From texting to social media to specific apps, there are endless options for ways to communicate with your registrants. If your goal is to attract registrants through an event invitation, though, email should be your first go-to.
Across all the possible channels to drive sales through the roof, email ranks as the top tool by professional marketers. According to the stats, "76% of marketers agree email is “the single most effective way to drive registrations.”
Capturing attention over email, however, can be tricky. In 2022, the average email open rate hovered at just under 17%. If an event invitation gets buried in a pile of hundreds of other unread messages, it’s unlikely the potential attendee will ever dig it back out and register.
Below, we’ll cover five best practices for crafting stand-out email invitations that will help you pave the way to sell-out events. Let’s dive in!
1. Do Some Research
If it’s your first time organizing this type of event, remember you don’t have to reinvent the wheel as you get started. Start by gathering a collection of invitations and emails from other similar types of events.
If you’re sending an invitation for a summer camp, for example, take some notes on what you like and dislike about other summer camp invitations. Does the copy communicate that camp is a blast or a bore? After scanning the invite, are you clear on the details or confused by ambiguity?
Whether an invitation inspires you or turns you away, consider it valuable data for your own event.
2. Choose Your Layout and Design
Determining your layout and design ahead of time can provide helpful parameters for your copy.
How much space do you have to work with? How do you want the layout to look on both mobile and desktop versions?
If your event has a theme, brainstorm color schemes and designs that reflect your desired aesthetic. Finally, consider adding some appealing visuals—such as high-quality photos or videos—to make the invitation even more engaging.
3. Clarify the Purpose of your Event.
Before you dive headfirst into the copy, make sure you can answer these important questions below.
Who is your audience? What is the purpose of your event? What will someone gain by attending your event? What questions will the audience have before they sign up?
Make a list of the answers to these questions to keep you headed in the right direction as you write the copy.
4. Make Your Copy Compelling
Once you’ve finished the preliminary work, it’s time to write an invitation that turns readers into registrants. The copy in your invitation should include these four components.
A clear and compelling subject line
Your subject serves as a crucial communication opportunity. Many people will skim the subject line of emails to determine if they are even worth reading. Make sure the subject line of your email invitation is clear and compelling. Share the big idea of your invitation in the subject line so they have a great reason to open it.
A brief body
Have you ever had the experience of scrolling through an essay-like email only to find one necessary piece of information near the bottom? It’s exhausting. Worse, if people open your email and see enough text to write a doctorate, they may turn right around and leave your email. Huge blocks of text are one of the fastest ways to drain brain energy.
Do your registrants a favor and make your emails interesting and short enough to scan in 15 seconds or less. Simply put, get to the point—fast.
Answers to their questions
When event organizers send out event invitations, it’s inevitable that some questions will come back to them. If you can answer some of these questions ahead of time, you save yourself time and remove one more step for the customer. Start by making a list of last year’s most frequently asked questions. If this is your first year organizing the event, use the list of questions below to get your mind moving.
Does the event have a dress code? What’s the policy on plus ones? Are food and beverages included? Are accommodations available for those with food allergies? Where can people park? Is there anything else people need to know that they won’t think to ask about?
A clear call to action
Since you’re sending an invitation, you want to make it incredibly easy for someone to say yes. Create a frictionless path between reading and registration by including all the right links. Purchasing should be no more than a few clicks away.
5. Time it Right
Before you hit send, and before you even start writing, take some time to dial in the timing. As you’re creating the content calendar, ask the question, When is the best time for the audience to read this email?
The answer to that question will vary, but the research suggests that the ideal time for invitations is between 2 weeks and 3 months before the big day. More than 3 months and you risk people putting it off and forgetting about it, any less than that people are likely to have already made plans.
Ready to get people excited about your event?
It’s time to jump into invitation creation! You have the tools you need to make your email successful. If you have questions or need more support, our team at RegFox is happy to help you.
We’re here to help you have the best event ever!
— The RegFox Team