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Best practices to increase your email open rate

Dec. 21, 2016

What’s the most effective way to promote your event? Surprisingly, it’s still the email.
However, it’s not as easy as it seems these days. There are spam filters to dodge, the challenge of gaining the attention of very busy and suspicious readers and the requirement of a very powerful call to action being used.  

Passing go

Spending hours crafting a compelling email could be a waste of time if it isn’t ever opened. There is a risk that it won’t be if it doesn’t manage to get past the spam filter. Here’s what you need to do to avoid this:

Using the right email service provider is important. If you use a yahoo email address, it’s likely to become blocked and end up in the trash basket.

However, if you use a platform such as Aweber, Mailchimp or Constant Contact then you will be able to build yourself a list of event attendees and send your invitation directly to them. However, you’ll still need to just send your invitations to people who have opted in to your list. (ie subscribed to it).

Be easily identifiable

When you set up the ‘from’ field, be careful as your recipients will need to feel comfortable that it’s somebody who is legitimately writing to them.

You should stick to using the name of your events company or the name of the event, and use an email address that is specific to that subscription. Ie ‘London Hat Party’ would use an email address such as Try not to abbreviate anything as it will make it hard for some people to recognise it.

If you’re holding a smaller event such as a class or a workshop you will most likely use just your own email address and name. However you decide to approach this, you will need to stay consistent with the names of the senders. If you change names, then the mailbox will penalise you and it could mean that your email ends up in the ‘sin bin’ of the trash bin.

Use personalisation

Those emails that use a named recipient as opposed to just the email address will fare better. It also provides more credibility to the recipient who can see for themselves that they signed up to receive your email.

Avoid certain spam words

These include words such as:

  • Buy
  • Free
  • Prize
  • Bonus

They can even trigger the mental spam filters of readers. If you add symbols such as exclamation marks, pounds signs or capital letters, then you may also gain low numbers of responses as it will look like spam.

33% of of receipients decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line alone so try to keep them concise, intriguing but with a clear indication as to what the email will contain.  There are a few more tips on improving your subject line here.

The above best practices will help you on your way to getting your email opened and read. Although it takes time to craft compelling content, it is worth the effort involved.

Email is still in pole position for being the most effective tool for the event promoter. Use it to your advantage.

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