Stafford Sumner - Wild West CommsOur Guest Blog series sees us spend time with a Wild West friend, be it one of our clients, a journalist or blogger, and let them tell you about their sector and some top tips. Over to Stafford…

Picture the scene…your company has invested thousands of pounds in an event. You’ve spent months preparing for it, your stand is going to look fantastic, yet you’ve still got that nagging question at the back of your mind: “Will the event be successful?”

We know the pressure is on to make the event a success from a business perspective. Will it lead to more sales? Higher engagement? More interest in your products? Put simply, will the head honchos see a healthy return on investment?


In this blog, we’re going to show you a really simple way you can answer all of the above questions. As experts in email marketing, we at Jarrang recommend always using an event as an opportunity to collect customer data. And, after the event, what’s vital is to make sure you effectively utilise this data to help grow your business.

Most businesses are aware that collecting data is important, though not all understand how data collection fits in with their strategy. Good quality data forms the foundation of a great email marketing strategy  and the better you communicate with your customers, the more sales you’ll make.

So your first goal is to get the data from your customers, your second is to have an email marketing strategy in place to communicate with them, and your third is to then have metrics in place to measure how these customers interact with your brand.

This simple five-point guide will give you a great insight into what you should be doing, how you should be doing and why it’s important.


  1. Decide what data you want to collect.

Collecting data is great as long as it’s relevant. The bare minimum you need from your customers is an email address. But what other information would you like to get in order to improve the way you communicate with your customers? For example, could you to ask for a customer’s date of birth so you can send them a happy birthday email? Or do you want to know where they live in order to make your marketing targeted to their location?

There’s no hard and fast rules on this. Know what works for your business and what data you need to improve your communications with customers.


  1. Give people a reason to sign up.


When someone parts with their data it’s akin to a transaction. And the more data you ask for, the higher the perceived value of this transaction. For example, you could ask your customers to part with their email address and in return you’ll send them exclusive offers. There is an equal value in this transaction so your customers will be willing to pay for the offers with their email address. If you want to capture more data than a simple email address, you might want to offer a bigger incentive such as a small giveaway or the chance to win a prize.

Be aware the more data fields you have the less likely it will be for people to sign up, although those who do will be good quality. Time is often at a premium at events so you want this process to be as fast as possible.


  1. Make it easy for people.

Traditionally, you’d have found a clipboard on a stand at an event with a pen strapped to it where people can write their details. Things have moved on from this. Have an iPad or tablet, with a pre-built branded registration page, where you can collect data quickly and efficiently. Another benefit of this is, if you set a triggered email, as soon as someone enters their data they’ll receive their first email from you right there and then while still at your stand, reinforcing your brand at a timely point.


  1. Your first email needs to shine.

You’ve done the hard work. You’ve captured the data now don’t let it go to waste by either not doing anything with it, or sending a poor first email to these potential new customers. Let’s say you run a company that makes gin and, in return for people giving you their data, you’ve given away a free bottle of your gin. You shouldn’t be looking to sell the gin in the first email you send, you should be looking to make people love it. So send them tips on how to make a perfect martini with your gin and then follow this up a week later with some more great content.


  1. Know what happens next


Our best advice would be to make sure you have an email marketing strategy in place so you can continue to send relevant and engaging messages to these potential new customers. Whether you enter them into an automated email journey or simply add them to your existing database, it’s your call. Just don’t let the data sit there and go stale.

If you follow these five steps and know what metrics you want to measure and manage your data correctly, you’ll be able to track the impact of each event you attend over time. This is even more powerful if you’re a retailer with ecommerce tracking in place as you’ll be able to see exactly how much revenue your new sign ups from the event have brought into the business.

At Jarrang, our job is to help turn data into sales and we hope this helps you do the same.


About the author

An expert in developing businesses through data-driven marketing, Stafford Sumner founded Jarrang in 2003. He’s worked with many organisations, helping them grow while enabling them to fundamentally shift the way they operate their sales and marketing processes for the better.


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