Email marketing is one of the most effective methods of reaching out to potential customers, in this case, potential attendees. With a little creativity, you can create powerful and engaging email campaigns that help you sell event tickets, boost brand awareness, and increase your bottom line.
In this article, we'll provide you with the tips you need to start crafting successful event email campaigns, including examples to inspire you. From creating compelling subject lines to evaluating your email campaign results - we'll show you how to make your events stand out from the crowd.
🏆 Why is email the best tool for event marketing?
Digital marketing is a fast-changing field that is shaped by continuously evolving technologies. Thanks to that, you can choose from a wide range of different channels that this strategy has to offer.
Despite the emerging tech trends, like AI marketing, VR, chatbots, video marketing, etc., 84 % of event managers still consider email the most effective tool when it comes to communication with customers and target audiences.
In combination with an optimized landing page and social media campaigns, it belongs to the most common set of tools event planners use to promote their events. Find other creative ways to promote your event.
Here are 10 advantages that make emails the best tool for your event communication.
Easy file sharing and data storage
- Emails may contain digital files like images, videos, PDFs, etc.
- You can always keep your message short and sweet and provide more information in the attachment or include an engaging video that explains everything in a few seconds or minutes.
- Emails can work as storage as well. Unless you delete them, they will stay in your inbox or archive from where they are referable and easily filterable at a later time.
Fast and affordable
- Emails can be sent to anyone in the world within a few seconds. You can also send them to more recipients at a time.
- Emails are an affordable way to reach out to people. For personal use, it is free. Otherwise, you usually pay for business features and the size of your email list. Additionally, you might need to hire a content creator as well.
- Email automated workflows are a great way to push your audience further down the conversion funnel without the need to spend hours on routine tasks every day. Rise your productivity by automating your email workflow and focusing on higher-value tasks.
- Email is a global communication medium. Almost everyone has at least one email address. On average, people have two email accounts, whether it's personal, business, forgotten, or...oh jeez...that embarrassing teenage email!
Easy to measure
- Digital data is so easy to collect and analyze. Nowadays, even the most basic email marketing tools provide you with a report center where you can see charts and overviews of your email campaign performance.
Easy to create and customize
- Even though emails are here for half a century now, the way you use them stayed practically the same. Once your account is created, it is easy to write, send, and receive messages.
- Businesses can also take advantage of the templates and customization options to create a branded experience for their audience. This is done by adding logos, images, and brand colors, but also by customizing the content to match the brand tone.
This time or at the right time
- Emails are usually perceived positively because the recipient is the one who is in charge. Once you receive an email, it is only up to you when and whether you will open it or not. There is no significant pressure unless it is a time-sensitive message, like a limited offer or something important that needs to be solved ASAP. However, people are usually aware of the longer response time when using email communication and rather use other faster tools if the message is urgent.
- You can also use emails to announce, discuss, or solve an uncomfortable topic that would be difficult in person or on a call. The recipient will also have some time to think about it and not act on emotions.
Connection to calendar
- You can connect your email account with your favorite calendar and have all your meetings and events instantly noted so you never miss them.
- Going paperless doesn't just save time and money that you would, in the case of the traditional way, spend on printing and transporting the letter, it is also environmentally friendly.
- Some may say, emails lack personal touch because they can't properly convey emotions. But in comparison to other forms of marketing, like display advertising, emails can feel much more personal if you personalize the addressing and, based on the recipient's preferences, the content.
🪤 What are the common email traps?
Emails became one of the most popular methods of communication in the world. It is fast, efficient, and easy to use. However, there are also potential pitfalls to using emails.
Here are 8 disadvantages of email communication that can break your campaign efforts if ignored.
- These messages can be advertisements, requests for money, or something else that the person receiving the email doesn't want. Email spam can be very annoying and in some cases also dangerous because it can contain viruses or other harmful content.
- Email viruses can attach themselves to emails and spread quickly to other users' computers. They are dangerous, as they may masquerade as an important message from a friend or colleague. Once opened, the virus can spread to other computers on the network. Some email viruses can even destroy files or wipe out the contents of a computer's hard drive.
- In most cases, it’s simply the lack of emotions and non-verbal communication, like facial expressions, that can lead to a misinterpretation. For example, if you ask someone to do something and they don’t respond right away, you may jump to conclusions and think they ignored you. However, they may have simply not seen the email yet or been too busy to reply.
- Other common misunderstandings happen when we take things too personally. Or we might get upset because the other person didn’t use emoticons in their email, which can often be interpreted as cold or rude.
- One of the best things about email is that there's no limit to the length of your messages. You can write as much or as little as you want. However, when there is no limit, you can easily end up putting way too much information into your email and overwhelm your recipients.
Requires constant maintenance
- According to statistics, each person receives over 120 emails per day on average. That's A LOT. Emails need constant maintenance or else you will end up with a never-ending stack of unread emails.
Takes some time to reply
- If you have an urgent topic to solve, email might not be the best way how to do that, because not everyone is checking their emails every second. To make sure that you get a quick answer, rather hop on a call or send a message via phone or chat.
What you sent out can't be taken back
- Email can be a powerful communication tool, but it can also be a vehicle for leaking confidential or private information, like Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or addresses, without realizing it. Once the email is sent, it's out there and can't be taken back. Anyone who has ever hit "send" too quickly or regretted sending an email later can attest to that.
Risk of being ignored
- Following the above-given statistic of the average amount of emails received by each person per day, to stand out with your message is crucial, otherwise, you will risk being overlooked or ignored. This is, however, not always easy.
💪 19 email best practices
- Send a teaser/launching email to create pre-event buzz
- Pick the right time and frequency (don't prioritize quantity over quality, consider "off" times, and take holidays and other events into account as the open rate could be significantly lower on these days)
- Check email deliverability
- Keep an eye on your sending volumes to avoid ISP blocking (consistency is key)
- Care for accessibility (structure your email, text-align, highlight important things with bold, color contrast, size, etc.)
- Incorporate your brand identity (header, footer)
- Personalize your content
- Never forget to include a CTA in your message
- Add an email signature and contact information at the bottom
- Test your subject lines
- Use emojis in the subjects
- Never skip the preview text, it gives you an extra space to attract your recipients
- Send yourself or your colleague a test email before launching the campaign
- Review your emails from time to time to keep up with the trends and user behavior
- Analyze your email campaign results for future improvements
- Clean your mailing list from time to time
- Buying your email list is a NO-GO!
- Do cross-channel campaigns (support your email campaign, tie it with your event landing page, collect contacts via social media, blog, website, etc.)
- Automate your email campaign to be able to work more effectively
✍️ How to write an email subject line
One of the most important pieces of an email is the subject line. This is what people see when they are sorting through their emails and determines whether or not they will open your email. You want to make sure you stand out in their inbox.
What increases the open rate of your email
- Straightforwardness - Those who open your email based on the straightforwardness of your subject line are more likely to convert as you will set and meet their expectations.
- Curiosity - Arose your recipient's curiosity by using a question or numbers in the subject line, and ensure that they can't help but want to learn more.
- Urgency (FOMO) - We all just hate to miss out on some great opportunities...
- Special offers - Save money or get VIP stuff, these are the things that catch your recipient's attention (almost) every time!
- Personalized approach - Pay attention to your recipient's emotions and understand what makes them feel special.
Questions to ask when writing email subject lines
- What is the message you would like to convey?
- What do you want the recipient to do?
- What subject lines generate better results?
- Is it short and sweet?
😎 How to create a successful event email campaign
From building your email list to creating buzz and post-event engagement. Here is how you ensure that your event email will be successful.
What is an email campaign?
An email campaign is a coordinated series of messages sent to a targeted audience through email, typically planned and organized in advance.
Email campaigns can be used to promote products, services, and events, or build relationships with customers and prospects, or drive traffic to a website. They are optimized to capture the reader's attention.
What email marketing tools can you use?
There are tons of email marketing tools available on the market. You can choose from a wide variety of features and platforms where you can create your powerful email campaigns. Some offer great design flexibility, some are great for smaller businesses, some are more comprehensive, etc. It is only up to you to decide which one suits you best.
Not sure where to start? Here are the 5 most popular email marketing tools!
- Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing tools and it offers a free plan for small businesses. It has a user-friendly interface and provides templates for creating newsletters, surveys, and autoresponders.
- Moosend is an alternative to Mailchimp that offers many of the same features. It's easy to use, especially for beginners and has a wide range of integrations. However, it doesn't have as many features as Mailchimp.
- Mailjet is a great option if you want a lot of flexibility. You can use it to create newsletters, send out automated emails, or even create entire marketing campaigns. It's also very affordable, making it a good choice for small businesses.
- Hubspot is a comprehensive email marketing tool that offers everything from templates to A/B testing. It also integrates with other HubSpot products, such as their CRM and marketing automation software.
- Sendinblue is a great option for small businesses because it offers a free plan with limited features, making it easy to get started. The paid plans are affordable and include a range of features including automated emails, contact management, segmentation, A/B testing, and more.
Build your email list
To create a successful email campaign, you need to build your audience list first. Email marketing tools can significantly help you with collecting, building, and managing your audiences.
Start by offering people the opportunity to subscribe to your email list wherever it's relevant, typically, on company marketing channels, like the company website, blog, or social media accounts.
You can also collect email addresses at events or offer subscription on online platforms and groups where your audience is.
Don't forget to clean your email list regularly to ensure the reliability of evaluation metrics. Getting rid of the contacts that never engaged with your emails or bounced can notably improve all the evaluation metrics.
✉️ 3 types of email to send out and promote your event
Event email invitation
Start by designing a beautiful design that will catch your recipients' attention. Use interesting fonts, colors, and graphics to create something unique. Don't forget to project your brand identity as well, so that your invitation is recognizable to your audience.
An event introduction is like a movie's teaser - be creative and your invitation will stand out and generate the buzz you're hoping for.
Event early birds
The early bird strategy lies in offering a discount or special access for those who register in a given time frame, typically applied soon after the first introduction to boost ticket sales. You can enhance this strategy by creating different time frames and gradually reducing the discount with each time frame closer to your event. The earlier your attendees register, the bigger the discount will be.
Event email reminders
Remind your audience to RSVP for the event and convert those who have not registered yet. Also, don't forget to tell your registrants that the event is coming soon and you can't wait to see them! Sending out reminders is simply a great way to ensure that as many people as possible attend the event.
Try to think of different contents for your event reminders and attract your audience with information that they might find interesting, e.g. remind them of the cool things they can see, experience, or learn more about if they attend your event. Presenting your key speakers and sponsors can also work as a catcher.
➕ Other event email types
Sponsorship proposals are emails (or traditionally letters) that you send out to your potential sponsors. They are optimized to attract and win sponsors for your event. Sponsorship is another powerful event marketing tool. It lies in creating a relationship that is beneficial for organizers, sponsors, as well as attendees.
Internal emails with the team
There are definitely faster ways how you can communicate with your team members. Emails are, however, preferred when communicating more important and serious information, e.g. updates, company announcements, invitations, or meeting requests.
Registrants are people who are closest to the bottom of your conversion funnel (where actually attending the event is the conversion goal). Once you acquire them, don't let them slip away. Thank them for registering, send them pictures or videos behind the scenes, and update them whenever there is a change. Sending regular messages will also help you keep their spirit alive and increase their excitement for your event.
If your event uses an event app for attendee management and engagement, make sure that everybody knows how to access and use it. Some event tools automatically send out invitation emails with download or access links. For example, Eventee includes a so-called magic link in the email invitations (the joinbutton). If you have the app downloaded, the magic link will open the event in the app, if you don't have the app downloaded, it will take you to App Store or Google play based on your device.
One last email before the event
Make sure that everybody knows all the important information, like navigation and tech matters, so they can enjoy your event to the fullest. You can also take it as the last reminder email.
Thank you email
There is always room for gratitude. Show your attendees and partners what you achieved together, for example by sending them a summary of the most interesting event data.
Nurturing email campaigns
Your email campaigns don't need to end by the second your event ends. Send out newsletters with useful and, most importantly, relevant content so your attendees wouldn't need to think twice when deciding whether to stay in your event community.
Planning an event and then having to cancel it is surely a frustrating experience. It is, however, not always avoidable and sometimes you just need to face it. Emails are a great way to announce this unfortunate situation to your attendees and partners. Be sure to apologize and offer a refund or something as compensation if possible. You can also reach out to your suppliers via email to ask for a refund and get at least a part of your prepayments back.
📊 Email campaign evaluation
Evaluating email campaigns allows businesses to see if their efforts are paying off or not. The changes made after a proper evaluation are more likely to result in improved campaign performance.
- Open rate
The open rate is the percentage of people who opened an email. It is usually measured by the number of people who opened an email out of the total number of people who received it.
Email CTR, or click-through rate, is a metric that measures how many people clicked on a link in an email. Email marketing tools usually provide you with this information, e.g. Mailchimp has click maps.
- Conversion rate
This metric depends on your goals. Every marketing campaign should lead to an action you want your audience to do. In this case, a conversion can be anything from clicking on a link to filling in the registration form or eventually attending the event.
- Bounce rate
Email bounce rate is a measure of how many emails were sent, but never make it to the recipient's inbox. This is often due to an invalid email address, or the email server.
- Unsubscribe rate
The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of people who unsubscribed from a mailing list during a specific period. This metric is used to measure how effective a campaign was at retaining subscribers.
- Sharing rate
The sharing rate is the percentage of email recipients who either shared your post via social media or forwarded it to somebody else.
- Device preferences
People read emails from both mobile phones and computers. This metric will help you understand what device and what OS your recipients use or prefer.
UTM is a well-known marketing term that stands for Urchin Traffic Monitor. It is a piece of software used to track and measure website traffic. UTM links are short, custom URLs that use UTM parameters to track clicks.
Where do you get data for evaluation?
There is nothing bad about traditional data resources, like surveys or focus groups, but these days, it is much more efficient to take advantage of digital resources.
Always use a variety of tools to get the most accurate data and reveal valuable insights. These tools' analytics can help you collect data and evaluate your campaigns.
- Email tool
- Landing page trackers
- Social media
- Ticketing tool
- Event engagement tool
How to measure the success of your campaign
You launched your campaign and now you have all the numbers on the table. How do you know that your email campaign was successful?
Besides the clear indicators, like sold-out tickets, achieved KPIs, or increased engagement, you can also take advantage of available data and make different comparisons.
Check out industry benchmarks
- Compare a company's performance to other companies in the same industry. This can help you identify areas you are good at and where you need to improve in order to stay competitive.
- Email marketing tools usually provide public benchmarks based on their own data. Here is an example of Mailchimp's Email Marketing Benchmarks and Statistics by industry.
Take a look back
- If this is not your first time creating an email campaign, there is no easier way than to take a look back at your previous performance and see how your current campaign is doing.
Compare your test results
- Analyzing your test results will not tell you whether your campaign was successful or not, but it can give you valuable insights into what factors affects the behavior of your audience so you can improve your campaign performance.
💡 Wrapping things up
Email is a powerful communication tool that has both advantages and disadvantages. While it is affordable and easy to use, it can also lead to unpleasant misunderstandings or dangerous situations.
There are different types of emails you can send out to promote your event and nurture your event community. An email campaign can help you enhance the experience of your audience throughout all the parts of the attendee journey - from pre-event awareness to post-event engagement.
Remember to be creative and test both subject lines and messages to find the right communication vibe that grabs your audience's attention.
Email marketing tools like Mailchimp, Moosend, Mailjet, and other alternatives can quickly become your best friends when it comes to managing your audiences, creating professional campaigns, and evaluating your efforts.