Future Proof Your Event Business with Email Marketing
Aleya Harris, CPCE and founder, and owner of Flourish Marketing, said the last year has been full of ups and downs. “First there was the complete stop. Then there were re-scheduling and postponing events (and more rescheduling and postponements) and inconsistently working with new clients. And now, it is the other end of the spectrum, with a likely flood of new business coming.”
But while running a business can be a roller-coaster – especially in an industry that is constantly evolving – she said designing a long-lasting and sustainable strategy falls on your ability to develop strong relationships and reach your target market where they already are: in their inboxes.
We invited her to chat with us and shed light on the strategies behind future-proofing your event business with an effective marketing funnel and email marketing strategy.
Turning Your Talent Into Treasure
Every event planner needs a consistent system to ensure you have a steady flow of new clients, said Aleya. “Instead of living a feast and famine lifestyle, there is a way to create a consistent stream of clients and make money doing what you love, turning your talent into treasure. It all starts with a marketing funnel.”
She explained a marketing funnel is a framework businesses use to turn strangers into customers. “A marketing funnel is hungry, and if you aren’t feeding your marketing funnel, then you’re probably also having a hard time feeding your bank account without feeling super stressed.”
- At the widest part at the top of the funnel, the goal is to attract – to feed that hungry funnel with new contacts, said Aleya.
- As it narrows to the middle, the goal becomes to convert – “to build relationships through social media, email marketing, and other efforts to help those prospects know that you can help solve their challenge.”
- At the bottom, at the narrowest point, the goal is to close. Aleya explained, “because you’ve already provided relevant, helpful information, the shift becomes telling potential clients specifically why they should work with you.”
Aleya shared that email marketing is one specific strategy that can be used from the top of the marketing funnel to nudge strangers to the bottom where they turn into customers. “Email list building has a high conversion rate and addresses all three portions of your marketing funnel, giving you pretty awesome superpowers when it comes to building your business.”
For example, right now, many purchase decisions are made online. And unlike Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or other social platforms owned by others who decide if potential customers see – and how frequently – your content, email marketing is under your control. “Building like and trust by showing up consistently in someone’s inbox allows you to sell to a warm audience who already has an affinity for you and what you offer. And these are people who want to hear from you because they opted into your list.”
Aleya also shared powerful stats about the value of email marketing. Email generates $38 for every $1 spent — an incredible 3,900% ROI. And 50 percent of buyers –including millennials – in the U.S. check their personal email account more than ten times a day. “That’s ten opportunities or more that you have to get in front of your client,” said Aleya.
Building Your Email List
To feed your funnel and build a lucrative, financially stable, and growing business, Aleya explained her seven-part roadmap to building email lists:
- Identify your audience. “You can’t sell to someone you don’t know with generic messaging. You need to sell to a specific person, and your ideal customer avatar (ICA) is that person.” Conduct research and build out their profile using both demographic and psychographic traits.
- Create a lead magnet. “A lead magnet is a downloadable piece of content that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. This is one of the most effective top of funnel strategies,” said Aleya.
- Collect and segment using an email service provider. “Collecting, tagging, and segmenting email addresses generated by your lead magnet helps you avoid generic messaging.”
- Build a landing page storefront for your lead magnet. “On one side of the landing page is the ideal client, and the other side is that juicy free lead magnet offer. The job of the lead landing page is to collect contact information, including email address, and convert visitors into leads.”
- Keep talking. “To build like and trust that ultimately leads to lucrative relationships, you need a nurture sequence – an automated series of five to seven emails that someone receives when they subscribe to your email list.”
- Stay top of mind. “Just because you’ve sent automated emails doesn’t mean these contacts are ready to buy. Create weekly content – like a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel – to both increase website visitors and share with your email list.”
- Promote your content. “Just because you build it doesn’t mean visitors will come. If you aren’t promoting your lead magnet or weekly content, you’re not driving any email list building. Share the content on organic and paid social, on your website, in your email signature, and even in paid ads.
More Tips for Building Your List
Aleya reiterated how important it is to not let fear hold you back from moving forward. “You can become the confident and competent owner of a lucrative, seasonally stable and growing creative business, and survive and thrive doing what you love,” with these additional tips.
- Get organized and set deadlines. “Failing to plan is planning to fail. Set yourself up for success by blocking off time on your calendar to work on instead of in your business. It’s not going to happen if you don’t make it happen.”
- Get assistance if you need help. “If you’re feeling a little shaky building out email funnels, outsource copywriting or related tasks to others.”
- Pick an email delivery time and test it. “There are certain days that are very email heavy, but there is no one right way of email marketing that applies to everyone. Test different approaches and see which ones have better open rates and which ones convert better.”
- Look at other emails you receive. “You can learn a lot about building and nurturing an email list by looking at your personal emails, who is sending them, and when the tone and the content used within them. “
Building an effective marketing funnel and email marketing strategy – that you have complete control over – creates a future-proof strategy that ensures you, your company, and your brand stay top-of-mind while generating revenue on demand.
To hear more of Aleya’s insights and examples to future-proof your event business, watch the session on-demand.
For more helpful insights like these, see Allseated’s calendar of upcoming free webinars.