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Old 25th March 2014, 06:47 PM   #1
mrniceguy
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Default Tips For Inviting Mailing List To An Event

We will be purchasing a mailing list that targets a specific demographic in our local market.

Our event is going to cost quite a bit of money to host. On top of that, this will be our first time doing something like this, so I'd like to have some type of guidance.

Here are a few of my major concerns:

1. What action should we have people take on the postcards we're going to send out? Should it be to call us to RSVP or register? Send an email to register?

2. How do we follow up with them prior to the event to remind them about the event?

3. Are there professionals I can consult to assist in helping us use some best practices for inviting strangers, via mail, to an event?

I've looked online for some best practices for inviting strangers to an event, however I haven't found anything useful just yet.

Any constructive feedback is appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Old 4th April 2014, 09:55 AM   #2
CooperJay
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I would suggest having a form to register that can be sent back to you that includes participants emails and phone numbers. You can then remind them about the event via email. I think email would be the best idea in this case as it's the easiest and cheapest way to contact people

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Old 16th April 2014, 10:05 AM   #3
David Bellm
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I would consider how much engagement you have with your audience, and how much demand/expectation there is among your prospects for this sort of event. The more connection you have with your audience and the more demand there is, the less steps you have to take with your communications.

For example, if your audience is eagerly anticipating this sort of thing, you might be able to get them to RSVP just from reading your mailing. But if your organization is a complete stranger to them, and they've never given much thought to an event like yours, it may take another step -- going to a website, most likely.

Bottom line: I'd call for both. Something along the lines of "RSVP by dropping this card in the mail. Or go to our website for more information and online registration."

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Old 27th April 2014, 10:57 AM   #4
Paul R
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Hi,

If I'm not too late to add some advice:

The more ‘touches’ you have with a prospect before asking them to do anything, the more likely it is they will respond as you want. The fact that you’re purchasing a mailing list makes me think that the postcard invite will be the first thing they hear from you?

If that is the case I’d suggest (as a minimum) calling people the day before you expect them to receive their invitation. This will be a soft call (not a sales call) just to let them know that they can expect a special invitation in the post tomorrow. Be prepared to give a brief explanation of what the event is and how they will benefit from attending.

Try to make the call a little personal and mention that other local businesses in the area will be coming so there’s a chance to network.

Also, during the call, ask them if it would be ok if you call again in a few days’ time to check they got the invitation if you haven’t received their RSVP back. Again keep it soft and guarantee to them that you will only call once and not badger them each day up until the event.

If your mailer is going out to hundreds of people then you probably won’t be able to do this to every invitee (unless you outsource it) so cherry pick the businesses you really want to be there and focus on them.

As far as what action you should take to get them to respond I would give as many options as possible. Give them an email address to use, put a phone number on there and put a web address on there that takes them to a sign up form on your website (keep the form short – just name and email).

Ideally, no matter which method they use to register you need to get their name and email address - that is gold for your sales funnel going forward.

As the event approaches make sure you give people a call/drop them an email to remind them about the event. Again, if you’re able to talk to them they’re more likely to turn up as you’re building the bond.

Finally, keep in mind a few things:

Direct mail usually only has a 2%-3% success rate; using all the tactics above, plus a slick team, might raise the response rate to about 5% so don’t get too depressed if numbers are small. I used to do seminars for local businesses using mail drops and would send out about 1000 letters for each event if; I got 20 people in the room I was doing well as I knew that at least one was likely to sign up and that would cover my costs and more for the event.

Also keep in mind that even though people say they will come many won’t turn up. Again, roll with it. It can actually be an advantage in some cases as you can call them and say that as they couldn’t turn up how about you visit them at their premises and explain what it was all about?

Hope that all helps.

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Old 28th April 2014, 09:06 PM   #5
EasyCleanTO
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"Direct mail usually only has a 2%-3% success rate;"

Do you know if this is for all types of direct mail? Would a campaign for a local service be lower you think?

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Old 29th April 2014, 11:19 AM   #6
Paul R
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2%-3% is the often-quoted 'industry standard' and I mentioned that just to give a perspective of what to expect and not to feel downhearted if numbers responding seemed low.

Personally, I don't have any data to say whether a local campaign might do any better or worse; I think it would depend on quite a few variables such as the form of the mailer, how well your company is already known in the area and even what day of the week they arrive.
Like all marketing the answers only start to emerge when you've been able to do some testing and measuring to determine what works for you and your sector. That might seem like a depressingly long and drawn out process but stick with it - every time you do it you're taking action and you will learn lessons which will make the next one better.

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