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Save the date: Event email marketing explained from A to Z

As an event planner, you’ve got A LOT on your plate. You have to arrange a venue, contact performers, organize food, beverages, goodie bags, electronics, transportation, and the list goes on.

Luckily there’s one tool to use that will handle a big chunk of your marketing work, so you can focus on the logistics.

Meet the marketing intern of your dreams: email!

Email marketing tools are great for events, as they can take over a big part of attracting, engaging and informing event visitors. Currently, 40% of the event organizers stated that email marketing is still their preferred channel for the event promotion (Bizzabo’s 2019 Event Marketing Report).

You’ll love email marketing because it’s cheap, requires little resources and can be scaled to reach both small and huge contact lists at once.

With event email marketing, you can:

  • Create a buzz even before the event details are finalized

  • Boost the sales of your early bird tickets

  • Promote your event with giveaway promotions

  • Remind readers with a countdown to buy their tickets in time

  • Send payment or event registration confirmation emails

  • Gain excitement by talking about what the reader can expect on your event

  • Communicate practical information (such as the location and timetable)

  • Share memories in a follow-up email campaign

In this article, we’ll show you how email marketing for events works. We’ll guide you through setting up signup forms and event email automation campaigns from scratch. Throughout it all we'll sprinkle some email marketing tips. We’ll also add event newsletter examples, ideas for event subject lines and email marketing best practices. Afterward, you can apply these learnings for your own event!

Though many event marketers know how powerful email marketing is for promoting their event, few actively build their list. During our research, we were surprised to see how many (even popular) events did not offer a newsletter subscription.

When you offer an event newsletter, it doesn’t mean that you need to send out emails every week. With a signup form on your website, you can collect subscribers every time someone visits your page. Then when you are ready for your event email campaign, you already have a list filled with people that want to hear from you.

Hold up... what was that famous Abraham Lincoln quote again?

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.

Signup forms. We're telling you. You need one.

When creating your signup form, make sure you pay attention to the message. Again, your WHY is important. What is the added value for readers to sign up for the newsletter? For many events, it’s to keep up to date with the latest news on the line-up and tickets.

Want to read more on how to grow a high-quality email list? We've got that covered in this handy guide.

With MailerLite, you can add a signup form in a few simple steps. In the video underneath, we explain how to integrate a form on your website.

There’s more: Other ways to collect subscribers

Collecting emails is not only done via an online signup form or through your social media accounts. How about taking things into the real world? At the event itself, you can also collect subscribers.

The old-fashioned way is to have people jot down their emails with pen and paper. Post-GDPR, it's important to have an explanation of consent and a clear opt-in that people need to check off or sign.

You can also use tablets, laptops or mobile devices with the signup page at your booth or festival. Think of fun ways to motivate visitors to sign up. Things like a contest or freebie (anything from free beverages to massages) work well.

The better the signup reward, the more people line up. Your crowded trade show booth or long queue will make people wonder what all the fuss is about.

Events can be anything from a one-time online webinar to a full-on 3-day trade show. No matter what you’re about to organize, a couple of good emails are a must in your event email marketing campaign.

  1. Spike interest and create awareness with an event announcement email

  2. Boost sales with a “tickets are on sale now” email

  3. Leverage #FOMO or a sense of urgency with a countdown email

  4. Deliver the tickets using a transactional email

  5. Send a reminder email a few days before or on the day of the event itself

  6. A recap email that highlights the best parts and optionally, promotes your next event

You can also keep your registrants up-to-date with event information (timetable, location, floor map, what to prepare, speaker information, etc.). As well as run giveaways to increase exposure or send post-event emails to recap the highlights.

Does that sound like a lot of work?

All this new information might feel overwhelming. It might sound like you need to send a lot of different emails...

Have no fear, email marketing automation is here!

In reality, you only need to set up the above-mentioned emails once.

Automatically triggered workflows make sure everyone gets to read your emails. If you set up a new workflow and connect it to the signup form, each new subscriber will automatically receive the emails that belong to that workflow.

We break it down and explain further what is email automation and why you’ll love it for your next event marketing campaign in this guide.

For example, let’s say you’re organizing a webinar.

Each time a new person signs up via the signup form on your landing page, the workflow will be triggered. First, the person receives a confirmation email. Two days later, a reminder email lands in the mailbox. On the day of the webinar, another reminder is sent. And finally, the webinar attendant receives the replay.

Because of the top-notch scaling possibilities email marketing tools offer, you don’t have to worry about losing contact while your attendee list grows. Automated emails will make sure everyone gets personal attention!

Are you ready to learn the 5 steps to creating festive event email campaigns?

Your very first email is where your readers learn about your event. Make them as thrilled about it as you are! In this event email, you’ll want to spark curiosity. How long before the event you send this email depends on what you’re organizing. A conference invitation email can be sent out some weeks before, while a festival email campaign already starts months in advance.

You can keep the event announcement email mysterious and follow-up later with more details (like FADER does underneath with their invitation email design). Or, you can spread the details straight away.

👉  Tip: It helps to make the reader feel like they’re the first ones to hear about your exciting news. Use phrases such as “Congratulations” and “We personally want to invite you.”

In the event announcement email, you’ll write:

  • What the event is about and, if this information is already available:

  • Line-up

  • Location, date and time

  • How to buy tickets or RSVP

You also want to spend some time crafting a good reason WHY people should spend their time and money on your event. What value will attendees walk away with?

Example: Event announcement email

Subject: Your invite to The FADER Fort 2019

Event newsletter - Fader Fort invitation example

Remember how in the event announcement email you added your value proposition? In the next email, it’s time to elaborate. Tell the reader about your killer line-up, the valuable information they’ll gain or the blast they’re about to have.

Automate this email by sending it a certain amount of days after the event announcement email. Use a trigger and send it only to those people who opened your initial email but did not take any action.

Don’t forget a clear call-to-action (CTA) that stands out, so readers know where to register. Want to learn more about how to leverage CTAs in your event emails? We show you how to create a CTA that works in this all-in-one guide.

Example: Conversion-boosting email

From: Specialty Coffee Association (SCA)
Subject: Only a Couple Weeks Until #CoffeeExpo2019!

Event newsletter - Specialty Coffee Association example

Let’s face it, most of us postpone things until the very last minute. To give readers a kick in the butt, it helps to send an event email that expresses urgency.

This email in the event email marketing campaign could say something like:

  • Early bird offer expires tonight

  • Weekend tickets are almost sold out

  • The rates will go up soon

  • Only 41 spots left Nearly sold out

  • Only a few days left

Stress what the readers gain when they act quickly. A countdown timer helps them to visualize how little time there is really left.

You can automate this event email if you already know when your offer will expire. Schedule it a few days before the deadline so your readers will receive a nice, yet urgent reminder in their inbox.

Example: "Hurry up" email

From: Lollapalooza
Subject: Low Ticket Warning ⚠ 4-Day GA+ Tickets

Event newsletter - Lollapalooza urgent email example

Hooray, you made a ticket sale! The ticket confirmation email is the most important one in your email sequence. This email is sent automatically when a customer completes their sale or RSVPs. It’s short, to the point and mostly only contains the most important event information.

Organizing your own event campaign using MailerLite?

Use a direct integration or try Zapier. With Zapier, you can connect apps Eventbrite, Meetup, Ticket Tailor, Songkick and many more to your best email campaigns.

Are you selling tickets via Eventbrite or a similar system? Export the attendee list and import these contacts in your MailerLite account. You can use these contacts for your sales follow-up emails.

Example: Ticket delivery email

From: Eventbrite
Subject: Your Tickets for Jon Batiste

Event newsletter - Eventbrite confirmation email example

Regardless of whether you made a sale or not at this point (we hope you did!), the events insight email is always a good idea. In between the event announcement email and the actual date of the event, you want to keep your readers in the loop.

In this part of the event email campaign, you offer additional information.


  • Newly added names on the line-up

  • In-depth information, interviews or fun facts about the speakers

  • A personal message from the organizer

  • Raffles or giveaways (goodie bag, anyone?)

Example: Event insights email

From: WOO HAH! Festival
Subject: Stormzy, Kodak Black Flatbush Zombies, Trippie Redd, JID, London On Da Track & more confirmed for WOO HAH! festival 2019

Note: These guys got a bit too excited trying to cramp every single name in the subject line. The artists are impressive, so we get them :) However, we recommend keeping your subject line under 40 characters to make sure it’s visible on every device.

Event newsletter - WOO HAH! line-up email example

People are busy. If you’re organizing a festival like Coachella or Burning Man, your attendees probably have the dates boldly marked in their agenda. Is your event less bombastic? Then it’s wise to send a reminder email.

Reminder emails are usually automatically sent 1-3 days before the event. And then again on the day itself. Especially online events (such as webinars or live streams) often send a reminder one day and one hour before the event. For offline events, you can best send a reminder email a couple of days before.

In the reminder email, you can mention:

  • What to prepare (grab a notebook and pen or download the worksheet)

  • A quick summary of what's about to happen

  • Information about the speaker/organizer

  • The value proposition

  • Location, date and time

  • Schedule URL to attend

  • Offline: Travel instructions

Example: Reminder email

From: Team Teachable
Subject: [Reminder] You have an event tomorrow

Event newsletter - Team teachable reminder email example

Your successful event is over, but that doesn't mean your event email campaign has to come to an end too. One more will do!

Your post-event email could focus on:

  • Email survey to gather feedback about this edition or ideas for the next event

  • Recap (pictures, videos, or whatever you captured that day)

  • Thank you message

  • Announcement winners (in case you hosted raffles or giveaways)

  • Promotion for another upcoming event

👉  Tip: You can segment this email so that only the actual attendees will receive your after-party email.

Example: Post-event email

Subject: Don't miss SXSW EDU 2020

Event newsletter - SXSW EDU post-event email example
Example: Post-event email

Subject: Cast your vote on SCALE's new theme 🗳️

Event newsletter - SCALE post-event email example

We know you want to see those RSVPs skyrocket, but that's only possible when people actually open your emails. This is reflected in your email open rates. Subject lines are an important element in your event email marketing campaign. A/B test to see what works best for your audience.

Learn more about how to write the best email subject lines to boost open rates in this guide.

Here are event subject line examples that came rolling into our inbox and made us click.

Email type: Event announcement

Matthew Hussey - I'm Saving a Seat Next to Me on the Beach for You…

Sofar NYC - Spring has sprung! Celebrate with the best live music in the city 🎶

Hey, it's Elise! - join me and 486 monkeys ~virtually~ in Bali this week

Red Sox Ticketing - Come to Fenway May 2 - we won’t tell your boss!

Ramit Sethi - It’s time: Start your online business with Zero to Launch

Tarte friends & family - your exclusive invite is waiting...🕐

ISLA Berlin - 🔥 ISLA x Namilia Launch Party THIS SATURDAY 🔥

Email type: Conversion booster

Cannabis Science Conference - Get to know our Keynote Speakers - 2019 CSC East - April 9th & 10th

Kentucky Derby Insider - Art of the Derby Merchandise Now Available! 🎨

Chris Sherman @ SMX East - Here’s an exclusive insider look at SMX East

Mary Fernandez - [QA inside] Here's what you need to know about PN Lab 👉

Ramit Sethi - How to afford Zero to Launch

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival - FOOD LINEUP! 🍩🍔🥨🍕🥗🌮🍜 (+ Car Pass Prices Increasing Soon!)

Pickathon - 🎉👏New Pickathon Lineup Addition + Stage Info & Schedules Coming + Weekend Ticket ALERT!👏🎉

Email type: Urgency

ICBC - ICBC Berlin Ticket Prices Increase at Midnight!

AMERICANAFEST® - Act Now: 2019 Brand Opportunities

Suzi from Start a Mom Blog - ✔️Last day to get your free ticket :) + More FREE goodies

EDC Orlando - LAST CHANCE‼️ 🤗 Grab your EDC Orlando 2019 Presale Tickets!

Project Z - TWO HOURS LEFT: Grab Your Project Z Ticket For Just $40!

Email type: Event confirmation

Thomas Kuegler - [Confirmation] Your webinar link

Suzi from Start a Mom Blog - LIVE : Blogging 101 - Your questions answered LIVE right now :)

Lekker Collective - Thanks for signing up to Lekker Presents 👌

Email type: Event reminder

Team Teachable - [STARTING SOON] Jess Catorc speaks in 1 hour!

Marisa Peer - [Webinar alert] 15 Minute Reminder: I Am Enough Webinar

Email type: Post-event

SCALE - Cast your vote on SCALE's new theme

Lea Schneider - FW: Thanks for joining our event yesterday! 😊

Josh Massey - RE: Thanks For Attending Live Training

Gael Breton - Here’s how to start applying what you learned

You’ve seen many email examples from different event organizers. Here are some more awesome examples from our own customers to help you get your creative juices flowing.

The Architecture Foundation newsletter

This simple event invite does exactly what it’s supposed to: announce the event. It has attractive visuals that happily flicker on your screen, contains all the event details and clearly states how to RSVP by using a bigger CTA compared to the rest of the text.

See the full newsletter here (including their cool GIF header)

Event newsletter - Architecture Foundation event email example

Zhou B Art Center newsletter

This newsletter does a good job of explaining what the reader can expect when attending the event. It first invites the reader to the event and then gives detailed descriptions about the artists. They also add CTA buttons that lead to more artist information. The only thing we’re missing is the RSVP link or a “Can’t wait to see you there” line.

Read about these amazing artists in the full newsletter here.

Event newsletter - Zhou B Art Center event email example

MORI by Art+Flea newsletter

The personal tone of voice and appreciation for the readers make this newsletter a very nice read. MORI by Art+Flea does a great job by highlighting local artists and their products. The newsletter is full of bright feel-good colors, totally in line with the initiative itself. Our only remark is that the event invitation is quite far down in the newsletter. To make sure people see the invitation, it would be wise to send a separate email that just focuses on the event invite.

Click here to read the entire newsletter and learn about this kickass Hawaiian gathering place for creatives.

Event newsletter - MORI by Art+Flea event email example

I know what you're thinking right this moment. You can create professional-looking email newsletters on your own. We'll show you how by breaking it down into two design elements in this guide.

Need more inspiration? Head over to the event section of our newsletter example gallery. You’ll find many more event email template ideas!

Make it invite-only

Sending out a trade show email? A conference invitation email? Whatever you’re organizing, it helps to make the event invite-only. If readers need a newsletter subscription to receive exclusive invites, your email list will grow automatically. You can dedicate a landing page on your website to boost sign-ups.

Let readers interact

Events are about interaction, so why not bring that to your event emails? Add interactive elements such as quizzes, videos and GIFs to set the mood. An integrated map can help attendees pinpoint exactly where they need to be.

Use on-point personalization

And by that, we don’t mean to personalize it using “Hi Cassie” in the greeting. Personalization can do much more than that! In case of an offline event, segment your attendees by location. Then add personalized blocks that show directions from their specific location. Super helpful!

Share testimonials

Remember we talked about that big WHY earlier? Back up your value proposition with testimonials. Hand over the mic to real people that attended (and loved) your previous event. Ask them to share what they’ve learned, what impressed them and how your event helped them evolve. Show the impact and people will be excited to join!

Use one-click RSVP

Whenever we host our monthly webinars, we use event email blocks for people to sign up. With event email blocks, your subscribers no longer need to click through to a separate site to register. Instead, they can show interest with one click, which increases the chances of conversion. The first time we switched from our normal procedure to using our one-click event blocks, the number of webinar attendees skyrocketed. Read more about event blocks in this blog.

For those that didn't have enough time left on their Pomodoro timer to read the entire article, here's the TL;DR:

  • The majority of event organizers (40%) are still fangirling over email marketing. It's cheap, scalable and lets you personally and automatically contact all your attendees at once.

  • Before starting your event email campaign, ask yourself: “Why should people attend my event?” Then craft your campaigns around convincing the reader to RSVP.

  • We showed how an (automated) event email campaign can start with an announcement email and end with a post-event email (plus everything in between).

  • Take your time crafting an attractive event email marketing subject line. Once the reader clicks to open, the email copy can take care of the rest.

  • Don’t be afraid to add some oomph to your best emails. Use email surveys, videos, quizzes, GIFs, testimonials and maps to make your event newsletter interactive.

Which email marketing strategy will you use to promote your next event?

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