How do you stand out at a trade show among hundreds or even thousands of competing booths? Pre-show planning is one of the keys to attracting visitors and qualified leads on the day of the show. Part of your prep work should include an underutilized marketing technique—distributing direct mailers to attendees. Few trade show participants reach out to potential leads prior to an event, which means a well-crafted mailer will set you apart from the other booths weeks in advance.
How It Works
Attendees might have limited time and be looking to hit just a few specific booths. It is no secret that many people visit a show with a specific agenda in mind. Getting your name in front of people prior to the trade show ensures that they will recognize your brand during their visit and you won’t be passed over.
Rather than stumbling upon you, direct mailers guide the right people to your booth.
Most businesses are dependent almost exclusively on online advertising, so having both a physical and digital presence boosts name recognition.
What to Include
The purpose of pre-show direct mailers is not only to attract more show attendees, but also to pull in the right qualified leads to your booth. Craft your mailer carefully to help target your specific audience. Give people a reason to seek you out. Fun giveaways work, such as redeeming a postcard/mailer for a prize, limited use gift cards, or using a mailer as a raffle entry.
Personalizing also goes a long way when creating a memorable mailer. Invite people to the show, particularly leads or buyers you may have worked with in the past. You may even want to consider providing VIPs with complimentary passes.
It should be no surprise that attendees will flock towards booths with unique giveaways, direct mailers just help them find those booths more quickly.
Tracking Rate of Interest
Direct mailers before trade shows provide an excellent opportunity to track rate of interest. Comparing how many mailers sent with the amount returned can provide invaluable insight into the effectiveness of your marketing. It is not only an investment in increasing booth traffic, but for learning and improving upon your own marketing strategies.
Why the Expense is Worth It
Sending out direct mailers may seem like a lavish expense for a short trade show event, but consider that even those who skip your booth or fail to attend are still prospective clients. Trade show mailers can still generate leads post-event.
Even a small trade show budget can accommodate a simple but effective postcard. Direct mail presents a marketing strategy that goes beyond just the day of the show. Physical marketing also remains a powerful presence among a world full of digital, insubstantial messages that blur together and can be easily deleted. By using pre-show direct mailers to market your trade show booth you are able to set yourself apart from other trade show attendees who rely only on social media.
Remember to check back often for more tips on increasing your success at your next trade show. Also, check out our trade show planning checklist to make sure your next trade show event goes off without a hitch!