Best Practices for Writing Event Outreach Emails
There are a lot of ways to get people to your event, but the age-old classic remains the most effective: email outreach. And something that’s going to go to lots of people (and probably bring in most of your attendees) is worth putting time into.
There is no surefire way to write email copy that converts. You have to constantly adapt to a moving and changing target. Luckily, there are some best practices that can help you along the way.
Keep it short
Brevity is the soul of wit. It’s as true now as when Shakespeare said it 500 years ago.
Your outreach email is not the place to tell your company story or the place to talk about how great your product is--that’s what your event is for. Hook your lead with what’s important and what’s interesting. Leave the sales pitch for the event (or better yet, after).
Give the reader minimal work to do. Remember, readers are busy. If they have to dig around to find the date, time, or subject matter of your event, they just won’t do it.
And why would they? No one has the time (or desire) to sift through random email invites to find the details that matter. Keep it simple and guide your reader to where you want them to go--your CTA!
Think about how you read emails. How much do you care about invites from a stranger? How often do you even open email invites?
It can be heartbreaking to spend a bunch of time writing an email just for no one to read it, but the reality is that people don’t care about how much work you put into your campaign--they care about what you can do for them.
Don’t waste page space and don’t waste readers’ time. Do it well and your registration numbers will reflect your readers’ thanks.
Sadly, buzzwords exist for a reason and you have to keep up with the discourse to stay relevant. Work with your team to decide which buzzwords you want to embrace and which you want to throw out. Consistency is key.
There’s no running from buzzwords so go with the flow. It’s okay to pick and choose as long as you stay consistent. Buzzwords will inevitably become a part of your outreach because if your event content is up-to-date it’s essentially unavoidable. Just be aware and be adaptable.
You don’t have to hang on to a phrase just because you used it last week and you don’t have to adopt a phrase just because your competitor did. Hone in your voice, figure out what works for you, and continue adjusting it to the discourse of the day.
You don’t need to play buzzword bingo--in fact, please, for the sake of anyone who will read your copy: DO NOT PLAY BUZZWORD BINGO. Plugging email copy full of nonsensical fluff will not make you look like an expert and it will not make you look like a hip company in-the-know. It will make you look like a used car salesman.
If everyone in your industry is buzzing around a new term, maybe you should use it (especially if it could boost SEO), but be wary of making your writing fluffy and vanilla--you don’t want to get lost in the noise. Most content gets glanced at and forgotten so avoiding exhausted buzzwords can help keep yours top of mind.
Language--particularly the language of business--is plagued by words that mean nothing. Creating clear, concrete copy will differentiate you and help you avoid the burning heap of information-pamphlet emails filling the spam boxes of executives across the nation.
Stick to the details
When it comes to describing your event, less is more. Avoid anything that could make your readers say “sounds complicated.”
Like we talked about above, you should never make the reader do more work than they have to. Keep them focused on the highlight of your event.
For example, if you’re hosting a celebrity speaker or giving your attendees a gift for showing up, focus on that--don’t waste space writing about the details of the technical subjects you’ll be discussing.
Give them the basics, capture their interest, and get them to take action.
On that note, it’s important to guide your readers’ attention. You need to create a direct path from your subject line to your CTA. Readers shouldn’t have to work to figure out what you want them to do.
Pro Tip: Keep important info at the eye line. Your readers should know right away when the event is, where it is, and what it is. If your leads have to hunt for crucial details, they won’t turn into registrants.
Make your first impression count
Your subject line is your first impression so it’s important to know who your audience is and how you want to present yourself. You wouldn’t write to your boss like you write to your college roommate, so don’t write to CTOs like you’d write to marketing execs.
Keep it short and sweet. Ideally, your subject line should be easy to read in one glance (about 5 words or less). It should also be relevant. Leads might open your email if you write something shocking but if your subject line misleads them, they aren’t going to register and they’ll likely leave with bitter feelings about your brand.
Most importantly, you need to test your subject lines. There is no perfect formula. The tips above can help you avoid some common mistakes but there’s no surefire way to write a subject line that converts. You need to consistently test all kinds of subject lines to see what resonates with your audience.
Pro Tip: Pay attention to conversion rates as much as open rates. It isn’t going to help you much if a bunch of people are opening your outreach emails but none of them are converting.
Prioritize your CTA
Your CTA is the most important part of your email. If you don’t have one--or you have one that’s unclear--you’re just wasting time.
With all the time your leads spend on the internet, content can become a blur. Use large buttons or images to draw readers’ eyes to the CTA.
You can never assume that they know what action you want them to take, so keep it simple, make it obvious, and keep it to one. You don’t want to give your readers multiple options or they could get overwhelmed. As soon as they read the email, your leads should know exactly what you want them to do.
Pro Tip: Remember that people skim emails. If nothing else is memorable about your email, make sure the CTA is.
So when you craft your next email campaign, keep these things in mind. Above all, keep trying new things and keep testing. You never know where you’ll find success.