timing for promotional event emails

Average Email Event Promotional Timelines for Associations

Alex Mastrianni

When we sat down with participants of the 2017 Email Event Promotion Microstudy to discuss data points we wanted to collect, insight that would be helpful for associations, and event email metrics that would help us all strategize, promotional timeline was a key topic everyone brought up.

Everyone wanted to know: how far in advance do you promote your events?

With email frequency an ongoing challenge for marketers, the timeline for promoting your events can take a hit. Time-sensitive emails and other priorities can get in the way.

When you have a clearly defined timeline and campaign plan for your events (outlined in advance), it will help your association prioritize communications.

Here’s what promotional timelines look like for associations’ large and small events.

Definition of Event Size

Here’s the criteria used for large and small events in this study:

  • National or international events lasting two or more days were categorized as LARGE
  • Regional or national events lasting for one or more days were categorized as SMALL

Promotional Timeline: Large vs. Small Events

86% of the study participants began promoting large events at least 6 months in advance. Of those, half of the promotions began 11 to 15 months prior to the event start date.

Promotional Timeline for Large Events

Promotional Timeline for Large Events

80% of the study participants began promoting small events 6 to 10 months prior to the event start date.

Promotional Timeline for Small Events

Promotional Timeline for Small Events

How do you compare?

I thought this information, in conjunction with the data showing that early bird emails are most successful for driving event attendance, presents a compelling case for promoting events on a longer timeline.

You might be under the assumption that promoting on a shorter timeline — less than 5 months — is best, since people are busy and wait to make decisions. Especially for smaller, regional events. But the data tells us otherwise.

Take a look at what your average timelines look like, and see how you compare. Can you lengthen them, or should you shorten them?

There’s much more to see in the full report regarding event email metrics, most effective promotional timeframes, and marketing channels used. Get your complimentary copy here.

About the Author
Alex Mastrianni

As the Marketing Manager at Informz, Alex drives the development and implementation of our content marketing plan and marketing campaigns. Outside of work, Alex is a pop culture junkie, ice cream fanatic, and semi-pro vacation planner.