XLIVE Online is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Mastering the Art of the Email to Drive Event Attendance.png

Mastering the Art of the Email to Drive Event Attendance

Email is a major asset in every event marketers tool kit. However, with all the buzz and growth around social media it can sometimes not receive the attention that it deserves.

According to Eventbrites’ 2017 Event Email Benchmarking Report, 91% of people check their email every single day. That means that email is still one of the most powerful tools when it comes to promoting an event. A an email marketing campaign, when done correctly, can make fans feel special, increase engagement, and most importantly drive up ticket sales.

The goal is to create buzz with your audience without overwhelming their inbox and driving them to unsubscribe. This is why it is important to ensure that your messaging is targeted. The subject line is a great place to start with this. Crafting a personalized and enticing subject line is the first step in getting a receiver to open your email. Choosing the right frequency and time of day is another factor that can contribute to successfully connecting with your audience through email. These may take a little testing to get just right but can reap many benefits.


Mastering the Art of the Email to Drive Event Attendance 2

Photo from Digital Trends

Targeted Messaging

The biggest way to increase the success of a marketing campaign is to segment your audience and create targeting messaging for each demographic. A Jupiter research study found that by doing this marketers can increase their conversions by 355% and increase revenues by 781%. Diving your audience by geographical location, interests, loyalty, or other factors will help you craft message that connect more with the reader. This will increase open rate and decrease the amount of people that unsubscribed. A survey found that 34% of consumers “break up” with a brand because they felt the marketing messages sent to them were irrelevant. This can be as simple as sending different messages to those who have previously attended and those who have never been to the event. These little thing can make a huge difference. According to Think Google, 86% of consumers revealed that personalization plays a major role in their decision to purchase or not.

The Subject Line

It is critical to ensure that subject lines are informative but also attention grabbing. This is the first interaction that a message has with a potential attendee and determines if the receiver will even open the email. MailChimp suggests to keep them under 50 characters and ensure that they are descriptive and create a sense of urgency. Personalization can also go a long way, Eventbrite found that adding the recipients name or city can increase open rates by 20%. Software can be utilized to automate the process of adding personalization. Targeted subject lines that make the receiver feel special can really make an email stand out. Also be sure to take full advantage of the preheader, this is the secondary subject line that can give the receiver more insight into the message. It’s a small tool you can leverage in order to grab attention and increase open rates. This can be added by inputting what you want into the “alt text” section of the first image of your html email.


Mastering the Art of the Email to Drive Event Attendance 3

Photo from Chutima Chaochaiya/Shutterstock

Timing is Everything

Once you have mastered the right messaging and the right targeting, hitting a person’s inbox at the right time is the next key to a successful marketing campaign for your next event. The trick for the initial email is to find a time that is not too close to the event that gives everyone enough time to commit but is not too early that people aren’t ready to pay attention to it yet. The email platform Emma took a survey of US event planners and found that 53% of events send their first email to returning attendees one to three months before the event. Only 9% sent a message 6 months in advance and 14% even waited until two weeks before the event. Including early bird pricing, advance sales, or discounts can be a successful measure that will drive early event ticket purchases. After the first message is sent, it is important to determine the cadence for the rest of the email campaign. It is a delicate balance between maintaining active touch points and spamming people’s inboxes. The Emma survey found that 22% send six emails or more while 30% only send four to five messages leading up to an event with 43% sending about an email a week. Once how often to send your audience emails, hitting their inbox at the right time of the day is the next factor to consider. Landing there in the morning seems to be the most beneficial since by the end of the day people can be bogged down with emails and experience inbox fatigue. There is no exact science when it comes to determining timing. While there are suggested and common practices, testing out different timing and cadence will really show what is best for your intended audience. Be sure to analyze the demographics of your audience if you have a national audience that is in different time zones this may affect when you blast out information.

Sending the right emails can drive ticket sales. Separating your audience into different segments and tailoring your messaging to each target group can greatly increase your click through rate. The receiver is less likely to hit the unsubscribe button if they feel like the emails they receive are personalized just for them. The subject line can be a powerful tool. Keep it short, personal, and attention grabbing. Utilizing the secondary subject line can also be beneficial since it gives the reader a little bit more information but not too much so that they still need to open the email. How often and when you send messages can also be a major factor. There is not exact science, but many event organizers send about an email a week starting anywhere from one to three months in advance. Finding the right balance of frequency and messaging can take a little testing but when done right can greatly boost an events engagement and attendance.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.