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How To Leverage Your Email Campaign With A Trade Show!

By Stuart Urwin
Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I used a combination of an email campaign and attendance at a Trade Show recently to get a 14.8% success rate for a client.

Here's how it happened.

The Trade Show

I attended a major trade show recently, the International Online Show in London. I wanted to follow up a very successful email campaign I had put together for a client.

The client is an information consultancy, who wanted to extend their operations by obtaining a small number of representation agreements in Scandinavia.

The Online Show, a Business to Business show held in December, focuses on Online Information and the Internet.

It consists of meetings and seminars, together with an exhibition which brings together the major information suppliers from around the World - online hosts, major publishers, software houses, a few ISPs, and so on.

The Show visitors are information users - 20,000 or so information professionals, librarians, end users, consultants, academics and students - from all over the World.

It's an event where the exhibitors are keen to show their latest product offerings, to meet customers and to investigate the possibilities of forging new deals.

I wanted to use the Show as a way of meeting several companies on one trip, and in one place. The alternative would have been a number of expensive trips to several parts of Europe and the USA.

The Email Campaign

First, we sent out a mailing shot, by e-mail, to 54 companies , who we thought would be interested in being represented in Scandinavia.

8 organisations responded to the mailing, all of whom wanted to meet at the Show. That's a response rate of 14.8% - a great performance.

8 meetings were held, all of which were followed by offers of representation agreements.

The client is now following up with the offers of most interest.

So, why was this specific campaign so successful? Here are some of the reasons:

The campaign was highly targeted - at just 54 companies, from the USA and other parts of Europe, who we knew were not represented in Scandinavia.

It was aimed at a particular event, the International Online Show, where we knew a number of relevant prospects would be attending.

It was aimed at companies who had an interest in selling online information services to the business and academic sectors, where my client had a wide range of existing contacts.

The timing was good - it was sent out in the week before the Show, when the exhibitors were absolutely focused on what they wanted to get out of the Show.

The number of companies approached was a manageable number, and resulted in a number of successful responses, which could all be followed up in the 3 day duration of the Show.

The two step approach - a mailing, followed up with a meeting at a venue they were definitely going to attend, made it easier for them to say "yes" to a meeting.

The subsequent meeting was an opportunity to demonstrate credibility and confidence in the client's ability to deliver the desired result - new business from Scandinavian customers.

And the Sales letter was a powerful invitation from an organisation with access to a customer base that each of the companies would like to reach, without them having to devote expensive resources to starting from scratch.

It needed to be good. It was being aimed at business professionals, who are notoriously difficult to persuade.

You can see it here at (

I highly recommend this combination of trade show and email campaign. With a little thought, I'm sure many of you can mould such a strategy to your own business circumstances.

About the Author
Stuart Urwin is a business and internet consultant. He is also the publisher of "Information City", the FREE electronic newsletter, which gives specific pointers to the Internet resources you need to make better business decisions every day: Grow your company. Sell more. Save money. Manage your business more effectively. ( To contact Stuart,


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