How to create an email list for your event

Jun 17, 2019 | Featured, How To, Marketing

Putting together an email list may seem like a daunting task, but it’s an essential component to running a successful marketing campaign for your event.

Email lists are perfect for encouraging attendees to return to future events you may run as well as informing new subscribers of events coming up.

Re-engaging previous attendees of your event is a valuable long term solution for increasing revenue and sustainable growth, as it can cost up to five times as much to attract a new attendee than retain an existing one.

Creating an effective emailing list is perfect for building customer loyalty by creating quality content. Whilst there are many ways of building customer loyalty, email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to reach your target audience. People will subscribe to your email because they’ll believe they hold value.

If you’re starting from the very beginning, building an impressive list can feel like an impossible task. So here we’ll cover some quality methods of building up a list from scratch.

How to build an email list from scratch:

Create a custom call to action (CTA) for each landing page or blog:

Personalized CTAs have a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than CTAs that are the same for all visitors. Which is almost double your potential email subscribers.

People who find your blog or a specific page on your website will have been looking for something specific, so it makes sense that your CTA should also be specific and relevant to meet their needs. For example, if you were looking for event marketing techniques, it would make sense for the CTA to read “Subscribe here for more event marketing techniques”.

Of course, these are only effective if you have the resources to create this quality content, but this process doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming or expensive. Some ideas of things you could offer include a fun quiz, an exclusive blog or article, or even just updates on future events or content.

If you offer content directly related to your attendees’ needs, your email newsletter won’t feel like a constant advert. Instead, it will be valuable and helpful, which is key for long-term attendee retention.

Create a pop up for each page or blog on your site:

Whilst a pop-up may seem initially annoying, there are now far more effective and less intrusive ways of prompting website visitors to sign up to your email list.

You can create carefully timed pop-up ads or on-site retargeting. A user can receive a pop-up after they spend a specific amount of time on a page. This could offer content that’s relevant either to the page or to their behavior on the site. Examples of this are exit pop-ups that appear when a user tries to leave the page or scroll pop-ups that appear when a user reaches a specific point on the page.

Pop-ups don’t have to be gimmicky or annoying. If done right, you’ll be able to appeal to your visitors with quality content when and where they need it.

Create a pop-up survey:

Most people don’t visit a website looking for the newsletter sign up form. You need to gain their trust and get them to engage with your content and your event before you present them with a request for their email.

To build your list, you may want to reach out to visitors on specific pages with surveys that are related to that specific content. People tend to be more willing to answer a quick “A or B” question survey if they already feel invested in the content.

If you plan on using this technique we recommend you wait around 10 seconds for your pop-up to appear as this should mean they’re engaging with or reading your content, so in theory, they’re more primed to sign up for emails from a direct source.

Keep it simple. Ask them a question and ask them to include an email address to submit their answer and then they’re done! Remember you do need to ask them whether they’re happy to receive marketing content and emails, but this can be a simple checkbox above the submit button.

Use humor to help give your event and brand a human element:

We’re all so used to seeing so many “yes or no” offers on websites that we often no longer notice them. To help grow your email list, inject some personality and humor into the language you use, as this is a great way of reminding your audience that there’s a human behind the site. This builds that essential trust.

You can create a CTA that’s specific to your event and your audience that will make people hesitate before clicking the “no, thanks”. It’s easy to click no when you ask “do you want to sign up for emails?” But when you ask something more specific to their needs, it becomes a little harder to say no. For example, if you have a key headline act at your event that you know your audience enjoys, ask “Do you want to see X?”

Whilst your audience may still say no, it’s worth testing what works best for your audience and giving them the opportunity to hesitate on your offer.

Make sure your CTA contains value:

The language used in the CTA itself is an important part of making it valuable.

To truly optimize your sign-ups, you don’t actually want to use too many phrases such as “sign up here” or “subscribe” as this can be off-putting for a potential sign up as this language is often associated with junk mail. Instead, you want to focus on using phrases such as “Download”, “Featured”, “Exclusive” and “Access”.

This automatically puts a premium on your content and makes your audience feel they’re gaining access to something that is truly exclusive and specifically for them.

For example, say “ Download our exclusive line up preview here” and then include an email subscription form to access that content. This CTA makes it clear that there’s value to gain from providing your email address.

Your website visitors need to hear how they’ll benefit from providing you with their email address and how this exclusive content isn’t available on your site. The emails need to offer something special otherwise what’s the point?

Promote your newsletter on your social media and email signature:

Even if you don’t have a long list of email subscribers, this doesn’t mean you don’t have an existing network. If you have a following on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, use these connections to help you build your email list.

You can pitch your email list on site, where they already know and like you, so giving them an option to follow you further may go down quite well.

If you don’t feel comfortable pitching on social media or don’t feel like you have a large enough following, you can always consider adding it to your email signature. The link can go directly to your email newsletter or it could link to a blog post or landing page that contains one of the pre-mentioned pop-ups.

On a daily basis, you probably communicate with a diverse range of people that are already gaining value from your personal emails, so they may be interested in exploring your events in more depth if given the option.

Create landing pages with a specific message:

Industry research has shown an increase in potential leads when you increase the number of landing pages on your site.

Creating individual and personalized landing pages allow you to appeal to a wider demographic. Every person who visits your site about your event will be looking for something different and specific to their needs, so the more landing pages you can create to answer each person’s individual concerns, the greater chance you have of gaining sign-ups to your events newsletter.

Include a CTA on your ‘About’ page:

Your ‘About’ page on your website is one of the most important pages in terms of email sign up potential.

This page is there to prime visitors who want to learn more about your event, but it may not be enough to convince them to buy a ticket. A well placed CTA on the page can encourage them to sign up to your newsletter that will provide them with additional information, potentially leading to future ticket sales.

Creating an email list from scratch doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming. By using just a few of these techniques you can begin to grow your own loyal following for your event.

For more advice on how to effectively market your event keep an eye on our blog!

Charlotte Allkins | Marketing Assistant

Charlotte is the Marketing Assistant for Helm, coming from a design background she loves creating all types of content. Discover more of her blogs, as well as, many others here!


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