Smart Marketing: Why “Show Me” Outperforms “Tell Me”

lt0dwxdqrksqkx7439ey_chaz_fisheye-11Post authored by Harby Tran, Director of Marketing

“Show, Don’t Tell” is a maxim successful copywriters have long embraced.

This concept of showing, rather than telling holds great promise for trade show marketers, too.

Consider this:

  • 65 percent of us are visual learners
  • 90 percent of information that comes to the brain is visual
  • The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text
  • Visual aids improve learning by up to 400 percent
  • Content with relevant images earns 94 percent more views than content without
(Sources: Social Science Research Network, Hyerle, 3M Corporation, Content Marketing Institute)

Uh oh, are we losing you? Time for another visual.


“Show Me” Gets Trickier in Email Campaigns

The eye is drawn to images (“show me”) and the brain processes these images at lightning speed (“make it snappy”), but things get trickier when images are embedded in emails.

Here’s a quick round-up of considerations to help you master images used in email campaigns:

  • Many of today’s popular email clients have the default set to “images off.”
    (Tip: Preview messages for both options – ON and OFF, before hitting the Send button.)
  • Litmus monitors email open stats monthly. According to their latest reports, 50% or more will open your message on a smart device. (Tip: Best to go with smaller images, as mobile users have less screen “real estate” for images).
  • Research by Constant Contact reveals that emails with three or fewer images and approximately 20 lines of text tend to earn the highest click-through rates. (Tip: Good to test this out with your audience to arrive at your “sweet spot” mix of images and text.)
  • Image-laden email messages are more apt to trigger spam filters.
  • Experts at Comm100 recommend limiting the use of images to the top two inches of your email template with room for compelling text for those with images OFF. Comm100 goes a step further, recommending that you only use about thirty percent of available space for images.


Images + Personalization is the Ultimate “Show Me” Strategy

Images will only get you so far in today’s hyper-connected, digital world. Today’s trade show audiences are far more sophisticated and discerning about their decision to attend. They also have more information and evidence at their fingertips to support these decisions.

If an executive is going to invest several days and thousands of dollars to attend your trade show, the “Show Me” proof must be credible, plentiful and hyper-relevant to their situation.

For years, trade show marketers relied on email campaigns to stoke the registration fires. A series of generic messages would go out and typically, each would generate a nice uptick in registrations.

Then the email marketing game changed in a big way.

With the advent of digital, email conversion rates started to dip. Why? Potential buyers suddenly found themselves flooded with message “noise” – much of it lacking relevance or value for their particular situation or role. In turn, more email invitations went unopened and more folks unsubscribed.

Make no mistake, email campaigns are still effective, but the stakes for earning inbox access and attention are much higher. To drive meaningful gains in today’s digital marketplace, event marketers must be all-in on personalization, leveraging customer data intelligence to ensure more messages are read, appreciated and acted upon.

Success truly hinges on sending the right message to the right person at the right time.

Stay tuned, because next week, we’ll explore specific things you can do to dial up the “Show Me” factor to win more YES decisions to attend.

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