It’s not a secret that email inboxes are crowded spaces. And it’s also no secret that sending event email invitations is an important part of event promotion.
Well, writing emails that convert takes a little bit of know-how. Fortunately, we are here to give you some pointers that will improve click-through rates and see your registrations or sales skyrocket!
Here’s what you need to know:
Create Solid Email Subject Lines
What stands between your event email invitation being opened or being ignored depends on your subject line.
You need to be descriptive enough that your recipient will want to know more and click to open the invitation.
But descriptive doesn’t mean long. It is best to limit your subject lines to 6-10 words. Keeping it short means that you will avoid having the message truncated on most mobile phones.
Whenever possible, avoid generic subjects and personalize the message. If you have a name for the recipient, include it in the subject. Emails with personalized subject lines have an open rate that is 50% higher than emails that don’t.
And be honest. Do not make claims that are untrue. Subjects that suggest the email is a follow up to a conversation that never happened or a recommendation from a friend that doesn’t exist will not get you very far and is likely to land your email message in the trash.
Consider the Sender
To improve the likelihood that your digital invitations get opened, think about who is sending the message. What name will appear as the sender?
Make sure that the recipient knows it is an email they can trust from the very beginning.
Use your brand or company name to convey authority, especially if this is the first time you are emailing individuals.
This is one of the ways your event branding can really pay off. The better your brand reputation, the more likely you are to see email opens and conversions.
If you are sending an email as your brand, make sure your social media pages and event website are accurate, active, and up to date.
Headline and Email Text
You nailed the subject and the sender, you’ve now got to make sure the email itself is designed to both convey a message and convert readers into registrations.
As a general rule, it is best to keep invitation emails as short as possible. You do not want to make your readers scroll too far to find the important information they need. Your event invite copy will fill people in on the benefits of attending your event while being direct and to the point.
Additionally, the headers in your copy should be different from your subject line. Instead, your headers should be used to direct reader emotion and lead them into your copy. That way your creative content will build excitement in your target audience.
Obviously, you want readers to RSVP or purchase tickets but the way you lead them there, the tone and language you use, will depend on your event and your audience. A corporate conference will require a different tone than an outdoor music festival. You do not want to appear too formal nor too casual.
Adding video to the body of your email can help increase engagement and encourage recipients in clicking the link to your sales or registration page. Consider sending a recorded invitation that includes a greeting from your keynote speakers or footage from the previous years’ event so curious viewers get a taste of what to expect.
Images and infographics are also a great way to encourage potential attendees to register for your event. They will allow you to share detailed information and further brand your event, while appealing to an audience who may be more attracted, or accustomed, to processing details in a visual way.
Include a Call to Action (CTA)
Email invitations are more than just an event announcement, they are also a place to encourage people to attend your event.
But if you want people to attend, you need to give them an easy avenue to purchase tickets or to register online. These avenues often appear in the form of a call to action (CTA).
CTAs are usually a short line of text like “Buy Tickets” or “Register Now.” They may also appear as a brightly colored button or along the side of the text. In general, they clearly stand out from the rest of the copy.
You want your email recipients to click on the CTA so do not hide them. Include one at the top and bottom of your email invitation. You do not want readers to have to look too hard to find what they are supposed to do.
When it comes to CTAs, it is best to keep choices limited. You do not want your audience to be confused by your message. Pick one action you would like the reader to take and use it. Make sure that all CTA buttons or links look the same.
If it is necessary to have multiple buttons, as might be the case when selling different ticket tiers, provide additional direction. For example, if early bird tickets are the best value, make sure you either highlight that information or draw the reader a clear path to that purchase option.
Remember, the more difficult it is to buy tickets/register, the less likely people are to do it!
Time the Event Email Invitation Properly
The earlier you can send invitations, the better.
Depending on your event, and the ticket types you plan to offer (early bird, VIP, general admission), timing is critical.
If you are offering early bird tickets, you will want your email to go out around 4-5 months in advance of the event. Each time a new tier of tickets becomes available, you will want to send out another email saying as much.
By sending an event invitation early, you give potential attendees a chance to mark it in their calendar or make plans and arrangements that will enable them to attend.
And when you are sending follow up emails, it is important to remember that you do not want to spam your list. You want to encourage them, not irritate them.
Segment Your Email List
One way you can be effective in your email campaign is to segment your list. Good emails speak directly to their target so splitting your email addresses into different groups is the best way to achieve this type of specificity.
- New Event-Goers: You will want to craft an email that goes to people who have not yet attended one of your events. You can grab new emails through newsletter sign ups or other means; once you have an email address, they are available for an invitation.
Again, keep the important details near the top of the email copy. It will allow the reader to decide quickly if they are interested. If people require more information to make up their minds, the rest of your email copy will fill in those blanks!
Event branding will be particularly important here as, in some cases, the recipient may not be overly familiar with who you are.
- Past Event Attendees: Send targeted emails to pass event attendees allows them to feel valued and appreciated by you.
The people on that past guest list already know what types of events you host and are familiar with your brand so you are able to take a different tone.
Obviously, you need to include event specifics but you can spend a little more time talking about the opportunities that are available to them. Point out ticket discounts or the specific benefits they’ll get from your event.
You don’t have to work so hard at selling who you are as a brand. Instead, you can work on nurturing your relationship with the recipient.
You might want to consider dividing your email list into even smaller segments than that. Look over your analytics from previous years. Is there a demographic group you wanted to attend but was underrepresented at the event? Send targeted emails to that demographic using tone and language that speaks more specifically to them.
For example, if you would like to see more out of town attendees at your conference, highlight registration packages that include a hotel room. Or, link to nearby accommodations so the reader knows that they do not have to perform this search on their own. If you can, try to work out a discounted room rate and share that information in the email!
Segmenting your list is the best way to reach specific groups of people. When using an email template or email builder, it is easy to manage your groups. It sounds like extra work but it isn’t really. In fact, the entire process becomes even more efficient if you are using a ticketing platform like Accelevents that integrates with apps like MailChimp.
Send a Reminder
As we all know, life gets busy and people forget to do things. Email reminders help to solve this issue!
In the weeks leading up to your event, send emails to the people on your list who have yet to register or make a purchase. It is entirely possible that they meant to but it slipped their mind.
It is also a good idea to send a reminder or two to the people who HAVE registered and purchased. People like to register for these events so that they are regularly updated as to its progress. Make their life easy and send email notifications of the date as a courtesy.
And don’t forget to send a thank you to your list after the event. It gives you a chance to further build your brand, show appreciation, and gather valuable feedback and data through a post-event survey.
Event email invitations are a critical part of your event marketing campaign. But they won’t be as useful to you if they do not convert recipients into buyers or registrants.
Always keep the audience in mind when drafting your emails. Look at it this way, if you wouldn’t buy tickets after reading your email, what makes you think anyone else would? Always be interesting and engaging. From there, all you have to do is follow the tips laid out above and you’re sure to see increased registrations, ticket sales, and growing excitement about your event.