Do you use email marketing to promote your events? Learn how to increase the open rates.

Remember our article about email marketing and how it can help you increase the number of attendees for your events? Hope you’ve read it. Today I want to talk to you about what you can do to increase the open rate of your emails (in the long-term). We all want to have as many opened email as possible but with over 2.5 million email being sent every second it’s obvious that is harder and harder to gain people’s attention. So, without any further introduction, here are some ideas that will help your emails perform better:

open envelope

Timing will influence the open rates

“…timing is an art”. And fortunately, with email marketing, you can become a real artist.  Email marketing services help you gather relevant information about your subscribers, information that will help you contact them at the right time. Find out their time zones (you can add this into the registration forms, so every subscriber will enter the preferred time zone) and send emails accordingly.  When speaking about open rates you will see that there are some days and some hours that perform slightly better, but I strongly recommend testing to see what works better.


So will do the subject line

Almost half of the email recipients decide if they will open an email or not based solely on its subject line; just like people decide to read articles based on their title.  If you want to increase the conversion rates of your email campaigns (clicks, goals etc), you will have to start with the open rates and to do this you will need to work on your subject lines. How? I gathered I list of the most common ideas:

p.s. The best way to see what works and what doesn’t is to use some A/B testing for subject lines, sending the same email with two different subject lines. Your subscribers will help you out.


Don’t use long subject lines as more than 50% of emails are opened on mobile devices, devices that will cut down the displayed length of the subject line. It’s fine to use shorter subject lines as they just need to provoke the interest of your subscribers. Don’t over-communicate within subject lines, just do your best to make people interested in what’s inside.

Sell the sizzle, not the feature. In other words, you must concentrate on your subscribers, not your products/services. What ‘s important for them and how will you help them achieve what they want? If you plan a conference tell your subscribers what they will learn if they attend (this is what really counts), not that you have a 20 years experience in the event planning industry.

p.s. for example when talking about a cashless payment system (based on NFC technology) we know that the benefits are: less time in queues, no more fraud, increased order value and more…so we don’t start talking to our partners about the communication protocols (until after they see how NFC can help them).


Add a personal touch. Generic email addresses tend to make us lose interest, so try to use your personal email to send information. Although technically speaking you send a newsletter, a no-reply email address will make things difficult for your subscribers that want to get in touch. Take this “risk” of using the email address of a real person and you will see an improvement in the engagement of your subscribers. We use this method here at Oveit and I can confirm that you will see an improvement in no time.


Don’t get spammy. If you search information about ways to improve open rate of your email you will find many great bits of advice from countless professionals. As you probably already know people react to scarcity (it’s one of the six big principles of persuasion from doctor’s Cialdini famous book) and you will find many articles encouraging you to use the ideas of urgency and scarcity to convince people to take action. But be aware that is a very thin line between a great subject line that involves urgency/scarcity and a spammy one. And if you use it (in some cases you must apply it) don’t go “the tabloid way”: LIMITED TIME! OFFER EXPIRES IN X HOURS doesn’t sound like a professional way to announce that your early bird offer will expire, especially if we talk about a premium business conference (and also can trigger some spam filters – read more here).


Offer useful information

Although your subject line is very important because it influences your open rate is what you communicate to your subscribers that will determine their next action: will they respond to your CTA or will they unsubscribe from your marketing list? If you deliver what you promised (and offer useful information about your next events and one-time deals) people will have a reason to open your email (and give you some of their time). If you use spammy or misleading subject lines your subscribers will soon lose interest (not to mention that, in some countries, misleading subject lines are against the law).

Newsletters are a great way to stay close to those interested in your events and convince them to attend. You can share information, promote special offers or ask for feedback. As said before, you are the sole “owner” of your subscribers’ list and this makes it extremely valuable for every event planning organization, no matter its size or budget.

Article written by .

Alex Pana is the Marketing Manager at Oveit, a US-based tech company focusing on improving virtual and in-person experiences. Prior to joining Oveit, Alex worked with 2 of the world's leading financial services companies. Over the last 4 years, Alex worked directly with hundreds of live and virtual events, understanding how technology improves the overall experience. He is people-oriented and although his role is to share the word about Oveit's solutions, he loves to learn about people's experiences. Be they good or bad. He has a degree in Public Administration. This is where he first learned that small changes can result in big improvements. Having this in mind it was only normal for him to join Oveit.

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