How Events Can Boost List Engagement and Maximize Your Revenue

We’re all taught to build email lists.

But there’s one thing people don’t talk about much when it comes to email marketing, and that’s what to do after you’ve built your list.

Engagement is the second biggest struggle email marketers face, right after finding the time to actually plan and execute campaigns.

boost list engagement - email marketing challenges infographicSource

Which means there’s a lot of you out there who have an email list, but aren’t sure what to do with it.

Today, I want to talk about a simple way you can increase engagement within your list while maximizing potential earnings – something we should all be doing with our campaigns.

This method is something I call events-based marketing.

What Is An Event?

Put simply, an event is a thing that happens, especially one of importance.
Now, when I say event here, I don’t mean an all-singing, all-dancing conference or concert or a real-life event that takes months and months of planning. It can be something as simple as a promotion of your product.

An event is something you lead up to, and email marketing is the perfect way to prime your audience and get them interested in what you’re putting down.

It doesn’t matter what your method is, all that matters is that you’re doing it with purpose.

Because the thing with events-based marketing (and email marketing in general) is that it needs to be done with precision – you can’t just shoot from the hip and hope for the best.

How Does Events-Based Marketing Work in Email Marketing?

boost list engagement - infographic

Think of an events-based email marketing campaign like a concert or a gig.

There’s the introduction, where the band greets the audience and builds up to the show; there’s the middle, where the band actually performs; and there’s the end, where the show comes to a close.

Email marketing is the same.

Let’s take a look at a sample 7-day email sequence as an example so you can really see how this translates into a campaign. Imagine I’m launching or promoting my email tools product to my list and I want to build up a bit of excitement.

The launch is my “event”, and the email campaign fits around it to build trust with my list and to educate them on why they might need my product.

The 7-day email sequence

Day One: Pre-Build Up

The first email is optional, but I’d recommend a pre-launch build up if you’re promoting a higher-priced product to your list.

When you boil a pre-launch down to its basics, it’s simple: you’re using your emails to create the right mindset in your audience.

So, in this first email, you want to educate your audience on why they might need your product. But here’s the kicker: you’re not actually mentioning your product in this email.

Instead, you want to provide them with a great piece of content that will teach them something about the topic of the product you’re selling.

For example, if I’m promoting my email tools product, I might send a blog post or a video that teaches my list something about email marketing, like how to get higher open rates, or examples of winning welcome emails.

Day Two: The Introduction

Before a band gets into their set at a concert, there’s a moment where they introduce themselves, tell the audience a bit about themselves, and open up a dialogue with their fans.

For email marketing campaigns, this is where things really kick off.

In the first “official” email of your launch, you want to introduce the event (or the product that you’re leading up to selling). Here, you want to talk to your audience about what’s going to happen and what they can expect from you if they invest in your product or service.

Transparency is so important in 2017, so it’s vital that you let your audience know exactly what you’re talking about.

In fact, it’s so important, that a huge 94% of consumers say that they’re likely to be more loyal to a brand that offers complete transparency.

boost list engagement - transparency statsSource

Day Three: Time For a Refresher

At every concert there’s a warm-up act that gets the audience ready for a night of fun and music.

When it comes to your events-based email marketing campaign, this is where you refresh your audience’s memories about the product you pitched to them the day before.

Again, this is a simple email that’s open and honest. A quick “Hey, yesterday I emailed you about the product I’m launching and I’d love for you to check it out again,” will do the trick.

Day Four: Add in a Variable

Authority is important for any brand wanting to rise above competitors in their niche and on day four, this is exactly what you’ll be doing.

When I say add in a “variable”, I’m referring to an email that again shares informative and educational content about the topic of your product.

I’ve spoken about the Cookie System before [link to Cookie System post] when it comes to email marketing, and a variable email is offering your list another free treat by coming at things from a different angle.

For example, if I’m promoting my email tools product, I might take this opportunity to share a video, an interview, or another piece of content about how email marketing can be integrated into an overall marketing strategy.

Day Five: Promote With a Difference

Again, you want to take this opportunity to actively promote your product in a way you haven’t already.

Your list doesn’t want to read another “here’s my product, please buy it” email, so consider the different ways you can show them how your product will benefit them.

To do this, check out the way you’ve written emails one and two.

For example, I might have emailed my list a couple pieces of content about click-through rates in emails and engagement, so now it’s time to talk to them about a different aspect of email marketing and link in my product.

I might talk about scarcity when it comes to emails. My tools package might have a timer feature it in, so I’m focusing on that to create excitement around my product. Essentially, I’m changing the way my list think about my product by focusing on one feature and sharing how that could be a huge benefit to them.

Then, you link in your product in a kind of educational-promotional email. At the end of the email, after laying out the amazing pros of scarcity, you can say, “and hey, by the way, my product has this exact feature.”

Day Six: Share Content

Day six is another “variable email” day, where you send your list a piece of content, whether that’s a video, blog post, or interview, that teaches them something related to your product topic.

But this isn’t just a pure content email. At the bottom, you want to add in a little P.S. that reminds your subscribers about your product and that they only have a limited time left to buy (because, of course, we’re implementing scarcity here!).boost list engagement - Neil Patel emailNeil Patel does a great job at including a P.S. in this email.

Day Seven: Scarcity Day

It’s the final day of your launch, so give yourself a pat on the back.

It’s not over completely yet, though.

Today, you’re going to implement a healthy bit of scarcity. People don’t like to feel like they’re missing out – in fact, a report by Experian found that promotional emails that conveyed a sense of urgency see at least a 14% increase in open rates and 59% higher transaction-to-click rates.

Basically, FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real thing. We’ve all been there: an email lands in our inbox that says a course is about to close or a product is about to sell out and we instantly feel like we don’t want to miss out even if we don’t particularly want or need what’s on offer.
boost list engagement - cookie jar graphAn metaphorical example of scarcity working in the real world. Source.

Even if your product isn’t “closing” and will be open year-round, you want to make it seem like your subscribers are about to miss out without misleading. Saying something like “this is the last email I’m going to send you about this” is a simple way of tapping into our deeply-embedded FOMO.

What Does Events-Based Email Marketing Mean For Sales?

I spoke at the beginning about how events-based email marketing is one of the best ways to maximize your potential revenue as a business.

So when can you expect the sales to come rolling in?

The days that you’re going to be making the most sales are days one and six, with the last day most likely seeing a surge in last-minute sales.

A lot of marketers will send out the first three emails and, not seeing the results they want, will give up and consider the campaign a failure.

However, most marketers find they make the majority of sales on the last day, because by then you’ve nurtured your audience and shown them that they need this product. You’ve educated them over six days about your product’s topic; you’ve introduced them to it, reminded them about it, shown them content related to it, and asked them to buy.

The Key Thing to Remember…

Creating a sequence and sticking to it is the most important thing when it comes to events-based email marketing. It comes with a bit of planning, but once you’ve set your mind to it, you can execute it in a few easy steps:

  1. After you’ve figured out what product you want to launch or promote, take a look through the content you have already that’s related to that topic. 
  2. Next, look over the sales page and think about the different angles you can approach this sequence with, whether it’s a unique feature you can educate your audience on, or a study that backs-up why your product is a necessity.
  3. Finally, it’s time to lay it all out into a sequence that both educates and promotes, just like the sample campaign I laid out above.

This particular type of campaign can easily be adjusted for five days, three days, or however many days you need to get your message across.

And if we take it back to the Cookie System quickly, you can see that in the example above I’ve taken cookies from my audience on days one, two, and six. But otherwise, I’ve been handing out cookies with the valuable content I’ve been sharing.

It’s all about creating balance if you want to nurture engagement and make more sales with your list. Once you’ve warmed up your audience and they understand who you are, don’t be scared of selling to them.

This is exactly what makes the events-based email marketing method such a success and why it’s one of the best ways to generate more revenue for your business.

Start maximizing your potential revenue with Sendlane today!



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Jimmy Kim

Based out of San Diego, California, Jimmy has been a digital marketer for the past 10+ years. Before his ventures online, Jimmy rose from the ranks, started off by washing cars at a local dealership and eventually ended up being one of the youngest General Managers in the country by the age of 25. After being burnt out working 80+ hours a week, he eventually turned to Digital Marketing. He found a passion in email marketing and in 2013 helped create Sendlane as one of the co-founders. Today, he leads the entire Sendlane team.
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