This is a guest post from Emma.
Do you know your average email open rate? More importantly, do you know what it means?
You might be cruising along with your event’s email marketing campaigns, assuming you’re doing just fine. Some people are opening your emails, and you’re selling tickets.
But what you might not realize is that a lot of people are skipping over your emails in favor of those of the competition. Or they’re opening your emails, but getting annoyed when they don’t find what they expected. You’re leaving money on the table and, even worse, you’re alienating your intended audience.
When evaluating whether your email marketing is successful, it often helps to know what’s typical. To compare your efforts and outcomes with those of your event marketing peers, event email benchmarks are critical.
Recently, Emma and Eventbrite conducted a survey of 377 event creators from events of all types and sizes. The data we gathered will give you insight into how your email marketing efforts are doing.
Event email benchmark #1: How many people open your email
Open rate is a measure of how many people open each email you send. For event creators, the average open rate is 21 to 30%. That means for every email sent, somewhere around a quarter of the recipients actually open it. If your open rate typically falls in that range, you’re not alone.
Of course, you don’t want to just meet the average…you want to exceed it. Here are a few best practices we recommend for improving open rate:
- Take a look at your subject line. It is interesting and engaging enough to motivate people to open the email?
- Think about who your email is coming from. For certain types of events, it might make sense for a human being to be the sender — Chris from Peak Coworking versus simply Peak Coworking Open House.
- A/B test anything you can, not just the subject line and sender, but the day and time you send, the email copy, and whether or not you include images. A/B testing is the only real way to know which option inspires opens.
Event email benchmark #2: How many of those people click through
After open rate, the metric most event creators want to look at is the click-through rate (CTR). This measures how many people click on a link in your email to visit your website or ticketing page, for instance.
The biggest group of respondents (28%) reported a CTR of between 3.1 and 5%. A smaller percentage of respondents (14%) see an impressive CTR of above 11%.
CTR tends to be lower than open rate. Some people will open your email, but not click further to investigate details or buy tickets right away. And that’s okay. Email helps drive awareness of your event. A recipient might not sign up now, but the mere fact that she opened the email means you’re on her radar.
Still, ideally, you’d like to spur along her ticket purchase. Here are a few techniques that work for Emma customers:
- Align your email content with the subject line. If they open the email and don’t find what they expected, they get quickly turned off. Make sure you deliver on the promise of your witty subject lines.
- Offer obvious calls to action. Whether it’s a button or a link, it should be easy to find and tap. Users on a mobile phone, in particular, aren’t apt to scroll way down to click.
- Test all your links. If they don’t work, people can’t click to anything. All that hard work to send compelling emails, and you’ve lost them.
Event email benchmark #3: Whether your emails lead to ticket sales
Just because someone opened your email and clicked through to your ticketing page does not mean they bought a ticket. And this can be a tricky metric to track, because to pinpoint it, you have to bridge the gap between your email service’s metrics and your ticketing platform’s metrics.
Out of those that do track it, 22% say email drives less than 20% of total ticket sales, and 13% say it drives 21-40% of sales.
If you’re not already tracking your ticket sales from email, there are two recommended ways to do so:
- Sync up your email and ticketing technology. Eventbrite, for instance, syncs up with Emma, so you automatically get reports tracking ticket sales and revenue from email campaigns.
- Use tracking links. By setting up landing pages for specific email campaigns, you can insert unique URLs into those emails. Then, when people buy tickets from those landing pages, you know they came from that email campaign.
By tracking your open rates, CTRs, and ticket sales from email, you can determine how your email marketing efforts are doing over time. And by comparing your results to industry benchmarks, you get a larger scale look at how your efforts stack up.
To learn more about how event creators are using email, download The Events Industry’s 2019 Email Benchmarking Report.