The Ideal Email Schedule to Increase Registrations to Your Event
Everyone knows that the best day to send an event email is Tuesday and the best times are 6 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 4:30 p.m., while the worst days are the weekends and the worst times are anything after 5 p.m.
However, it’s possible that what everybody knows may be wrong. Or, more likely, since everyone is following these email rules, the rules may have changed.
According to a recent article in Forbes, “there is no witching hour, no ideal time of day or day of the week to send marketing emails.”
“Our data shows there’s a significant difference in the days and times when people most often open emails versus when they actually interact with the content in the newsletters,” PowerInbox CEO Jeff Kupietzky said in the article. “Where the most popular days and times for opening are weekdays around mid-morning, the weekends are when people are more apt to engage and take action, by clicking on content in those emails.”
What this article indicates is that many people will open an email, scan it, and then file it away if they want to read it later. This means the day and time you send your event emails is much less important than the content of those emails.
When preparing an event email marketing campaign, there are several emails that you need to send. While the specific day you send these may not matter as much, when you send them in the run-up to your event is extremely important.
At Least 6 Months Before the Event
The Invitation and Promotional Emails
These are the earliest emails you will send, and, depending on the size of your event, the first of these will need to go out at least six months before your doors open. Basically, how early you send these emails depends on the size of the audience you are trying to attract: the larger, the earlier. Just know that once the first email is sent, your marketing clock is ticking, and you have to maintain your schedule.
You likely won’t have the entire agenda laid out for the event, but don’t worry about that. A broad overview is all that is needed. You will release more information is later emails. In fact, the initial email could even be a semi-mysterious “save the date” to build excitement.
The goal of these initial emails is to generate interest and motivate action. Ideally, you want people to register, but, at the very least, you want to encourage the recipient to check out your event website. So, the most critical elements are compelling content and persuasive CTAs (calls to action: basically, the one thing you want readers to do after reading your email).
A Few Weeks After Tickets are Announced
If your tickets have been available for a few weeks and you are not meeting your sales goals, don’t worry. You have a not-so-secret weapon available to use.
Give your event registration a jolt by offering discounted rates with limited-time promo codes. Common promo codes include early bird discounts, flash sales, seasonal promotions, and benefits and enticements for VIPs.
The biggest concerns many people have about providing discounts are losing revenue and devaluing the event. However, there’s no need to fear. First, someone committing to attend, even at a discounted rate, is significantly better than not getting a commitment. Second, the value your event provides remains unchanged, and you’re increasing the likelihood that more people will experience it.
Promo codes motivate sales because they play on someone’s fear of missing out on a good deal. By playing up the limited-time nature of these discounts, a person is naturally inclined to utilize the offer. It’s hard to resist a bargain. For any potential attendee who is undecided, a promo code discount may be the exact nudge they need to get off the fence.
Sponsors are an increasingly important part of events. However, for a sponsor relationship to work, the event has to be right for the sponsor, and the sponsor has to be right for the attendees.
To find the right sponsors for your event, send an email with a list of benefits and packages to try and secure some patronage. Do not send a generic boilerplate request. Do some research on the companies you are pitching and use that information in your emails.
Be sure to include detailed demographic information about your attendees. Potential sponsors will want to know their average age, gender, and location. If you can provide even more information, such as typical job title, average education, and level of income, you’ll impress right out of the gate.
Next, you will need to let potential sponsors know who you are, what you want, and what your event can offer. You don’t need to get too detailed. That will come later. However, by showing that you have done your research and can provide value, you have proven that you – and your event – need to be taken seriously.
Once Someone Registers
This email should be automatically generated by your registration system and go out within minutes after someone registers.
The registration confirmation serves several purposes. First, it lets people know that they successfully registered. Second, it highlights your appreciation for their interest in your event (make sure your automated system personalizes this communication with, at least, the person’s name). Third, it serves as a reminder for them to add your event to their calendar (especially if you include a radio button that will automatically do this for them). Fourth, it can encourage the recipient to download your event app.
The registration confirmation is one of the first interactions you will have with confirmed attendees, which makes it a crucial piece of communication.
Hotel and Room Availability
When you select your venue, you may also be able to arrange a block of rooms for attendees at a reduced rate. If that’s the case, this information should be included in the registration confirmation. However, if you were not able to secure discounted rooms until later, be sure to send this email to everyone who is registered as soon as possible. People will want to make travel arrangements, and that includes securing a room.
Also, there will likely be fewer discounted rooms than anticipated attendees. When availability starts to dwindle, you should send an email follow-up to let attendees know they need to act fast to secure the discounted rate.
As the Event Nears
Agenda and Speaker Announcements
As you start to secure speakers and finalize your agenda, send out emails to keep your registered crowd and potential attendees informed and excited about the upcoming festivities.
These announcements usually occur over several emails.
Often, the right speaker or keynote presentation can be the exact motivation to encourage someone who is undecided to purchase a ticket to your event. These emails also generate excitement and social buzz among those who are already registered.
One to Two Weeks Before the Event
Know Before You Go
This is just a friendly email with useful information about hotel locations, additional entertainment suggestions, parking availability, transportation options, and the site of the registration areas. This email should also include information about venue security and what, if any, items are not allowed inside.
This follow-up email thanks your guests for their attendance while also recapping some of the event’s highlights. The email can (and, really, should) include a post-event survey so guests can provide valuable feedback about their experiences: what they enjoyed and where they believe improvements could be made.
For all of these emails, make sure they are personalized, include an engaging subject line, and have a clear, actionable CTA. Following these steps for a thoughtful event email plan, you will keep registered guests engaged and potential attendees interested.