Early on in the event planning process, every organizer has to answer this important question: when is the best time to send the event invitations? Sometimes, figuring out what to say is the easy part, but nailing the timing can be tricky.
Since each event is different, there’s no definitive answer on when to send your emails. That said, the research points to some common trends that can increase your open rates and conversation stats.
If you think you’re ready to hit send on your invitation, take a few minutes and read this article first. We’ve studied the research and distilled it down to the 5 practical pointers. It might transform your Haunt event from a ghost town to a packed house!
1. The Initial invitation
If you nail the timing of your initial announcement, you capture the audience early and make a solid first impression. Based on the research, most event organizers range between one of these three categories.
- 2-3 months out ~ 25%
- 1 month before ~ 25%
- 2 weeks before ~ 15%
To determine which time frame best fits your event, take inventory of other key variables like event size, ticket type, and event date.
As a general rule, opt on the early side for larger events, annual events, and peak time of year (ie Holiday) events.
If you host an annual Christmas concert with guests from all over the country, you want to spread the word early so attendees can adjust their holiday plans, and snag an early bird special before tickets sell out.
Earlier is not always better, though, especially for smaller events. If you’re hosting a small dinner party in September, for example, there’s no need to send out the initial invitation in June. You run the risk of recipients booting the invite into the outer space of their inbox and forgetting all about it come Fall.
2. The Frequency of Emails
In an ideal world, your attendees would drop everything and buy tickets the moment they receive your initial invitation. In the real world, however, most people need a few friendly reminders to commit to a decision. A well-timed marketing campaign keeps your event on your attendee’s radar, without driving them to the point of annoyance—and unsubscribing.
Take a look at what the pros do to get the right frequency. Based on the events surveyed, 25% of event creators send between 3 emails per event, 30% send 4-5 emails, and 22% send 6 or more.
Once you figure out the right frequency for emails for your event, we recommend using the TicketSpice drip campaign feature to schedule your sends and drive record sales.
3. The Day and the Hour
Optimizing the timing of your event involves more than just counting back a few weeks from the event; you need to dial in the day and the time. Since people tend to check their email more often during work hours on weekdays, avoid clicking send between Friday afternoon and Sunday.
Of the event organizers surveyed, more than half believe Tuesday is the best day to send emails, with Wednesday and Thursday as the second and third choices respectively. As for the time of day, shoot to reach the inbox before people dart out for lunch—ideally between 9 am and 1pm.
Key takeaway? Tuesday - Thursday. 9am - 1 pm.
4. The Nature of Your Event
The recommendations above are based on people’s screen time habits in general, but the nature of your event can sometimes present a good reason to break the general rules. Consider the difference between a burrito truck block party and a lecture on optimizing your LinkedIn.
A Friday afternoon email blast about the burrito party might be an effective way to capture the office workers who are ready to dip out early, while Tuesday morning (when productivity and ambition are high) is a better time to send the invite for the LinkedIn lecture.
5. Tracking Your Results
Finally, whichever timing strategy you decide to use for your event, remember to keep testing.
Take note of the open rate and the RSVP rate. In some cases, the ideal send time on paper doesn’t play out in reality. It can take a few iterations to get it right. Stay agile and get ready to pivot according to the stats.
With these 5 tips, you’re ready to tackle your event invitation.
We’re here to help you have the best event ever!
— The TicketSpice Team