Just when you think you’re finished putting together the perfect event invite email, you realize it still needs a subject line. A bead of sweat forms on your brow since you are well aware that 33% of email recipients open an email based solely on the subject line (Convinceandconvert.com).

The turn of a phrase or the placement of a punctuation could mean the difference between success and failure of your campaign, but how are you supposed to know what your clients and prospects will respond to?

The truth is, there’s no magic combination of words that will instantly make your campaign a success. However, there are plenty of helpful strategies and things to avoid when crafting your event email subject line to put you on the right path towards a successful event turnout.

Let’s start with event subject lines in general.

There’s more territory to avoid than there is to pursue when choosing the wording of your subject line. First of all, you want to avoid sounding like spam so, in all of your email subject lines, event or otherwise, a general rule of thumb is to never use the words “free” or “win”.

The other terms to avoid all have to do with the features of the event itself as opposed to the benefits – agenda, forum, keynote, speakers – which all look bland in your clients’ inboxes and blend in with the rest of their emails. In this particular study, people hated the word “Forum” so much that almost half of them unsubscribed from future emails entirely! Tough crowd.

A popular strategy when crafting an effective subject line is to use active words to motivate the reader into clicking on the email, but it’s important to choose these words wisely. The more commonly used words like “Come” and “Register”, while seeming like the obvious choice of verbiage for an event email, may just be overused and seem unexciting to the reader. If you see a subject line that says something like “Come Register for Our Event”, does that make you want to find out additional info about that event or does that just sound like a chore?

Finally, the term “Early Bird” should only be used when referring to the 4 o’clock special at the Country Kitchen Buffet. Leave these antiquated colloquialisms to brands striving to be seen as provincial.

Those are some key words to avoid for event invites in general. Now let’s get into what to avoid when sending emails in the financial world.

Speaking of tough crowds, there is no crowd tougher when it comes to email marketing than the finance industry. Those receiving emails in the finance industry don’t like a lot of common subject line terms, but at least they won’t punish you by unsubscribing, for the most part.

The most relevant terms to event emails are “Alert”, “News”, “Report”, “Discount”, “Update”, “Industry”, and “Interview”, the slight majority of which received a negative response. Luckily 3/4 terms that got a positive response – News, Report, and Update –  can all apply to your event email in some facet.

The reason that “News” performed so highly among the B2B financial crowd may possibly be due to the constant demand for up-to-date information which inadvertently causes the word “News” to stick out in an inbox. This subtle psychological predilection may be something you want to exploit the next time you send out an event email.

There’s not a single correct answer to your event email subject line dilemma, but here are a few stats to keep in mind when brain storming:
  • Personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened. (Adestra July 2012 Report)
  • For B2B companies, subject lines that contained “money,” “revenue,” and “profit” performed the best. (Adestra July 2012 Report)
  • Subject lines fewer than 10 characters long had an open rate of 58%. (Adestra July 2012 Report)
  • 69% of email recipients report opening an email as based solely on the subject line. (Convince&Convert)
  • Emails with “You” in the subject line were opened 5% less than those without. (Sidekick)
  • Emails with “Quick” in the subject line were opened 17% less than those without. (Sidekick)
  • Emails with “Tomorrow” in the subject line were opened 10% more than those without. (Sidekick)
  • Subject lines that create a sense of urgency and exclusivity can give a 22% higher open rate. (Email Institute)

Combine these insights with your own trial and error testing and your event emails will eventually be honed into attention-grabbing machines. For more helpful tips on how to make your event successful with the right digital strategy, check out these helpful articles: