I’ve been invited to purchase a booth at a trade show with a promise of receiving the lists of attendees to the trade show. It’s a great idea. If you are selling nails and the trade show is for builders, you’ll end up with a list of builders. However, let me tell you about using email to contact all those new-found prospects. Don’t.
First of all, consider the attendee. He shows up at the trade show, visits a few booths, and then receives hundreds of unsolicited emails from the all the booth owners upon his arrival home. He hasn’t visited these booths. He hasn’t given his business card or permission to the owners to send him email. He is now royally pissed. Not a great way to begin a worthwhile relationship.
Consider the folks who visit your booth. They chat with you. They give you their business card, or fill out an entry form to win something. Quid pro quo. They expect that for a chance to win, you’ll be entering their email address on your broadcast list. Worst case, they unsubscribe or delete your email because you bore them.
If you get the list of everyone who attended the show, how about calling them on the phone? Sending a post card? Invite them to come to your web site and sign up to receive your really interesting emails. If you can move them to take that step, they will read your email…at least the first one. Bore them and they are gone.
See how that works?