The Essential Guide to Using Event Text Marketing Promotions

By Raubi Perilli |

  | Jul 27, 2017  /  Solutions |

Event promoters must leverage every opportunity they have to connect with interested audiences and fill their event with people.  

Many event marketers fail to use a tool that makes this job easier -- event text marketing. 

Text marketing is a direct way to connect with audiences through the medium they use most. Event marketers are trying to get in front of an interested audience. So why wouldn’t they use this high-touch platform to catch attention and invite people to their event?  

The reason most marketers avoid this method is that they don’t fully understand its power or the strategies you need to implement successful campaigns.  

The rest of this post will look at both and explain why text marketing is the best tool event marketers probably aren’t using.  

A Look At the Power of Event Text Marketing

Before we dive into how to use text marketing for event promotions, let’s take a quick look at stats offering proof for this convincing strategy.  

  • Almost everyone has a cellphone. 95% of U.S. adults own a cellphone, and 77% of phone owners have a smartphone (Pew Research Center).
  • Almost everyone is attached to their cell phones. 91% of adults keep their smartphones within arm’s reach (Forbes).
  • Almost everyone reads a text message right away. 90% of text messages get read within three minutes of delivery (Forbes).
  • Almost everyone reads branded text messages. Brands using SMS successfully reach 95% of smartphone and non-smartphone users (Forbes).

When you look at the numbers, you see the power of text marketing. Mobile phones are devices that most people own, have near them at all times, and are actively engaged with.  

Phones are the perfect platform for connecting with audiences, but only if you give viewers what they want. Text marketing can turn off customers if you aren’t using a strategic plan that draws in readers giving them a reason to connect with and stay in contact with you.  

The rest of this guide will explain how to provide audiences with what they want and need through text marketing while also benefiting you and your sponsors.

Before the Event

You most likely don’t have numbers to text at the beginning, so, your strategy starts with the creation of data collection campaigns and continues as you engage your audience with that list.

Run contests to collect data. The most efficient way to build your list is by running contests that give away prizes related to the event. Create promotions inviting audiences to text in for a chance to win:  

  • Complimentary tickets
  • Discount ticket coupon codes
  • VIP experiences
  • Coupons to use at the event

Be clear about your contests so audiences know their chances of winning. Use phrases like “One in Five Win” or “First 25 People Win.” Setting expectations helps build trust between you and your audience and will lead to more opt-ins.  

Encourage your contacts to spread the word. Once you start connecting with audiences through your campaigns, give users a reason to spread the word. Offer coupon codes they can share with their friends or rewards for users who refer friends to sign up.  

Segment and target your contact list. As you collect contact information, don’t just plop all of your data into one list. Segment your audience based on their actions and habits. Examples of segmented lists include users who:    

  • Have registered for the event
  • Have not registered for the event
  • Won a contest
  • Didn’t win a contest
  • Redeemed offers
  • Didn’t redeem offers
  • Referred friends
  • Were referred by friends

Then, send targeted content to those lists based on what they experienced. For example, the next message you send to people who won a contest should be different from the content you would send to people who didn’t win. Create text content funnels for different audiences so you can provide each with relevant messages. 

Collect additional information when you can. While collecting data, consider how you can weave small survey questions into your promotions to collect supplementary information about your audience. With extra information such as user age, gender, location, etc., you can target your messages even more. 

Send event reminders. When someone signs up for your event, you shouldn't disconnect from them. Send messages leading up to the event to remind them about important information and promote offerings relevant to additional events.

During the Event

Event text marketing campaigns also shouldn't end the day you open the doors. Strategies for using cellphones to connect with your target audiences can continue throughout the event.  

Collect data from new audiences with day-of contests. Chance are you haven't linked to all your attendees yet. You may have guests who did not opt-in to your list. So, design strategies to collect information from participants while they are enjoying your event. Create promotions that offer a chance to win or access:  

  • Exclusive or behind-the-scenes content
  • Coupon codes for items at the event
  • Fan club membership
  • VIP access or ticket upgrades
  • Special prizes
  • Tickets to your next event

Your event is filled with people already interested in what you have to offer. So jump on your chance to gather information from that audience so you can continue to build relationships and create future opportunities.  

Allow guests to sign up for more fun. Offer bonus experiences that require registration. During the event, host fun games like cornhole, ladder toss, and tug of war. Also, provide engaging rewards like photo booths, behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, and unique experiences that require guests to share their information in order to participate.      

Trigger sponsorship activation. For most event promoters, the goal is to show guests a good time while promoting the event sponsors. Event text marketing helps trigger sponsor activation which creates interaction between the event, sponsoring brands, and attendees. You can include sponsors in your promotions, games, and bonus experiences so the sponsor's brand is in front of audiences.  

Plus, sharing with supporters your ability to provide attendee data after the event is a strong selling point for participation.  


Find Out How to Please Your Event Sponsors

Sponsorship Activation: A Key Element for a Successful Event


Remember that guests don’t have to sign up via their phone. As you execute these strategies and guests join your list, keep in mind that you can use other platforms to collect data. Arm staff with iPads or sign-up sheets to gather data directly from attendees.

After the Event

By this point, you used event text marketing to attract attendees to your event and engage them when they arrived. Now, it’s time to use the connections you built to provide big benefits to both you and your event sponsors. 

Use data to connect with audiences on Facebook. Something many marketers don’t know about text marketing is its ability to help you connect with audiences on Facebook. With a list of phone numbers, you can enter that data into Facebook to create an audience list of the users matching the phone numbers. This strategy enables you to form relationships with audiences through a medium other than text messaging.    

Remarket to your existing audience. The data you collect is powerful. These lists contain people already interested and familiar with your brand, event, and sponsors -- which makes them an ideal audience for remarketing. You can now:

  • Offer a “Thank You” exclusive for attendees that includes discounts for sponsors.
  • Remarket to guests by promoting offers from brands they know.
  • Get back in front of your audience on another platform using Facebook advertising.
  • Promote additional events matching audience interest.
  • Re-engage guests when your event comes up again next year.

The real power of event text marketing is in the list of data you collect from guests. It’s an asset you can continue to use to connect with and remarket to audiences long after your event.  

Review and assess your analytics. Data also comes in handy at the conclusion of your event as it presents an opportunity to reflect and evaluate. With text marketing, you have access to analytics and reporting allowing you to measure ROI; see what worked and what didn’t. You can review your campaigns and data improving your next event launch.  


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Use Text Marketing for Your Next Event

Event marketers need to use today's tools create successful events. Many miss out by not using this proven tool to effectively attract, engage, and re-engage interested audiences, text marketing.  

Don’t make the same mistake. Use these tips and strategies to launch a text marketing campaign for your next event.  

For expert advice on how to effectively use event text marketing, let’s talk. MyArea Network has successfully managed large event marketing campaigns for brands big and small, and we’d love to see how we can help you too. Schedule a free consultation to learn more.

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