5 Effective Strategies for Event Reminder Emails

Event planning isn’t for the faint of heart. The most stressful part is also the most important: getting people to want to show up (in person or digitally). To get those RSVPs rolling in, you need to have a beautiful and intriguing email campaign.

A critical part of that campaign is the event reminder email, which keeps registrants interested, provides essential event information, and helps bring in a final round of RSVPs.

Today’s post is all about our top 5 email design tips for making your event reminder email sing!

What to include in any event reminder email

As a follow-up to your initial invitation, the reminder email doesn’t need to be as detailed as your original invitation, but here are some key details you’ll want to include:

  • WHAT: Remind registrants or potential registrants what the event is. Include this info: the event title, a tagline, and the name(s) of presenters, when relevant.
  • WHEN: Always include the date and time—and time zone, especially for web events!
  • WHERE: Provide an address for in-person events, along with relevant transit information.
  • HOW TO SIGN UP OR SHARE: If your reminder email is nudging audience members who haven’t committed yet, make sure it’s still easy to sign up. (Hint: think optimized CTA button). If you’re contacting those who have already RSVP’d, make it easy for them to share with friends.
  • HOW TO GET MORE INFORMATION: Reminder emails are short, so make sure you’re linking to a landing page with more detail.
  • HOW TO RESPOND WITH QUESTIONS: What if someone wants to change an RSVP, invite a friend, or has questions about the venue? Make sure to include contact information or a link to an FAQ page.

Tip #1: Keep the message concise

This friendly reminder email from General Assembly is a perfect example of how simplicity can improve communication. The message is startlingly simple, but it includes all the information that a registrant needs.

General Assembly event reminder emails

The great thing about this email is that it’s likely an event reminder template. The extra large header text, illustration, and footer information can all be recycled from one reminder to the next. Simply update the event time and location, and the email is ready to go. Having a template like this available is definitely a smart way to streamline your workflow.

Punchbowl, the digital invitation site, has also templatized its reminder email system. Like General Assembly, the email’s legibility is aided by a simple, white layout, live text that’s used sparingly, and the inclusion of only the most important information.

Punchbowl event reminder emails

For attendees who are already signed up and ready to go, think of your reminder email as a friendly nudge. You don’t need to include a lengthy event description in the email; just make it easy for readers to click for more info.


Tip #2: Still have open spots? Incentivize last-minute friend invites

CourseHorse curates local events and makes them easy to find to register. In addition to a reminder email sent a few days before a course begins, CourseHorse also sends an incentive email to help fill open seats. Here’s an example:

CourseHorse event reminder emails

A smart concept, isn’t it? And the email’s design helps pull it off: the header makes it clear what the message is about, the key information is listed on separate lines, and a bold CTA button makes acting on the incentive easy. We’d recommend just a few design improvements: correcting the blurry image in the header (an easy fix) and giving the stock image a little love through simple customizations. Conceptually, though, this is an excellent tactic to try when you need to fill those last-minute empty seats!


Tip #3: Keep key info to the top, over an image

An effective event reminder makes it impossible to overlook key information, so details like the event name, date, and location should always be listed in live text (so they always appear) and shown on separate lines (not lost in the body of a paragraph). Social Media Week did just that in the example below. But what makes the reminder email special is that the details were presented over a background image. The tactic allowed SMW to show key details “above the fold” instead of beneath an image.

Social Media Week event reminder emails

Brands use text overlay all the time with images, but what’s crucial here is that SMW’s design includes live text over an image, along with a bulletproof CTA button. This way, details will still show up, even if a reader has image-viewing turned off, or if the image doesn’t load. We don’t see this technique used as often in email, but it’s a powerful way to optimize your message. Learn how to do so in this tutorial: How to Add Background Images in Email.


Tip #4: Include a map for in-person events

The last thing you want at an in-person event is confusion among attendees about how to get there. If there’s something quirky about your location—like spending time going through security, waiting for an elevator, or parking around the block—include it in your event reminder email. One basic but important way to make traveling to an event easier for attendees? Simply include a map. Events expert Eventbrite includes maps in all its reminder emails, like this one:
Eventbrite event reminder emails

Eventbrite also includes add-to-calendar features, which is a smart way to help registrants get the event on their calendars—and increase their likelihood of remembering to attend.


Tip #5: Optimize your subject line

Ah, the good old subject line. Email marketers agonize about writing and selecting the perfect one. And no wonder: about 35% of subscribers decide whether or not to open your email based on the subject line alone. The good news: registrants for an event might be more likely to open your event reminder email since they’ve already engaged in signing up. Still, making sure your email stands out with a solid subject line is key to making sure your reminder email does its job. Here’s a sampling of reminder email subject lines:

  • You have a class coming up!
  • Reminder for Introduction to Project Management Workshop
  • Reminder for Women’s March in NYC
  • Event Reminder: An Evening with Ray LaMontagne
  • Reminder: Seth’s Birthday Safari!
  • Reminder — You’re Invited! Book Party with Lori Weitzner
  • [TODAY] Live Podcast: The 2016 UnSpammy Awards
  • [Last chance!] Save your spot in the Launch a Design Career Summit
  • Reminder: Event Submission Deadline is Dec. 2nd for #SMWNYC in 2017

Notice the trends? Here are our takeaways:

  • Include the word REMINDER in the subject line. It’s transparent and clear.
  • Name the event—and the name of the featured guest—when applicable.
  • Make the subject line pop by bracketing text and/or using all caps.

Design a great event reminder email and go Pro!

Designing a great event reminder email doesn’t have to be complicated! The clearer and more concise you can be, the better. And, if you create a template, sending an event reminder email can be super easy. Design it in our easy-to-use, drag-n-drop BEE editor in minutes. No HTML knowledge is required, plus your email will be mobile responsive. Sign-up for a BEE Pro free trial!

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