Optimize Calendar Subject Lines For Better Show Rates

Concept image of a calendar with red push pins. Available in high resolution

I’ve been working for the past few months to ready a client’s sales team for their new product introduction. They did everything right. Lots of upfront research, tons of testing with real users and good old fashioned hard work. It was time to bring the product to market. The value proposition was working. Their target buyers were accepting a discovery/demo meeting. Then they hit a wall. They’d dial into meetings only to find deafening silence. Of course they’d reach back out and receive a lot of apologies and agreement to reschedule. But it got us all thinking…Were we doing a good job of making the calendar invite as compelling as our conversation had been? The clear answer was no.

Like many professionals once the meeting was secured little attention was placed on the calendar invite subject line. And there was the missed opportunity.

It’s a long road from verbally accepting a meeting to actually showing up. Our buyers are very busy. Their day is filled with all kinds of commitments. Once they got off the phone with us the excitement of our conversation faded into another input to remember.

busy calendar


What we found was that our best argument for showing up was either not present at all or hidden in the meeting notes. Notes that don’t show up on the typical calendar scan.

We challenged ourselves to create subject lines that addressed these two questions:

When our guest scans their calendar to accommodate an unexpected need does our invite standing out as important?

Have we done a good job of reminding our audience why they agreed to the meeting in the first place?

I challenge you to do the same. Below you’ll see sample calendar subject lines transformed into value propositions to get your creative juices flowing. The goal is to be descriptive, but also to reinforce the larger story you want to tell.

As professionals we work really hard to establish a rapport with a prospective buyer. In some cases we’ve spent weeks or months nurturing our relationship. It’s time we spent as much time considering the meeting subject line, as we would the email subject line of our outbound communications.  Those few extra seconds can go a long way towards improving not only meeting attendance, but the quality of the conversation itself.