How to Create an Email Campaign with a 50% Open Rate

Email is typically used by Event Marketers as the start of an event marketing campaign. Often, it is carried out in a manner where all emails designed are sent to whoever is available in the database. So what can be done differently and what is the effect of a well structured email campaign for Events?

We recently organised a breakfast seminar for a technology event where we use a structured email campaign with the following objectives:

  • Make as many people aware of our event as possible through a high open rate
  • Have a comfortable audience size for us to engage in, where we set a limit
  • Ensure that whoever RSVP for the event turned up. Target at least 70% turnout rate

As the execution period is short (we were only given only 2 weeks to execute this campaign for a “Free” invite-only event) and with the above objectives in mind, we structure the email campaign in the following manner:


Structured Email Campaign

It may be worth noting that for Part 2, the email was sent only to those who did not open the first email, which is easily retrieved from the Special Lists that is automatically created after each campaign.


For Part 4, the subject would read like this “Hi Damon, I look forward to seeing you tomorrow”. All emails from this campaign was sent from a specific person from the organising committee, and not a generic email address, so as to give each email a personal touch.

The end-result was this:

  • 4 emails sent in 2 weeks, pre-configured at the start of the campaign (as we were busy with the other logistical aspects of the event)
  • 52% of all contacts opened at least one email
  • Total RSVP number was not met, but better than expected turn-out rate of 81% helped to meet the attendee turn-out target

I detailed the response rate as follow:



The turn-out rate was a bit of a surprise given the typical high drop-out rate for “Free” events, but it is important that the 4th email was sent just one day before the event and personalised to ensure that we are creating an “e-conversation” before the event day proper.

The above was created within a day for a quick 2-weeks campaign, that fortunately, went through smoothly.