E-mail is an efficient, effective way to communicate information. No matter what type of religious event a meeting professional may be planning, a certain amount of marketing is always involved. Registrants must be notified, agendas must be communicated, and logistical information must be disseminated. And most religious meeting professionals want feedback from attendees.

Each event communication between the planner and attendees should be viewed as a marketing communication. They may seem like basic communication of information, but they are important opportunities to build relationships and add value.

Here are several things to keep in mind:

  • Use rich media, such as graphics, sound, and video, where appropriate, and plain text everywhere else.

  • Segment recipients into their natural groups to ensure the best response rates.

  • Use the organization's data to personalize messages' content.

  • Where appropriate, include forms in e-mails so that it is easier to respond to questions and inquiries.

  • By automating these event communications (creating internal processes and using software tools), you can design the entire messaging campaign in advance.

And the Questions Are …

Here is a list of the top six messages that every religious meeting professional should consider:

  • Initial Invitation

    This is typically the first communication. It will usually contain all the details, value propositions, and marketing messages encouraging people to register. This is often the best time to consider using HTML or media-rich content.

  • Follow-on marketing

    This may be similar to the original invitation, but should contain a different marketing message for those who do not respond initially. This can be the most difficult e-mail to create because you must convey a positive image without having a clear understanding of why the first invitation failed. Carefully consider how much follow-on marketing you perform. You don't want to over-market.

  • Event Registration Confirmation

    Whether the event is paid or not, confirmations can serve to assure an invitee that their registration was received and processed correctly. For fee-based events, this message can serve as a payment receipt. It also provides an opportunity to confirm personal information, event information, and any special requests. These messages are also an opportunity to include additional promotional and marketing messages.

  • Regret Message to Decliners

    This message can add a touch of class — and forge stronger relationships — by communicating in a positive way to those unable to attend. Take this chance to inform decliners how they can obtain materials resulting from the event.

  • Event Reminder

    This message, above all others, can assist in building stronger relationships with attendees. Reminders must include basic logistical information, changes in programming, and balances due for a paid event. This is an excellent chance to manage expectations, since this message is typically sent right before the actual meeting.

  • Post-Event Thank You

    Besides showing your appreciation, a thank-you message is an additional opportunity to sell merchandise, make educational materials available, and allow for feedback. They are also an opportunity to begin marketing the next event.

E-mail enables religious meeting professionals to communicate efficiently in a more cost-effective manner than traditional print and direct-mail methods.