Sending emails is easy - driving engagement is what really takes time, thought, and effort. Here are four things your team can do to make sure you are targeting the right people, at the right time, in the right way.
Make sure your organization has an active relationship with invited guests
First, does your organization have an existing relationship with the person being invited? When was the last time your organization had a positive response from the person? Sending invitations to people with whom you do not have a relationship, or with whom you have a negative relationship, increases the likelihood they will mark your email as spam. In addition, these guests drive down your open and click-through rates.
- If you regularly invite the same group of people to events, run the Guest Summary report for a few of your last events. Are there people who never open your emails? Or open but never click? Reach out to them directly and ask if they’d like to remain on your mailing lists, and if not, remove them from future lists.
- If the Guest List Summary report shows emails are bouncing, reach out to the guest and verify the email. If the email is valid, but emails are still bouncing, ask for another email address you can send to, or have their IT team whitelist Event Farm emails.
Send emails when guests are most likely to read them
Consider the time of day, and day of the week, you send invitations. Monday mornings are busy for most people, and it’s easy for an invitation to get lost in the fray of other important emails from the weekend. Friday afternoons, people are thinking about the weekend, and maybe they’re lucky enough to sneak out early, so they won’t see your email until Monday.
- Send emails Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, closer to the beginning of the day. Are your guests on multiple coasts? Break your list up, and send to one group at the beginning of their day, and to the second group at the beginning of their day. This extra little bit of work means getting your email in front of potential guests when they are most likely to open your email and RSVP for your event!
Space out the sending of invitations
Does your mailing list include dozens or more email addresses with the same private (ie, non-Gmail, Hotmail, iCloud, and other public) domain? When a recipient’s email server receives a lot of emails from the same sender, they sometimes say, “Hey, that’s too much email… why don’t you slow it down?” In such cases, the recipient’s email server may delay and potentially block the email.
- If your list has dozens of emails going to the same domain, break your Guest List into several smaller lists, and distribute those same-domain email addresses across your lists. Upload a list (with Send Invitations by Email selected), then go to Reports and download a Guest List Summary report to see if emails are delayed or blocked. Repeat until all lists are uploaded and invitations are sent.
- It will take some trial-and-error to find the right number of emails to send to a given domain per hour, but it will reduce the likelihood of emails getting delayed or blocked.
Have a multi-channel engagement plan to drive attendance for key events or guests
This last one isn’t as much about email deliverability, as it is making sure your guests know about the event. For key events or guests, you will need to communicate to guests multiple times, through multiple channels, to drive awareness and increase engagement and attendance.
- Create an email cadence for the event. Send a save-the date prior to sending invitations, and plan to send a follow-up invitation one to two weeks after sending invitations.
- After sending invitations, reach out to VIPs directly and/or coordinate with Sales to drive awareness and registrations.
- Leverage other communication channels such as text messages and in-app notifications (if your organization has an app.)
- For public events, leverage traditional marketing efforts to amplify your message even further. Post on social media and add calls to action in existing marketing efforts.
These steps will help maximize awareness, engagement, and ultimately attendance to your events.
- Email Deliverability: Overview: Get some baseline information so you know what to expect when sending emails to guests.
- Email Deliverability: Optimize Your Email Design: What good is a great looking email design if it never reaches guests? In this article, we will teach you how to make sure the content of your email is likely to end up in spam filters.