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Gabi McInnes

NEW: Summer Design Ideas

By | Mail Designer 365 Blog

The start of summer means it’s time to shake up your email marketing strategy and Mail Designer 365 has all you need to get started. Things are heating up, as we’ve just added two scorching new summer Design Ideas to the Design Chooser, ready for you to start using in your summer email campaigns right away.

New HTML email templates for summer email campaigns

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Tips for summer email campaigns

Red Hot Ideas for Sizzling Summer Email Campaigns

By | Mail Designer 365 Newsletter Academy

Summer is here and it’s time to shake things up a bit when it comes to your email campaigns. If you’re feeling the heat already, don’t worry! We’ve got your back. Here are some useful tips and examples of great summer email campaigns to help get you inspired…

Turn up the heat with a summery subject line

The subject line is the first thing your readers will notice about your email campaign. This gives you the perfect opportunity to outline your summer theme early. Try using lots of summer-related language and maybe even throw in a few emojis to really capture the attention of your readers.

Here are a few clever examples we have found:

New Look are bringing the heat by including a fire emoji in their subject line.

Rent the Runway are getting their customers ready for summer with this clever subject line.

summer email subject line example by Boots

The positive message in this subject line from Boots is perfect for summer.

Be bold with your colour choice

Summer is all about bold, bright colours and you should definitely reflect this in your email designs. Try to experiment with combining bright tones like orange, pink, and red. This will bring life to your email campaign and get readers in the mood for summer.

The warm orange tones in this email design by Boots are a great representation of the summer sun.

Mail Designer 365’s image effects are the perfect way to add a pop of colour to your email design. Simply click on an image and choose a filter from the Style menu – we recommend Seville or Barcelona for the ultimate summer feel. Learn more in this guide.

Create a summery feeling by experimenting with image effects and filters in Mail Designer 365.

Brighten up your design with summery graphics

Don’t be afraid to go overboard with summer-related images in your design. Whether they’re planning a getaway, updating their wardrobe or organising a get together with friends, high quality images will help you to inspire your customers.

Try to include the best images of your products in your email design to show readers what you have to offer them this summer.

Customers will be dying to update their holiday wardrobe after seeing this email from New Look.

Clever product placement by Superdry means readers will be eager to get their hands on their summer range.

Struggling to find the right image? Mail Designer 365’s Unsplash collection has thousands of high quality images which you can use freely in your newsletters:

Check out Unsplash for vibrant, summery stock photos.

Provide readers with tips and ideas for the summer

With travel options still limited in some areas, many of your customers will be looking closer to home when it comes to finding things to do this summer. Help your customers out and find proactive ways in which your business can help to still make their summer one to remember.

If you provide a fun service during the holidays, you could let readers know to encourage them to come and visit you. Giraffe encourages parents to bring their kids along for a meal with this family-friendly promotion:

Encourage families to visit your establishment during the holidays by showcasing a special offer.

Hold a summer sale to entice customers

Last but not least, the summer season also provides you with the perfect opportunity to run a sale or promotion. During June, July and August, many of us are off work or school and have more free time to get things done.

Whether they’re remodelling the garden, going on a shopping spree for the new season, renovating their home, or going on holiday, a sale gives your customers the final push they need to get the job done.

A summer sale could be the deciding factor for customers on the fence about booking a holiday with easyJet.

We hope you’re inspired and ready to start trying out these summer email campaign ideas. Remember to be bold and capture that summer feeling in your email design in order to convince your readers.

You can try out all of these tips in Mail Designer 365. Download the app for free today and see what you can create.

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Article first published: July 2019

Updated: July 2020

How to create a welcome email series for your business

How to Create a Welcome Email Series for Your Business

By | Mail Designer 365 Newsletter Academy

First impressions are everything and the way your business welcomes new customers on board plays a critical role in how they interact with your business over time. For this reason, it’s especially important you pay great attention to your welcome email strategy.

A welcome email series allows you to create a unique customer experience for anyone coming across your business for the first time.

How to create a welcome email series for your business

In this guide, we’ll take you through the most important steps to consider along the customer journey, and show you some great examples of welcome emails we love.

Jump to:

What is a welcome email series?

A welcome email series is an automated string of emails sent out to new customers to help welcome them to your business and guide them towards carrying out a specific action (i.e. making a purchase.)

Your welcome email series works the same way as a restaurant server does. When you arrive, your server will greet you and help you get settled in. They will then point you towards your food and drink options, offer you add-ons, and continue to check up on you throughout your visit.

Types of welcome email series

To begin with, think about your end goal for the welcome campaign. Your chosen CTA (call-to-action) will then help shape your welcome email series and give you the inspiration you need to put together your email content.

Here are a few typical examples of types of welcome email series you may have come across already:

Creating a sales-based welcome email series

This is a common form of welcome email series which you will most typically see from fashion brands and other types of retailer. The CTA tends to revolve purely around sales and the aim of the series is to persuade new customers to make a purchase.

Tactics used often include showcasing new products and offering out discounts and promotional codes. In this example by ASOS, new customers are enticed to start shopping thanks to an exclusive 10% discount.

Email welcome offer by ASOS

A 10% discount helps ASOS get new customers in the mood to shop.

Email subject line in welcome email by ASOS

An effective subject line also helps grab the reader’s attention from the start.

Creating an information-based welcome email series

With an information-based welcome email series, the aim is usually to educate new customers about your business. This could be delivered in a tutorial style, as commonly seen in onboarding email campaigns, to help provide new users with all the information they need to get set up.

Onboarding email by Webflow

This onboarding email shows new users how to get started with using the service.

Alternatively, your business may want to use the welcome series to teach new signups more about who you are and what you do. For example, a charity organisation may want to show potential new supporters where their donations are going and provide them with relevant information and stats.

Welcome email by Be My Eyes charity

Explaining more about what you do to new subscribers helps reinforce their reasons for signing up initially.

Creating an engagement-based welcome email series

Finally, an engagement-based welcome series aims to get new customers using your product or service as much as possible so they can reap the benefits. This is generally done by pointing new users towards their next steps and making it easy for them to familiarise themselves with how everything works.

Welcome email by Glassdoor

This 3 step welcome email shows new users exactly how to start using Glassdoor

Welcome email by Goodreads

In this example, Goodreads also show new users how to use the service to find new books to add to their list.

What to include in your welcome email series

The customer journey is unique to your business and factors like the time span, contents, CTA and intensity of a welcome campaign will vary.

Here are some ideas for emails which you can choose to include in your welcome email series to help new customers form a connection with your business:

Opt in / Verification

Since the introduction of GDPR, the double opt in has become known as the gold standard for email registration and sending these types of emails has become standard practice for many businesses.

Not only does this process help protect your business from spam bots filling up your email list, it also ensures any new signups are happy and willing to receive your content.

Opt in email by Product Hunt

This simple opt in email by Product Hunt fulfils its purpose while also remaining super on brand.

When to send: Schedule your opt in email to send instantly, so that your new customer doesn’t forget to do it later on.

Welcome

This is your brand’s first real interaction with your new customer and sets the tone for the rest of your welcome email series. In this email, it’s important to firstly thank your customer for signing up, and secondly, make it clear what their next steps should be.

Without a clear CTA in your welcome email, customers are highly likely to ignore it and you will lose your chance to connect with them.

Actionable welcome email by Zoom

Zoom’s welcome email is great, as it outlines the details of the user’s plan and also points them towards actionable first steps.

Superdry welcome email

Superdry not only thank new customers for signing up, they also let them know exactly what’s in store for them in a useful overview.

When to send: A welcome email should be sent soon after opting in. This ensures your customer is still actively thinking about your business.

Segmentation email

Email segmentation is a key aspect of your email marketing strategy, as it helps ensure your emails are being sent to the optimal recipient.

Use your welcome email series to get to know more about your customers’ interests. This will help you tailor your content for them in the future.

Create an email to send to new customers encouraging them to update their email preferences. This will help you find out key information about them, such as location, age, gender, interests, etc. in order to send more relevant email content.

Welcome email by Britannica

Britannica sent out this great welcome mail for better email list segmentation.

New customer survey from a welcome email by Britannica

The questions in the linked survey help Britannica determine what kind of content the reader wants to receive, thus maximising their chances of higher open rates.

When to send: Send this email a few days after your first welcome email. This way, there will be enough distance between the two emails and your business will still be fresh in the reader’s mind.

Action email

Use your next email to direct new customers towards your intended call-of-action. This could be anything, including:

  • Making a purchase from your online store
  • Setting up your first playlist
  • Reading the latest blog post
  • Trying out a new recipe
  • Referring the service to a friend

Make this email super enticing with great email copy, lots of eye-catching visual elements, and a super snappy subject line. This way, new customers won’t be able to resist getting started right away.

Hubspot action email in welcome email series

This email sent by HubSpot as part of their free trial onboarding series clearly points new users towards their exclusive tutorials.

Welcome email promotion by Riley

Riley tempt new customers to start shopping with an enticing $25 discount.

When to send: Give your customers a few days to look around on their own. If you haven’t tracked any notable actions, now’s the time to send this email prompt and jog their memory.

Feedback email

In many cases, it’s also a good idea to offer new users the chance to share their thoughts and feedback about their experience so far. Particularly if you offer a demo or free trial period, getting this feedback early can help you address issues directly and prevent customer churn down the line.

If you have a lot of questions, linking out to a targeted feedback form or survey for newcomers can be a great way to find out exactly what you want to know about new customers’ experience. Alternatively, it can just be reassuring enough to provide a support email address or telephone number to let the customer know your team are there if they need you.

Feedback email in welcome email series by NOW TVWhen to send: If you are offering customers some kind of demo, aim to send this out towards the end of the trial period. Hopefully by this time, new users would have had a chance to use your product and form an opinion.

Remember, a welcome email series is specific to your business and does not adopt a one size fits all approach. Depending on the nature of your business, there could be other emails you want to include which we haven’t mentioned in this article. Some other popular examples include:

  • Referral email (e.g. refer a friend for x% off your next purchase, etc.)
  • Up-sell / cross-promotional email (e.g. you may also like…, upgrade to unlock more features, get premium shipping, etc.)
  • Cross-channel promotional email (e.g. subscribe to our blog / follow us on Twitter / check out our YouTube channel, etc.)
  • Sense of urgency email (e.g. hurry your trial is ending, last chance to get your welcome discount, etc.)

How to create a welcome email series for your business

Creating an automated welcome email series for your business is actually super straightforward. All you need is a well-designed set of email templates and access to marketing automation tools.

Mail Designer 365 has a wide range of HTML email templates ready for you to adapt for your automated email campaigns. Not only this, the drag & drop email editor makes it easier than ever for you to build your own email templates in minutes – no coding skills needed!

Welcome email template in Mail Designer 365

Discover a huge range of design tools in Mail Designer 365 to create effective email templates for your welcome email series.

Once you’ve finished creating your set of email templates, you can export them directly to Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, or Direct Mail, or as HTML to your chosen email service provider or marketing automation platform, including:

  • SendinBlue
  • ActiveCampaign
  • SendGrid
  • Customer.io
  • Drip

Not got a Mail Designer 365 plan yet? Start your free trial today to unlock access to 120+ email templates and a wide range of exciting creative tools for your welcome email series.

Until next time,

Your Mail Designer 365 Team

Get started with the Mail Designer 365 service today for free…

Mail Designer 365 helps you and your team create stylish, professional HTML emails.
Sign up free today to see what you can achieve.
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Best practice guide for writing email marketing disclaimers

What to Include in Your Email Disclaimer: Email Marketing Best Practice

By | Mail Designer 365 Newsletter Academy

Even the most seasoned email marketers shudder when they hear the words “email disclaimer.” However in reality, writing an effective email disclaimer is actually far more straightforward than it seems.

In this guide, we’re quickly taking you through all the basics of best practice for email disclaimers to make things easier than ever when it comes to sending your next marketing email.

Jump to:

What is an email disclaimer?

An email disclaimer is a small section of text typically located within your email footer, separate to the main body of your message. It is one of the most important parts of any email you send, as it protects your business from any potential legal issues and contains key information for your customers.

The laws on what information businesses need to provide recipients with differ from country to country. For this reason, it’s imperative that you know exactly what you need to include in your email disclaimer, as your business can receive a hefty fine if certain rules are not adhered to.

Email disclaimer laws by country

Below, you can find a brief summary of the email disclaimer laws for your country or region.

Email Disclaimer Law in the United States

CAN SPAM Act of 2003 requires all businesses sending marketing emails to provide certain information in their email disclaimer. This includes, a physical address for the sender and a clear and functioning unsubscribe option.

You can find more detailed information on this here.

Here is an example by Bed, Bath & Beyond:

Email disclaimer by Bed, Bath & Beyond

Email Disclaimer Law in the European Union

The EU Directive states that all business communication emails must contain a standard disclaimer with the following information:

  • Company registration number
  • Place of registration
  • Registered office address

However, individual countries have slightly different requirements, so it’s important to check based on the country your business is based in.

For example, in Germany businesses are required to include:

  • Company name
  • Office location
  • Court register
  • Registration number
  • Name of the managing director and the board of directors

You can find more detailed information about individual EU countries here.

Email Disclaimer Law in the United Kingdom

Along with a clear unsubscribe link, Trading Standards requires registered companies in the UK need to include the following information in all of their business emails:

  • Registered company name
  • Company registration number and place of registration
  • Registered company address

You can find more detailed information on this here.

Example by Jack Wills:

Email disclaimer example by Jack Wills

Email Disclaimer Law in Canada

According to CASL (Canada’s Anti Spam Law), all businesses need to provide clear contact information for the sender, as well as an opt out link in their electronic marketing messages (including email, SMS, and social media messages.)

Possible fines for non-compliance can reach up to $10 million.

You can find more detailed information on this here.

What else to include in an email disclaimer

As a force of habit, many people receiving your emails will automatically look to the footer area to find important information about your business.

In addition to the mandatory information listed above, there are several other things your business may want to include in your email disclaimer to help protect you from legal issues and also ensure your customers can find the information they are looking for.

Unsubscribe link

As mentioned above, the unsubscribe link is a legal requirement for all marketing emails, with most transactional emails being an exception. Although this does not have to appear in your email footer (some designers opt to place it at the top of the design) the vast majority of customers will expect to find it here.

Your unsubscribe link must be clearly visible and must provide the recipient with a straightforward way to opt out of receiving your emails.

This example by Bunches is great, as it clearly explains to the recipient why they have received the email and where to click to opt out:

Unsubscribe link example by BunchesTerms and conditions

Adding a brief terms and conditions section to your email disclaimer is a good way to clear up any possible confusion surrounding your promotional offer. In this section, you could cover things like offer expiry date, offer validity (e.g. in store or online, on all products or selected, etc.) and eligibility (e.g. new customers only.)

If you wish, you can also use this opportunity to link out to a separate, more detailed terms & conditions landing page.

In this promotional email, ASOS clearly outline the terms and conditions of their sale to customers:

Terms and conditions email disclaimer by ASOSPrivacy Policy

Since GDPR came into force, there has been an emphasised importance on data protection and privacy. Many businesses now use their email disclaimer as a place to also refer to their company’s privacy policy. This is a good way for recipients with questions to locate the information they need.

This email by Bupa Dental Care is a great example of how to use your email disclaimer to make readers aware of your privacy policy.

Email Disclaimer for a UK business

Contact information

In addition to the mandatory information required (i.e. company address), it’s also best practice to give your customers an easy way to get in touch with you.

Many marketing emails come from no-reply addresses, so including a support email address or a link out to a contact form in your disclaimer allows customers to contact you if they have questions.

Tip: Use a mailto link so your customers can contact you in just one click. In Mail Designer 365 you can even configure the email subject line and message to make things easier:

Email mailto link options in Mail Designer 365

Provide readers with a direct way to contact you.

Creating an email disclaimer in Mail Designer 365

One key thing to remember about your email disclaimer is that the core content is often the same. Once you’ve put together an informative disclaimer that meets all the legal requirements, you should be able to keep reusing it in future emails.

Mail Designer 365 allows you to create custom layout combinations and save them for future use. This is perfect for your email footer area:

  • Build up your disclaimer using text blocks, spacers and images
  • Insert all the relevant text, links and contact information
  • Select your group and drag into the sidebar under “Layout Blocks” > “Ready-Made” > “My Saved Blocks” where you can instantly access them in your next design and tweak as needed
Ready made layout blocks for email disclaimers in Mail Designer 365

Drag and drop layout combinations to save them in your ready-made layout blocks collection and use for future emails.

We hope this information has been useful and that you’ll bear these tips in mind when working on your email disclaimers.

As well as the practical, ready-made layout blocks feature, Mail Designer 365 also offers a wide range of email templates, text styles, and mobile optimisation tools to make sure your email disclaimers are clear and effective. Not got a Mail Designer 365 plan yet? Sign up today for your free, no-strings-attached trial.

Until next time,
Your Mail Designer 365 Team

Get started with the Mail Designer 365 service today for free…

Mail Designer 365 helps you and your team create stylish, professional HTML emails.
Sign up free today to see what you can achieve.
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How to write effective announcement emails

How to Write Effective Announcement Emails to Share Important News with Subscribers

By | Mail Designer 365 Newsletter Academy

Whether you’re informing customers about an upcoming product launch, sharing a statement, or communicating important changes to subscribers, being able to write effective announcement emails is a key skill needed by businesses of all sizes.

What is an announcement email?

In this article, “announcement email” is very much an umbrella term for your core communication with customers (outside of standard sales emails.) An announcement email can take many forms, including but not limited to:

  • Internal company news
  • Product news or updates
  • Public statements
  • Announcing a show of support OR taking a stand
  • Crisis communication
  • Event invitations
  • Customer information

Also important to consider: Oftentimes, announcement emails are much more text-heavy than a standard marketing-style email, as the sender usually has a lot to say.

Why should I use email for my announcement?

As a business owner, email is the most reliable way to make important announcements to your subscribers. Although social media is booming, complicated algorithms often mean many of your subscribers on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter don’t even see your posts – resulting in important information going unread.

Email is a direct channel between you and your customers with very little background noise to take away from your key message. For this reason, when done correctly, an announcement email has the potential to lock in high open rates and get better conversions.

Here are some useful tips to consider when sending an announcement email, plus some great examples of announcement emails we have collected from around the web and our own personal inbox.

Our recipe for effective announcement emails

Strong email copy

One way of ensuring your announcement email is a success is through great communication. This can be achieved by producing strong and convincing email copy to really make your message clear to readers.

Think carefully about the context of your announcement. This will help you determine the tone you want to use and will help you choose your words more carefully.

For example, if your email announcement is of a serious nature, it is probably more fitting to opt for a formal and professional tone. For an exciting announcement like a product launch or a new store opening, you can afford to have a little fun with your email copy and adopt a more relaxed tone.

Other important aspects that will help elevate your email copy include:

  • Good spelling and grammar
  • Varied sentence structure
  • Clear paragraphs and sub-headings – especially if you are conveying a large amount of information

In this email statement, CreativeMornings use powerful, well-thought-out prose and a clear layout to show their solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

powerful email statement by creative mornings

CreativeMornings show their support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement through powerful prose.

Great design

The way your email looks is – in many ways – just as important as what it says. An eye-catching header graphic or a strong feature image can be all it takes for your reader to pay more attention to your email.

Take this announcement email from Avanti West Coast – Although the rest of the email is quite plain, Avanti do a great job of drawing in readers using a colorful and abstract header design. The simple title “Important information” is enough to let the reader know this is something they should be paying attention to:

email announcement by Avanti West Coast

A great header design helps this announcement email by Avanti capture readers’ attention.

Tip: You can create a similar header effect in Mail Designer 365 by layering shapes and adjusting the opacity:

abstract header graphic for announcement email made in mail designer 365

Another style element which is important to your design’s overall effect is your font choice.

While it’s tempting to get creative when it comes to fonts, oftentimes, simple is best. Especially when your message is so important, you don’t want to run the risk of a poor font choice getting in the way of clear communication.

Choose a clean, easy-to-read font in a sensible weight to apply to your email copy. You should also avoid overusing bold or italic, as this appears confusing to readers. When you’re done, remember to configure an email-safe “fallback” font to ensure your email text is displayed properly in all clients:

Building an announcement email in Mail Designer 365

Always include an email safe fallback font to ensure better compatibility with other email clients

Clear call-to-action

Any marketing email needs to be able to demonstrate a clear call-to-action. Whether you want your readers to sign up for an event, pre-order a new product, or simply visit a landing page, you need to point them in the right direction first.

Use a CTA (call-to-action) button which clearly stands out against the rest of your email in order to make it prominent to readers. You should also make sure the text of your button is short and snappy and check that the link leads to a sensible destination.

By choosing a vibrant shade of red for the CTA in this tour announcement email, Live Nation are able to convey a sense of urgency and encourage readers to sign up for event access:

Tour announcement email by Live Nation

The bold, red CTA button in this tour announcement email by Live Nation jumps out at readers.

Experiment with shapes and font styles in Mail Designer 365 to create dazzling CTA buttons for your own email designs:

Building a call to action button in Mail Designer 365

Mail Designer 365 has all the shapes and text styles you need to create bold and effective call to action buttons.

Engaging subject line

Your email’s subject line is the very first thing that recipients will see and is often the determining factor in whether or not your email gets opened. For this reason, you need to ensure your subject line is interesting and intriguing enough to pique your customers’ interest.

When you are coming up with a subject line, be sure to include key words such as “new”, “announcement”, “exciting news”, etc., in order to let your readers know what the email is about. By teasing your new product, upcoming event, important news, etc., you are bound to make your readers curious and encourage them to open up your email.

Furthermore, using emojis in your email subject is another great way to ensure it will stand out in their inbox.

Mobile optimization

Because so many people today now check their emails on the go, it’s crucial that your announcement email has also been optimized for mobile devices. This is a key part in ensuring that your message is effectively communicated.

Mobile optimization includes aspects such as:

  • Checking the font is legible on mobile devices
  • Choosing target links which make sense on mobile devices (i.e. iOS App Store versus Mac App Store links)
  • Resizing images to look good on mobile devices
  • Including tailored content for mobile users (e.g. special offers, mobile app download links, etc.)

Mail Designer 365 automatically creates a mobile responsive version of your email design, which you can optimize and edit separately to your main desktop design. Simply navigate to the Smartphone view and detach a layout block to begin creating mobile-only content:

Create mobile responsive emails in Mail Designer 365

Use the Mail Designer 365 smartphone editor to create mobile optimized announcement emails.

Smart segmentation

The final way of ensuring your announcement email is a success is by making sure you send it to the right target audience. Sending one email to your entire list is usually a bad idea and is generally only reserved for exceptional circumstances (i.e. major business announcements.)

When you are setting up your campaign in your email marketing platform, think about who will find this information most relevant. This group should be your first priority, as they are more likely to engage with your email. If you can think of other groups who may also find the email beneficial, you can go back to adjust and optimize your template accordingly.

Looking for tips? Here are some useful segmentation techniques you could try out:

Email List Segmentation Techniques to Learn More About Your Subscribers

More examples of great announcement emails

If you are in need of some inspiration, here are a few more announcement emails which we found particularly effective…

Product Hunt

email statement by Product Hunt

The striking header graphic in this email by Product Hunt gets their important message heard loud and clear.

Unsplash

Email newsletter by Unsplash

This simple newsletter-style announcement email by Unsplash is both informative and interesting for users of the service.

easyJet

email announcement by easyJet

easyJet use the header of this announcement email to grab readers’ attention before sharing their important update.

Shinola

new product announcement email by Shinola

Shinola use bold design techniques to win customers’ attention in this new product announcement email.

allplants

allplants do a great job of using a colorful CTA button together with a clear layout to introduce a new dish to their menu.

YO!Sushi

email announcement by YO! Sushi

YO!Sushi also mix contrasting color combinations with a big feature image to get customers excited about the return of their “Green Wednesday” promotion.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp email announcement

This announcement email by Mailchimp concentrates a lot on great email copy and an effective CTA button.

Discover how Mail Designer 365 can help you build announcement emails

We hope you are feeling inspired and will take these tips on board the next time you ned to make an important announcement for your business.

Mail Designer 365 has all the tools and email template options you need in order to create a fabulous announcement email and share your great news with your subscribers. Sign up today for free to get started!

Get started with the Mail Designer 365 service today for free…

Mail Designer 365 helps you and your team create stylish, professional HTML emails.
Sign up free today to see what you can achieve.
Sign up
Creative online event ideas for businesses

Creative Online Event Ideas for Businesses

By | Mail Designer 365 Newsletter Academy

There’s no denying that online events are massively on the rise. If you take a glance at the average business calendar today, you’ll likely see event titles that didn’t even exist 10 years ago. (Ever heard of a virtual trade fair? I hadn’t until researching for this post!)

Of course, as the way we hold events changes, so does the way we market them. In this guide, we talk about some great online event ideas for your business, plus the best tools to help you ensure your event is a success.

Jump to:

Why should I host an online event?

Quite simply put, the main advantage of a virtual event is flexibility. The majority of the time, all your guests need to get involved is a working internet connection – which is definitely not hard to come by these days!

Because online events are so flexible, people can take part from wherever they are – whether it’s from the comfort of their own homes, or from their office 5000 miles away from the actual location. This flexibility means your event can reach a much wider audience of new potential leads.

More advantages of hosting an online event include:

  • Diversify your audience – As well as your audience being generally larger, it also has the potential of being much more diverse. With an online event, geographic restrictions don’t apply. As long as you choose a fairly neutral time zone, guests from all over the world can attend.
  • Reduce costs – Hiring a venue, paying temporary staff, organising catering and booking transport are all things that can cost your business a huge amount of money. Although there will be some costs associated with your online event, you will save big by removing all the physical elements.
  • Save time – All the elements named above also take a large amount of time to organise and coordinate. Free up your time to focus on the content of your online event rather than planning the theatrics behind a physical event.
  • Lower your carbon footprint – Many people attending large scale events will have to drive a great distance or even fly to get to the location. This results in an extra amount of carbon emissions which can easily be avoided by hosting your event online.
  • Great for brand image – Although online events are definitely on the rise, in many respects, they are still a very new trend. Hosting an online event is a great way to show your target audience that your business is innovative and in touch with the latest technology.

Types of Online Events

Video Meeting

A video meeting does exactly what the name describes. These types of meetings can take place on any scale and for any use case: no matter how big or small. Here are a few popular examples:

  • Daily briefing meeting
  • Job interview
  • Project status update meeting
  • Project review meeting
  • Department meeting
  • Financial planning meeting
  • Shareholder meeting

For many, an offsite meeting means travel costs, food & drink and possibly an overnight stay all being charged to company expenses. Not to mention the time taken to get there and back is time which could have been spent doing other important work. Holding a video meeting means all participants can join from their respective locations and save the company time and money.

Zoom app on mobile phone ready for a video meetingVideo meetings are also a game changer for remote-based teams to stay connected. All you need to get started is a working internet connection, a headset and a video meeting platform to host from.

Webinar

A webinar is an online seminar most typically used to educate viewers on a particular topic. This could be anything from a step-by-step product demonstration (particularly popular with software companies) to a university-style lecture on a given theme (e.g. How to create a website for your small business.)

Most often, a webinar is a mixture of pre-recorded screen sharing with voiceover commentary; however, the webinar host(s) can also choose to livestream the event in order to allow for interactive elements such as a Q&A session or a quiz. Usually, a webinar won’t last longer than an hour.

Webinar recording

Pro tip: When you send out your invitations, make sure you outline exactly what will be covered in the webinar so people will be more willing to sign up. For more great tips on how to market your webinar, check out this guide.

Virtual Summits

This type of online event involves you sourcing established guest speakers from your field to come together and collaborate. Participants tend to discuss a chosen topic (i.e. education or technology), or provide solutions for well known industry problems (e.g. how to increase student participation in your classroom.)

Guest speakers will generally prepare material to present and, if held live, offer the audience the chance for a Q&A session.

Conference event livestream

While this type of event is usually less specific to your business, it is a great opportunity for lead generation. Each guest speaker brings a virtual audience with them; all of which become potential leads for your business.

An event like this is also a great way to establish your authority in your industry and gain key contacts.

Pro tip: To ensure things run smoothly, start planning the dynamics of your virtual summit quite far in advance. It can also be beneficial for guest speakers to pre-record their content to make the event appear more seamless on the day.

Online Course & Training

An online course is a type of online learning environment which can be set up to deliver lessons or follow-along courses on a particular subject. An online course can consist of a series of sessions (i.e. for distance learning or online qualifications) or it can be a one-off event.

If held live, online training events are generally best suited to smaller groups, in order to recreate the classroom experience and allow for participants to ask questions. While there is still an element of presentation, an online course is intended to be a much more interactive experience for those involved.

Boy with headphones using a MacBook

Pro tip: After streaming a live lesson, it’s a good idea to upload your video to a portal where participants can then watch it back at a later date.

Virtual Tradeshow

Similar to a physical trade fair, a virtual tradeshow is a type of online marketing event which is held to give participants the chance to present their products to potential buyers.

Most typically, each vendor will have a dedicated “booth” in which they can present prepared material including webinars, tutorials and product introductions. Many virtual tradeshows also have e-commerce integration so attendees can purchase directly.

Although the virtual tradeshow may be the biggest change to the real thing, it is a great strategy for companies who want to cut down on costs, or businesses looking to try innovative new methods to reach new customers.

6 Awesome Tools for Online Events

With online events on the rise, more and more awesome tools are becoming available to help businesses guarantee their events are a success. Below, we have highlighted some of the current leading tools for managing and hosting online events. Skim through the list to see the key features and click through to the operator website to find out more!

1. Zoom

Zoom is currently one of the most popular choices for online meetings.

Zoom video meeting platform for businesses

  • Video meeting platform for up to 1000 participants (with up to 49 videos on screen)
  • Webinar services also available
  • Interactive features such as polls for a more engaging experience
  • Free plans available for basic features
  • Learn more about Zoom

2. Google Meet

Google Meet is a brand new video conferencing platform by Google which replaces their Hangouts Meet platform.

Google Meet online video meeting software

  • Video conferences for up to 250 participants
  • Free plans available for conferences with up to 100 participants (starting offer: conferences can last up to 24 hours until September 30th, 2020!)
  • Personalised plans with advanced features and livestream capabilities available for enterprises
  • Learn more about Google Meet

3. Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect is a standalone, advanced web conferencing software.

Adobe Connect web conferencing software

  • Great for training, online classrooms and tutorial-style webinars
  • Create custom layouts to help control what your audience sees and how they interact with your online event
  • Layouts are reusable and can be used again and again – great for maintaining consistency throughout multiple sessions (i.e. online training courses.)
  • Learn more about Adobe Connect

4. Cvent

Cvent is an event management platform for larger online events.

Cvent event management platform

  • Management options help event organizers process registration and attendees
  • Easy to integrate with other apps and programs (i.e. CRM systems and virtual meeting platforms)
  • Built in email marketing tools and HTML editor for custom email designs
  • Platform provides useful after-event analysis to help determine ROI and event insights
  • Learn more about Cvent

5. GoToMeeting by LogMeIn

GoToMeeting is a video meeting tool with dedicated add-ons for conferences and webinars.

GoToMeeting online video meeting platform

  • Video meetings for up to 250 participants
  • Includes GoToWebinar platform for managing live or pre-recorded online webinar events. After event analysis tools also available. (P.S. Learn more about webinar marketing here.)
  • Support for personalised channels to make your webinar content available on demand
  • Meeting transcription tools available in some plans
  • Learn more about GoToMeeting

6. vFairs

vFairs is a virtual events platform that allows users to plan and structure tailor made online events.

  • 3D virtual event environment for a realistic experience
  • Custom event landing pages and bespoke booths for your product
  • Add on tools for webinars plus e-commerce integration
  • After-event analysis and lead collection for networking
  • Learn more about vFairs

Using Mail Designer 365 to Prepare for Your Online Event

The build up to your online event is just as important as the event itself. During this time, you need to successfully promote your event among your target audience and ensure you have as many sign ups as possible.

The best way to generate attention around your online event is with email marketing. A solid email strategy helps you sell your event to invitees and allows you to follow up with potential leads once the event is over.

Mail Designer 365 has all the creative tools you need to build impressive an email invitation for your online event, as well as reminder emails and follow up campaigns. Check out this post to find out more about email strategy for online events.

Zoom meeting announcement email made in Mail Designer 365

Use this Mail Designer 365 email template to announce a webinar, Zoom meeting, conference, or any other online business event.

Until next time,

Your Mail Designer 365 Team

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