There is a lot of bad pre show marketing for trade shows. Here’s one I just saw on linkedin:
“Be at stand 207 on the 15th-16th July for the best xyz solutions in the ABC Industry” at the whatever show (names have been removed of course)
It does nothing, it’s one ear out the other, forgotten a moment later, you need to get people to take action in your pre show marketing, (or any marketing for that matter). People forget doctors appointments, they forget their better halves birthday but you expect them to remember that your booth out of 100+ others 2-4 weeks away from the show is something they will remember? No they will not remember it.
The 2 PURPOSES of pre show marketing your booth
- Motivate people to come to your booth (duh)
- Take an action that helps them remember to go to your booth on the dates of the trade show
The Moment your customers receive your pre-show marketing message is the moment they will either gloss over it straight away or acknowledge it- If they acknowledge it and don’t take an action that helps them remember it they wont remember it.
I get many emails and for example in the footer is the old “we are the best come to our booth 507 yada yada yada” Which I read and forget, sometimes I want to see them-and I still forget. Instead get them to do an action that helps them remember:
- Get them to write in in their diary (not the best)
- have a link that adds it to their google calendar
- Or figure a way to have it in their outlook reminders
- I am sure their is an iphone reminder app
- have a competition where they fill out an online form and then send email auto-responders out reminding them
- Get them to SMS and have a keyword SMS reminder sent out periodically (SMS does not go into their spam folder,is read and not normally unsubscribed from unless you abuse it
- A combination of SMS and email- (Get them to sms keyword to xyz number with an auto reply of an offer with link to email to get more info about the customer.)
- If you do a linkedin update- get them to comment, so that they get reminded with each comment, and then time one closer to the date- so you need something that gets people to comment other than saying we are going to be here. (Obviously you need to be engaging in your post)
- Setup a facebook events page- and invite via facebook
- there are a lot more options out there.
There are a lot of options but the point it with your pre-show you need them to take action right now, and that action must allow them to remember or be reminded of your booth and what you offer. Your type of business and type of customers will determine what systems you put in place.
It is up to you to make it easy for customers to remember to go to your booth
Personally I believe it is important that you control the communication- so you get their contact details for your own reminders as opposed to getting them to remind themselves. It’s similar to handing out your business card- you have to wait for them to contact you, better to get their card and you can contact them any time
We live in a world where we are constantly communicated with from every angle so you need to get them to take an action after receiving your communication or it will most probably fail.
The moment straight after your customers take in your message is the moment they need to take an action.
On the topic of what to do to get them to take action
(it’s been covered by many others before)
- There are several shows that charge the visitor an entry fee- and organizers give out many more tickets than they lead on about so you can offer free tickets for the first 10,30,100,whatever number of people to signup.you would first organise this with the organiser
- Time sensitive offers
- free downloadable gifts- (I once offered a health expo client 8 hypnotherapy MP3’s (quit smoking,stay in shape etc) and the visitor would get all 8 if they signed up- the client had a lot of signups as you can imagine- the cost of the digital product was nada.
- Bonuses to purchases,competitions to win what evers
- This part is like any promotion and will change depending on who your target market are.
Programs I use:
For email auto-responders and sign up forms I use Interspire Email Marketer which while over $400 initially there are no ongoing costs and you can make as many lists as you want and any number of auto-responders. Support for this is rather crap if I must say but I rarely have a problem. I use a modwest server.I do offer this service to my customers if they need it-it takes 3 minutes to setup easy
Mail chimp does have a free newsletter edition but to get auto-responders to work requires payment (but not much)
If you are looking for free and you use wordpress checkout https://wordpress.org/plugins/tags/autoresponder for many free plugins although you may want a good web host to send emails. also checkout https://sendgrid.com/ for SMTP services I use them and they are fantastic (if your program allows different SMTP settings)
I am currently looking at http://burstsms.com.au/ and http://www.textit.com.au/ in AustraliaGoogle “SMS Keyword autoresponder” In the USA you can get it very cheaply for 2 cents per SMS but you will probably need a dedicated number for this.