Every event marketing plan is different, but most have at least one thing in common: email. Email is popular because it's effective. According to the Data & Marketing Association, in 2018, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect a $38 return.
Checking email is often a complementary activity, done while watching TV or sitting at the breakfast table. You only have a few moments to catch someone's interest and entice them to click through to your landing page. To help you boost that conversion rate, we've collected a few of our favorite email marketing tips to use when promoting your next event.
1. Segment your lists
Before you think about what you want to say, segment your list so you can tailor the message. Instead of blasting emails to large lists, try breaking them out into more personalized buckets. Have they been to the event before? Have they expressed interest in the event, but haven’t bought a ticket? Are they traveling from farther away? Have they indicated that they're interested in specific speakers or networking? The more you can segment, the more effective your email efforts will be — and the higher the ROI.
2. Keep the “from” friendly
The “From” name is the first thing your audience will see when your email pops up in their inbox, so make a good first impression. Our advice is to keep it personal and friendly. If possible, use a person’s first name, e.g. “Kate” or “Kate at Awesome Event XYZ,” instead of the cold, impersonal, “No Reply.”
3. Don't underestimate the preheader
The preheader is a line of preview text that displays in the inbox after the subject line. It gives the recipient a better idea of what the email is about, and it can make the difference between whether they open it or not.
Don't just repeat the same message as your subject line — add another reason or detail why they should open the email. For example, if your subject line offers a discount on event tickets, the preheader can add a sense of urgency:
Example subject line: Save up to 30% on tickets
Example preheader: Offer expires Saturday
4. A/B test the subject line
In a perfect world, you could A/B test every aspect of your email marketing to ensure that it was optimized. But you can always start with one of the most important metrics, clickthrough, by testing subject lines. When brainstorming subject line alternates to test, we recommend focusing on the emotion you want to elicit in the audience. Try experimenting with elements such as: humor, curiosity, exclusivity, and urgency.
5. Boil your copy down to the essence
Attention spans are short, especially when reading emails. Remove anything that distracts from your core message, like adverbs, passive voice, and especially, hard-to-read sentences. For help, try the Hemingway app. Plug your copy in and the app will highlight areas for improvement.
6. Move the call-to-action button up
A CTA (call-to-action) button links readers to your registration page or asks them to do something. It is one of the most important pieces of content in an email. A common mistake in event emails is to include too much content before getting to a clear CTA button. Try to include a button near the top. Remember that buttons perform better than text links, and actionable phrases (e.g. Reserve your seat!) tend to perform better than generic phrases like "Learn more" or "Click here."
7. Personalize your message
Instead of sending the same generic message to thousands of people, take advantage of email automation software and personalize. It's as simple as pulling a first name into the email greeting or subject line. According to Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines boost open rates by 26%.
8. Use staff signatures to spread the word
Want to spread the word about your event in your company's immediate network? Include a quick message and CTA in your team's email signatures. Create everything beforehand, so all your team has to do is copy and paste. It's a simple and easy trick that goes a long way.
9. Email new sign-ups within 24 hours
In email marketing, it’s important to follow up and strike while the iron is hot. If someone expressed interest in your event, send them an offer for discount tickets. If they bought a ticket, send them a thank you and point them to the next step you want them to take, whether it’s downloading the event app or signing up for a session.
10. Enlist a testing group
There's no feeling quite like sending a large email blast and then realizing there's a glaring typo in the headline. Before you hit send, send a few test emails to different people on your team, and try to include people who are seeing it for the first time. That way, you'll avoid the dreaded typo or broken link.
If you’re looking for more tips and tricks to promote your event, check out our Ultimate Guide to Improving Event Attendee Engagement. And if you want to talk in more detail about event tech, apps and promotion strategy, drop us a line and schedule a free demo!