This article was originally published in 2019.
Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of advertising on the internet. According to Eventbrite, 78 percent of event creators using email marketing say it’s their most effective marketing strategy. Despite the increasing difficulty in getting results through this crowded channel, it’s here to stay—so here’s how to stay ahead of the curve.
Utilize statistics. Did you know the average open rate for event-related emails is 28 percent? Eventbrite releases a yearly benchmark report, available as a whitepaper, to help event marketers compare their email marketing results to similar emails, rather than relying on hospitality industry benchmarks as in years past. Eventbrite’s annual industry-wide Email Benchmarking Report shows the best times to send marketing emails, open rates and click-through rates for the event planning industry, along with data other trades have widely reported for years.
Graduate to As and Bs. A/B testing is the strategy of sending emails to two groups (or more!) through an email automation system to determine the best-performing version to send. From there, marketers can feel more confident that the results of their email campaign will be easier to predict, either favorably or otherwise. A/B testing is useful in determining which subject lines to use, what email template works best and many other variables that may need to be tracked to increase conversion and engagement rates.
Deliverability is important. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are always on the lookout for spammers, maintaining a behind-the-scenes system of tracking for email senders. If a sender’s reputation dips too low from users marking emails as spam, emails may go straight to users’ spam folders. Keep an eye on engagement rates and clean the contact lists about every six months to maintain a favorable reputation and high engagement rates.
Educate yourself on email laws. Especially in the United States, Canada and Europe, stringent laws must be followed in order to send commercial emails—a breach of these can result in sizable fines for violations. Industry-standard marketing automation tools, such as Mailchimp, provide built-in compliance rules to send emails, which can provide much-needed assistance for a small team. However, while many guides exist online that offer best practices in order to comply with laws, it’s best to make sure all processes have a stamp of approval from a company’s legal team or counsel.