» Inside the Inbox: Bridal Show Email List Dos and Don’ts

This post was written by Matt Byrd, WeddingWire’s Email Marketing Specialist. WeddingWire was recently recognized by the Email Institute as one of the best brands for email marketing, alongside companies such as Amazon, J.Crew and Starbucks.
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One of the perks of exhibiting at bridal shows is that you get to collect email addresses from the potential clients you meet. To get the most out of your bridal show experience, focus on making email address collection as easy as possible, and then create effective messages to reach out to those bridal show clients.

Some email service providers make email collection on-the-go a snap. For example, MailChimp has a handy iPad app (Chimpadeedoo) that lets you easily collect addresses and sync them automatically to your MailChimp database. Some bridal shows make it even easier for you by supplying a list of registrants’ contact information at the conclusion of the event, so you don’t have to worry about collecting their emails at your booth.

Once the event is over, here are a few suggestions for maximizing on your new list of contacts:

  • Timeliness: Make sure you follow-up with potential clients quickly after the event. As time passes between the event and when you actually send your follow-up emails, attendees could potentially forget who you were and that they gave their email address to you.
  • Relationship: In your email, mention that you are contacting them because of the specific bridal show they attended. This establishes that you already have a relationship, which will lend credibility to your message and keep it from seeming like Spam. While it’s tempting to lump several bridal show lists together and send one email, you should create different messages that contain the different names of the bridal shows. Personalization will pay off!
  • Relevance: All of these new potential clients are not the same! They should get specific messages tailored to their event needs. When you meet a potential new client, in addition to their email address, collect some basic information about their event, such as the date or location, and then group them into buckets based on shared characteristics. You can send an email with a photo of a winter wedding to couples with winter wedding dates, or offer a “Spring Fever” discount to couples with April and May wedding dates.
  • Privacy: If you are using your regular email account to send your emails instead of an email service provider (like MailChimp or ConstantContact), make sure that you don’t just copy and paste the list of email addresses into the “To:” field. Aside from looking unprofessional, this violates the privacy of everyone you’re emailing. Use the “BCC:” field to hide all of your recipients’ addresses. (We definitely encourage you to switch to an email service provider, though, as it will offer you many great features and allow you to track your emails’ performance!)

Email is a strong tool to move potential clients to booked events! Get started with Matt’s tips today, and check back soon for more top email marketing strategies for your business.