into place with your event's theme. Send them promotions that they can bring to your conference and turn in to a sponsor booth for extra drink vouchers. Or, if you're using a scavenger hunt app, ask them to download your mobile event app and give them a pre-game QR code that they can earn points with before they even arrive to the conference.
Don't Forget to Connect
Whatever you do, you don't want to forget to make things interactive. And you definitely don't want to forget that direct mail (like any marketing) isn't effective by itself. You need to craft a fully-formed journey to take your potential and existing attendees on that ends with a human connection.
Our most recent mailer was a lot of fun to put together and did a great job doing just that.
First, we designed a beautiful post card with a little bit of info about our conference management software, the Conference Harvester. We played on the fact that you can plant the seeds of your conference (speaker profiles, presentation slides, exhibitor data), and in a couple months, you'll see your event blossom and come to life.
And the paper its printed on is completely compostable! It even contains little wildflower seeds embedded within, making it not only green, but also eco-active. Being part of a company that was at the forefront of the sustainable events movement (we've been doing digital proceedings since the year 2000), it was important to us to touch on that point as well.
If you notice, there's a link to www.CadmiumCD.com/SummerDrink.asp in the bottom right hand corner. Follow this page and the message is reiterated. But in addition to that, we've got a little drink recipe for our event planners to sip on as they watch their conference grow.
The recipe is perfect because along with the post card, we sent watermelon seed packets, also beautifully designed (thanks to our fantastic in-house graphic designer, Rachel Vrankin)! We like to think that all this works in unison, completely coherent, very creative, and providing a personal connection with our potential customers.
We also hope we've inspired a little bit of creativity into your conference planning and event marketing efforts. Please take a moment to share a time when you've used similar methods for communicating with your attendees through direct mail.
Find us on Twitter or leave a comment below. We can't wait to hear from you!
Written by Mike Doane
About Michael Doane
Michael Doane is head of marketing at CadmiumCD. He is focused on educating event planners about the benefits of implementing technology at their trade shows and conferences. Download his free eBook, "The Most Influential Advances in Event Technology", then connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.