Center for Exhibition Industry Research’s Guru Report Examines How to Cut Through Noisy Email Inboxes

June 9, 2015

It seems like people’s inboxes are getting more and more jammed every day with emails coming from all directions.

Even with the ‘email fatigue’ most people complain about, it’s still the most effective form of communication before, during and after a show – the key is being heard through all of the clutter.

The latest Center for Exhibition Industry Research’s Guru Report – "Separating Signal from the Noise – How to Make Your Emails Better" - written by digital strategist Jason Falls, examines a few ways that emails can be better.

The first thing Falls advises people to do is throw out the rulebook about what is the best way to write an email.

He cites the example of King Arthur Flour, which has 600,000 subscribers and sends out 2-3 weekly emails with subject lines in all CAPS and with the word ‘Free’, completely in the face of the ‘rules.’

The company’s emails have a higher than average open rate and had a 386 percent higher conversion rate than a comparable email subject line that followed the ‘rules.’

The key to their success was testing, Falls said. “Your audience may respond well to ALL CAPS. But if you are following the ‘rules’ you would never know,” he added.

Falls also advises that people not get too hung up on designing an email with tons of photos, videos, etc.

“Nothing makes an email more powerful than expertly written copy,” he added, “Catching the recipient’s attention, taking them on a quick journey, and making them believe that more than anything they have to take the action you want them to take and take it right now, is a thing of beauty.”

Most shows have to send out a series of emails leading up to, during and after a show. Falls suggests that people write these emails as if they were chapters in a book and you need to get people hooked into a storyline. He adds, “… stop and rethink what path you are taking your prospects down.”

Most people speed read through their emails, but good ones will actually make them stop and take the time to read them through. So what makes a ‘good’ email? One that makes people feel something. Falls calls it the “Holy Smokes” method of content marketing.

“Your job as a marketer, with every piece of content you produce, including your emails, is to make the reader stop and say, ‘Holy Smokes! That’s (insert adjective here)!’ If your headline and subsequent email copy does that, you win,” Falls said.

A buzzword right now in the world of content marketing is ‘marketing automation’, which allows users to create more of a ‘personal’ feel to emails. Someone can not only create a personal greeting, but also program a marketing automation platform to send different emails to different people, then different follow ups based on their response, lack of response, frequency of response and more.

In addition, someone can categorize and monitor the behavior of prospects based on size of company, geographic region and gender of the primary contact.

Falls said the conversion rate is high, but it takes a lot of planning with breaking down all the data and programming it.

However, it’s worth it. “… building out rules in your system that makes the reader feel a bit more human in the exchange can be the difference between a 15 percent open rate and a 25 percent open rate, or a five percent conversion rate and a 10 percent conversion rate,” Falls said.

For more information on how to cut through the email inbox noise, please order the CEIR Guru report HERE

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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.