How to Write a Reminder Email for Your Event (Including Examples)

How to Write a Reminder Email for Your Event (Including Examples)

You've launched your event and the ticket sales are rolling in. The numbers on the screen are spinning as you sell ticket after ticket after ticket.

Life's good.

Grab that margarita, sit back and enjoy the good life. You've made it...

But then the day rolls around and attendance isn't quite what you expected. Hmm...

You notice there was a bunch of cancellations the day before...

And the attendees that have turned up don't seem very prepared. They're not wearing the right clothes and haven't brought the correct equipment with them.

What did you do wrong?

Here's what you think happens in your customers head:

  1. They buy a ticket to your event.
  2. All they do is think about your event until the day.
  3. They turn up, ready and prepared.

Here's what actually happens:

  1. They buy a ticket to your event.
  2. Their phone/partner/dog/child/collegue/you-name-it calls for their attention and they're distracted with something else.
  3. Life's busy. Your event slips towards the bottom of their priority list.
  4. The day before the event, they remember in a state of panic that they said they'd come.
  5. They turn up but they're unprepared and haven't thought about the event much. Or. Worse. They realise the day before they've double booked and cancel the event on you.

Yes, you could have a no-refund policy. And who cares if they turn up unprepared - that's their fault. But that sucks if you want to build a great events business. There's a good chance these customers wont book another event, and wont rave about you to their friends.

Let's make sure the attendees turn up, and not only turn up, but turn up prepared, ready to go and excited for your event.

The reminder email to the rescue

You've guessed where I'm heading from the title of this article, but a great reminder email works. It's that simple.

So many business owners feel bad about emailing their customers. This is something I've struggled with over the past 7 years. But don't. It's silly, and in this situation makes no sense what so ever.

I am telling you now, that 99% of your customers will have no issue with you sending them a couple of reminders. Yes, sure, they're going to get annoyed if you send 20, but 3-5 is not going to be a problem.

In fact - I would go as far to say that most people expect you to remind them.

What makes a great email reminder

Let's not make this complicated, because it's not.

The 'from' email address

Please, please, please do not send your reminder from [email protected]. If you do, it makes me a bit sad.

For top marks send it from [email protected], or [email protected].

If you're Sarah who runs 'London Yoga' - having the email come from [email protected] feels personal (which is great). If I have any queries I can hit the reply button on the email and you'll get my question.

Otherwise, here's what happens if you send it from a noreply address. I have to go hunting for your email address either on the email itself or back on your website. When I finally find it I then have to open a new email and copy in your details. All that when I could have just replied to the email.

The other advantage of allowing someone to reply to the reminder is that when they email you, you can see the exact event they are talking about.

The 'from' name

Obvious, maybe. But make sure the email has it's name set to you.

Sometimes if you're using a events or ticketing platform the reminder email will look like it's coming from the platform rather than you. Not good.

The subject

I'd recommend including the word 'reminder' right at the start of the subject.

The word reminder grabs your customers attention. It shows that they've signed up for something and this isn't a spam email.

The other important reason is a lot of email clients only show the first few words from the email subject. Here's my email client right now:

Notice how subjects more than 7 words long start to get cut off?

Everyone's email client will be different, but get that word 'reminder' right at the start.

The other thing you can do is add the time of the event in the subject too.

Here's a great example:

I'm looking through my emails for the day and I don't even need to open this reminder. I remember that I've got a course I've booked at 'Chieftain Training' on the 9th May.

6 reminder email subject ideas:

  • "Reminder: {date of your event}"
  • "Hey {customername}. Reminder for {event name} on {date of your event}"
  • "See you soon - {date of event} "
  • "Reminder: It's nearly time for {event name}"
  • "Reminder: We can't wait to see you at {event name}"
  • "Reminder: {event name} on {date}

You can tell I'm a big fan of putting 'Reminder' at the start right?

Fancy HTML vs plain text emails

This is where things get interesting.

So what do I mean by HTML vs plain text emails. Well here's a 'HTML' reminder email full of images, logos, custom styling and a bunch of other 'jazz'.

Looks nice and pretty right?

Whereas a plain text email is just that. Literally plain text - as if someone had manually typed it out.

Here's an example of a plain text reminder email:

Your instant reaction might be that the pretty email is better. We're humans, we like a shiny object. And you'd think your customers would prefer the pretty email too. But...

A fascinating study by Hubspot found that people prefer HTML emails but are more likely to open a plain text email.

...people prefer HTML emails but are more likely to open a plain text email.

It's worth re-reading that sentence because it doesn't appear to make sense. But it's true.

HTML emails had a 25% decreased open rate and adding gifs decreased open rates by a massive 37%.

Hubspot's best guess is this is because HTML emails are more likely to get flagged as spam or filtered out of the main inbox.

This is crazy important as it means if we want the best chance of someone seeing our reminder email - then we should send it as plain text.

If you're a marketer this is painful to read and I know you want to slap your branding everywhere. But. For the absolute best chance of the reminder getting seen, send it plain text.

The two things that the contents of a great email reminder should contain:

1) The details of the event

The most important two items to include are:

  • The name of the event your reminding them of
  • The time they need to attend

Sounds obvious right? Here's an email I got recently for a reminder to get my car MOT'd (a car check we have to do in the UK):

Any idea what this email is trying to tell me? Because I haven't got a clue.

Combine those two essential items with some friendly text, and you're half way there.

"Hey {customer name},

Just a friendly reminder that your London Yoga class begins on the 2nd September 2024 at 5:00pm.

We can't wait to see you there.

The London Yoga Team"

If that's the only thing you send for your reminder then that's a 6/10 from me. It's super simple and gets the point across perfectly.

2) Anything they need to know to prepare for the event

There's nothing worse than turning up to an event unprepared.

I have a memory etched into my brain where I turned up to my first dinghy sailing lesson without a wetsuit. Imagine gloomy England, cold, in the rain, out on a reservoir in a tiny sailing boat. It was freezing and we were all soaked to the skin from the rain. After performing a 'accidental gybe' (a sailing manoeuvre you're not supposed to do ) I managed to fall out of the boat into the water. Without a wetsuit.

You can imagine that this was not a pleasant experience. I could have easily never got back into a dinghy after that.

Don't let your attendee turn up without a wetsuit (so to speak).

One of the best ways we can do this is to remind them how to prepare for the event in every single email we send them.

This reminder that I referenced earlier is a great example:

This is for a sailing course, and so there's a lot of things to remember, lots of equipment you need to bring and lots of potential questions the attendee probably has. Putting these things into a checklist is a really nice idea.

Software for sending reminder emails for your events

So you could always send these emails manually, but you can imagine this is going to get tiring pretty fast. So maybe don't do that.

Most event software will have some sort of way to send reminders to events that you set up. Here's some important features you should look out for (all based on what I've said before):

  • Can you choose how often and how many reminders get sent?
  • Can you customise the reminder email to also include information around being prepared for the event?
  • Can you set the reminder email to be plain text?
  • Can you set the reminder email to get sent from you?
  • Can you set the name of the reminder email to be your business?

In this example we'll use Event Calendar App to automate a reminder email.

Yes, hands up 🙌 this is our own software (if that wasn't already obvious), but it works pretty well and it satisfies all the criteria mentioned above.

Event Calendar App has a feature called 'Workflows'. This lets you schedule all sorts of emails, not just reminders, but we'll do reminders for now.

Head to the workflows page:

Click create a workflow.

Click the plus icon above 'Event starts'. This lets you schedule an email to send before the event starts.

When writing the reminder email, remember all our previous things that make a reminder email great.

All event reminders in Event Calendar App are plain text, helping you get the best open rate possible.

5 example email event reminders from real businesses

  1. A reminder of a booking for a stay at a treehouse

Subject:  Check in details - Poppy Treehouse Stay

Ok, I agree, not technically an event, but all the same rules still apply. This is a nice example because it lists everything we need to have a great stay, while also reminding us of the booking.

It's also all the plain text, which I love.

There is potentially a bit of information overkill going on. Try not to overload your customer with information.

  1. A reminder about a Lululemon yoga class

Subject: Message to attendees of lululemon Manchester - Sweat, Grow and Connect.

This is a mixed bag. It shows one of the biggest downsides of using a platform like Eventbrite. Their branding is all over this. Eugh.

However, I love that the first thing your eye sees is bring your own matt. This is great as it's an essential part of the attendee having a good experience at the event.

  1. Chieftain training (electronics training course)

Subject: Reminder: Thursday, 9 May 2024 9:15

This one is also a mixed bag. They've basically just re-sent the entire confirmation email which isn't really necessary. It kind of feels a bit lazy on that front.

I only care about the first 10% of the email.

  1. Solent Boat Training (Sailing course reminder)

Subject: Booking Reminder for Southampton RYA Training Courses

This is the third time you've seen this email now. It's honestly one of my favourites.

  • It's plain text
  • Tells you the course is 7 days away. (Although an actual event date would be nice here).
  • A check list. This is such a nice way of breaking things up when the attendee needs to do a lot of things before they turn up to the course
  1. Fallen Willow Sauna

Subject: Upcoming event reminder

A good example. Tells me when the event is, and a bunch of information relevant to making the most of my experience.

The perfect event reminder email

So based on everything above, here's how I'd template the perfect event reminder email:

From name: Your business

From email: [email protected]

Subject: Reminder - {event name} is happening on {date}


Hi {customer name},

Just a friendly reminder that {event name} starts at {event time}. We can't wait to see you there.

Here's some information to make sure you get the most out of your experience:

{Everything the attendee needs to know to get the most out of your event. Don't overwhelm them, only what's most important}


{Your company name}

How many times to send a reminder email

If you're not a marketer a good rule that works well is however many times you think, plus one. That accounts for your bias to send it less than you actually should (because you think your bothering people).

Aim to send at least 2 reminders for your events. Or three if the person is booking way ahead. Something like this:

  • 1 week before
  • 3 days before
  • 24 hours before

Online events particularly benefit from a reminder much closer - even 10 minutes before! How many times have you remembered a zoom meeting because you got the 10 minute reminder!

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