Yesterday, one of my friends started a conversation on Facebook about all the post-show emails sent by ASAE Annual exhibitors. We’re not receiving nearly the deluge of emails that go out before the show, but, once again, many of these emails are missing the mark.
Segment your list. You scanned badges. You know the names of the attendees who visited your booth during the show. Right? So why are you telling someone who didn’t come to your booth:
“Thanks so much for stopping by our booth at ASAE in Detroit. We enjoyed visiting with you.”
How do you think an email like that goes over with an association exec who didn’t visit your booth? I’ll tell you: not well. It’s a sloppy and lazy example of the “spray and pray” tactic.
Next time, segment your list. Send a “thank you” email to the attendees who really did stop by your booth and send a “sorry we didn’t get to meet” email to those who didn’t.
Offer value, not another sales pitch. Only two post-show exhibitor emails offered anything of value.
- One was titled, “How Associations Can Grow Membership and Generate More Revenue,” and linked to a blog post about one of their key take-aways from the conference.
- The other was titled, “Association Challenges Uncovered at ASAE,” and linked to three posts about those challenges.
As I wrote in my post about pre-show exhibitor emails, you have been given access to an association exec’s inbox—don’t blow it. Use this opportunity to be a resource. Don’t take advantage of that privilege by using it only as one more chance to sell.
Stop relying on drawings. I understand you want to attract people to your booth, but how qualified are those leads who only visited because they want to win an Apple watch? And you’re still pushing that damn watch!
I really wonder how many association execs with decision-making authority notice who’s giving away prizes. They’re not going to the expo floor to enter drawings. They’re going to the expo floor to learn about the latest in online learning technology or mobile apps.
Become an ally. The association executive crowd can sometimes be prickly about vendor outreach—if you’ve seen some of the discussions in ASAE’s Collaborate community, then you know what I mean. I wrote a post about a phrase that might sound familiar to Collaborate regulars: “No Vendors, Please.”
Why do so many association execs have this attitude? Because too many vendors don’t understand how to develop relationships with association execs. And, relationships are the foundation for sales.
Lead with value. Take a consultative approach. Be a source of information and education. Get to know your prospects—their challenges, problems, frustrations, and aspirations. Help them solve problems. Be a positive, valuable member of the association community.
If you’re going to send out blast emails, do it wisely. Sad to say, you will stand out if your emails deliver value to association executives because so few take that approach.
I hope any vendors out there take my suggestions in good spirit because I share them in goodwill. I’m on your side.
(Creative Commons licensed photo by Bark)