There are many reasons why you should attend a trade show: to gain visibility, to present your products and services and even to win new customers.
However, first you need to get your crowd of attendees to show up.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to entice your customers to come see you at your next business event. To help you with this, we’ll explain why and how to write a trade show invitation email.
Why send a trade show invitation email?
The probability that you’ll sell a product to an existing customer is 60-70%. The probability of selling to a new customer is only 5-20%.
In other words, inviting your current customers to come see you at your next trade show will help you to attract more visitors to your booth and sell more products. These customers may then talk about you to their friends, and a satisfied customer’s opinion is always very convincing.
It’s also a great way to build loyalty and develop a more authentic and personal relationship with your customers. By inviting a customer to an event like this, you remind them of your existence and show them that they are important to you.
It’s the same for old customers: contacting them can help you to reconnect and get them to reconsider you. And even if they don’t show up on the day, you’ve still created an opportunity to converse again with that invitation email.
Since it can be expensive to host a booth at a trade show, it’s important to attract as many people as possible to make it profitable.
Trade show invitation email writing tips
Writing an invitation email to a trade show should include a few things. You need to pay attention to your message, think it through carefully, and include all the essential event details.
To improve your email opening rate and maximize your number of invitations, here’s 3 tips!
The most important thing is to answer the following fundamental questions in your email: who, when, where, why.
Remember to emphasize your company’s name and to include your logo and contact information.
Make clear the date of the trade show and the opening times.
Include the place where the event will be held and the location of your custom booth within the trade show, its number, and any other information that could help your visitors.
Instead of just announcing you’ll be at the event, explain to your customer why their presence will be beneficial. Give relevant reasons and explain what the exhibition is about.
These elements are all key to an effective invitation email!
Attract their interest
Once you’ve put all this essential information in your email, it is time to expand on it. An invitation email to a trade show should go beyond basic facts and grab the recipient’s attention.
A professional receives 50 emails on average every day. If you don’t grab their attention, your email could end up in the trash.
Following this logic, the first thing to do is to prepare your email’s subject line. Write a catchy subject line, using keywords and images that your customer will relate to and make them want to continue reading. You need to capture their attention from the start.
Show your close relationship with your customer by mentioning their first and last name in the first few lines, as well as the name of their company. This way, they will feel directly involved and they’ll be more likely to respond as they’ll notice that it’s not a generic email.
Make them want to visit you at the trade show by announcing any giveaways, promotional offers or contests you are running that might interest them.
Get them on board!
Create a sense of urgency to encourage them to confirm their attendance quickly. For example, you could create a confirmation deadline or explain that there’s a limited number of spaces.
You may also want to direct your customer to your website, where you can give more details about the event. This way, you avoid writing an email that is too long, but you leave the door open to more information, which will pique your reader’s interest. A call-to-action button can be a good idea, directly integrated within the body of the email.
Trade show invitation template
To help you with the writing part, here’s a sample trade show invitation. This one is specifically addressed to a long-standing customer, but you can adapt it to any type of event or customer by using all our tips above.
Dear [client’s name].
We are very grateful that you’ve been a loyal customer for [number of years].
In the near future, our company will be taking part in the [name of trade show], which will take place on [date] in [city].
We would love to invite you to visit us at the [exhibit number] booth.
You should find this event interesting because [personal reason].
As a thank you for coming to see us, our team will present you with an amazing gift on entry and you will be entered into a prize contest for a free trial of [your product]. We’d be delighted if you decide to join us.
Spaces are limited, so please confirm your presence before [date] so that we can send you your free access card.
For more information, feel free to contact [person in charge’s name] at [phone number] or by email via [email address].
You can also find more information on our website: [web address].
Hope to see you soon at our event.
When to send a trade show invitation email
We suggest that you send out your invitation email in advance. As a general rule, we advise you to contact your local customers about 6 weeks in advance and your international customers up to 2 months before the event so they can organize travel and accommodations
Should you follow up after sending an invitation email?
If you haven’t received a response to your invitation email after 1 week, you can follow up with your customer.
How do you follow up with your customer?
You can follow up your trade show invitation by email or phone. When you follow up with your customer, be friendly and avoid turning it into a sales pitch. That isn’t the goal here.
Instead, seek to establish a relationship that goes beyond the general provider/customer framework.
Be human and talk to them honestly and coherently. Talk to them as if you were talking to a friend, while remaining professional. You are only trying to confirm their presence, not sell them your product or service. Instead, save that work for the day of the trade show.
Send an invitation email for trade show success
Planning your next trade show should not be left to the last minute. To attract a crowd and grow your business, we recommend that you send an email ahead of time to invite your current customers to your next trade show event.
If you send the email at the right time and in the right way, you will likely get a good response rate.
We wish you great success and hope you enjoy writing your invitation email!