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Event marketing | 11 August 2015

10 Email Hacks to Increase Event Ticket Sales

Sydney Dawes

Although our world is advancing in many areas of technology, email still remains a constant in our lives. It has become such a technological staple, that many of us know what it’s like to wake up and immediately check our inbox. In fact, many of us sleep with our phones right next to the bed.

While it’s true that we regularly check our emails, it is also true, that we have become increasingly good at ignoring emails that we don’t find valuable. In some cases, our email clients simply don’t show us email that it thinks might be spam. Alternatively, some email services will group related emails into easy to archive bundles.

On one hand, this new email management philosophy is great for time-strapped event organizers who receive massive amounts of mail each day. It makes the job of event organizers that much harder, since it means that event sponsors and attendees are harder to reach via email marketing campaigns.

But, there are ways for event organizers like you, to break through your attendees inbox to better communicate with them and to sell more tickets.

Don’t give up on email just yet, instead try these 10 email hacks to increase event ticket sales.

1. Speak Directly To Recipients In Subject Line

According to MailChimp, an email marketing software company, open rates on emails sent to most business people are roughly under 22 percent. To beat that average open rate, create email subject lines that recipients can’t help but click.

Your subject line should capture your interest and make them want to learn more, while remaining short.

Marc Wayshak, a blogger for Fast Company’s Work Smart section, suggests carefully choosing your words. For instance, a study ran by HubSpot found that emails with subject lines including language that hinted to special offers were viewed more frequently than other messages.

For example, if you have a special offer, like a discounted event ticket, it’s important to express that in the subject line.

It’s also been reported the hyper short subject lines are effective. One study of 1,000 cold emails found that the best performing subject line was “Quick Question,” over 50% of recipients opened the email.

Another short and simple subject line is, “Hey [Insert First Name].” As discussed in our cold emailing tips post, many recipients appreciate being addressed personally.

2. Communicate To Recipients Why They Should Attend

Effective email marketing sprouts from solid writing; each sentence in your email needs to give the recipient a reason to keep reading.

If you’re hoping that recipients buy an event ticket, it’s crucial to tell them the benefits of attending your event throughout the entire email.

Fast Company’s Work Smart blogger Aaron Orendorff suggests keeping question words in mind: who, what, when, why, and how. Other bloggers, such as Yesware’s Lou Carlozo, suggest putting each sentence to the “So what?” test.

This is where research comes in. Even with cold emails, you need to know your recipients’ backgrounds and industries.

increase event ticket sales

Answering these questions in a concise manner is a great way to improve your emails and help you increase event ticket sales in the process.

3. Send Emails At The Right Time

People have a tendency to check their emails at least three times a day: in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening.

Hubspot found that emails sent at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. were more likely to be opened than emails sent later in the morning. (click to tweet)

As for the afternoon, emails sent at 3 p.m. had the highest open rates, and in the evening, 8 p.m. was ideal for open rates.

Hubspot also found emails sent on certain days were more likely to be opened: according to the data collected by the company’s email optimization software, the days that garnered the most opens were Tuesday and Thursday.

Fast Company suggests sending emails during the weekend, claiming that these emails were opened more frequently than on weekdays. For instance, Tuesday’s had a 58% chance of being opened, while Saturdays had a 65% chance.

4. Keep Emails Short

Although it may be tempting to go into detail about the event speakers, venue, or sponsors, you need to keep in mind that a majority of email users are masters at the art of skimming. There are multiple ways of working around this habit, though.

First, keep sentences simple. Have sentences that look like epic paragraphs? Break them up and delete unnecessary words. Also, avoid abbreviations and jargon. Your job is to make the message easy to understand.

Remember the importance of white space. Eyes need a place to rest; without those resting points, readers tend to stop reading. Break large paragraphs into smaller ones. (click to tweet)

You may want to embrace the idea of adding in subheadings. This breaks down your email into short, eye-catching points.

5. Use Online Tools To Help You Track Emails

The best way to know how your emails are affecting recipients is to analyze how they interact with your emails.

Companies such as Hubspot and Campaign Monitor have created software to help you do just that. Additionally, Bizzabo offers event organizers and easy to use emailing platform, where they can monitor the performance of their event marketing email campaigns.

Hubspot and Bizzabo show detailed insights that help you decide if your email marketing campaigns are working, stats on open and click-through rates are easy to access for example.

Yesware helps you see notifications when your emails are opened by recipients, but they also let you know if they opened attachments or clicked on links within your message.

Regardless of which software you choose, by tracking the performance of your marketing emails, you’ll be arming yourself with the data necessary to know if your email marketing campaigns are working.

That way, you’ll know if email marketing is actually helping you to sell more event tickets or if you should either work to improve your emails, or invest your time in other event marketing strategies.

6. Set Deadlines To Create A Sense Of Urgency

This is where psychology meets marketing: people tend to act when they feel a matter is urgent. Clearly state when ticket sales end for your event, and, if you can, drop details about limited seating or space.

By enticing recipients with deadlines, you are in a way challenging them to compete with your other recipients.

This tactic, although effective in many cases, needs to be used sparingly. Constantly using phrases such as “limited time offer” or “act now” will make your recipients question how your message didn’t end up in the spam folder.

7. Create Compelling Email Templates

Constructing email templates for certain recipient groups might take some time in the beginning, but creating compelling email templates will actually help to save you time in the long run. Not only that, but testing various email templates to see which one is the best will help you to increase event ticket sales as well.

To start, you need to look through your previously sent emails. If you have email analytics software, look through the data to find open rates and response rates.

Find a pattern: Were emails that garnered the most responses or opens graphic-heavy? Personalized? Short? Direct? Urgent?

After you have created your templates, test their effectiveness over time. Tweak them as results change.

8. Know How Your Recipients Consume Emails

A current trend needs to be kept in mind: according to a study by Fast Company, an estimated 41 percent of emails worldwide are opened on a smartphone or tablet, and that number is bound to increase over time.

Why does this matter? The answer lies in the set-up of a majority of email apps: before even opening the email, users can view a preview of the message. In some cases, graphic-heavy emails will not load correctly on smartphones or tablets.

Of the surveyed mobile users, 42 percent would not read messages that failed to display correctly.

Make sure to test your emails to see if they correctly load on smartphones and tablets so that you can effectively reach your mobile recipients.

9.   Personalize Emails Beyond A Greeting

You must go beyond knowing the recipient’s first name. You should research your recipients to find their industries, and then include these details within the body of your email.

By doing your homework, you can pitch your event to the recipient, then work your way to appealing to that recipient’s industry. Max Altschuler of Hubspot Blogs suggests first focusing on the recipient, then broadening to that recipient’s industry.

First, you need to appeal to your recipients as people. Let them know why they were selected to receive information about your event.

After that, appeal to their professional sides: what could their possible career goals be? How will your event help them move along their professional journeys?

Finally, appeal to your recipients’ industries and provide them with the information they need to pass information to co-workers and employers.

In the end, your main goal is to make recipients want to read your message. Be interesting, be practical, be organized, but most importantly, be personal.

10. Utilize Your Email Signature

Many have a basic email signature: name, phone number, company, and official title.

Personalized email signatures give your recipients an opportunity to learn more about you and what you do. Add life to an email signature by including Twitter handles, links to online portfolios, Google account usernames, Facebook profile links, Skype usernames, and so on.

Don’t have an email signature? Create one in seconds with Bizzabo’s free event prof signature maker? You can add badges for all of your professional social media accounts. If you choose, you can even add a picture of yourself to give it the signature personality.

When you’re trying to promote an event, be sure to add the URL of your event website to your email signature. This will encourage people you’re corresponding with to visit the site and might even help you sell a ticket or two.

Conclusion: How To Use Email Marketing To Increase Event Ticket Sales

Email marketing is a powerful tool for any event organizer to use, but in order to reach a modern audience, inundated with emails consider getting creative. Embed a URL to your event website in your email signature, speak directly to subjects in the subject line and in the body of the email, and use email monitoring software to track success.

Consider creating email marketing templates, send emails at ideal times and understand that many recipients will be viewing their emails on a smartphone or tablet.

For even more awesome email hacks, download our free presentation on email marketing for event organizers. Just click the button below to get a copy!

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