You’ve probably seen the cliché a couple times. A certain group of celebs or major players receive a mysterious invitation to participate in an event. Normally, this would be a set up for some horror or mystery book but in real life, this little trope can useful in event marketing.
It might even be better because your attendees aren’t going to end up murdered or anything. It truly is a strategy that involves inviting a select group of prospects for something really special.
However, don’t forget that such a high-profile group isn’t something you’d assemble with a cheap message template and tacky copywriting. These people have standards and you have to really acknowledge the fact that you shouldn’t pull any punches when getting your invitation to them.
Rule #1: Limit size
Imagine this. You’ve received the exact sort of invite. It makes you feel special, as if the message itself (be it email or direct mail) was addressing you. When you attend the event though, you see so many others who got the same thing.
It’s like with the Golden Tickets from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Imagine how the story would’ve been drastically different if Wonka had sent out five-thousand of them instead of just five?
Rule #2: Take really good aim
A good way to limit the size is through targeted marketing. It’s the polar opposite to the spray and pray method (which, even successful, often leads to bigger audiences). It’s not purely about the size though.
You need to also consider the interests of your specific targets. Are they all from the same industry? Do they share the same position? Do they even face a particularly unique problem that only you could fix?
Rule #3: Put effort in getting their attention
These people can have more than just gatekeepers, spam filters, or pretty secretaries throwing out junk mail to block off marketing messages.
That’s why it will take more than a single attempt at getting that invite really straight to them. Invest in actually getting a conversation with the prospect. Get on the phone. Chat a bit. You might even consider sending yourself (or at least a representative) to drop the invitation personally!
Rule #4: Always acknowledge
Don’t see this as sucking up. Sucking up implies flattery. Flattery means there’s a lot of doubt about a prospect’s achievements. When you’re targeting the top, you need to show them that you know that.
You don’t have to do it with trumpets and a red carpet. Just acknowledge what makes one unique from the rest. Let them know that you’re a great admirer of their work. That’s why you want to bring them all together. In fact, even consumers take kindness to similar treatment because everybody wants to feel reached out.
As you keep these rules in mind, know that the most important rule is not just relying on good marketing to get these special attendees. Marketing is only a tool for communicating value. The value itself must come from your business whether it’s your product, service, or anything in between. When you think about it, those secret meetings you see in movies wouldn’t be so secret if they weren’t so important.