Afterglow: Tips On Creating The Perfect Post-Event Email (Guest Post)

Festival goers leaving the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton in June 2011 hopefully received an afterglow email.

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

This post first appeared at the Rockhouse Partners blog. Rockhouse Partners is a technology-based entertainment agency that provides solutions for live events.
 
 
In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of updating your website after a big event. General website housekeeping is incredibly important for keeping your website current and marketing the next event, but don’t forget about the past just yet! Now is the time to thank patrons for coming, get feedback and prepare them for the next event.
 
Put your email-marketing hat on! Email is one of the best ways to communicate post-event. It’s personal, recipients can be segmented and it can be scheduled. Here are some of our tips on creating the perfect afterglow email.
 
1. Do It In Advance
 
Getting your website up-to-date is something you can plan in advance, but you typically have to wait until your event is actually over before you can make adjustments. Email, on the other hand, is great because you can physically build the whole thing out before your event even starts. Trust us, you’ll be glad you were proactive about it come the morning after when all you have to do is double-check your list and hit send.
 
Time Management At Its Finest: Getting the email out of the way early will give you more time to get everything updated on your website.
 
2. Go Beyond Thank You
 
The afterglow email is often known simply as the “Thank You” email, and for obvious reasons. The main messaging of the afterglow email should always be to thank the fans for coming. Think of it this way: your fans are way more likely to open an email thanking them for coming than they are to open an email that’s obviously trying to sell them stuff; it’s like a birthday card vs. a JC Penny catalog.
 
Quick example: A client of ours has an average open rate of 34%, but their afterglow emails see open rates between 60-73%.
 
Keeping with the 3-Cs (Content, Contests, Commerce) of email marketing, here are some ideas to make the most of your email beyond thanking fans:
 
A. Content:
 
- Photo galleries and videos
- Sponsor shout-outs
- Reminders to share experiences with other fans on your social networks
 
B. Contests:
 
- Contesting to win swag/memorabilia from the event
- Survey fans for feedback and provide an incentive offer to complete
 
C. Commerce:
 
- Sell event merchandise
- Link to upcoming events or advance ticket opportunities for next year
- Don’t Get Carried Away: There are a lot of things you can include in a post-event email, but keep it short and strategic.
 
3. Double-check your list
 
Fans who attended your event will be excited to see an email from you a day or so later. People on your list who didn’t attend? Not so much. A “Thanks For Coming” email to those who didn’t come cheapens your relationship with that fan and gives them an opportunity to unsubscribe from future emails.
 
Before you let your email fly, make sure you have the most up-to-date ticket buyer list and be sure to segment out everyone else.
 
Here’s A Thought: If you really want to get creative, you can send a separate email to fans who didn’t get a ticket along with a survey asking them why they opted out this year, what would make them want to attend next year, and a chance to win tickets to a future event.
 
The Bottom Line: The afterglow email is your last opportunity to capitalize on the “event high.” Thank them. Ask for feedback. Prepare them for the next event.
 

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