Early Bird Emails Most Successful for Driving Event Attendance

Alex Mastrianni

When working with associations to develop the 2017 Email Event Promotion Microstudy, event size was an important consideration when discussing how events are promoted.

Email campaigns vary in timing, duration, and strategy based on the size and scope of the event. Consequently, it’s difficult (and inaccurate) to compare a local, one-day event to your national annual conference that takes place over the course of several days. It’s not apples to apples.

Results from the study show that email content and promotional offers vary based on the size of the event being promoted. This study depicts the differences between promotions of large events versus promotions of 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

Definition of Email Promotional Stages in Event Campaign

Multiple email promotional stages were covered and defined as:

  • Request for Proposal – invitation to participate in creating content for the event
  • Save the Date – first announcement of event date and location
  • Early Bird – first opportunity to register for event
  • Open Registration – open enrollment at regular price
  • Special Discounts – registration offered at a reduced rate
  • Keynote/Sessions – promote event content and value
  • Exhibit/Sponsor – communication to exhibitors and sponsors
  • Last Chance – final reminder to register for event

Email Promotional Stages:
Large vs. Small Events

We asked study participants to note what email stages were a part of their promotions for large events.

If the association sent emails that they would classify under one of these categories, it was noted. Request for Proposal, Early Bird and Last Chance Reminder were the most commonly used promotional stages of a large event promotion.

Large Events (Click to Enlarge)

We also asked participants to note what stages were used for their small event promotions.

Early Bird, Open Registration and Last Chance Reminder were most commonly used in the promotional cycle for small-sized events.

Small Events (Click to Enlarge)

Among both types of events, Early Bird and Last Chance were the most popular. But that doesn’t mean they were the most successful for driving registrations.

Most Effective Promotional Stages:
Large vs. Small Events

We also asked participants to evaluate what stages were the most effective for getting members to covert to a registered event attendee. Results varied for large and small events, but Early Bird came out on top for both.

Large Events (Click to Enlarge)

Small Events (Click to Enlarge)

Applying the Findings

So what does this mean for you?

If you’ve been wondering how your event email promotions and event email metrics compare to your association peers’, this report, and these findings should give you a head start.

Ask yourself:

  • Does your current promotion schedule include all (or some) of these stages?
  • Are you analyzing which stages are the most successful for generating interest and therefore driving registrations?
  • How can you improve the already fruitful stages, like Early Bird, to make them even more effective?
  • Are there stages you can cut, while lengthening others?
  • Finally, is there a stage typically used for large or small events that you can add (or remove)?

There’s much more to see in the full report regarding event email metrics, event promotion timelines, 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.