Are You Guilty for Sending Idiot Marketing Messages?

Here are some [what I consider to be] idiotic marketing messages:
  • Last chance to sign up is Friday!
  • Hours left to save – register today!
  • Early bird pricing extended!
  • High-level content at ABC Conference!
  • Elite Expertise at XYZ Summit!
  • Breaking News: XYZ to keynote Acme Conferenc
You may ask why I characterize them as idiotic. Perhaps you’re thinking “I use that approach in my email subject lines all the time!” However, I’d argue that these messages primarily are for situations where you know that people are interested in attending your event already. In those circumstances a price reduction, some kind of promotion, or additional information on an event’s content may be what’s going to get them to register for your event, if they are already engaged with you or the event marketing. But otherwise this kind of marketing is blind and clueless.

The thing that always gets me about poor marketing tactics is when the presumed ‘buyer’s path’ is based on faulty assumptions, the biggest of which is that the recipient of your messaging actually cares about your event or already is a raving fan.

Given that most events are not considered to be indispensable – or indispensable over a sustained period – to assume a prior year’s attendee is predisposed to return, if given the right incentive – is a mistake. Was the event valuable for them or memorable in some way? Or was it just an interruption of their daily business? How do you know?

If someone hasn’t been convinced of the value of your event – or worse, doesn’t pay attention to your marketing and therefore doesn’t know what you are talking about – do you think they’ll care that the early bird discount ends on Friday or some other marketing offer? If you are not segmenting your lists and tailoring your message for your key personas, then I’d argue you are guilty of lazy marketing. You haven’t put in the time to know whether a price decrease is the right offer. You’re just guessing.

You should be able to segment your past attendees into 4-5 main categories. Then you should ensure you have a buyer path for each category, a path that is not based on assumptions but rather is grounded in data and personal knowledge.

Assuming you have the metrics to indicate that the members of a segment are at a point in the buyer’s path when they’re ready to sign up, the messages I referenced above should have an impact. If you are crafting the same message for everyone- get ready for marketing panic.
Prospects are getting smarter. They’ll avoid you and your messages unless you also are smart about them….

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