How to write effective promotional emails for your events

Posted on Mon 15 April 2019 at 11.00AM
Categories: Tips

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Organising an event can take a lot of effort. You’ve picked your venue, distributed your budget, sorted staff or volunteers and are almost ready to go. However, the next step is arguably the most important of all - and that’s getting people to attend the event. 

Unless you put significant time, strategy and effort behind your event promotion, you might struggle to achieve the attendance that you’d hoped for.

One effective method of event promotion is to send promotional emails, and if you get it right, you can create a successful campaign which engages with your audience, encourages them to attend your event and builds long-lasting relationships with prospective customers.

Building an effective email campaign takes considered thought and planning. Using TicketSource’s integration with customer relations tool, MailChimp, we've put together some handy tips on how to write effective promotional emails, that will drive ticket purchases and ensure that you successfully promote your event or series of events.

1. What’s the purpose of your promotional emails?
The first step in any effective email campaign is to make sure that you understand and identify what the purpose of each email is. Is it to drive sales? Gain awareness for your event? Provide information or updates about the event?

You need to be clear on what value your readers will be getting from your email before you send it. Why should your audience open your specific email?

Your email needs to be completely relevant for the audience you’re sending it to. And a successful email is one where the reader gains something valuable, such as:

  • An incentive - a discount voucher, a sale or a loyalty reward for your event
  • Information - awareness of an event/product/service which might be of interest to them 
  • Updates - a new act, performer or change of schedule
  • Advice - helpful tips, how to guides, parking information, etc. 
  • Entertainment - a relevant article, video, image or recommendations based on things they might like and share
It’s important to remember that your email audience has agreed to receive email communications from you, which means that they are trusting your brand and want to hear about what you have to offer.

Consent to contact your audience is an incredibly precious gift for a company or brand, so make sure that your email content doesn’t manipulate this relationship and ensure that you are providing something in return for their trust.

Here’s an example of a great promotional email from Uber which is:
  • Clear
  • Concise
  • To the point
  • Seamless user journey to action

(Source - MailBakery)

2. Write personal and relevant content 
You’ve identified what your email will offer to your audience, and now it’s time to communicate that. Address your audience in a simple, clear and personal manner and consider your tone of voice, it should be easy to understand, personal and inviting. You can add personal touches to your emails, such as using Maichimp Merge Tags to include your customer's name within the content email content which is automatically added to subscribers via the TicketSource’s MailChimp integration.

If you want to send out a monthly email highlighting the events that are coming up then, by all means, do that, but if you’re looking to draw attention to a specific event, then provide customers with a clear user journey to finding out more with focused and concise content.

TIP: Remember that within TicketSource you can filter customers (consented for email marketing) who booked for specific events, which means you can export the data and tailor your emails to specific customer segments and build relevant email marketing campaigns around their previous buying history. 

Got customers who booked for the panto last year? Why not send out a festive mailout with a priority discount? Or how about customers who often book child tickets? Send a mailout that details half-term performances and upcoming events that kids will love!

Data is the most valuable currency for a marketer - use it to send out promotional emails your customers will want to receive.

This LiveFront email is a great example of an event promotional email, and has:
  • Simple design
  • Minimal text which is easy to understand
  • Clear information
  • Easy to navigate
  • Purpose of the email is clear

(Source - CampaignMonitor)

3. Write an enticing subject line
If you've taken the time to put together a promotional mailout, you want people to open it and hopefully click through to whatever it is that you’re advertising or drawing attention to. The first point of contact of the email will be the subject line you write, which is why it’s so important to get this part right.

According to HubSpot, 47% of marketers run tests on their subject lines, which proves just how important getting it right can be.

Here are a few tips that can make your subject line more engaging for your audience.
  • Be personal - adding someone’s name in the subject line will instantly draw attention to your message and help the user understand that the email is for their attention, and not simply a spam message. 
  • Keep it short and sweet - get to the point quickly 
  • Tell your users what’s inside - give them an incentive to click through and read your email 
  • Create a sense of urgency - as human beings we hate to feel left out, so add a little urgency to your message and you’ll entice readers to click through
TIP: Using Mailchimp merge tags to add a personal touch can be beneficial for your email marketing open and engagement rates. 

Examples of good subject lines:
  • Personal message
  • Hint of a reward inside

(Source - EngageBay) 

  • Offer of free content
  • Urgent CTA 

(Source - Sumo)

  • Incentive for customers to click through
  • Offer inside

(Source - Sumo)

4. Create a seamless user journey
Whatever the purpose of your email might be (sales, awareness, information, etc), make sure it’s a straightforward user journey to push your audience down the sales funnel to your desired action, or it could end up being misleading.

If you're looking to highlight your upcoming events, including a button linking to your sales page, so potential customers can find the tickets they want with ease. If you want your customers to read an article, link to it clearly and explain what it is and why they would be interested.

TIP: Include BUY TICKETS buttons in all your email communications and potential customers will be able to quickly and easily purchase tickets for any events you’re mentioning in your email communications.
Within the TicketSource box office system, you can find HTML embed codes under
Events | Publicise Events

Good examples of a seamless user journey
  • Great visual design
  • Clear understanding of what the email offers to the user
  • Simple call to action 

(Source, Bizzabo) 

5. Test and learn from your results
When it comes to writing an effective promotional email for an event, your data is absolutely essential.

As you create more and more emails, you may wonder if you're presenting your content in the best way to achieve the highest number of opens or clicks. By using MailChimp's A/B testing feature, you can test small changes to see if they make a difference to your open and engagement rates.

For example, you could test different subject lines, or different times of the day to send out your emails. And with their reports section, you can analyse the results to see which variables have the best results amongst your audience, and adjust your next promotional email campaign accordingly.

Use analytics to track positive changes and keep adapting your technique to push up your open rates and promote your events more successfully.

Promotional emails are a golden ticket for any business when utilised correctly, because it’s the only source of data your company will have that doesn’t involve third-party sources, which means if all social media channels were to dissolve tomorrow, you would still have your email data.

TIP: Our MailChimp integration makes it easy to send out emails to your consenting customers. You can manage your integration settings via Settings | Customers

Hopefully, this article will have provided you with some clarity surrounding promotional emails, and you’re ready to use the TicketSource analytics data to plan an effective email campaign which will drive conversions and ticket sales for your event.

Read more: 
12 ways to promote your event online
Tracking your ticket bookings with analytics
7 tips on how to promote your event on social media

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