Nine out of ten healthcare offices send appointment reminders that lower no-show rates. What a great idea for your next event! If it works for the doctor, it can work for you. Attendee event reminders are an effective way to entice the people who sign up for your events to…actually attend!
Just like the doctor’s office, attendance impacts your bottom line—whether you charge attendees or not. Your events are designed to build brand awareness, drive business success, and generate tangential revenue opportunities. Maximizing attendance maximizes the revenue impact of your event. Here’s how to remind attendees about your event without overdoing it.
📅 Event Reminder Do’s and Don’ts
Regardless of the reminder method you choose, there are definitely best practices to follow when considering event reminders.
Do: Make it on brand.
Some of the best tweets, email copy and website copy includes characteristics unique to your brand. Definitely use your brand colors and fonts in emails and brand voice in texts.
Don’t: Bombard them.
There’s a rhythm to how much you should remind someone, and there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. We’ll share more in the sections below!
Do: Give them an opt-out feature.
Make unsubscribe buttons and opt-out features easy to find. Accordingly, when someone is unable to attend or generally not interested, they have a way to say “no”. Be sure to implement them across all reminder methods you use.
Don’t: Leave it to chance. Automate, automate, automate.
Event reminders can be pre-drafted and pre-scheduled to go out in an automated sequence. This is also repeatable, which is especially handy for recurring events.
📅 Email Reminders
One of the most common ways to coordinate attendee event reminders is via email. Customize messaging to include your logo, brand voice and brand font. Be brief, but also make it personal. Use the same platform you would use to schedule other marketing emails. If you are new to email marketing, there are many easy-to-use options including MailChimp, ActiveCampaign and Constant Contact. If you need help, consult your website host, they may have email marketing services built into their platform.
A good rule of thumb for email reminders is three, according to a test case by Wild Apricot. They found the best cadence for attendee reminders were 1 week before, 1 day before and then the day of. They noticed only marginal improvement after adding a fourth email reminder. Remember, less can be more, don’t unnecessarily bombard your guests.
If you need inspiration for crafting emails, consider different category styles. Examples include save the date, fun facts, RSVP confirmations and more. Here are some sample meeting reminders you can adapt for your event.
📅 Calendar Integration
Alongside emails, you can easily work in calendar integration. This can be in the form of an RSVP confirmation giving attendees the option to “Add to calendar”. Typically, it is structured to allow them to sync to a Google or Outlook calendar, among others.
Some event registration websites, such as Eventbrite, Meetup or Zoom, provide the option to add a calendar invite after registration. Don’t leave this to chance, submit your own test registration to validate the process. Or, build your own version by adding a “save the date” message to your reminder emails. Here’s a brief tutorial on how to create an Add to Calendar link.
📅 Text Message Reminders
Finally, text message reminders can be brought into the mix. Text message reminders are particularly effective because not everyone reads email. Note that this method tends to be the most “invasive”, so it’s really important get consent and to give people an opt-out feature. When collecting mobile numbers at registration, provide an opt-in checkbox for text message marketing .
Some email marketing systems like Constant Contact include SMS (texting) that can be bundled into your marketing campaign. Other options include GoReminders, TextSpot and even a Google Workspace add on. Be sure to confirm the opt-in choice via text, and allow easy opt-out via text as well.
So there you have it. From email to text to calendar integration, many options can facilitate attendee event reminders. Keep things on brand and at a dedicated cadence, but not too much such that it overwhelms your guests. Finally, always give people options to opt-out of texts, unsubscribe from emails, or decline event invitations. It will be worthwhile!
Julie Ann Howlett is an (actually human) freelance writer who specializes in business, tech and STEM.