You’ve done the hard part. You organized your event and people have registered to attend. Well done!
You may think your job is done; however, you still need to make sure that people will show up at your event. Folks may simply forget about your occasion or lose interest.
That’s when your event reminder strategy comes in to ensure that as many people will attend your amazing event as possible.
In this article, we'll show you how to kick off a successful event reminder email campaign.
I’ve been there. I signed up for a great online course which offered great value to me. I was busy though and forgot about the class. Completely.
Then one day, out of the blue I received a reminder email about the course which was going to start in an hour, so I didn't miss it.
I was so grateful for that reminder email. Your audience will be grateful too—I promise you.
Whether you organize an online or offline event, it’s crucial to follow up so you can remind and pursue people constantly.
When sending your reminder, you don’t need to include all the information about the event.
Recipients read the details before they RSVP'd. Your goal is not to introduce the occasion but give people a heads up. They really just need a little reminder.
The example above includes all the necessary information. Without scrolling down, it's obvious that the event is about Cloud-Based Event Management. The sentences are short and well structured, the image is eye-catching.
This email doesn't just sum up the basic information, but also provides the QR code which makes it easy for delegates to enter the venue.
I would also give credit for highlighting the important stuff. It makes it easy to scan the text.
Let's examine other components as well that might not be obvious at first glance.
I appreciate it when I receive emails that address me by my name, and I'm sure you are too. It makes us feel special, and even though we know these messages are automated, it feels like a person emailed us.
The example above shows how HubSpot leverages personalization. They greet their leads by their names and nurture the relationship by using messages based on previous actions.
According to Google, 89% of US marketers said that personalization had increased their revenue.
So many professionals can't be wrong! Become a good friend, and use personalization to interact with your audience more effectively.
What is the event about?
Source: Function Fixers
Identifying the event is super important. This piece of information contains the main purpose of the event. Without this, your reminder would be pointless.
I know it seems to be trivial advice, but try to provide a clear message on this one. You don't need to overthink it, just be simple and get straight to the point.
When will the event start?
Source: Really Good Emails
Have you ever attended international events or webinars? Then you know that information on date and time is not always enough, timezone is also an important factor.
You might want to give more information about registration, session or other occasions as well. For those who want to read the agenda you can insert a URL in your email to get more information or include the timetable within the text.
Where will the event take place?
Source: Picatic event email example
It isn't very convenient when I have to find a place by copying the address from an email into Google Maps. On the other hand, I'm over the moon when a map is displayed in the email I receive so I can find the venue with just one click.
I'm not sure why it is, but people get frustrated when they have to go the extra mile to learn more about something. We are so used to getting instant information; we want everything quickly.
The moral of the story: make the user experience seamless. I would suggest adding Google Maps in your email as it makes life so much easier. Your audience will appreciate it.
But no worries, you can simply create a screenshot of Google maps, and add it as an image to your event reminder email template. Then link this image to the given Google Maps URL.
This way you can make sure that the map shows up for all who enable images to be displayed.
Add extra information
You can add plenty of help regarding parking or public transport information, direction, dress code, what to bring, ticket barcode or anything else that comes to your mind and you think is relevant and helpful.
You can also add a link to your email for recipients to let you know if they can't make it.
At least you know what to expect, and you might be able to invite someone else instead.
If you give a refund in case of cancellation make sure that you provide the terms and conditions at the end of your email.
example of RSVPs in invitation email
Source: Really Good Emails
It's a clever way to increase the number of RSVPs by including a CTA (Call To Action) in your email so people can spread the word about your event. Let them share via social media or email and generate more leads.
Make sure you provide assistance
Attendees might have questions that you should answer so make sure that you include a link to your contact info or the FAQ page.
Use friendly tone
Make the tone of the email requesting as opposed to demanding. You don't want to come off as pushy, but rather as a good friend who wants to help remember.
Keep in mind that the tone of the email depends on certain circumstances. When you send a business event reminder, you want to be formal, whereas party reminders allow you to be creative and laid back.
Use the format that aligns with your industry
Emails come in all shapes and sizes, yet we can differentiate 2 major types: Plain texts and HTML emails. The latter ones are more sophisticated in terms of design.
Plain Text Email
Plain text reminder emails don't include images and links.
You may think that HTML reminder emails are more personal than text emails, but it's not necessarily true. Plain text reminder emails allow you to communicate in a natural way; that's why it's a great way to personalize your message.
When you look at this polite email above, you might think that the organizer emailed the guests one by one. Feeling special, right?
This plain text email included the iconic Star Wars logo as well. The main information was provided right after the greeting.
Closing the email with the expression "May the Force be with you" was creative and relevant to the message.
HTML event reminder emails look much better than plain text messages and make content easier to digest.
These types of emails trigger higher conversion rates and allow you to track performance.
However, studies show that plain text emails are more engaging and HTML heavy emails can decrease open rate.
Use testing to find out which format works best for you.
Pay attention to length
Keep your message sweet and short.
According to Litmus 54 % of email opens occur on mobile. That's why you ought to place the most important piece of information in the very first paragraph of your message.
Make sure that your email looks great on mobile devices as well. Use responsive email design so readers can read your message and navigate easily.
One more thing!
Have you noticed that many emails are sent by a person rather than the organization itself? You can use this technique to give a personal touch to your message.
People don't like getting emails from big organizations; sometimes they perceive these messages as SPAM. It's just one more thing to experiment with.
People receive a ton of emails every day. Since our attention span is not very long we try to exclude unnecessary information. Your mission here is to grab people's attention and not end up in the SPAM folder.
I admit there is no actual recipe for writing successful subject lines. Why? Performance depends on multiple variables and your industry as well. Different audiences react differently.
Now what? Here is a guide which can help you find out what might work for you.
There is no easy way; you will have to experiment to work out what changes can improve your campaign.
Use unique subject lines
Research by Convince&Convert shows that 35% of recipients open emails just because the subject line is appealing.
A good subject line is like a great headline. It implies what the content is so readers can decide whether they want to open the email or not.
The difficulty of designing a great subject line lies in the limited number of characters. You need to tailor subject lines to your message effectively within 50 characters.
Actually, you might want to use even fewer characters because mobile devices won't display all of them.
Always emphasize the goal of your email. Be very clear and straight to the point. It's about that specific event, remember!
Use action verbs
Give clear instructions to your audience. It's necessary for them to understand that the reminder is about a certain event and what action they are required to take.
Here are a few words you can use:
Don't use spammy expressions
Pay attention to what words you use; otherwise, your email can be marked as spam. Don't use the words like "Free" or "Urgent", for instance.
Check out our blog post on Everything You Need to Know About Email Subject Line Copywriting article for more advice on how to write the perfect subject line in general.
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Source: Content Marketing Institute
When organizing webinars it's crucial to inform your audience regularly about your classes.
This subject lines highlighted the value of this course which was creating content that drives lead generation.
You could add the date of the event as well, so people who don't want to miss out are compelled to take action.
Do you organize event series? Then this method is perfect for you. When a new date is coming up, you can send event reminder emails to people who are interested.
This subject line used the active voice, which encouraged participants to join the next class. It also included the day when the class happened, which created a sense of urgency.
This meeting reminder email sample is straight to the point. Reading the subject line, you know what the meeting is about and when it will begin.
Again, this subject line included the name of the event and the date.
Let's have a look at the content as well. It's a great example of how you can offer additional information and draw attention to what is needed to do.
In this case, participants were reminded to bring or download their tickets. They could also access contact information and Google Maps, and the could add the event to the calendar easily.
Here we are, we just witnessed how a seamless experience could be provided.
You don't have to be an email design or coding genius to create compelling event reminder emails.
We build Chamaileon to help you create responsive email templates with ease. Bad news: the software is still under development. Good news: you can get early access to it.
Split testing is very important to optimize your email campaign.
The point of this experiment is to see what variations have an impact on your results.
Set two different set of campaigns, A versions and B versions, where you use different variables to see what works. This will help you to achieve your goals.
Keep in mind that you are to send the A and B versions at t,he same time and also make only one change to variables at a time so you know what made a difference.
What variables can you experiment with?
Variables you can experiment with are the elements of your email, such as subject line, length, sender's name, content and timing.
The combination of these variables can have a significant effect on your email campaign.
How to start?
Before setting up your test you need to ask questions.
What variables should you experiment with?
Long subject line vs short subject line
Statements vs Questions
Will including the company's name increase open rate?
Will including the sender's name be more appealing?
Will different emotions influence people?
What values can I offer?
Will the sense of urgency help me to increase open rate?
Should I use negative sentences?
Will personalization boost performance?
Can I use numbers to trigger more clicks?
Experiment with subject lines
Version A: Marketing Meetup on Friday
Version B: Are you coming? See you at the Marketing Meetup on Friday
Using more casual tone might be more appealing in some cases. When you know you can afford using informal language, give it a try and see what increases the open rate of your email.
Use different senders' names
Some people prefer to receive emails from companies rather than unknown folks. Experiment and find out how your audience reacts to different senders' emails.
You might want participants to take actions, e.g. sharing your event on social media. In this case, you can use your event reminder message to reach out to delegates and get them to spread the word about your occasion.
Conduct testing by using Plain Text vs HTML emails or different Call to Actions. You can also play with using different colors and placements to increase CTR.
The email that gets the more clicks is going to be the winner in this case.
Before choosing this tactic, make sure you define clear goals. What do you want to achieve? What would make this campaign successful?
Use the SMART approach when defining your goals
Do you want people to share on Facebook? Do you want participants to confirm their attendance?
When you can put your goals into numbers it means that they are measurable. Remember you can only improve what is measurable.
Is it possible to achieve your goals at all?
Sometimes we all get idealistic and have goals that we will never achieve.
Know your barriers, don't set unrealistic CTR or conversion goals.
Make sure that you have very clear objectives. Understand how objectives can be supported by your goals.
You might want to have 1000 guest at your event. It's a good starting point to define the reason behind your actions.
Work within a certain time frame. It helps you achieve your goal and analyze the outcome.
When quantifying success, you need to pay attention to different factors in order to be accurate.
You sent out your A and B emails to your contacts. Now you can compare the results.
Depending on your goals you can decide which one was the winner.
The winning campaign is usually the one which triggers higher open rates or conversion rates.
The pie chart above shows that Version B was the winner because the winning metric, the open rate of Version B was 10% higher than the open rate of Version A.
Research conducted by DMA shows that 77% of ROI came from segmented lists.
By targeting the right audience, you can ensure that they get the most relevant message to them.
Why do you need to segment your audience?
It's important to know how recipients react to your emails. For those who didn't open your emails, you can send them a second reminder, for instance.
If someone canceled their attendance, eventually they don't want to know about changes to your event, so you can exclude them from your list.
You might want to create a list of people who watched your previous online class so you can send them a reminder of the next upcoming webinar.
The point is to be consistent. Provide targeted information that is valuable to your audience.
Here are some tips on how to segment your contact list
According to industry best practice, you should send event reminder emails three times:
On the other hand, optimal timing heavily depends on your audience as well. You can use general advice to increase open rate and experiment by A/B testing until you find the answer.
Send automatic reminders to event participants so you can save time and prevent mistakes. Of course, you can send emails manually as well but make sure you don't forget to send them.
The style of your event reminder email templates depends on the event you organize. When it's a serious business event you want to use very polite language and simple design, whereas you can shine when designing a party reminder and show off how creative you are. ;)
In this friendly reminder email template, the sender asked the guest to complete the reservation and also states that the email was a friendly reminder.
Using a friendly tone when writing your reminder email can be challenging because using formal communication is expected in business life.
Friendly reminders allow people to communicate in a friendly and professional manner. They help soften the corporate language so that it sounds less intimidating.
The purpose of a friendly reminder is to get your audience to finish their confirmation or something else.
Having manners is in fashion, but you don't need to apologize for sending a reminder or soften your words to make your request extremely polite. You can be direct and give clear instruction to take certain actions.
Use informal greeting
Addressing participants by their first name is totally fine when you send a friendly reminder email.
You can write the following as greeting:
Connect the recipients to show that you are here to help them.
You can also express your excitement for having the delegates at your event.
You can start your email with the following sentences:
Communicate the purpose of your email
I think the main characteristic of a friendly reminder is that these emails usually contain the words friendly or gentle reminder.
Tell your guests what you need them to do and how they can do that.
Use a friendly closing
Source: Funtion Fixers
This corporate event reminder email sample was written in a formal language. The organizer warned the attendee that she had to participate in the event.
When it comes to writing a corporate event reminder we need to consider using formal language. In order to do this, you need to use the passive voice and a formal greeting.
Greetings happen in a more formal form by addressing the attendees by their surnames.
Business reminder emails require formal format.
Use the passive voice when writing so you can emphasize that it's a formal message.
You can close the email with the following words
This board meeting reminder email sample is very simple. Instead of writing a long description, the writer basically itemized the information. Instead of sending a long email you can opt for leaving a short note.
Despite the fact it's a short note, a URL was still provided which led to more information.
Designing a party reminder email template is an exciting task if you are a creative person. Using popular memes can be a great way of piggybacking on what's trending and show how cool you are.
I'm pretty sure you came across this image with Leonardo Dicaprio celebrating everything and everyone. Why not use it then?
You can even embed GIFs; you're only limited by your imagination. The one rule is to be relevant.
Source: Volunteer Hub
The goal of this automated email is simply to remind participants of the upcoming "Cycling for Health" movement. The basic information was in the message, and a link led to a page where people could modify their registration.
Source: Digital Marketer
The intention of this incentive email is to give away Early Bird tickets.
The email starts with a video — most likely with a still image that links to the actual video — to create a connection with the audience. It's a great way of addressing the person who feels that the message is tailored to them.
Several URLs link to the landing pages as well, where visitors can convert.
If you have a great email list of people who subscribed to your newsletter, you can consider yourself lucky. You can easily leverage your channel and announce your upcoming occasions.
This one is powerful. Counting down will urge your audience to take action. Day by day the feeling of urgency will become stronger and stronger.
Don't combine your reminder with other offers. It might seem practical to send them together but it can have a messy outcome. Focus on one thing at a time.
I talked about personal greeting already and why it is important. Saying "Hi there" would turn off your audience. You also need to make sure that you won't send a reminder of an event in New York to a Londoner. You'd seem like an amateur...
How many are too many? Don't send reminders more than 3 times. It will annoy people to death.
Coming up with a great reminder email strategy might seem complicated, but it's worth it.
What you really need to do is to communicate the basic information effectively so people will remember your event.
Even better, you can make them so excited about your event that they'll spread the word among friends and coworkers.
That's your goal, right?
Keep in mind that you'll find out how successful your email campaign was only on the day of the event.
Until then keep up the great work and do your best.
If you are proud of your event reminder email, please share it in the comments. We would love to see more examples.