There’s no skirting around the fact that the pandemic turned event planning on its head. With social distancing and cancellations, virtual events became the new normal.
But every cloud has a silver lining. Thanks to virtual events, 80% of organizers reached a wider audience.
And it looks like digital is here to stay! In-person events will be combined with virtual elements, with 63% of event organizers planning to continue using a hybrid format.
Whether virtual, in-person, or hybrid, all successful events rely on email invitations that result in RSVPs and ticket sales.
We’ll guide you through the entire process of setting up signup forms and event email automation campaigns from scratch. And for inspiration, we sprinkled in event email examples, subject line ideas, and email marketing best practices.
Despite the fact that people are spending more time on social media than ever, 72% of consumers still prefer email as their main channel of communication.
With event email marketing, you can:
Create a buzz even before the event details are finalized
Send out event invitation emails
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 from your event
Communicate practical information (such as the Zoom links, location, timetables and safety measures)
Share memories in a follow-up email campaign
When it comes to event email marketing, there are two very important requirements for a successful campaign: An email list and automation.
Though many event marketers know how powerful email marketing is for promoting their events, few actively build their lists.
By simply adding a signup form on your website, you can let subscribers know that by signing up for your newsletter they’ll have exclusive or early-bird access to your future events.
Then, when you are ready to promote your event, you already have a list filled with people that want to hear from you.
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 below, we explain how to integrate a form on your website.
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 few email marketing campaigns are a must in your event strategy. Here they are in order:
Spike interest and create awareness with an event announcement email
Boost sales with a “tickets are on sale now” email
Leverage #FOMO or a sense of urgency with a countdown email
Deliver the tickets using a transactional email
Send a reminder email a few days before or on the day of the event itself
A recap email that highlights the best parts and, optionally, promotes your next event
Does that sound like a lot of work? Have no fear, email marketing automation is here!
With automation, you only need to set up emails once. Triggered workflows make sure the emails are sent automatically. And 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!
We explain what email automation is and why you’ll want to use it for your next event marketing campaign in this guide.
From announcements, to invitation emails, to post-event follow-ups and everything in between, let’s take a look at what you should include in your series of event emails.
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 a few weeks before, while a festival email campaign starts months in advance.
You can keep the event announcement email mysterious and follow up later with more details or you can share everything 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 include:
The event name
What type of event it is and if this information is already available:
Location, date and time of the event
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?
In the first event announcement email, you add your value proposition. In the next email, it’s time to elaborate and add urgency. 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) button. Your CTA should stand out so readers know exactly 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.
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
Only a few days left
Stress what the readers gain when they act quickly. A countdown timer helps them to visualize how little time is 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.
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 only really contains the most important event information like:
Ticket information (QR code, reference number)
Zoom link (and password)
Directions or pre-event instructions
If you’re organizing your event promotion in MailerLite, use a service like Zapier to connect to apps such as Eventbrite, Meetup, Ticket Tailor, Songkick and many more.
Or manually export the attendee list and import these contacts into your MailerLite account. You can use these contacts for your sales follow-up emails.
👉 Tip: If you send a lot of transactional emails, consider using a transactional email tool, like MailerSend, alongside your email marketing platform.
Regardless of whether you made a sale or not at this point (we hope you did!), the event insights 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?)
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 for online events (such as webinars or live streams), which 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 of the event
Schedule URL to attend
Offline: Travel instructions
Your 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
Winners announcement (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.
Confession: The entire Ecom World email is too long to include here, but goes on to provide a brief overview of what 10 speakers covered during the event and offers exclusive access to early-bird tickets for the next event. You can view the full email here.
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, which is why catchy 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.
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...🕐
GalaxyCon - Find Your Way To The Lost Girl Event
Little Island - You’re invited!
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!👏🎉
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!
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 👌
Team Teachable - [STARTING SOON] Jess Catorc speaks in 1 hour!
Marisa Peer - [Webinar alert] 15 Minute Reminder: I Am Enough Webinar
Coa - Starting in 2 hours! Coa Live Q&A: Body Image & Mental Health
BRIC - We'll see you TONIGHT!!
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
Expat Republic Team - Thank You For Attending The Basics of Investing Webinar
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.
It’s no surprise that virtual event hosting platform Airmeet absolutely kills it when it comes to event invitation emails.
In this email invite to their Event Summit, they include all the necessary information including what attendees can expect to learn and their line-up of speakers. The CTA is easy to spot, and it’s immediately clear what action you will take by clicking it: Save your free seat.
After their initial announcement, UK Cycling Events (UKCE) sent out a follow-up invitation email reminding potential attendees that there was only one week left to register for the challenge. They even enlisted the help of a countdown timer to add urgency and boost conversions.
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.
You can design your own professional-looking event invitation email templates too. 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!
Sending out a trade show email? A networking event invitation? Whatever you’re organizing, it helps to make the event invite-only. If potential attendees 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.
Events are about interaction, so why not bring that to your event emails? Add interactive elements such as surveys, quizzes, videos and GIFs to set the mood. An integrated map can help attendees pinpoint exactly where they need to be.
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!
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. This helps you gather the social proof that will help you sell tickets to your next event. Show the impact and people will be excited to join!
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 who are too busy planning to read the entire article, here are the key takeaways:
Event organizers have widened their audience with virtual events
Events are evolving to include a digital component
Everyone is 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
Automated event invitation email campaigns can start with an announcement email and end with a post-event email (plus everything in between)
Take your time crafting an eye-catching event email 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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