We all love a good party. And in our sphere of marketing, we love events! Event marketers today pour their hearts (and budgets) into planning big conferences or dinners that include top-notch swag and engaging speakers. These events are important, not only for demand generation and the customer success team, but also a company’s overall brand.

More times than not, events require a significant chunk of marketing budget (especially if you’re the host). After the event is over, often times marketing teams will need to answer the question, “what was the return on investment?”

Many factors go into addressing this question and the ROI equation. It could be new customers won, renewal of existing customer contracts, deals progressed, or even pipeline built. Whatever the case may be, these are all fueled by relationships built with customers and prospects.

ROI Starts With A Promotion Strategy

Face-to-face interactions help with these relationships. That’s why it’s important to get the right people to the event. Countless hours can be spent on the agenda and breakout presentations, but if teams fail to effectively promote overall awareness, attendance (and ROI) numbers will be a disappointment.

That’s why teams do whatever they can to get the word out and drive registrations. This usually includes some sort of announcement on the website, social media posts, a blog post or two, and maybe a mass email blast. It’s important to think through a strategy that includes most (or all) of these activities. But teams should also be open to new and creative ways that can help boost registrations and attendance.

So what about employee email? Billions of interactions are happening everyday in corporate email (the average employee sends 41 emails per day). This channel is a powerhouse in 1:1 connections and can serve as another way to showcase a company’s event in front of the right people (the most important contacts team members are emailing everyday). It’s a natural marketing channel for brands who put on first-party events, dinners, or seminars, and helps convey a company’s message and voice across a large audience.

But for some teams, leveraging employee email for event promotion can be an inefficient and broken process.

An Opportunity for Email Signature Marketing

Prior to using an email signature marketing solution, SalesLoft employees were provided with an email signature template to list their names, titles, and contact information. But when their marketing team wanted to promote an upcoming event, they asked all employees to add a “PS”  section at the bottom of their emails. Unfortunately, less than half of the company would actually take the time to update their signatures with promotion information.

“We would send out the link and ask them to add it into their email signatures,” said Kevin O’Malley, VP of Demand Gen at SalesLoft. “To encourage this, we would provide several options of text that we would write out to simplify the process. Even when going through the extra effort and making it as seamless as possible, there wasn’t a way to enforce the signature updates and we just trusted that employees would do it. On top of that, we never really had a way to track results.”

Even after the event was over, Kevin and his team would see employees still sending out emails with an outdated call-to-action. “Everyone is so slammed with email nowadays, checking internal emails is low on the priority list,’ said Kevin. “They’re busy looking at external emails, and asks from our team to update their signatures were often overlooked. Bottom line is: we didn’t have control over what went in (or didn’t go in) their email signature.”


A New Secret Weapon for Event Promotion

The SalesLoft team began using Sigstr in December of 2015 as their email signature marketing solution. With Sigstr, SalesLoft is able to automatically include a call-to-action called a “Sigstr campaign” in the signature area of every employee email sent.

The campaigns promote the company’s most important initiatives without employees having to do a thing. The team can quickly turn on or off campaigns, and can even assign specific campaigns based on the sender (by groups or department across the company) and recipient (by geographic location, vertical, or account).

“Sigstr has quickly become one of the most important marketing channels for our team,” Kevin states. “Not only can we use Sigstr to promote our most important marketing initiatives with just a few clicks of a button, but employee signatures are automatically updated across all team members in real-time. It literally could not be any simpler to use, and the value is instant and unparalleled.”

One of these important marketing initiatives was their annual Rainmaker conference, hosted every year by the SalesLoft team in Atlanta. Rainmaker is the Sales Engagement Conference for modern sales leaders who look to gain insight from the best thought leaders in the industry. It’s an event that’s crucial to their business, so they decided to start using Sigstr to promote it.


The Numbers That Back It Up

“1 out of every 8 clicks on a Sigstr campaign resulted in a new registrant for Rainmaker.” SalesLoft CEO, Kyle Porter, sums it up best with this data point. Not only did the SalesLoft team solve their challenge of inconsistent email signatures, they also found a new effective way to drive event registrations.

SalesLoft has utilized email signature marketing the past two years for their Rainmaker conference. The first year they racked up 275,000+ impressions and over 600 clicks. And results were even better for this year. 590,000+ impressions and 750 clicks!

By taking advantage of this owned marketing channel (that was previously unused), SalesLoft has been able to generate a significant amount of additional traffic to their event page. This has led to a boost in registrations and attendees.

The best part? As soon as the conference was over, they were able to switch to a new campaign promoting their Account-Based Sales Development guide. This required just a few clicks, and all employee email signatures were updated with this new resource (without having to send out multiple emails to the company or interrupt any coworkers catching up on email).

Employee email is one of the most-viewed marketing channels in the book. And with that kind of promotion power, teams are using email signature marketing to transform their employee’s emails into highly effective marketing opportunities, driving registrations, RSVPs and brand awareness.

About the Author: Bryan Wade is CEO of Sigstr, a cloud platform for employee email personalization. Wade previously served as Chief Product Officer at Salesforce Marketing Cloud where he led product management, product marketing, UX/UI and Alliances teams.