Increase Attendee Engagement Through Email with Sarah Anderson

If your virtual summit emails aren’t engaging they’ll drive attendees away. Here’s how to increase attendee engagement through email throughout the process!There are a LOT of emails that go into a summit and it can get to be a lot for our attendees...unless we make them engaging!

In this episode, we're chatting with Sarah Anderson about how to increase attendee engagement through our emails, rather than driving them away.

We'll cover things like:

  • the part emails have to play in creating an engaged audience
  • how to write engaging emails
  • moving from subscriber to attendee once the summit is over

I'll let Sarah take it from here!

Focus summit emails on attendee engagement

Email is the key to create engagement with your summit because people are signing up, but your emails drive them to the content. During the multiple phases of your summit, emails have different goals in those different phases. 

Engagement During Different Phases using Email

Let's talk about some of the different areas of your summit's emails.

Promo Period

First of all, you have the promo period. This is when you:

  • announce your virtual summit
  • explain what attendees will learn
  • invite people to sign up for your summit
  • highlight the benefits of coming to this summit.

Also in this promo period, you want to give your speakers some great summit swipe copy that they can share to their email list because that's where the magic of summits comes from - getting all these other people involved.

Pre-Summit Phase

After you get someone that opts-in to the summit, you have that pre-summit phase. This time is after someone registers and it's your chance to warm them up.

  • Introduce them to you as the host.
  • Introduce them to the speakers they'll meet.
  • Give them a reason to show up. What's in it for them? 

During this time, you'll sell your all-access pass early bird offer as well.  

During the Summit

Next is your summit emails during the live event when you deliver the content and keep summit attendees engaged. 

Sometimes as an attendee, summits can get overwhelming. Balance the number of emails you send with what your attendees are willing to accept from you.

These emails should:

  • encourage people to show up and participate
  • promote your all-access pass

How Many Emails to Send Per Day  

It depends on your personal preference, both as a business owner and a marketer, but attendees won't want more than two emails a day from your summit.

There's also a lot of times summits have so many great speakers, but attendees are only interested in a few. You don't need a reminder for every single person, because there might just be 5 of the 20 that speak to you.

  1. Send a reminder email at the beginning of the day.
  2. Send a wrap-up email at the end of the day

Don't make it another job for them to come to your summit. There are attendees that are super engaged and are into what you're doing,  and then there are attendees that are a little bit less engaged, maybe need an extra reminder. But if they're really engaged, don't keep pounding them.

Keep your summit audience engaged through email

Focus on the benefits that your summit offers. Attending a summit is a big time commitment. Attendees won't come to every single presentation, and that's okay. Don't expect them to. 

In your emails, highlight the benefits and takeaways that they'll get from each presentation.

A little copywriter trick I like is called fascinations, which are little bullet points that you use to tease out big takeaways. You can write them in a way where it highlights the big takeaway, but not just summarizing it. 

What will attendees take away from the presentation? 

Engaging and Informative Emails

In these emails, you can tell a story, especially if you've learned something through the summit or the summit really lines up well with something that you offer. t

Talk about pain points that you were feeling at that point and make it feel really real for them and that will help them engage.

If you call out how they're feeling and you help them see themselves in the copy, they're going to pay attention.

Also, talk about the results, what they'll get after they go through this offer. If it was something that might've helped you or something you wished that you'd had when you were just starting out, talk about how people that go through this can become X, Y, Z.

How to ensure attendees are opening your emails

You send so many emails and people are naturally going to taper off. That's totally normal. But something that you can do is make these emails fun.

And by that I mean:

  • put in a gif
  • use an emoji
  • add a photo
  • write it like a personal email

I think that's the thing with engaging emails. Even if you're not interested in the offer, is there still a takeaway that you might like? And that's going back to the stories, where even if you're not wanting to buy the summit upgrade, you could still enjoy the story of seeing the behind-the-scenes of someone's business or their journey.

How to retain subscribers after the summit is over

Some people are just there for the summit and when it's done, they're going to bounce. But there are a lot of people that it's their first intro to you and it's a chance to let them get to know who you are.

When you set up your summit, set up a tag in your email marketing service to differentiate between new summit attendees and those already on your list.

When the summit is over, you can segment out that section that is new to your list and send them a mini welcome sequence

Tie it back into the summit topic. Let them know how they can continue to earn more and why they should stick around. 

What to include in your welcome sequence

You need to have something that introduces you and your brand. That is an essential one for a welcome sequence.

Your first email should include:

  • who you are, as a person and business owner
  • how you got started
  • what you do

Also, include some extra value in their welcome sequence, such as a top blog post or your podcast. 

 Another email that is great to include your welcome sequence is an email that creates a connection with you and your subscribers. 

This email could include:

  • asking them to reply to the email and start a conversation one-on-one.
  • asking them for feedback, especially after the summit.

Continue to start that conversation with people and make email more of a two-way conversation instead of you blasting out emails to people and never encouraging that engagement back and forth.

Sarah's biggest takeaway

Summit emails are important to the overall success of your summit. There is a lot to manage as a host of a summit, but you don't want to let the emails fall to the end of your list.

Spend some time working through and thinking about it as an attendee, putting yourself in their shoes. Think about where they're at with each point in the summit experience.  

About Sarah

Sarah Marie Anderson is an email strategist + copywriter for course creators, coaches, and service providers with bold digital brands. She helps ambitious female entrepreneurs go from stressing over what to send to their email list to having powerful emails lifted off their shoulders.

Instagram | YouTube | Open Rate Booster Checklist



View related episodes >>


50% Complete

Free: Virtual Summit Prep Timeline

Learn how much time to set aside for planning and launching your profitable, stress-free online summit and use my calculator to set the due dates for you.