Your number 1 aim is to deliver a great experience for your attendee.

If you deliver a great experience the odds of them returning increase 10 fold.

If you deliver a great experience, they'll tell their friends, family, and you'll be the talk of the town (maybe that last one's a push, but you never know!).

The emails you send to your attendee are a huge part of their experience. They should butter them up, get them excited, prepared and ready for what's to come.

Let's dive in.

The confirmation email

When you think of a confirmation email, do you feel excited inside? Probably not. Confirmation emails can serve as just that if you want them to - confirmation.

A boring acknowledgement that they didn't click the wrong button on your website, and have in fact booked the event.

Or - they could be something full of excitement, and useful information about the event. Something that's going to ensure they get the most out of your experience.

Let's have a look at the absolute minimum that a confirmation email should contain:

  • Their name
  • The date and time of the event
  • The location of the event

That's it. If you want, that could be your email.

But my guess is, you're reading this and looking for some ideas to make it more useful and exciting.

Ok, I've got something to tell you. One of the most important things about confirmation emails.

There's a good chance your attendee hasn't read all the event details before booking.

Can you believe it. You spent all that time writing about the event on your website, and they can't even be bothered to read it? Humans eh!

There's a good chance your dear attendee read to the point where they realised they wanted to come. Stopped. And then booked.

The confirmation email is the place to drive home all the essential information they need to know. The information that they need to get the best experience from your event.

There's a good chance that this could involve a lot of content. But remember, you're not selling the event any more. You're not telling them why they should come. You're telling them what to do before they come.

For example. I love sailing, and over the past few years I've booked a couple of sailing courses with my local school.

In the school's emails they emphasise how important it is to have the correct clothing. This is because sailing in the rain is utter misery when you don't have the correct equipment. Without the gear the attendee (me) is going to have a miserable experience.

If there's many things your attendee needs to know and do, break it down for them. Explain step by step in the most simple way you can, even if some things sound obvious. For example the confirmation for a sailing course could include something like this:

Your checklist:

  1. Ensure you have the correct all weather gear (we promise it's miserable without this).
  2. Book your car parking with the marina.
  3. Check you have adequate health insurance.
  4. Read all the course information, to ensure you have the pre-requisite experience.

Doing just this will make your confirmation email in the top 95% and help ensure your attendee has a great time.

So what else can we put in the confirmation that's going to be useful?

Details of tickets and what they have paid for

If there's anything that I hate, it's having to log back into the organiser's website to see exactly what i've paid for. Include it in the email, so your attendee can check things quicker.

Add to calendar links

These are great, because guess what. In about 10 minutes your attendee is going to shift focus onto something else. The car insurance spam arrives and buries your email.

There's one way to ensure your attendee doesn't forget about your event. And that's to get it inside their calendar.

You might need the help of some software here, Event Calendar App for example.

A way for them to get back in touch with you

This is important.

Do not send your confirmation email from a noreply email address.

I repeat, do not send your confirmation email from a noreply email address.

If your attendee has an issue, or a question, allow them to reply directly to the confirmation address.

At the very least, include your contact email in the body of the confirmation message. Although ideally, please, send your confirmation email from an address they can reply to.

Ok, so after all is said and done, here's what all the best confirmation emails should include:

  • Their name
  • The date and time of the event
  • The location of the event
  • Any essential details that they need to know before the event. Even if this means you have to borderline repeat your entire event description again, do it.
  • Details of the tickets they purchased and any cost.
  • Add to calendar link
  • Your contact information.

The reminder email

Reminder emails are essential. Particularly for events that allow bookings more than a week into the future.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I struggle to remember what I did yesterday - never mind remember about an event that I booked 3 months ago.

You might be someone who's super organised. Maybe you have a calendar that you update ruthlessly, but you're in the minority.

There has been so many times where I've booked things, particularly those more than 30 days into the future (dentist appointments I am looking at you) and relinquished them to my future-self brain. AKA, to be forgotten.

What's great about a reminder email is it says "Hey you, this event you booked a while ago is happening soon, get ready for it".

It's so easy to forget that none of your attendees will be thinking about your event any where near as much as you are.

Reminder emails have saved my ass so many times, and they'll save you too. Save you from your customers forgetting about your event.

So what should you include in a reminder email?

Keep it simple and repeat the confirmation email minus the payment details. Change the introduction to something like:

"Hey Dave, are you ready for Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling? It starts in 7 days."

Side track. Did you know Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling is this crazy event we have in the UK where people chase cheese down a steep hill? Yep, it usually involves a lot of broken arms and legs.

Create urgency and give them a clear deadline for when they need to be at your event.

The format will look something like this:

  • Their name including days/hours until the event. Create urgency.
  • The date and time of the event
  • The location of the event
  • Any essential details that they need to know before the event. Even if this means you have to borderline repeat your entire event description again, do it.
  • Add to calendar link
  • Your contact information.

When and how often to send the reminder email

Sending more than 2 reminder emails starts to feel like spam, so max it out at that.

As an attendee, I like to receive reminder emails 7 days before and then 48 hours before. This depends on your event, and how much preparation the attendee needs to do. If they need to do more prep, remind them further in advanced.

The thank you email

Thank you emails serve two very important purposes:

  1. We're human, and acknowledgment is always nice. Thank them for coming.
  2. A way to collect feedback.

But at the same time, it's the event email that you're the most unmotivated to send. The event is over, you've collected the money, everyone's happy (as far as you're aware), so all good. But you'll be missing out on those two huge benefits.

A way to say thanks

A good, thank you email only needs to include:

  • Their name
  • Thanks for coming message

That's it. It's so simple but it's such a nice touch.

If you want to blow your attendee's mind, and go the extra mile, send them a personalised thank you email:

Hey Dave,
Thanks so much for coming to Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling.
We heard about your broken arm and leg. So sorry about that. Those guys at the bottom of the hill really need to get better at catching people. We'll train them up for next time.
Thanks Dave,
Cooper and the Cheese Rolling Team

A way to collect feedback.

The second advantage of a thank you email is that it's the best place to ask for feedback.

Remember what I mentioned earlier? It's so important that a reply is possible to your sending email address. That has such a big effect here. You can say something like:

"Please feel free to hit reply, and let us know about how you found the event. We would love to hear from you"

You can also use a third party app to create a survey, and ask your attendees to complete it.

Here's the format of an ideal thank you email:

  • Their name
  • Tell them they're the best for attending ❤️
  • Ask for some feedback

Don't overthink it

That's it. Smash the above and you'll be better than 99% of the event organisers out there.

Don't get bogged down thinking that you need to create some fancy html email template either.

Fancy email templates create headaches. It's horrendous to create email templates that look correct on the 1000 different email apps out there.

Most people prefer to receive simple, plain text emails. Start today and keep it simple.

Looking for a tool to help you market your events? Give Event Calendar App a try.