Despite what some folks may tell you, email is not dead. According to a recent study by Adobe, more than half of all US consumers prefer to receive marketing offers via emailWhen email is done right, it can be a powerful and effective tool for getting the word out about your event. That said, it’s also one of the easiest to get wrong. Follow these five must-do’s to be sure you’re getting the most from your email marketing efforts.

1. Segment your audience.

You’ve likely put a lot time and energy into building your email list, but if you’re talking to all of them exactly the same way, you’re making a big mistake. Though your audience shares an interest in your business, they’re not all the same and speaking to them as if they’re one mass audience doesn’t work. By segmenting your list based on interests, location, or how engaged they are, you can maintain a strong sender reputation and build rapport by providing meaningful content that your audience is clearly interested in.

2. Develop a compelling offer and use it to drive a desired activity.

To get the most out of an incentive, make sure it’s compelling and– if possible– exclusive. One strategy to move tickets is a “purchase and get” strategy that require a fan to buy a ticket to get the incentive. In these cases the incentive needs to be compelling such as  a steep discount (e.g. 25% off), 2-for-1 offer, or VIP upgrade. Offering presales to your most loyal customers is a great way to build loyalty to your business and drive repeat purchases. One last piece of advice: be careful how often you offer incentives as there is always the danger that fans will start expecting deals.

Offering presales to your most loyal customers will build loyalty and drive repeat purchases. Click to Tweet

3. Keep it short.

Lead with the single most compelling piece of content and include a clear call to action. If you have more content to surface below the fold, curate thoughtfully by using clear, brief sentences. Best practice for mobile devices means single column thumb-friendly designs. You may have to test to determine how different email lengths perform, but keep it simple with the hero event being the one you most want the fan to react to.

4. Leverage the ‘preheader’ to surface secondary information.

When you receive a new email, the primary subject line is always bolded. The preheader (or secondary subject line) is the unbolded text that follows. While it may seem small, the preheader provides an opportunity to grab attention and convey additional messages. Do this by adding your custom text to the “alt text” area of the first image in the HTML of your email.

5. Always be testing.

This might be the most important recommendation! Elements you should test include send times, subject lines, calls to action, and layout. Testing helps determine what you should be leaning into as well as what isn’t working. Implementing changes based on testing will create incremental gains that will add up over time. Be sure to test one thing at a time; this gives you more certainty that no other variables are impacting your results. Finally, maintain a testing culture; it really doesn’t take much time and is worth the effort.

It takes time and dedicated attention to craft emails that resonate with your recipients but get it right, and you’ll be rewarded with increased opens, clicks, and ticket sales. Interested in how your efforts compare to event industry email performance? Download the 2017 Event Email Benchmarking Report. You’ll also find insights into your most important email metrics and how to improve them.