What makes an email exceptional? More specifically, what makes an event registration email stand out from the rest? This list of examples thoroughly breaks down the email marketing tactics that companies use to effectively supplement their overall event strategy.
The data shows that email will continue to play a very important role in the event organizer’s promotional strategy. According to the latest events industry benchmark report, 40% of marketers believe email marketing is the most effective channel for event promotion. Taking this into account, this list was created to serve as a source of inspiration for your future campaigns. Given the diversity of examples, there will surely be something to take away from each.
Table of Contents
- Forecast: Consistent Color Scheme
- Inbound: Speaker Spotlight
- Women’s Conference: Combined Design Principles
- Marketing United: Deliberate Messaging
- Unbounce: Engaging Video Content
- Collision: Dynamic GIFs
- AdAge Next: Bold Design Decisions
- Web Summit: Sense of Urgency
- Zoomtopia: Helpful Resources for the Reader
- Orbit Media Conference: Adding a Personal Touch
- Social Media Marketing World: The Email Signature
- Dreamforce: Early Bird Offering
- Consensus: Promoting Registration During The Event
- Pulse: Consistent Event Engagement
- Wistiafest: Rule of Three
- The Email Design Conference: Global Brand Visualization
- Saastr: Highly Consumable Content
- Apple WWDC: Knowing Your Audience
- Invision: CTA Placement
- Google I/O: Creating Exclusivity
1) Forecast: Consistent Color Scheme
In the context of event email marketing tactics, the goal of any email should be to capture the reader’s attention. Thus, email design is an essential component to any email marketing campaign. And this does not mean that the design must be intricate with high quality photos. Most times it is best to adhere to basic, fundamental principles of good email design. One of these core principles is maintaining a consistent color scheme.
As show in the above example for the Forecast Conference, going with the same color creates an appealing effect. Keep in mind that a consistent color scheme does not mean using the same exact color throughout the email. It is more aesthetically pleasing to display a consistent color spectrum so that the design does not come off as one-dimensional. In this example, the purple to pink spectrum gives a unifying feel that brings an aesthetic harmony to the overall email.
Key takeaway: Sticking with a consistent color scheme helps to unify the email aesthetic and offers a more memorable experience for the reader.
For larger conferences, one of the best assets to show off is the lineup of speakers. Use your email campaigns as an opportunity to showcase your speakers to familiarize your audience. Showcasing your speakers is an easy way to keep the email simple while including high quality photos that can grab the reader’s attention. These are the speakers that attendees will soon be learning from so why not use email as an opportunity to create excitement surrounding the speakers?
Key takeaway: Show off your best assets by dedicating an email campaign that highlights your speakers. This will familiarize your attendees with the event content.
There are so many great things going on with this email that they need to be listed:
- A consistent color scheme that reflects the event logo
- Minimal text with most of the words being included in the images
- Speaker spotlight with a captivating quote
- The contrast in CTA buttons, emphasizing the “Register Now” over the other buttons
The combination of all of these email marketing best practices creates for a memorable and captivating piece of content. Emails like this one that help to drive event registration while also strengthening the event brand.
Key takeaway: A combination of core design principles will yield the best email marketing results.
In order to convey a message that the reader will remember, make sure your intention is clear and deliberate. If your intention is to have the reader register for the event, make that very clear in the email. Begin the message with an action verb, as shown in this example. By boldly telling readers to “save the date”, they know what the message is about and what the end goal is. Making the email very obvious in its intention is important for clearly conveying the message.
Key takeaway: Be focused and singular in your message so the reader remembers the email.
Supplementing an email with a piece of content, especially video, is always a good way to increase engagement. Event promotion through video is a tried and true tactic that can be utilized in email campaigns as well. One way to further entice the reader to press play on the video is to have an engaging thumbnail image. In this example, the thumbnail is of the keynote speaker, Michael Agaard, very passionately pointing the reader. A thumbnail like this will help to pique the reader’s curiosity, urging them to press play.
Key takeaway: Including a video as the central piece of content is a great way to gain high click-through rates and create a more engaging experience for the reader.
Don’t limit yourself to only still images. As made evident in this email example from Collision, using a well placed GIF could be just as if not more effective than using images. Having a single GIF above the text and a single CTA in the middle of the text keep the email simple yet eye-catching. This is the balance you want to strike.
Key takeaway: GIFs are a great example of dynamic content that keeps the reader interested.
Many event registration emails can easily end up looking similar. To make sure your emails stand out, take some risks in regards to design. Creating an email that strays from conventional structures can have a positive effect on the reading experience.
AdAge Next took a design risk by choosing bold and bright colors for each section of the email, even splashing over the faces of their speakers. They have very little white space and sandwich the email with these three bold colors. Though more conservative email marketers may say that this email is breaking some of the fundamental rules, AdAge makes it work by fully committing to the decision and ensuring that the design still reflects their brand.
Key takeaway: Taking risks, as long as they are aligned with the event brand and message, can help to make your email stand out from the rest.
Inducing a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) for potential attendees is a good way to push them to register. One way to create this sense of urgency is by including a countdown timer within the registration email. The countdown may refer to the end of an early bird ticket sale or the end of general sales. Either way, including a live timer that counts down to the end of the opportunity will give readers the sense of urgency that they’ve been needing to register for the event.
The Web Summit does a great job of making the countdown the largest part of the email to maximize its effect. Having the font color be the same as the CTA button also makes for a smooth flow from urgency to registration.
Key takeaway: Including a countdown timer in your email can create a sense of urgency that will pressure readers into registering for the event.
Sometimes when you ask for something, you’ll want to offer something in return. By providing resources to your reader that will make it easier for them to register for the event, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
For Zoomtopia, the email marketing team decided to draft a “letter to management” that readers could download and show to their managers to help convince them to invest in Zoomtopia event tickets. This is a great example of how the Zoomtopia team went the extra mile to make it as simple as possible for prospects to register for the event.
Key takeaway: Go above and beyond by providing resources to the reader to ensure there is the least amount of friction during the purchasing process.
Every email is sent from someone. Oftentimes, emails can feel impersonal and automated to the point that we forget that another human being created and sent the email. To maintain this feeling of personal touch, include a headshot of the sender at the bottom of the email. Putting a face to the email creates a more memorable experience for the reader. Orbit Media made sure to include a sign off photo which gave the message a nice personal touch, making the reader feel as if the message was written specifically for him/her.
Key takeaway: Including a headshot of the sender does a lot to create a personal touch to the email, making the reader feel more comfortable and familiar with the conference.
Remember that an email does not end with the concluding sentence. An often overlooked piece of real estate within an email is the signature. Take advantage of this space by including a registration link right in your email signature so that everyone who receives an email from you knows about the conference. This way, every email you send is in some way an event registration email. Social Media Marketing World does this well by including both a link and an image in their email signatures, making it simple and streamlined for readers to reach the registration landing page.
Key takeaway: Use every available space in the email to promote the event. Email signatures are a key piece of real estate.
Early on in the registration cycle, launch dedicated email campaigns to promote the early bird ticket sales. These campaigns work well because each email is centered around a single offering, keeping the message concise and focused. This also makes for much simpler email graphics, as shown in the example with Dreamforce. When an offering is this direct, the email can consist of very minimal or no text, focusing completely on the early bird discount.
Key takeaway: Offering early bird ticket sales through email campaigns will not only further persuade readers to register but also keeps the email simple and clean.
Though it may sound counterintuitive, an opportune time to promote registration is while attendees are already at the event. Coindesk did this successfully by promoting their 2018 Consensus conference while attendees were at the 2017 conference.
This may sound overwhelming at first, the timing turns out to be ideal because attendees are already excited to be at the event. By putting next year’s conference on their radar while their still enjoying the event, this creates a positive association which can encourage attendees to register sooner than expected.
Key takeaway: Take advantage of attendees’ positive mood during the event by sending emails that promote next year’s event. Gathering as many early registrations as possible is key.
As mentioned in the previous example, email campaigns should not be limited to the pre-event time window. Emails can and should be sent out while attendees are enjoying the event. This helps to maintain a high level of engagement and lets attendees know that your event marketing team is still working around the clock to ensure an exceptional event experience.
The Pulse event team fully embodied this mindset by sending out a “Day 1 Recap” email that highlights everything that went well during the first day as well as things that could be improved. This kind of transparency and accountability shows attendees that the events team is fully committed to creating an incredible event, leaving a positive impression that could very well lead to registrations for next year’s event.
Key takeaway: Just because the event has started does not mean the communication stops. Use email to constantly inform and engage with your attendees, proving to them that you are truly committed to an exceptional event experience.
A universal best practice for email design is simplicity and brevity. While the design and content may be amazing, having a long email to scroll down can compromise all the effort put into the email. To keep from making that mistake, commit to the rule of three. Include only three sections within the email and keep each section clear and concise.
This email promoting Wistiafest does a brilliant job of communicating separate types of information within the confines of three short sections. The first section highlights the event content, the second is a video, and the third focuses on their early bird price discount. They were able to communicate three very different pieces of information by using less than 38 words. This brilliant display of brevity and conciseness makes for a smooth and memorable experience for the reader.
Key takeaway: Try to include no more than three sections within an email to ensure conciseness and simplicity.
If your conference has multiple locations, make sure to highlight that in a visually appealing manner. Having a global event brand is something to be proud of so make sure readers understand where in other parts of the world your conference is taking place. Simply listing the different locations would be undercutting the significance of your event brand so think of creative ways to visually display your global presence.
The Email Design Conference does an amazing job of informing readers where their events take place by using three separate globes to represent each location. Though they could have listed out these three locations, they used their global presence to their advantage by creating a visual representation for the global presence
Key takeaway: If your conference takes place in multiple cities, make sure to visually represent that in your event registration email to cement the global reach of your event brand.
Sometimes there is a lot of information you want to convey to your reader. And though you may feel you’re breaking the cardinal rule of simplicity, you can still make it work just as long as your info is conveyed in a consumable way.
The Saastr Conference always has much to offer so it was difficult for them to keep their email brief. This ended up not being a problem because they were able to organize the information in a way that was still easily digestible for the reader. By creating a list of fun facts as opposed to long paragraphs, the email keeps the reader’s attention while communicating the necessary information.
Key takeaway: If you need to communicate a lot of information in one email, organize the info in a way that is still consumable for the reader.
As a stark contrast to the previous example, Apple’s event registration email for the Worldwide Developer’s Conference keeps things as simple as possible. Of course a large reason as to how they’re able to pull this off is because of the strength of the Apple brand but there are still lessons from this email that you can apply to your own.
The main takeaway from this example is that Apple clearly understands their audience, so much so that this email essentially becomes an inside joke. Because WWDC attracts top developers from around the world, the email speaks to them in their language, making the invitation into a command prompt. Emails like this prove that the WWDC events team are very familiar with their audience and send messages that their audience would very much appreciate.
Key takeaway: Be conscious of your email audience and create emails tailored to their specific perspective, creating a much more personalized feel.
The goal of an email is to direct the reader to another page, whether that be a registration page or the event website. Thus, the button that leads them to the other page is very important. The design and placement of the CTA button is key.
Invision does an amazing job of making sure their “Register Now” button stands out from the rest of the text. The button appears twice in the email and is accented with pink while the rest of the email text is in white. This prevents the button from being buried with the rest of the email content and instead immediately catches the reader’s attention.
Key takeaway: Make sure your CTA button is a color that pops off the screen and also does not blend in with the rest of the email.
Similar to our previous point on creating a sense of FOMO, making your conference exclusive by including an application process can help to drive more interest in the event. Though this may seem counterintuitive, this idea stems from the age-old assumption that people want what they can’t have. By making prospective attendees apply to attend the event, not only do you attract a quality group of attendees but you also create an atmosphere of excellence surrounding your event, leading to more interested prospects.
If you feel your event brand and value proposition is strong enough, dedicate an email campaign that informs potential attendees about the application process. These emails should be simple and direct in their message, as shown in the example from Google. Be clear with the instructions and simple with the design, making it very easy for readers to apply.
Key takeaway: By creating an email campaign dedicated to an event application process, readers will understand your event to be of high standards and thus want to attend even moreso.back to top
Let’s look at the some of the core lessons we can take away from these email marketing examples:
- A combination of core design principles will yield the best email marketing results.
- Taking risks, as long as they are aligned the event brand and message, can help to make your email stand out from the rest.
- Try to include no more than three separate sections within an email to ensure conciseness and simplicity.
- If you need to communicate a lot of information in one email, organize the info in a way that is still easily consumable for the reader to ensure a quality experience.
- Be conscious of your email audience and create emails tailored to their specific interests and knowledge, creating a much more personalized feel.