Want to increase the attention your event invitation emails are getting?
I hear you.
In fact, I was able to skyrocket attendance to a newly launched event by simply using a few tricks.
Truth is that if your audience isn’t seeing them, your attendance will suffer.
This guide is designed to help inspire you with 101 awesome designs plus, how to create event invitation emails that convert, tips on sending and creative ideas to improve RSVP rates, click-throughs, and time spent viewing the invitation.
Finally, we’ve also provided you with an online event invitation email template and checklist so you don’t forget that critical information.
Are you ready and as excited as we are about event invitation email samples?
The Best Event Invitation Email: My Favourite 10 Examples
Table of Contents
Event Invitation Emails
Event invitation emails needn’t be boring digital announcements. There are a lot of options with event animation and GIFS that will capture your audience’s attention.
Use Color Blocking to Create a Unique Style
This example shows how the use of color blocking and an unexpected palette can give an email invitation a very unique and striking style.
Craft Invites as a Marketing Opportunity to Show off a Product
Great idea for trade shows and exhibitions like this Jewelry expo booth invitation.
Credit: Santosh Jewellers
Play With Contrast
Thanks to the black background, the white text and the images full of colors, this email showcase a very contrasted, and therefore striking effect.
Use an Evite that Looks Like a Paper Invite
These invitations mimic a paper texture to make sure your email stands out.
While this one resembles a print invitation to give a personal look.
Use White Space to Focus the Attention
The use of white space in this email from Apple helps showcase the important elements of the email. Your invitations don’t have to be complicated or overly wordy; using white space cleverly can help focus the reader’s attention.
A Little Pop Culture Reference Entices People to Read More
This example shows how you can use current pop culture themes to attract attention to your event and play on people’s existing associations with them to convey aspects of your event. Jonathan’s birthday is an adventure for comic book lovers. Costumes welcome.
Experiment With Fonts
Mix and match a number of different fonts and sizes to make people stop and pay attention. The use of different fonts makes it more difficult for the reader to scan the message too quickly; he or she has to stop and figure out what the message is when it’s broken down like in this example.
Try a Subdued Tropical Invite for More Attention to Your Message
Use a Dominant Image to Evoke a Feeling
In this example, the company wants to evoke in you all the warm feelings associated with Mother’s Day by doing something special with a simple cup of coffee.
Include a Live Twitter Feed For The Social Media Savvy
Include a live Twitter feed in your email to showcase the interest in your event and entice the reader to follow the event hashtag.
Email Invitations with RSVP
Email invitations and RSVPs can be a challenge. The lack of formality in this form of invitation leads some people to believe RSVPs aren’t necessary, even when asked for. Here are some ideas to ensure your audience notices your request for a response.
Offer Multiple Ways to RSVP to Ensure They Do
Use a Mad Lib-style RSVP to Make It Fun for People to Get Back to You
Humor can go a long way to encourage people to RSVP. These two examples showcase a clever use of humor.
The second one addresses the serial procrastinators more specifically and will definitely make guests laugh at the options.
Let Your Guests Choose Their Food Options
It is getting harder to please everybody with one single dinner option, as a lot of people battle with food allergies or follow a specific diet. Offering options can definitely make people feel more welcome and could also help with RSVP.
Use a Big Font for the RSVP Date
In this example, you can’t miss the huge RSVP deadline. It could entice you to put it on the calendar to make sure you respond by then.
Use Google Docs to Create a Quick RSVP Form
Add Songs Requests
Inviting people to participate and personalize the event will make them feel more invested than if you simply list the place and time. The possibility to request a beloved song might convince them to RSVP to make sure the song will be played.
Ask Nicely to Ensure People Understand What RSVP Means (some people still think it’s optional)
Use an Image on Your RSVP to Attract the Eye and Drive Action
Use a Regrets Only Style and Assume Everyone’s ComingThis idea is best used with smaller audiences but it cuts down on the ambiguity that some people feel with the word RSVP. This message shows the host assumes you are coming unless you tell them otherwise.
Meeting Invitation Email
Just because you’re sending an internal invitation doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Check out these concepts that you could use for a team meeting invitation email sample.
Adding a countdown to your invitation creates a sense of urgency that will have people click on your invite to make sure they don’t miss what you have to offer.
Tell People What They’ll Learn in Your Conference Video Invitation
Paint the Picture of Your Host City to Entice Attendees with this Meeting Invitation Email Sample
Use a Cartoon to Deliver Your Message for Greater Attention
Ask Your Speakers to Invite Their Tribe for Greater Reach
This Email Meeting Invitation Sample Uses a Classic Font to Convey Tone
Choose a Serious Image Layered Underneath for Interest
Invite Agenda Suggestions for More Buy-in
Use a Strong Business Image
Present the Goal Up Front to Avoid Confusion
Business Invitation Email Template Ideas
If you’re sending out digital invitations for conferences or seminars, you still want to leave an impression. Here are some ways to do that:
Dance It Out to Stand Out
Use a Code to Track the Efficiency of a Campaign or Market
Name the Inviter to Create a More Personalized Connection
Use a Save the Date and Sign Up Button to Remind Attendees Later
Ask a Question to Draw People In
Highlight the Important Stuff so It Doesn’t Get Lost
Insert a ‘Convince Your Boss’ Section
Attending a seminar or a conference can represent an important cost for some companies, both in terms of ticket price and time away from the office. Giving all the reasons why the cost is justified can help potential attendees make their case to their boss.
Try a Simple Design and Highlight the Speaker
Feature the Resort to Drive Interest
Use Social Shares to Boost Attendance
Booth Invitation Email
Trade show booth invitation emails generally do not spark interest. They are usually lackluster invitations to a numbered booth that attendees never seem to remember when they get there. Here are a few memorable examples and inspiration you can steal to apply to booth invitation emails.
Use Movement to Get Attention
Send an Appreciation Gift and Invite People to Stop By
Use Comic Art for Your Booth Invitation to Inspire Adventure
Include Helpful Tips
By giving future attendees some advice on what to expect, you will make them feel more prepared for the big day and less stressed out.
Use Watercolor Layering Effects to Draw in the Audience
A Boarding Pass Design Can Elicit Thoughts of Going on an Adventure
Showcase a Unique Activation
If you are planning a unique experience at your booth, make sure to communicate that to future attendees in the invitation. Experiencing something different and unexpected can be a powerful incentive to visit your booth.
Give Away a Prize to Get More People There
Grab Them with ChocolateSometimes you only need a word or two and they put the most important ones first.
Company Event Invitation Email
If you’re sending out office party invitation emails, you need to contend with a crowded inbox and make the event sound appealing. Here are a few company event invitation email ideas that will get you noticed.
Include a Video of Previous Events
If your event is a recurring one, including a short video of the previous year’s event could help convince your reader to attend.
Classic Black and White Design (or Gray) Lends an Air of Sophistication to Any Invite
Use a Mask to Create a More Engaging Font
Using the ‘Mask’ option can help you create a distinctive feel to your invitation by replacing a traditional font color with a background relevant to your event.
Use a Fade on Your Background Image to Move the Eye Down the Page
Use an Image of Your Venue or Corporate Headquarters to Convey Corporate Tone
Describe Your Event in a Different Way to Get NoticedThis event invitation is for a spa day but you could do the same thing for your office party invitation using words to describe what you’ll do there.
Be Specific About Guests to Save Problems LaterEven office parties aren’t immune to people wanting to know if they can bring kids. If children are not invited, consider placing that on the invitation.
Use a Background that Fits Your Venue and Sets the Tone
Make it Rhyme
A few rhymes can add a bit of whimsy (and poetry) to an otherwise classic company event.
Teleconference Meeting Email Invitation
Teleconference meeting email invitations are all the same, right? They needn’t be. These examples include important aspects every webinar email invitation should have.
Put it All Together in a Simple Design to Respect Viewer’s TimeThis template from HubSpot has everything you need for a webinar. Social share buttons, room for a good image, banded call to action to get attention, and space for branding.
Make Good Use of Sidebars
Many layouts are available for emails (central alignment, horizontal blocks, etc.), but the classic sidebar can help organize the information and make the email shorter.
Address a Common Pain Point in the HeaderlRelate to your audience’s pain points by showcasing them in the header. If it speaks to them (and it should), they will be eager to participate. If there is more than one pain point, try A/B testing with segments of your list to find out which resonates best.
Personalize the Invitation for More Impact
Be Clear About Whether It’s Invitation Only or Open to Everyone
Make Them Feel Special
This example shows how you can make people feel part of an exclusive few while entertaining them with a good dose of humor.
Mention Other Upcoming Teleconference Events as Well
Give the Option for People to View in Their BrowserSometimes things don’t render properly on emails. Give the option to display in a browser so viewers don’t have a lesser experience. Let them see that beautiful email invitation design.
Use A/B Testing to Drive Sign-ups
While you may think that people will respond to a “Register Now” call to action, quite a few might actually prefer to click on a yes/no checkbox. To find out which option works best for your audience, segment your email list and send a small sample one version and another sample the other. Once you know which one works best, send that to the remaining email list.
Dinner Invitation Email
If you’re sending a dinner invitation email or a lunch invitation email, you don’t want it to look like a business meeting invite. Take a look at these captivating event invitation designs.
Use the Fairytale Appeal
Make your invitation stand out by appealing to your guests’ inner child and enticing them with an heir of fantasy.
Bright Lights Grab Attention
Make it Super Formal
For something like a formal gala dinner, it can be best to stick to a simple and highly formal invitation format. This will set the tone for the event and foster the right expectations in attendees. People RSVPing to this invitation know they’re doing something fancy and that they’ll likely have to dress to impress.
Ask Them to Join You (Use a Call to Action)
Reveal the Setting with Font Art
Be Thematically Consistent by Aligning your Language and Fonts with your Chosen Theme
If you choose a very specific theme for your invitation, go all the way and use coordinated fonts, colors and elements of language, like in this invitation based on the Maleficent movie.
Let Your Menu Be the Headliner to Make Mouths Water
Use a Rustic Backdrop to Put the Focus on Your Information
Give a Diner or Cafe Feel by Using a Chalkboard Texture
Using a chalkboard-like background with white font should summon memories of eating good food at family diners or cafes from your guests.
If It’s a Black Tie Dinner, Make it Obvious
This example uses a tuxedo with a bow tie to accentuate the black tie theme of the dinner. Using design elements that reinforce not just the theme but the criteria for entry will help to ensure that people actually meet it when they arrive.
Email Party Invitations
There are a lot of beautiful event party invitations out there including these tantalizing ideas:
Incorporate Illustration in the Text
Even simple embellishments like in this example can generate enough interest to cause the eye to linger on the invitation. Here, part of the glass is also the J in ‘Join Us’, and we appreciate the clever design.
Provide All The Details in One Place
Particularly when you’re issuing an invitation to an event you can be sure the recipient will go to -- a corporate event, a wedding, etc. -- providing all the information in one spot makes it easier for your attendee to find what they need: agenda, who will provide the music, the food, activities, and anything they might need to do in preparation.
Surprise Them With a Theme Disconnected From the Season
While the Christmas advertisements seem to come out earlier and earlier every year, it’s still unexpected to host a Christmas party in July! Conveying a quirky theme on the invitation is a sure way to inspire a sense of wonder and possibly FOMO in the recipient.
Use an Unusual/Unexpected Picture to Stand Out
Tell Your Story to Build a Connection
People love to hear the details of a happy love story. Why not use that natural predilection and tell your company’s happy story when you invite them to a party?
Set the Mood for the Event
Show Guests the Kind of Party It Is in an Image
Use a Strong Personality to Draw Them InIf everyone knows the host, use a first name and exactly why you’re celebrating.
Best Online Invitations
There are a lot of things you can do with digital invitations that you can’t do with printed ones. Here are a few ideas to get you started on how you can establish your event as having the best online invitations:
Entice Your Audience to Click with this Message
Include Calendar Save the Date and Links to Ensure Higher Attendance
Use a Vintage Design to Appeal to Both Young and Old
Combine Two Themes for Added Fun
Include a Map
You don’t want anybody to get lost on the way to your party, right? Including a Google Maps visual can help prevent that from happening.
Convey Your Message with an Ode to The Office PartyThis digital invitation to check out a dating app is hysterical.
Enable Friend Referrals to Get More AttendeesThis Facebook friend referral to a page is more apt to generate interest than a plain evite because a friend is asking the recipient to do something. And who can say no to a friend?
Lead the Eye and Solve a Problem
Deliver Invites by Text Message to Ensure They Get SeenMany digital invitation senders are now offering text message invite services. You can generally use the same evite template designs but instead of emailing them and fighting for attention in a crowded inbox, your digital invitation is immediately seen on mobile.
Now that you’ve seen 100 examples of event email invitations and your creative juices are flowing, let’s go over the necessities you want to be sure to include in each of your event designs.
What To Include in Email Invitations
An invitation, particularly for a social occasion, will often include this key information:
- keyboard_arrow_right Name(s) of those invited
- keyboard_arrow_right Name of hosts – personal as well as company or organization overseeing the event
- keyboard_arrow_right The event type – fundraiser, ball etc
- keyboard_arrow_right Day, date and time of the event
- keyboard_arrow_right Name of the location and the address. The zip code is not usually necessary in the US but postcodes are recommended in the UK.
- keyboard_arrow_right Dress code
- keyboard_arrow_right RSVP or response guidelines
- keyboard_arrow_right Additional information: e.g. parking arrangements, are children allowed, plus one, special requests/dietary, dining options, end times and so forth.
Nowadays with hectic schedules, many people keep their calendars electronically anyway, invitations are often sent via email or social media or even via an event app. Many guests prefer email invites because they have them with them at all times (no paper invitation to find to check dates and times) and for recipients who keep their calendars electronically, it’s easy to review the email invite and then add the date to their calendar.
Evites break the rules of formal invitation etiquette of the past. If you’re wondering about which format to use when you might want to consider the following:
Paper Vs Electronic/Digital Invitations
There are benefits of electronic invitations and benefits of traditional paper event invitations. If you are unsure which is right for your event and audience here are some things to think about:
TRADITIONAL PAPER INVITATIONS
- Event paper invites are more formal, cost money and require time and effort to set up which although can be a con in itself, it means they are taken more seriously by guests and as a result means your RSVP rate is naturally higher than with digital invitations. It is also a constant reminder to those invited, unlike emails which are easily buried and forgotten.
- Traditional invitations are tangible, which can mean they are more memorable and create a sense of exclusivity. It isn’t something that is received “every day” and is therefore quite a novelty.
- As they are addressed to someone specifically, it is clear who is invited and sets better boundaries surrounding the event rather than an email that could be forwarded on or extended to a wider circle of people.
- It is guaranteed to get there, especially if you pay for tracked postage so there is no mistake about people not getting the invite.
- In this world of social media, ironically sending traditional invitations probably means many guests will share the invitation with their social networks to ‘brag.’
- With design, printing, and postage this is the most expensive option. Bespoke designs using special paper, embossing, unusual sizes and paper cutouts can all increase the cost greatly.
- Unlike with emails, an attendee cannot simply recall the invite if they lose it which means they lose all the information and details as well and means they have no backup option other than to call the organizers and get a new copy or details sent out.
- Emails and digital invites are usually free to send if you send via email or one of the free email marketing platforms. A lot of event registration sites enable you to send evites directly from the system to keep everything consistent.
- Some tools allow you to create a professional design in line with your event branding, without any design experience. Alternatively, you can still pay a designer to create something impactful which will be uploaded and sent out electronically.
- Digital invitations are great for public events where there are no limits to the attendees and you are trying to encourage sign up from a large number of people. It makes it easy for people to forward details to their networks if it is an open invitation to a public event.
- Unnecessary printing is frowned upon and evites are definitely the most eco-friendly option for sustainability conscious guests.
- You can include a lot more information in an evite than an actual invitation, as well as adding more event sponsorship and advertising spots, which can be tracked.
- You can create interesting effects and have moving graphics on screen that aren’t possible with paper invitations (yet).
- Some guests may not have or check their email regularly and depending on your demographics you may find not everyone is email accessible. Spam filters can often block emails, particularly with graphics or if sent out to a mass email list, and this can cause a lot of perceived non-attendance when they actually just didn’t get the invite.
- If you need guests to take their invitation along to the event or to pre-print their badge, make it clear whether it is fine to show the invitation on mobile. Printing can be difficult and requires attendees to remember to do it and bring it along and some may not have the facilities.
- May not be suitable for formal, high profile or significant events, unless they are just serving as a reminder because it can come across as cheap. However, this is changing with younger generations preferring emails and texts. Many are making the switch for environmental and budgetary reasons and even some attendees to high-dollar fundraising events see the value in that. Wouldn’t you rather the nonprofit spend money on their cause than on paper and mailing?
- Evites can easily be missed in the swarm of emails that people get on a day to day basis and are easily pushed down the inbox and forgotten, especially when sending to business email addresses.
- An attendee may see the email and then go to respond to it at a later date and ‘lose it’ in their inbox meaning they can’t actually respond if they don’t know what to search for.
- As they are perceived as less formal and in some cases carry less of an impact (because people may not think of them as a personal invitation but rather a mass invite) you get a much lower RSVP rate, even if that is the action you are requesting.
An email invitation is a digital request for you to go somewhere or do something.
Electronic invitations, email invites, or evites are all common terms for an electronic communication about an event. They can be simply formatted into an HTML template or designed by a designer. Online email invitations these days may have moving/animated components that play when the recipient opens them (such as twinkling lights), while others have adopted full motion in the form of a video invite.
Ideally, you should think of an email invitation as a campaign rather than a one-time send. You’ll want to track clicks and opens for the insights they provide and you’ll want to sort your list based on these types of activity data.
Unlike a paper invitation, you will not send an electronic event invitation once and wait for responses to roll in. With evites, you have a much clearer view of how the recipient is interacting with your invitation and you should use that event intelligence to your benefit.
We hope that you are inspired by all the options email invitations can give, however, paper invitations are still a good choice for exclusive or formal events, particularly social occasions. For less formal events you may not be able to decide between paper or electronic. These questions may help you decide which fits best.
- keyboard_arrow_right Is it a once in a lifetime or exclusive event such as a wedding, awards ceremony or movie premiere?
- keyboard_arrow_right Is the event over a month away?
- keyboard_arrow_right Do you need more than a Yes/No RSVP?
- keyboard_arrow_right Are 30% (or more) of the guests not accessible by email?
- keyboard_arrow_right Is the event soon (less than a month)?
- keyboard_arrow_right Is it a regular event, e.g. a networking event or annual company retreat?
- keyboard_arrow_right Can you access over 80% of the guests via email?
- keyboard_arrow_right Is it for a professional audience?
- keyboard_arrow_right Does it require an RSVP at all and if so is it via an online registration process?
If you have answered yes to most or all of one category you should have your answer.
Just as there are components of a great paper invitation, there are many possibilities when it comes to electronic email invitations. Without a commanding subject line, recipients won’t open it. If they don’t open it, they’ll never come to your event.
Then there’s the content and the design. Do you select something animated knowing it will be a larger file to send or do you go with an email invitation that is simple and direct? Before we get into the specifics of email event invitation wording and reminder wording, formatting and the like, let’s go through a quick primer of online email invitations best and worst practices.
Do This with Your Next Invitation Email:
- keyboard_arrow_right Use a compelling subject line (We’ll cover this in a little bit.)
- keyboard_arrow_right Present benefits as to why someone should come but keep the wording brief. Marketers refer to this as a value proposition.
- keyboard_arrow_right Personalize event emails. They shouldn’t look like flyers that you’re sending to half the known world. If they do, people won’t feel obligated to RSVP because it will seem like a mass invitation.
- keyboard_arrow_right Consider sending a different email invite (or at least using a different subject line) to people who have attended your event before.
- keyboard_arrow_right Make them beautiful. Use a template, designer, or HTML expert to create a design that will set the tone for your event.
- keyboard_arrow_right Track clicks and separate your email list according to those who have opened your email and those who haven’t.
- keyboard_arrow_right Resend the email to those who haven’t opened it. Try sending at a time that isn’t traditionally a busy time to receive emails.
- keyboard_arrow_right Send reminder emails to those who haven’t RSVP’d but have opened your email reminding them about your event.
- keyboard_arrow_right Send email event reminders to those who have RSVP’d a few days before to build excitement and to ensure they haven’t forgotten.
- keyboard_arrow_right For conference invitation emails especially, provide social proof in the form of testimonials as to why your event is worth the ticket price.
- keyboard_arrow_right If you want to get the word out, enable social sharing buttons and use hyperlinks for quick access to information and registration.
Don’t Make These Mistakes on Your Email Invite. Don’t:
- keyboard_arrow_right neglect the design. A bad or boring email invite design will turn people off. Your event will look unprofessional and not worth the ticket price. Even if your event is free, you want your audience to see your efforts as worthwhile. You need to establish yourself as credible and doing that with a bad design is difficult.
- keyboard_arrow_right leave key pieces of information off the digital invite. Always give it to someone outside of your event to proof. Ask, what am I missing?.
- keyboard_arrow_right forget to check your invitation for grammar and typos. Spell check won’t catch all of you’re mistakes (see?).
- keyboard_arrow_right use an email invitation template “as is” for a very expensive event. Your email invite will look like everyone else.
- keyboard_arrow_right forget to segregate your list. Always use data to ensure good sends. Don’t send a reminder email to people who have already RSVP’d.
- keyboard_arrow_right place everyone’s email in the “To” line as this allows everyone to see who’s been invited. Your recipients will not appreciate that. Plus, you’ll always have that one person who responds to the whole group. Make sure everyone is blind-copied (BCC).
- keyboard_arrow_right mess up the personalization. We’ve all received communications that read <Dear firstname> because someone messed up the tech.
- keyboard_arrow_right forget to double-check the subject line. From misspellings to wrong dates, if the subject line is wrong they might not even open your email invitation. Watch for specific references to days such as “We have something to brighten up your Monday.” If the email gets delayed, you look foolish.
- keyboard_arrow_right send to the wrong list. Segregating lists is a fantastic idea but selecting the wrong one to send it to can cause a lot of problems. It can make you look like you don’t know what you’re doing like sending a “we hope to see you again this year” to people who have never attended.
- keyboard_arrow_right send the wrong electronic invitation design version. If you’re uploading your design, always send it to yourself first so you can make sure it comes through just the way you want it and that it’s the right version.
- keyboard_arrow_right forget to remove old emails from your list. If something bounces, check it for obvious typos like @gmail.co. That’s easy to fix. If it’s not obvious, and you have no other way of verifying it, delete it. Bad emails clog up your system and affect your send rate.
- keyboard_arrow_right use an email sender with a bad reputation. Your email invitations will likely end up in the junk folder.
Send Email Invitation Reminders at the Optimum Time for the Most Opens
We’ve stressed the importance of email reminders as well as the importance of segregating lists for those reminders. When it comes to email invites you have several types of reminders you want to send to the different groups based on action. There are reminders for:
Those who have registered.
These email event reminders should focus on building anticipation, reminding them of last-minute details and things they’ll need, as well as bringing your event to the top of their minds again.
When to send:
1-3 days before the event if it’s local. One week before if there’s travel involved.
How often to send:
once, no more than twice but only if there’s something you need from them like a dinner entree preference.
Those who have not registered but did open.
These people were interested enough to open your email invite but never registered. That means they either were unimpressed/uninterested after they saw the details, there was something that turned them off (as in the case of clicking through to registration and not completing it), or they forgot.
When to send:
a few days before early-bird pricing closes and then again before registration closes or the event begins. You can even send reminders every few weeks but….
How often to send:
Pay close attention to what they do each time they receive an email event invitation. If they open every time, you know they’re still interested. In this case, you may want to send another one. If they stay engaged, keep sending. If not, limit reminders to 3 times after the initial send.
Those who have not registered and didn’t open.
This group missed your email, purposefully or not. Since there’s no way to tell for sure, you need to send reminders.
When to send:
how many you send will be based on lead time before the event but a safe schedule would be a reminder a week after you sent the first, again a few days before early-bird pricing closes, and then again before registration closes or the event begins. If it’s a local event send one a week before the event, three days before, and the day of.
How often to send:
Again, pay close attention to what the recipient does each time they receive an email event invitation. If they never open it, they’re either not interested or they haven’t gotten it. If they do open one of the reminders, add them to the list above for those who have clicked but not registered. Remember, always keep a clean list. If you’re sending reminders, make sure that you know when they register. Do not keep sending reminders to people who have registered.
For reminders, always switch up the subject lines. Your reminder needn’t be (and probably shouldn’t be) an exact replica of the original invite. It’s possible a slightly different design will catch their eye in a way the original email invitation didn’t.
Another form of early reminder is a “save the date.” This is actually a prelude reminder. For these, always include a link to the event registration page even if it’s just a landing page with additional information. This will help you gauge interest early on. People who click through on a “save the date” announcement are obviously keenly interested.
Finally, these tips and send suggestions for email invitations are based on email, not electronic communication reminders in general. If you choose to remind people via Facebook Messenger or texts, you have little doubt that they are receiving your message. Do not send them multiple reminders. One reminder before any big change (like pricing closing) is enough.
This stands for Respondez, S’il Vous Plait, so if an attendee sees this on an invitation then a response is required. Correct etiquette is that guests should aim to RSVP within 2-3 days of receiving the invitation but this requirement to take action is eroding, unfortunately. Many event planners choose to add a clear deadline that means if you have not RSVP’d by then you will be removed from the list. This is primarily because some events are seated or catered and therefore knowing the numbers attending is essential.
How to Politely Decline an Invitation via Email
Some people are unsure how to politely decline an email invitation. So they may need a little prompting as it’s not as obvious as a card and a return envelope. Event planners should always include the RSVP details including who to contact and how, or add an RSVP link, text, or email.
This means you should only reply if you cannot attend and details of who to contact and how to reach them should be included.
add RSVP and Regrets only as this sends a mixed message.
Not Showing Up
Event planning takes time and effort and non-attendance is one of the biggest frustrations for event planners. If a guest has received an invitation, then replying is the proper thing to do whether they are interested in the event or not. Unfortunately, this courtesy is often forgotten.
As a penalty for replying in the affirmative and then not showing up, some eventprofs drop serial offenders from the guest lists for future events or charge a non-attendance fee.
Changing Your Mind
It is usually unacceptable to change your mind after RSVP’ing, except in cases of illness and family emergency, where you should try to give the host as much notice as possible. However, things do come up.
Always place a number or email on the digital invite for any last-minute changes so guests can contact you easily if they change their mind or have a change in circumstances.
Guests suddenly deciding that they are coming at the last minute can also cause problems for the host who may have already decided on the table plan. Last-minute attendees should give as much notice as possible and be prepared that there might not be a space for them.
Guests should always indicate whether or not they will be bringing a plus one on the RSVP if the invite extends them this option. If it does, the registrant should include the guest’s name. Attendees should never bring a plus one if they weren’t invited and the more notice and information about your guest that the host receives, the better accommodated they will be.
Make extended guests feel welcome: if your invitee does not give the guest’s name, reach out to them and ask. That inconvenience beats placing “and guest” on a name tag or at a place setting.
Generally, unless it specifically addresses children or states “children welcome” on an invitation, kids are not invited.
An idea on how to handle a hot situation: children can become a “hot button” with some people. Some eventprofs host babysitting at their events so that adult guests come without the children being a distraction at the event.
Invitations aim to give your guests as much notice of your upcoming event as possible to maximize the chances of people being able to attend. It is important to give guests enough warning but if you tell them too soon they could forget, especially if the date is months in advance and you offer no reminders. Therefore, if you are going to send invitations out very early you should always send a follow-up nearer the time.
For weddings, a “save the date” invitation will be sent a number of months in advance with a full invitation and details arriving at least 4 to 8 weeks before the day with an RSVP to organize a head count.
For other events, invitations can be sent out commonly around 4 weeks before the event start. Although public events and fee-paying events will be marketed and promoted long before this. Corporate events will be looking to open registrations at least 2-3 months or more in advance.
Many corporate events and conferences are also using electronic “save the date” and notices on their website and in their social streams so that attendees will add the event to their calendars early. Another reason why conference planners are using “save the dates” is due to the fact that some organizations require lengthy budget sign-offs to allow employees to attend conferences.
Send timing differs not only depending on the type of event but also according to the country. The US typically sends out event invitations with a longer lead time than event planners do in the UK.
Avoid Digital Mass Sending
As paperless invitations tend to be free or less expensive than paper and postage, it can be tempting to expand your list for a wider reach. This may not necessarily yield the desired results. Generally, digital invitations receive a lower response rate than print invitations. If you use a larger, less targeted list your response rate may be even lower. Plus, large sends that don’t get opened--or worse--marked as spam, could blacklist you and affect future sends. In today’s climate and with the existing spam laws, this could mean a very negative reaction to your brand.
Take Time to Create the Best Subject Lines for Email Invitations
A catchy subject line may be the only thing standing between your event and success. If your recipient doesn’t open the email, they won’t see the invite. Email recipients base opens on two things:
Who it’s from
The subject line
They already have an impression of you. Even if they don’t know you/have never heard of your organization, that is an impression (i.e., Who is this person? I’m not opening emails from strangers.) You can’t control this by the time you need to send the email. But you can send it from a human name at your organization and not “No-reply” or “events@.” Receiving an email from a real human (name) makes people more apt to open it (to the tune of 35%, according to research from Pinpointe Marketing).
According to HubSpot, 33% of people open an email based on the subject line so it’s incredibly important that you get it right if you want more clicks and less chance of being relegated to the spam folder. SuperOffice finds this number is actually closer to 47%. But whoever is correct, isn’t important here. The point is you need to craft a subject line with the same attention you give the invitation itself.
Follow this easy checklist in order to create the best subject line for the most email invitation opens:
The content is under 41 characters (or about 6-10 words). Keep it short to avoid a weird truncation on some phones.
The subject line is honest. Avoid claiming to have done something you didn’t (like talking with them about the event or using a fake reference from “a friend.”)
The spelling and grammar are perfect.
If using mail fields, every entry in your database contains that field. If you don’t have a first name for everyone in your database don’t use this or create a second option in these scenarios. Some studies have shown that personalizing the subject line yields more clicks.
If using humor, the style resonates with your audience.
It’s not generic.
If using a play on words or pop culture reference, it must work for your audience. For instance, don’t talk about your event being more entertaining than Fortnite if you’re sending it to members of the Silent Generation.
If your email invitation is a video, state that. Some people are more apt to open videos.
When crafting a catchy subject line the most important thing you can do is remember your audience and what appeals to them. For instance, emojis are becoming wildly popular in subject lines. They appeal to a younger generation and communicate feeling without a lot of words. Glance at an emoji and you know what that person is saying without having to read the text. However, some people find them annoying. If you’re unsure whether your ideal attendee likes emojis or finds them unprofessional, try A/B testing subject lines with and without them.
Finally, there are certain words that trigger spam filters. Stay away from these.
Now that you’ve perfected the best email subject line ever, it’s time to think about the wording on your invite.
What do you say to get your reader to click?
Much of your email invite wording is going to be comprised of the details of your event. So the wording we’re going to focus on in this section is the unique value proposition (why people should attend) and the few extra words you may include to help them self-identify as one of your tribe.
State the Event’s Unique Value Proposition to Drive Registrations
The unique value proposition should always be written from the guest’s perspective. What are they going to gain from coming to your event that they couldn’t gain elsewhere?
Mediocre event value proposition:
Learn from dozens of industry professionals.
This is okay. It speaks to the value behind getting all of this learning in one spot. But it’s hardly unique. If the potential attendee has an internet connection, they can likely watch videos of your speakers on YouTube and gain the same information.
A better event value proposition:
Meet <insert famous industry professional’s name> and learn about how s/he overcame <insert audience pain point>
This is better for two reasons. There’s an opportunity to meet or network with this person and the audience will learn the solution for something they’re currently struggling with. However, never make this offer if you know your keynote will breeze in and out before the guests finish dessert. If they have the opportunity to network with them, play that up. If not, use a different motivator.
If you don’t want to spotlight just one person, mention the benefit of attending in-person and the value they’ll receive from the sessions. Again, the more specific and directed to your audience, the better.
Event Slogans Communicate Your Mission
If you have room after the details and unique value proposition, consider a slogan or tagline for your event that will help people understand your event mission and set the tone.
Examples of these phrases include things like:
New Media Party’s “The Future is Wow!”
Facebook IQ’s “Small Screen, Big Discovery”
Another way to communicate what attendees will get out of your event is by using a memorable catchphrase. Dreamforce used “Blaze your trail to inspiration” on its website.
As we mentioned earlier, you’ll need to send your electronic invitation more than once to everyone who doesn’t immediately register. There are several kinds of reminders:
- keyboard_arrow_right A save the date reminder
- keyboard_arrow_right The event reminder
- keyboard_arrow_right Reminders for things attendees need to know, decide, or bring
Save the Date Reminders
These reminders are designed to do one thing, tell people about your event long before it’s time to register so that people can add the event to their calendar and leave the space open. Personal invitations do this and professional events are moving in that direction as well.
Sometimes save the date reminders also serve a dual purpose to announce where the next event will be held.
The wording is simple and should contain the basics of what your event is as well as the date. If you know the location, add it. If not, use that as a big reveal later.
Pro Tip: You can also ask if they wish to be placed on a list to advise them when registration opens. This is a good idea because it’s an early way to gauge interest.
The Event Reminder
The event reminder email should work the same way a sequel in a movie does. Yes, you may figure out things faster if you remember the original but it should also act as a standalone. You need all of the same information you had on the original email invitation just in case they never saw the first send.
Other words to include in an email event reminder should drive action such as:
- keyboard_arrow_right A countdown to the event or changes in ticket pricing
- keyboard_arrow_right Sold out notifications if certain tiers or tickets are already sold out
- keyboard_arrow_right “You don’t want to miss it” or “It won’t be the same without you. Register today.” language
Eventprof Bonus: Don’t simply resend your original invitation. Use this as an opportunity to employ some of the data you’ve figured out with people who have already registered. What did they click on and respond to? Reshape the design slightly taking these things into consideration.
Reminders for Other Things
Additional email event reminders needn’t contain reasons why they should attend. They’re already registered. Replace these with whatever it is you need them to know or they need to tell you. Make it bold so they know exactly what information you’re seeking. You likely still want to include the details there in case they’ve forgotten or want everything in a centralized place.
Free Event Invitation Email Template
As promised, below you’ll find a free email invitation template:
Finding the right words for your email event invitations can impact attendance. If your recipient reads your words on your free invitations and decides you are the type of group they want to spend time with they’re halfway to registering. On the other hand, if your words turn them off, you’ve alienated a potential attendee.
Here are some suggestions to use in the body of your free online invitation templates:
Hook them with a problem or desire they can relate to:
Longing to Create a Work Life You Love?
Tell them how your event solves this or helps them achieve their desire:
Freelancia’s Two-Day Conference has helped thousands of people make the jump to freelancing by giving them the tools they need to succeed.
Give specifics about how using “you” so the invitee can imagine themselves at your event:
Freelancia’s speakers walk attendees through developing solid business plans, getting their pricing right, and prospecting for clients. You’ll leave the conference with a huge network of peers and an actionable plan to start your business. Free yourself from the drudgery of 9-5.
Details of your event:
August 20-21, 2018, Main Library, 123 Oak Street, Granville, TX 12345
Early-bird tickets: $300 before June 1, After June 1 $500.
Give an RSVP date or deadline:
Register by 7/15.
Enable social sharing:
Freelancia is better with friends. Please share on your social networks.
Invite them to learn more:
Complete details and registration at www.freelancia.com
Free Event Email Invitation Checklist
Don’t send an event email invitation without the following components (unless you’re hosting some sort of mystery event or teaser campaign where you purposefully leave off critical information to be revealed at a later date):
Hosting organization/Title of Event
Date, time, location
Reasons to attend (you can leave these off of personal party invites)
Contact/RSVP/call to action
Landing page URL for more information
Social sharing buttons (for public events)
Additional components for digital event invites include:
- keyboard_arrow_right Dress/attire
- keyboard_arrow_right Directions/map
- keyboard_arrow_right Sponsors
- keyboard_arrow_right Photos from previous events
Invitations are just as important now as they have ever been, but the methods to send them and the etiquette to respond to them have changed drastically. Digital invitations tend to be more casual and distribution may be a challenge at times unless they are personalized and contain some element to help them stand out. If you want to grab attendees’ attention and drive registration, try some of these best practices in electronic invitation design to design email invitations.
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