The ROI of Simplicity

I love email with great design, bells and whistles, interactivity, and the like. But sometimes, it’s the simple ones that have the greatest effect.

Case in point: a short text email for two seminars. It produced 60 registrations in 24 hours!

It was sent in by David Phillips, of DTI Global Watch Service, which helps businesses in the U.K. improve their competitiveness by identifying and accessing innovative technologies and practices from overseas. (See David’s past contributions.)

The subject line was: “Invitation to attend two DTI Global Watch Mission Seminars in the Performance Engineering Sector.” Here’s the rest of the message (it’s that short!):

Dear Colleague

Please find below links to flyers containing details on two presentations and networking days on the findings of two recent DTI Global Watch Missions.

Foundry Tooling, Model & Mould Making

National Metalforming Centre, Birmingham

21 September 2005

NANOMAT: Nanomaterials Manufacture & Applications

The Science Museum, London

11 October 2005

Please click on the links for further information,. If you would like to register for either event, please use the fax back form included in the flyers and return it to Charlotte Leiper on 01664 501261 or email Charlotte on

There are still places available for the Aluminum Extrusion in Italy: leading through innovation mission seminar, which is taking place next week at Savoy Place, London. For further details on this event, please click on this link

If this email isn’t relevant to you, we apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you do not wish to be contacted again, please respond.


Secrets of Success

Said David, “It’s funny how it comes back to the old traditional ‘old’ rules of offline event marketing that I learned 12 or so years ago. Despite our wired, online world, it’s still the old proven ways underpinning it.”

I asked about credibility. He commented, “Although it can sometimes work the other way over here, having government backing (in our case the Department of Trade & Industry) may well be a bonus in the U.K. I would advise anyone to use the connections they have — whether it’s with a trade association, official publication, whatever.

“As these events deal with emerging technologies, the audience is very niche,” he continued. “We’ve managed to build some very targeted lists — absolutely no room for wastage here. I’ve always found that building your own opt-in lists is slower but ultimately far more responsive than any other method I know of.

“I think a less urgent and commercial tone suits these people well. You’re talking about a lot of technologists who don’t have the commercial mindset of marketers or other front-line execs. Although I usually gag when I see ‘you are warmly/cordially invited to attend…’ it seems to work just as well as ‘this is a must-attend event with over xx leading edge presentations.”

What about venue? “I think the venue is important,” he said. “So many conferences these days take place in mindlessly boring chain hotels; SAS Radisson, Hilton, etc. Forget all that. We try and match the subject of the event to a reasonably relevant venue, hence Foundry Tooling at the National Metalforming Centre, and Nanotechnology at the Science Museum. I’m sure it makes a difference.”

I asked if he used attachments.

“We used to send these flyers as attachments but have now started to post links in the email,” David replied. “I’m pretty sure it increases the delivery rate (gets past firewalls), but also the PDF format means people don’t have to navigate around a Web site to find the info or get distracted by something else on the site.”

Accomplish More With Less

Working in the event field myself, I see promoting two conferences in one email becoming a trend. Companies are trying to get more mileage out of marketing budgets and to avoid bombarding prospects with multiple email messages for standalone conferences.

A simple approach like this delivers on both objectives in a highly cost-effective way and, most likely, with higher deliverability rates.

Instead of cramming everything into your next email, keep it simple. Then, take the rest of the afternoon off to enjoy summer while it lasts.

Want more email marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our email columns, organized by topic.

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