When planning your conference or event, you want to maximize your potential for attracting high-quality submissions, and you know it all starts with a call for papers. But how do you go about reaching interested parties and maximizing your submissions?
Generating buzz around your event is all about releasing a compelling call for abstracts, which isn’t all that challenging when you follow a few simple guidelines.
Essentially, you are using email marketing to reach your audience, so the strategies used in any good email marketing campaign will apply just as well to a call for papers, which will include:
- Crafting an email that will improve your open rates (a tally of the number of people who click through and read your email).
- Delivering a compelling message that will increase your click-through rate (CTR), or the number of recipients who click through from the link you include in your message.
- Convert your recipients into authors and speakers. A successful event will need quality guest speakers, and getting them interested will require a compelling call for papers.
Use these strategies to ensure your call for proposals does not get ignored and is compelling enough to attract high-quality submissions for a quality conference.
Be Clear and Concise
When putting out your call for abstracts, you want to make sure you cover all the crucial points about your event. Always provide your recipients with the necessary details, including:
- The name of the event
- The date and venue location
- A link back to your event website
- Names of committee members and judges,
- A list of topics that will be covered
You may want to put in other details that will make your call for proposals stand out, such as any well-known speakers who will be making appearances. The goal is to give your recipients an immediate sense of whether the call for papers is right for them.
Use a Strong Subject Line to Generate Interest
Your email recipients will judge your subject line to gauge whether it’s worth their time to open your email via, so spend some time crafting one that will pique their interest.
Don’t use generic lines such as “Call for Papers” or similar. Not only will these not attract any attention, but the spam filter may also shuffle it off to the junk folder before they even have a chance to see it.
The subject line should be relevant and to the point. Use compelling subject lines to encourage the recipient to click into the email and find out more information.
You want to summarize the event in your subject line without being too wordy. You’ve only got a few characters, so make sure each one counts. Don’t go over your character limit, as these are a wasted effort because they will be truncated by the email client.
Target Your Leads (Don’t Spam)
Sending emails to a massive list of recipients is not always a good idea for several reasons. For starters, sending unsolicited emails to people who have not agreed to get messages from you is against GDPR laws.
The more unsolicited emails you send, the more chance that people will flag your messages as spam. This could land you in legal trouble, and it could also have severe repercussions against your brand and reputation.
Start your call for abstracts with people you have worked with in the past, which is the surest method for reaching your most qualified prospects and those who are not averse to hearing from you.
Use event management software with an email marketing tool to manage your list of potential candidates. These tools will help you maintain compliance and reduce the risk that your emails will get filtered into the junk or spam folder. Most email marketing tools also include a mandatory unsubscribe link in each email that gives recipients a convenient solution for opting out of future communications.
You will also gain access to valuable metrics like open rates and click-through rates to help you understand what is and isn’t working when sending out a call for abstracts.
Detail the Submission Process
You don’t want to lose quality candidates because they couldn’t figure out the submission process. When you have finished with the basic details, the next step should be to add clear instructions to your call for abstracts about handling the submission process. Be sure to tell your recipients what they need to do to successfully lodge a submission, including:
- Deadlines for submissions
- Abstract format
- Policies, rules, and regulations
- Formatting guidelines
While you want to ensure your recipients have all the required details, it’s important not to overwhelm them with too much information. Instead, you are providing them with an overview of the process. Interested parties can then click through to your website for more information about the abstract submission system.
Avoid Using Images
Images are a great way to make your emails stand out and improve visual appeal. However, many educational institutions and corporations will block images from appearing in emails.
Your carefully selected and formatted images will only end up creating a message that looks unprofessional, so it’s usually best to leave them out.
Make it Worth Their While
Your respondents are busy people, so your call for proposals will need to be worth their while.
Depending on the theme, you can increase their desire to contribute by mentioning big names in your message. A keynote speaker of some notoriety will be a big drawcard, so be sure to mention them and add details about what will be covered in their presentation.
Your call for papers is just the beginning of the journey with your authors. The abstract management software you use should make it easy for your recipients to follow through with your request by being easy to use and efficient at uploading and storing their research. If the interface is not user-friendly or intuitive, they may reconsider their submission, which could impact the quality of your event’s presentation.