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Events: Set Your Digital Invitations Up Correctly

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Events. Not every jewelry stores runs them, but we have to wonder why not. Ladies Nights, Super Bowl parties, Red Carpet parties, Facebook Fan parties... or just your everyday average, run of the mill trunk show.

You don't own an average retail store; you own a jewelry store, and sometimes people need to be invited in. And if you do it right, those invitations will keep bringing new customers into your store for years to come.

Inviting customers to an event is easy with today's technology. We remember in 2005 when some jewelers were spending more than $3500 to snail mail a box of very slick post cards. With today's marketing, you're more inclined to save that money and take advantage of the invite power provided by Facebook and regular email.

Facebook has an entire Event Application to invite your fans, and give them a way to RSVP. Through your store's Business Page, you can set up an event detail page which includes the time, date, location and a description. Once the event is created you have the opportunity to send an invitation 1 time.

According to a recent announcement, Facebook will be returning the ability for a Business Page to directly email it fans after March 30, 2012. We assume this will give us the power to send reminder emails about a posted Facebook Event.

When using regular email to your existing customers, initial invitation notices followed up with a reminder a few days before the event, are easy. All the big name bulk email companies provide email setup wizards so you can create slick, graphical email.

Sometimes your customers can't see those slick graphics in their email program, but fear not; every email you send usually has one of those "Trouble viewing this?" links at the top. This links point to a temporary landing page hosted by the bulk email company. Usually these landing pages are deleted after 30 days.

By the way, when you create these emails, you should be testing them through through Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Thunderbird, Android, and an iPhone. Do your best to create the email so it's readable in all formats. David Yerman took this one step further and provides a "View on a mobile device" or "View in a web browser" link at the top of each of their graphical emails.

This next part is what will make your event historic and very valuable in the long run.

Before you set up the Facebook event page, and before you send the first email, we want you to set up a dedicated event page on your website. If you want to maintain uniform branding, you could recreate the layout of the email on your website. Once this dedicated page is set up, you need to include a link to it in your emails, and on the Facebook Event page.

After the event is over, you need to permanently keep the event page on your website. Go back and add some postscript details from the event, but leave the original event information. You could even add a link to your Picasa, Google+, Facebook, or Flickr photo albums of the event.

Since Facebook is closed to Google, and those email landing pages are deleted after 30 days, all the time and effort you put into setting up those Facebook/email pages is lost after the event is over. Our strategy of a permanent website page will add much value to the time you spent to set it all up.

Of course, you're probably wondering why it would matter since it's only a onetime event. There are 2 really good reasons to care about this, but you have to read tomorrow's Daily Golden Nugget to find out what they are.
AT: 03/01/2012 12:03:41 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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