I’m planning to go to ALA2022 in Washington DC at the end of June (well, like 90% sure). I’m starting to get vendor emails about the conference – mostly invites to breakfasts, private events, and product launches. Normal vendor stuff.
That’s all good! But I just received an email that wasn’t so hot. Why not? Here’s a short list of things they did wrong:
- Bad email subject heading. It just mentioned the annual conference … nothing else. Seriously – the whole subject line says this: “The American Library Association’s Annual Conference.”
- Bad email content. It was all about this vendor’s brand-spankin’ new … conference booth! This is me, not caring about that fancy new booth.
- Bad video message. Finally, at the end of the email, there’s an embedded video – a message from someone in sales, I think (they don’t actually say who he is – they just mention his name). In the short video, the sales dude reminds me that: 1. there’s a conference coming up soon (yep, I know that), 2. there will be lots of vendors there (yep, I know that too), and 3. they have a new booth!
Ok – good for them for trying to do some good email marketing and for inviting me to find them at the conference. However, I think this vendor could have done a better job of it! Really easily!
Some things they could do differently next time include:
- Don’t remind me there’s a conference. I know. I’m pretty sure they got their email list from ALA (my library’s not a customer of theirs).
- Change that email subject line to something a bit more catchy and/or useful. Something like “3 Reasons to Visit us at ALA!” Or “we’re excited to see you in DC! Here’s why!”
- Don’t mention the new booth. Um, guys. I am glad you are excited about that fun new booth. But guess what? Your customers are not. They’re actually interested in your new products, updates, innovations, etc. And how that new product might help meet their goals. You know … stuff like that. The booth is something that your sales team is probably pretty excited about, but not something your customers will notice. Instead, give me some solid reasons to visit your booth: things like … New products! A discount! A free t-shirt (hey, I’d wear it on lawn-mowing day). Then when I’m there… don’t mention the booth.
- Short video message – great idea! Do a little editing (it could have been snappier pretty easily). And tell me about your new stuff (not about the booth). Or even your old stuff that still works.
Most importantly, this company should re-think their reasons why I should visit their booth. If the most exciting customer-centric reason to visit your booth is that you have a new booth … you are probably wasting time in the exhibit hall. I’m positive you can come up with a bunch of better reasons to visit your booth with a good 10 minutes of brainstorming time. So next time, do that brainstorming and focus on those things instead.