Many event marketers need to pay more attention to the importance of email automation due to the multitude of tasks they have to handle.
With various events, artists, or venues to manage, each having its unique promotion schedule, it becomes challenging for event marketers to go beyond standard event announcements. However, email automation can significantly benefit event marketers by saving time and resources, improving attendee engagement, and boosting event attendance.
And why should you? Email blasts promoting the latest artists and shows have traditionally performed well for you, bringing in ticket sales and engaging your attendees.
In actuality, sending only mass emails to your entire list hurts your sender's reputation, damaging your email deliverability. This means fewer people see your email in their inbox because it’s landing in spam.
Think of it this way: when a fan receives ten emails about events they aren’t interested in before getting an email they care about, they’re likely not engaging with those first ten emails. That means when that following email is sent – the email they’d be interested in – it’s more likely to end up in spam and lose you a potential ticket sale.
That’s why leveraging automation can be so powerful in your email strategy – they help you email customers at precisely the right moments when they’re most likely to open and click here for your emails.
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The Myth that Automation Takes a Lot of Work to Set Up
We hear time and time again from event marketers that automation is too much work. In reality, they take a similar amount of work as designing an email blast but bring in exponentially more value since they’re constantly running in the background.
Like a blast, you need to know the segment you want to target and what email content will provide value to them. From there, you can set the journey to trigger when this segment finds the most value from your email (with some thought into a subject line and email template, of course).
Do you need more convincing? Automated emails drive 320% more revenue per email than non-automated promotional emails, proving that they’re a powerful tool you can use to drive ticket sales. All while remaining hands-off.
The beauty of email automation is the freedom you have after setting one up – all you need to do is check in occasionally to ensure it’s on the right track, but otherwise, the automation does the rest of the work.
To get you started, we’ve broken down three simple but foundational automation every event marketer should leverage in their email strategy:
Welcome Email Automation
Welcome automation prime your email on that excellent deliverability and higher overall engagement.
These automation send welcome emails to subscribers who have just signed up to be the first to know about event updates and ticket releases, so they’re a captive audience ready to engage with your brand. You could even say they expect to hear from you immediately, with stats showing that 74% of consumers expect a welcome email when they subscribe.
Are welcome automation expected, and they boost your email engagement with three times more opens, clicks, and revenue per email compared to regular promotional email campaigns, including a whopping 91% average open rate.
This makes welcome automations a great way to kickstart your brand’s relationship with a new subscriber while improving your deliverability overall. A single welcome email is a great start, but a series will ultimately have more potential to engage subscribers long-term.
Abandoned Cart Email Automation
According to Eventbrite, up to 70% of people who start a checkout don’t buy tickets. That’s a lot of potential revenue lost (two to four trillion dollars a year from abandoned carts!) that you can recover with a simple abandoned cart email automation.
You abandoned cart automation triggers when a fan adds a ticket to their cart without completing their purchase. Your ESP will typically let you set a time delay between when a fan abandons their cart and when your emails are sent (we recommend a delay of 3 hours for the best click-through rate), so your emails will hit inboxes at precisely the right time.
What is the best part about abandoned cart emails? They’re being sent to fans who have shown purchase intent; they’ve already added the ticket to their cart! That’s why left-cart emails average a 10% conversion rate – that’s a lot of ticket sales you could be recovering.
You can also create an automated abandoned cart series, where your automation sends multiple emails over some time. Setting up automation containing three cart abandonment emails is proven to maximize your revenue, with research showing that a three-step abandoned cart email series brings in 69% more revenue than a single-step abandoned cart automation.
In this case, sending these emails around the same time of day that your customer added the tickets to their cart is your best guess for when they’ll be shopping again.
Whether you send one abandoned cart email or a series of three, you’ll be well on your way to recovering lost ticketing revenue.
Winback Email Automation
You may be surprised that 66% of marketers’ email lists are inactive. That’s a massive chunk of your list that isn’t opening or engaging with your emails. It’s easy to treat these inactive subscribers like everyone else on your email list, but continuing to send them artist announcements and event promotions when they show no signs of engaging will damage your email deliverability.
The chances of these subscribers engaging with your blasts again on their own are very slim. At this point, you should push them into wingback automation to re-engage them, getting them to look forward to future communications from your brand. Remember, these fans showed interest in your emails before, so there’s a high chance you can pique their interest again with the right content.
Winback emails show high success rates, with 45% of subscribers who received a win-back campaign opening a subsequent message. This means that 45% of the fans who aren’t engaging with your emails, currently harming your overall deliverability and retention, could be brought back with the proper communications. Plus, it costs 5x more to obtain a new customer than to retain one, making win-back automation a valuable tool that can significantly affect your bottom line.
If you’re basing your win-back automation on the last time a purchase was made, you should coordinate them with your brand’s buying cycle. If a customer hasn’t purchased within whatever period feels meaningful for your brand (e.g., 90 days), it is probably time to send them a win-back email. If you only run annual events, you might consider basing this on venue instead.
To remind you, a win-back email series aims to send emails explicitly designed to appeal to subscribers and get them to re-engage with your brand. You’ll be able to leverage what your fans care about to form the steps of your win-back email series.
Want to learn more about how email automation can boost fan engagement and increase ticket sales?
This blog is a sneak peek at our 2019 Ultimate Guide to Email Automations for Event Marketers. The complete guide dives into other email automation considerations for event marketers and even includes sample outlines you can use to inspire your automation.
Plus, we’ve designed an infographic with the most important statistics you need to power your automation strategy! This guide comprehensively examines how event marketers can leverage email to engage fans and sell even more tickets. Check it out 👉🏼