In the event planning world, you always want to ensure your exhibitors’ success. Successful booths mean a high ROI, and a high ROI means happy exhibitors. Providing value is critical in building long- term relationships with the organizations that invest time and resources in your events. One of the ways you can do this is by providing them with email marketing tips to help drive traffic to their booths. 

Pre-event email marketing is an essential way for exhibitors to attract the ideal customer and help them see how their product or service meets their needs. Whether you provide a registration list or not, these tips will offer added value to your exhibitors’ experience and help them maximize their pre-show marketing.  

Strong Subject Lines 

This tip may seem fairly obvious, but chances are that the majority of your email list is not even opening your emails. 
average open rate across all industries in 2020 was a measly 18%. That’s a significant number of potential visitors left on the 
table. So, what can you do to be better than average? 

Personalized subject lines are proven to help with open rates. Taking a personalized approach can help engage your audience from the beginning. But try something different. Everyone uses first names. Why not use the recipient’s title instead if you have it on your marketing list? For example, “Booth XYZ is Curated for Product Specialists.”  

We also highly recommend doing an A/B test on a portion of your audience first, particularly if you have a large list. Keep testing on small percentages of your list until you find the magic formula before distributing to the majority. 

However, it is important to keep in mind that your open rate metrics could be skewed as early as September. At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the company announced a rollout of a handful of new iOS 15 privacy features that will include mail privacy protection. According to many reports, Apple Mail will allow users to opt-in to mail privacy features that mask IP addresses and block third parties from tracking email opens. Although open rates aren’t going away any time soon, a large chunk of email audiences might become untrackable. You might need to lower or pivot your open rate goals to determine your new low, average, and high open rates. 

Responsive Design 

In case you don’t know, responsive design is an approach to web design that makes your web content adapt to different screen and window sizes on a variety of devices. In 2020, opens by mobile device took a hit, with more people being at home. But according to Litmus’s email analytics from January to March of 2021, mobile is back! Litmus analyzed nearly three billion opens in this 
timeframe, and mobile tops all environments with a 43% open rate. So, once you get people to open your emails, you will want to make sure that a large percentage is opening them on mobile. 

If nearly half of your potential visitors are using a mobile device to browse the internet, you can’t just serve them a page designed for desktop. It will be hard to read and use and lead to a bad user experience. 

First, test whether your site is mobile-friendly with Google’s mobile friendly      test. Simply enter your website’s URL and click the “TEST URL” button to get the results. After that, there are some things you can 
do yourself to improve your website, but understand that many elements go into responsive design.  

Email is an old medium, and a lot has changed in the email design world over the last several years. If your company does not have a developer on staff, we recommend using an email platform such as MailChimp, which has responsive templates readily available. If you want to tackle it yourself, here are a few basic tips that can help: 

  • Try to use one column. In a one-column layout, all your email content is placed within a single column, one piece after another. This simple, mobile-first approach ensures that all your information will render perfectly on mobile devices, as well as other larger screens. It’s also great for focusing your audience’s attention on the places you want them to look. 
  • Have whitespace. Chances are that your email template consists of many blocks and sections. Whitespace (or negative 
  • space) makes reading and clicking through your email much easier and more intuitive. And as such, it affects your conversions. 
  • Write clear copy. Make sure your copy is legible, even to someone reading your message while on the go. Consider increasing your line spacing and font size to 14–16 px for regular text and 22 px for headlines. 
  • Include CTAs. Make sure your links and CTAs can be clicked easily by a thumb or finger. In most cases, you’ll want your buttons to be approximately 44 x 44 px (or a minimum of 29 x 44 px). 

Eye-Catching Visuals & Video 

Chances are that your email will be competing with numerous other event invites. Try to avoid including stock images. Instead, incorporate pictures from your past events. They make the email seem authentic.  

Using videos is also another effective option. They give people a different opportunity to learn more about your even and do a great job of conveying your organization’s personality, too. You’ve certainly heard the saying,  “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Well, Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research suggests “a one-minute video is worth 1.8 million words!” 

Final Thoughts
Pre-event email marketing is incredible. It drives traffic and promotes engagement. And whether you access the show’s registration list, or market to your contacts, following these three essential tips will be critical.  Don’t forget about A/B testing, and make sure you always measure your results’ performance.