What makes a potential attendee actually open an email about your event? More often than not, it’s the subject line. It’s usually the first (and possibly the last) impression of the email you send. It’s also what often drives enough interest in people to read on and sign up. But if subject lines have the power to make or break the email marketing campaigns you’re running around events – what are the key things you need to think about when it comes to choosing subject lines and which ones have proven to work best when promoting meetings and events?
We spoke to email marketing automation experts, Moosend’s head of content, Iné Alexakis, to get tips and examples of high-performing email marketing subject lines that will put you on the right track to increasing your event email open rates.
Did you know that email is the most effective way events personalise their attendee experiences? Find out what works and what doesn’t by downloading your copy of The Event Planner’s Guide to Personalisation.
The Thinking Behind Successful Email Marketing Subject Lines
Email marketing is still seen as one of the most effective ways of promoting an event – however, a series of promotional emails that have not been thought through properly could run the risk of making your campaigns look monotonous and uninteresting. Before you know it, you have subscribers dropping out or unsubscribing. So, to avoid your open rates taking a free fall with a poorly designed event email marketing plan, let’s take a look at a few safeguards first to get you on the right track!
Consider your audience: What are your event participants in for? What will they gain out of your event? Craft benefit-oriented subject lines and email copy for your primary and secondary target groups. Highlight different aspects of the event that resonate with them. Run successful A/B tests to discover the content that best appeals to your audiences.
Establish your writing style: Your writing style is the way you talk about something, rather than what you mean by that per se. When writing, you must keep in mind who is your audience and the purpose for which you are writing. Align your branding and brand personality with the communication and writing style to promote your event more effectively. Remember that your subject lines must be as personable as possible.
Be wise about diction: Diction is part of style, along with tone. Every word you have in mind could be traded in for a different one bringing in various connotations. This is why you should make sure that your vocabulary is appropriate for your intended meaning and message.
Choose the overall tone: Tone is the attitude of your writing. For your writing to serve its purpose the tone must take on a certain role; emotional, logical, funny, professional, made up of long, complicated sentences or short, simple ones, and so on.
Alongside these best practice steps for your email campaigns, there are some additional steps you can take to make your subject lines as effective as possible:
1. Predict your subject line success: Use this intelligent tool to predict your open rates, see how your subject lines stack up against the industry average and get actionable suggestions to better your performance.
2. Fine-tune your subject line length: Ensure that your subject line is viewable and readable. That’s why we recommend writing subject lines of approximately 50 characters or 6-8 words. Send yourself a test email to experience what your readers will. Make changes accordingly.
3. Find your own voice and style: To break through the inbox clutter, you must be unique. A good combination of “funny” and puns is a good way to get started – provided that your branding allows for you to be puny. Another important point is to impress your contacts. Exclamation marks may stand for excitement but if you go over the top, you could look desperate. So keep in mind not to go too far with punctuation.
4. Be personable: Add personalisation tags to your subject lines. In case people can register to your mailing lists without providing a first name, it is best you include a fallback option!
Top Email Marketing Subject Lines for Events
Pool of event email marketing subject lines:
- Don’t miss out this [month]
- Your Instagram feed will be full of this in [month]
- This event will have your LinkedIn circles talking
- Join all major influencers of [topic]
- Don’t miss the chance
- Meet the speakers
- Booked tickets yet?
- Start packing!
- Who are you taking along? 1+1 offer for 24 hours!
B2B/B2C events (Annual conferences, International speakers, etc.)
- Don’t miss out this [month]
- Your Instagram feed will be full
- What are you waiting for?
- Ticket sale now on:
- Almost sold out
- Last chance: Book your Early-Bird tickets now
- Grab your VIP ticket and watch the official
- First out: [speakers’ names]
- Have a 1-on-1 with [speaker]
- Find out all of [speaker]’s secrets!
Live performance/Celebrity performer style events (Coachella, Lollapalooza, etc.)
- Did [performer] just put [performer B] to rest?
- Oh no, she didn’t! Who threw shade on [performer] at last night’s concert?
- We’re still not over last night
- Top styles from last night
- They smashed it
Examples of Good B2B and B2C Event Emails:
To illustrate some of the points we’ve made, have a look below at some great examples of event emails that use good subject lines and content – with all of them, keep in mind the following:
- Determine the objective of the specific email
- Point out the means the digital marketer/copywriter has selected to achieve those goals
- Articulate the role of email design in the impact on and experience of the reader
Subject Line: “Lollapalooza Paris, Beach Parties, Coachella: Best Moments from Weekend One & More”
Subject Line: “Lineup announcement”
Subject Line: “Announcing RampUp 2018 speakers and more”
Subject Line: “Final call for speakers”
Subject Line: “You’re invited to MagentoLive Europe 2018”
Additional Tips to Maximise Your Event Email Marketing Success
Improve your deliverability rates: For people to open your emails, they must first receive it. Make sure that you check out all deliverability-related factors affecting your email marketing performance. Here’s the Ultimate Guide to Email Deliverability where you can find every single thing you must check and set up. From the benefits of segmenting your list to specific tools to clean your lists, and so many more!
Pay attention to sender-related information: While you might expect that it is your subject line that will make all the difference (and you’re not all wrong), there’s more to it. Information regarding sender reputation history, sender performance history, sender information, or sender photo can all influence a subscriber to open/ignore a campaign.
Retarget Unopened Emails: Set up “Resend to unopened” campaigns and schedule them to go off at a certain time, taking into account that this doesn’t overlap with another scheduled campaign from your email marketing plan.
Run A/B Tests: Running A/B tests to foresee open rates and click-throughs is one way to go about it. You can run A/B tests across your mailing lists or over a specific percentage of your mailing list. For more advanced users, we would recommend setting up a drip campaign for your more engaged users.
One example of that would be having your automations increase subscribers’ scores for every email they open or interact with. Once that score reaches a specific number, e.g. subscriber has opened 5 emails, they could receive a personalized campaign rewarding them with a discount. Alternative ideas would include “sending a Web hook”, granting special group discounts (to those who clicked on “Special rates for groups” links in the campaign, and so on.)
Remember that all your hard work on the subject line should go as far as the email body. If all the excitement and anticipation you are building from the subject line does not make it to the email body, your subscribers will be dismayed. So, be sure that your email content rewards subscribers for their engagement.
Eventsforce can help organisations create branded, mobile responsive email templates that use personalised links to maximise registrations around events. To find out more, click here or get in touch for a demo or a chat on +44 (0) 207 785 6997.