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The Art of Crafting the Perfect Invitation by Kristin Huddleston @vision6

The Art of Crafting the Perfect Invitation by Kristin Huddleston @vision6

The Art of Crafting the Perfect Email Invitation

It doesn’t matter how fantastic your event is if your email invitation does not entice recipients to attend.

That is why it’s important to create an invitation that will grab the recipient’s attention, provide them with the information they need and entice them to RSVP.

Here’s an example of an event invitation with a list of the elements that make it great.

Event-Email_Networx
1. A clear and strong call to action. This is the most important part of your email and therefore must be placed in a prominent position (ideally the top 400 pixels of your email) and be easy to understand. Many event organisers also choose to include a ‘decline’ button or equivalent. This allows the recipient to opt-out of future messages for this particular event without unsubscribing from future event communications.

2. Essential information. Make it easy for recipients to view all the information they need to make a decision and act. This includes:

  • Time and Date
  • Add to calendar link
  • Location
  • Parking/ transport options
  • Ticket prices
  • Catering
  • Dress code

3. Social sharing options. One of the easiest ways to promote your event to a wider audience is to encourage word of mouth. Social media provides an easy way for your audience to share your invitation.

4. Video promotion. Want your audience to really get a feel for your event? By including a promotional video in your email you can help your audience to learn about your event in an engaging way. Creating a short video is much easier than you may think.

5. Convince people to attend. Clearly outline the topic or purpose of the event. This is where many invitations fail. While focusing on the email design, many email marketers forget to include key information about the event. Including information such as the purpose for fundraising events, the reason for gala events or the achievements being celebrated at anniversary events are key to encouraging attendance.

6. More in-depth information is required for events with multiple streams, topics or speakers. This is especially the case for educational or professional development events where attendees may need to obtain permission or budget to attend your event.

7. So what should you include or leave out? Basically you should include anything that is a key motivator for people to attend your event. For example, great speaker profiles can lift the perceived value of an event and motivate many people to attend.

8. Interactive elements such as polls, competitions and QR codes are effective ways to encourage greater interaction with your invitation and event in general. For best results, use these elements to help promote your event and obtain information such as attendee expectations and preferences.

9. Build credibility by sharing information about your company within your invitation. Depending on how your event is positioned, you may do this subtly with a line such as ‘proudly supported by company name’ with a link to your site, or more directly with a company blurb or video.

10. Sponsors. To keep your sponsors happy it’s important to set expectations as laid out in your sponsorship agreements. Often you’ll need to include sponsor logos in your email, so make sure the design of your invitation has a place for them.

11. Housekeeping. Make things easy for yourself and include links that allow recipients to manage their own profile and registrations. Also, be sure to include a ‘contact’ option so people who have questions can get in touch with you.

12. Teasers for future events. If you regularly hold events, consider including a teaser for future events. Recipients may not want to attend your next event, but the one after that might be something they will consider. Just be sure to separate this information so that you don’t create any confusion.

The perfect event invitation will differ for every company and event. So, as with all email marketing messages, be sure to test, measure and optimise to get the best results for you.

Takeaway: When creating your event invitation, place yourself in the shoes of your invitees. Decide what will most likely convince someone to attend and what information they’ll want to know before they register. Then craft your invitation so that it clearly communicates this information to recipients.

  • Profile:  Kristin Huddleston is the Marketing Coordinator at Vision6 and has been working in the email marketing industry for 3 years. Prior to this Kristin worked in Marketing and carried out email marketing campaigns in both agency and professional services companies. Her role at Vision6 is to use integrated marketing communications to inform, educate and promote everything e-messaging to both clients and non-clients.
  • Website:  http://www.vision6.com.au/
  • Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/vision6
  • LinkedIn:   www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Kristin/Huddleston
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