How to write event email subject lines – 6 tips for a higher open rate

From choosing the right event registration software to navigating the pervasive world of promotion – a lot goes into ensuring the success of an event.

With so much going on, it can be easy to overlook some of the finer details that could end up making all the difference. 

Case in point: the elusive event email subject line. Get it right, your customers are engaged, informed, and ready to act (meaning you’re much more likely to get more attendees to your event). Get it wrong, your message ends up skimmed past or junked, and your email marketing efforts are wasted.

Luckily there are certain email subject line techniques that are proven to increase open rate. 

Top tips for better event email subject lines

Include a timeframe in your subject line

Data shows that certain words are likely to increase email open rates, while others are likely to decrease them. 

A lot of the words in the increase column are to do with creating a timeframe for readers. For example, the below words have all been proven to get higher open rates:

  • Today

  • Still time

  • Limited time

  • 24-hour giveaway

For event emails, try variations like:

  • 200 [Event name] tickets go on sale today 🙌

  • [Event name] tickets 24-hour giveaway starts now! 

  • [Event name] VIP ticket sale – limited time only! 🕐

  • There’s still time to get your [event name] tickets 😃

And speaking of timeframes…

Did you know… that when you send emails can also have a big impact on open rate? For example, emails sent near the beginning and end of the typical working day (around 10am and 6pm) are more likely to be opened. (Check out how Ticket Tailor lets you schedule email announcements, so you can send them at the most optimal time.)

Try using numbers in your subject line

Testing shows that using numbers in subject lines can lead to a 57% better email open rate.

Make sure your numbers aren’t going to put people off, though. When the user has to do something, the lower the number the better. For example, ‘Register to attend [event name] in 2 clicks’ sounds super easy. Whereas something like ‘10 questions to tell us your feedback’ sounds way too time-consuming.

If you’re giving something to the user, you’ll want to make sure to only include numbers in the subject line if they sound impressive. 

For example, ‘Don’t miss 26 artists at [festival name]’ looks great. ‘Don’t miss 2 stages and street food at [festival name]’ may fall a bit flat. 

Try using an emoji or two (but don’t go overboard)

Emojis can also get better open rates – and they’re a great way to add a little personality to your brand too. 

Be wary of going overboard, though. There’s no doubt a pop of emoji colour is eye-catching in a sea of monotonous email subject lines. But too many might look on the cheap/salesy side. 

A light peppering of one or two should do the trick. Just make sure they feel appropriate for your audience, and gel with the concept of your subject line.

Make sure your subject line is in title case

There’s nothing more off putting that an all-caps subject line. But using sentence case might also lead to poorer results than if title case is used.

There’s a theory that using title case in email subject lines can instil a sense of authority, making users more likely to hit ‘open’.

Here’s a quick reminder of title case vs lower case:

  • Title case: Time’s Running Out To Get Your Tickets! 

  • Sentence case: Time’s running out to get your tickets!

Keep things short and sweet (& mobile-optimised)

Short subject lines get better open rates, and they’re also necessary if you want mobile users to be able to read them in full. As a ballpark, iPhones show 33-35 characters in email subject lines, and Samsung Galaxies show 30.

Subject lines with fewer words also tend to do better, so always aim to keep things short and sweet.

Test your subject lines

One of the golden rules of improving email open rates is testing subject lines before you run a campaign. It’s the only way you can really know what works well with your audience – a few fine tweaks following test results could make a huge difference to your email’s success.

Any reputable email campaign software should include an A/B testing function, so make sure to utilise this. Essentially, all this involves is sending slightly different subject lines to small groups of your audience to see which one works best. 

And the results of doing so really can’t be underestimated – those that test get invaluable insights about how to get better open rates, while those that don’t are simply stabbing in the dark.

Give these easy event email subject line techniques a whirl, and we’re sure you’ll be enjoying higher open rates in no time!