I make no secret of my love for the old fashioned email newsletter. Every conference or event marketer should be using this simple tool to drive attendee engagement and you should publish on a schedule that is so predictable, NASA would be jealous.
You run on a tight a schedule because this allows your subscribers to become comfortable. The same timing week after week, month after month will reduce the amount of unsubscribes you have. People may not like this week’s subject matter but as long as you are not abusing the privilege and they liked the past two weeks, they won’t send you to email marketing oblivion… Being consistent buys you time to get a few things right.
Getting people to stay on your list is only 30% of the battle however. Most of your wins or losses will be getting attendees to actually open the email and take action…. This is the Holy Grail of event marketing and if you have a sucky subject line, no one is going to care enough to open your email.
Trust me, I know. I learned this at the school of Event Marketing Fail. Bet you didn’t know that I had a graduate degree from this less than stellar institution…..
Think about this. Which headline are you more likely to open:
- Star has fun romp on the town with friends
- Getting down and dirty on Star’s wild night
Yep. Thought so.
Maybe we can put it in event marketing terms.
Which one of these are you going to open.
- Earlybird ends in two weeks, don’t miss your chance
- ABC Conference shatters records, Earlybird spots almost gone
Yep. Again. While the first headline makes you think that sometime in the next two weeks, you should probably come back to this email that will soon be forgotten…. the second headline says “don’t do this at your own peril”.
Headlines Matter for Event Marketers
The fact is, great headlines are compelling, you just have to find what works with your attendees and you can do this by taking the time to learn split testing.
Basically, split testing is taking a virtual hatchet and splitting your email list into two. Right down the middle is fine. Now you send your email with two different subject lines and compare the open rates. Easy concept and most email marketing providers offer this baked into the program.
Please, do these things, they matter. Conferences and events can no longer be complacent. There is too much competition from other events, life, the internet, and other pesky things. You have to fight to stay relevant.
Check out this infographic from Litmus, it has some great stuff on subject lines and how to make them effective.