Hosting an event is not only a great way to engage with your clients but also one of the best ways to drive traffic to your store and generate leads. Let’s say you’ve decided to throw a Demo Day at your local lake or dealership for your customers so they can come down and test drive their favorite boat. What better way to find out what the newest models have in store for them than to see it first-hand. Everyone loves a hands-on experience, especially boaters! Your first thought should be “When should I start sending out invites, and how?” There is no easy answer here as there are many variables that come into play. An abundance of research has been done to find out when the best time to send event invites is. We’ll go over the most important factors so that you can make the highest impact on your event and drive quality leads to your show or dealership.
Here are a few tips on when and how to invite your customers to an event.
Call and invite your customers personally
The most effective way to send an invite to your clients is having a one on one conversation with them. Not only does it add a personal touch that allows your customer to feel valued, but they will open up to you with needs you probably wouldn’t know they had unless you called! Based on our prior experience of calling over seven hundred thousand boating customers, we have found the best time to call and invite them is a week prior to the event. If you call earlier than a week many of your customers will forget about the invitation and event details; and if you call any later than a week then many of your customer will have already made other commitments. However, calling all of your customers within the ‘sweet spot’ time period can cause a labor challenge for some boat dealers. Let’s take a look at the math:
Time and Labor considerations
Let’s assume you have 3,000 customers in your database that you would like to invite to your event. In order to connect with the highest percentage of your customer list you’ll want to make a total of 3 call attempts to reach each one. The reason being that you won’t always reach them the first or second time and calling more than three times may end up bothering your customer. So, you will need to make approximately (3,000 customers x 3 call attempts) 9,000 phone calls to connect with the majority. On average a given person can manually make about 100 phone calls in an eight hour day. Now if you take the 9000 calls that need to be made, and divide it by 100 phone calls per day on average, it will take 90 days to successfully call all of your customers. Not only does this causes a timing challenge, but also labor staffing, and financial challenge. This and many other reasons are why many boat dealers are starting to utilized third-party call center services who specialize in Outbound Calling campaigns for Boat Dealers. Other major benefits of using a third-party outbound calling service providers are the script writing expertise, detailed campaign reporting, and third-party validation they bring to the table.
Email Marketing / Follow-up
In addition to a Calling Campaign, another great way to send event invites is running an Email Marketing Campaign. Companies have been running Email Marketing Campaigns for decades, but why? The answer is simple… Because it works! With 4.3 billion email accounts and 66% of people checking their email multiple times per day, your customers are going to see your email, even if they lead busy lives. The trick is getting them to want to open and read it. Data has proven that the most optimal time to send emails to your subscribers is in the middle of the week between Tuesday and Thursday. The peak time to send your email and make the most impact is mid-morning around 10am. Other factors include refining your email list, creating a subject line that is clear and concise, and ensuring that the email renders properly on any desktop and mobile device.
Invite your customers to your events in a timely and effective manner. It will always be well worth the effort.