How to Design Your Next Event Email Campaign
Email campaigns are an effective method in event marketing. Whether you’re looking to increase ticket sales, or create awareness, emails are a go-to option to build excitement about your event.
Crafting an effective event-specific email newsletter is not as simple as it sounds. But with email design best practices, you can create powerful ones that will help you engage and convert more customers.
Here’s how to write effective emails and articles for your next in-person, virtual or hybrid event:
1. Create Good Subject Lines
If you want people to register or attend your event, you need to get them interested in the first place. You’d need to create a good email that will drive them to action.
But what’s the use of a good email if your subscribers don’t read it anyway? That’s why writing killer subject lines is key. Around 35% of email subscribers are compelled to open an email based on its subject line.
Sure, you can learn how to create an SMTP server to improve your email deliverability and write your emails in a conversational tone to keep your subscribers engaged. Still, without a good subject line, your chances of converting more customers will drastically drop.
Choose a subject line that’s clear and catchy to capture the attention of your audience. Check out this example from The Basketry, which sells customized gifts:
The subject line of its email promoting its jewelry fair says a lot about what people can expect from the event: The event is related to jewelry and they can expect to have a good time.
You can also directly highlight the benefit your subscribers can get from attending the event in your subject line.
However, you choose to do it, avoid using all caps. Aim for a maximum of 50 characters in length, as some email providers will truncate longer lines. Also, note that emojis add a fun and lively touch to your email subject lines. Use them when necessary.
Don’t forget to get more personal. Email subject lines with the recipient’s names will appeal more to email subscribers than generic greetings. Finally, create a sense of urgency. The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) will compel your recipients to take the desired action as fast as possible. “Hurry Now! Three Days Left to [The Event]” is a great subject line leveraging FOMO.
The subject line creates the first impression on your recipients. So, think carefully about what you’ll write.
2. Write an Effective Preheader and Email Body
The preheader is the clickable one-liner displayed right after the subject line. This text usually gives an overview of the email content. That’s why you should pay attention to it, too, as part of email design best practices.
An effective preheader works with the subject line to promote your event and boost your campaign goals. Check out this example:
The sender, Marketing Mastery, is promoting its marketing seminar with this email. So, in the subject line, it highlighted a possible benefit for attendees through social proof (“Jen boosted her conversions by 84%”). Then the preheader follows up with an intriguing question (“Want to see how she did it?”). See how the subject line and preheader complement each other?
When writing your preheaders, aim for between 30 and 80 characters. If they’re too long, they’ll be cut.
The body of the email should not be neglected either. Craft email messages that are informative, relevant, and engaging to your recipients. You can leverage FOMO in your email body, too. Check out this example:
The email highlights the fact that the event is “just around the corner” (FOMO). Then the copyright below highlights the event is “free to attend.” In other words, these are things that might just get people to click on that CTA “RSVP for the Festival.” We’ll talk more about this and CTAs later.
Additionally, you should consider how dynamic content may impact your email messages. Dynamic content allows you to tailor your emails based on the interests and demographics of your email subscribers. This helps create more targeted and personalized email newsletters, which can increase engagement with your content.
3. Develop Good and Responsive Design
A successful event email campaign starts with a great design. Choose an eye-catching email theme that complements the content of your message and provides a visual guide for your email newsletters. Use white spaces to make the content easier to read, and dividers to further enhance readability.
You can also use bright colors, GIFs, animations, or images to draw attention to the most important content. So, there should be a visual hierarchy. Here’s a great example:
Notice that the email background is gray so the colorful pictures stand out. When you look at the email then, you see the pictures first. The images tell you how much fun you can have when you attend the event. After the images, you’d probably look at the “Visionary and Eclectic Art Festival” copy, and finally, at the brief discussion of the event at the bottom of the email. In other words, the event organizers used color, font size, and layout so that you’d see the email elements in this order. This then increases the chances of people signing up for the event.
Add relevant details to your digital business cards and share it in your email . (Here’s a list of the best digital business card software). That way, your recipients can learn more about your business before the event.
Just make sure you send your business details to the right people (they’re your business details, after all). To verify that the email addresses in your list belong to your intended audience. There are email finder tools with verification features you can use for this.
Always choose a design that will work across all email service providers and devices. With mobile devices increasingly taking over as the main email reading device, you also have to ensure your emails are properly optimized for mobile view. Some email service providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc, provide easy-to-use templates that ensure a responsive design.
4. Optimize Your CTAs
Call-to-actions are the lifeblood of any email campaign. They are the buttons that direct readers to take action like signing up for something. Optimizing your CTAs will ensure that your emails garner maximum attention and engagement.
When designing your next event email campaign, make sure that your CTA button stands out. It should have a bright color. It should also have a strong message that’s concise enough to tell your subscriber what to do next. “Register” and “sign up” are sample good CTAs.
Using social proof near your CTA is one of the email design best practices you should also follow. Social proof is the psychological phenomenon that people follow what others have done before. So, social proof helps make your CTA more effective. Who doesn’t want to sign up for an event some found helpful, after all?
Use numbers that show how many people attended the event that preceded the current one or add reviews from those attendees.
Here’s an excellent example from Semrush:
See the testimonial heaping praises on SEMRush’s previous event right underneath the CTA.
The testimonial’s placement is strategic, too. If you don’t click on the CTA even after reading that registration for the event is “free” and “takes only 60 seconds,” you’ll see the social proof. That might just be what you need to click on the CTA.
If you can, include the full name and a picture of the attendee. This will enhance the testimonial’s credibility. Of course, before you include someone else’s quote, name, and picture in your email, ask for their permission.
Additionally, resist the urge to include multiple CTA buttons. This may lead to confusion. Remember, you want your email subscribers to easily understand what action you want them to take. Besides, there’s such a thing as choice overload. When people are presented with too many options, they tend to not take any action at all.
5. Test Your Email Design
Before sending out your email, it’s important to test it to ensure that it looks and functions the way you intended. You can achieve this through split testing or A/B testing. Send different versions of your email design before you send it en masse. You’ll have to check which version is more successful.
When testing your email design, you can play around with the size and color of text, spacing, fonts, and other design elements. Test your call-to-action buttons, too.
Send test emails to yourself or a few recipients who can provide feedback on your messages. Ask them if the emails are easy to read, if the CTAs are compelling, among others. Also, keep track of your campaign by checking the email deliverability and open rates.
Monitor the results of your campaigns and adjust as needed.
Creating an effective event email campaign takes time and effort. However, with the right strategies, you can design effective emails to boost attendance and conversions at your next event.
Start by crafting compelling subject lines, preheaders, and call to action, as they are an integral part of your campaign’s success. Optimize your email newsletters with a responsive design across all devices, paying close attention to email layout. Use bright colors, professional-looking email templates, and dynamic content to create more engaging visuals.
Lastly, don’t forget to always test your emails before you hit ‘send’. This will help you iron out any bugs before your audience sees them.
By following these email design best practices, your next email campaign will be a hit!
The author Owen Baker is a content marketer for Voila Norbert, an online email verification tool. He has spent most of the last decade working online for a range of marketing companies. When he’s not busy writing, you can find him in the kitchen mastering new dishes.