Email is still critical for marketers. Tools like Mailchimp have made it easy for anyone to control and communicate with an email list. High-level analytics make it easy for you to know whose opened or clicked-through your email campaigns. All this means email is one of the most powerful tools in your belt for promoting your app to your event community. The goal is to turn email subscribers into app users. Because it equates to more engagement with your brand and your events.

List Building

If you’ve been running events for awhile, you’ve most likely got a pretty healthy email list of past attendees you can turn to. If you don’t, that’s fine! Promoting your event app is the perfect way to begin building one.

Moving your email list into your app is easy. It’s done through a series of crafted campaigns before, during, and after your events.

Email 1 - The Announcement

Goal: Turn email subscribers into app users.

Timing: 2-3 weeks before any events.

The Message: Focus on how much your attendees will enjoy your app, not the fact that you have an app. Promote the features and how they will benefit your attendees. Explicit benefits give your emails a greater chance of attracting attention. Attention increases your app adoption rates before any events begin. Include in this email some of what you learned in our other post about incentives, and entice your email list to join.

Email 2 - The Community Invitation

Goal: Turn attendees into app users.

Timing: 1 week before an event.

The Message: Create a touchpoint regarding your event app with your email list before every event. Encourage them to take part in the action on the app. Think about each event as an opportunity to bring more email subscribers into your app. Also, don’t forget about incentives! Pre-event email campaigns that define the benefits for attendees are the most successful. And don’t forget to track whose opening your emails…

Email 3 - The Reminder

Goal: Turn attendees into app users.

Timing: 3 days before an event.

The Message: Starting to sound like a broken record here… Make the benefits of joining the app community (features, incentives, exclusives, etc.) super clear. Encourage those who haven’t yet, to get involved. Highlight how many people have already joined the app. Think about how it will influence their experience at your events. Remember, FOMO is powerful for motivating people to take action. Also, it’s fine to send more than one reminder emails. People are busy. They forget.

Email 4 - The Follow-up

Goal: Turn attendees into app users.

Timing: 1 or 2 days after an event.

The Message: Thank everyone who joined your app community and downloaded the app! Then encourage them to invite their friends to download the app as well. Also, use this as an opportunity to collect any feedback your attendees have about the app. Asking for their thoughts will make them feel heard and even give them a sense of ownership in the app.

Core Components of Every App Download Email

  1. Clear instructions for downloading your app from the Apple App Store and Google Play or clear instructions for creating an account via a unique URL generated by your event app provider.
  2. Troubleshooting instructions or who to call if they need help
  3. Open & link-click tracking

Key Email Metrics to Measure

Open Rate – This is a good sign of the health of your email list. Generally, an open rate of 60% is a successful app download email. Disclaimer: there are lots of factors that influence open rate. Be sure to look at the number subjectively.

Click-through Rate – Click-through rate is the best sign of email success. Generally anywhere from a 9-20% is a successful click- through rate. Again, there are a lot factors that influence click-through rate. Determine for yourself an optimal click-through rate in relation to your efforts.

Conversion rate – How many people actually downloaded the app? Say you had 100 people click on your link to download the app, and 10 people actually do, your conversion rate = 10%.

Keys to Sending Better Emails

Email Signatures – Think about how many emails you send out every day. Now multiply that by everyone in your organization. That adds up to plenty of opportunities to publicize your event app. Get your whole organization involved in your app promotion by including text or a graphic in their email signatures that encourages readers to download your app.

Timing – Consider time of day when sending your emails. When do you get the highest response rate? What we’ve seen as the best time to send emails is at 6:00 am, 10:30 am or 4:30 pm.

Messaging – People spend an average of 15 – 20 seconds reading an email. Make sure the points that you want to highlight are clear and use pictures! Total word count should be 130 words or less.

Call to Actions – Make the call to download your event app exceedingly clear for your audience. When you can, use buttons instead a plain text links. Buttons are 30% more likely to be clicked on than a text link. Also, try making the buttons red – based on various A/B testing, the best colour for call-to-action buttons is RED.

Test – Test all the links before you send any emails.

Content – Include a square image, tweet, or social post for people to download. Encourage them to post it on their socials as a way to share their excitement about your app.

Mobile – 45% of emails come through on mobile phones. Your email designs should always be mobile compatible.


That was a lot of information! Once you understand what works for you and your organization, you can harness the true power of email marketing. Remember to use what you’ve learned here as general guidelines. Discover your own measure for email success and always look to improve. Tools like Mailchimp make it easier to optimize, scale, and repeat your email efforts.

Have questions about this guide or looking for help designing successful email campaigns? Drop us a line, we’re here to help!

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