How to write an invitation email to draw hundreds of attendees to your event
Aside from what kind of event you’re creating and how you are creating it, there is one very important factor contributing to whether a person decides to come to your event – an invitation. One of the most popular and effective ways of inviting someone is via email. Find out how to write an invitation email your recipient will say “yes” to.
Email marketing is a great tool. It works both for B2B and B2C. Why is it so great? Emails are personal (they land directly into people’s mailbox), customizable, action oriented (since they are focused on generating a click). The best part is… this action is 100% measurable. This gives you a chance to fully analyze your activity and adjust it accordingly. Another thing worth mentioning is that emails are very accessible as they are great on mobile. As a research from Return Path states, 55% of emails are opened on mobile. It shows how strong of a factor accessibility is.
According to DMA Insight’s 2017 email marketing benchmarks, the average deliverability rate for email was 98,3%, meaning that email reach most of the people they are intended for. Email marketing should be an important part of your marketing strategy. At the same time, the popularity and effectiveness of email marketing causes a great increase in the number of messages sent. As the latest Radicati Group Email Statistics Report shows, in 2018 people are expected to send and receive 281 billion emails per day! This means you need to make sure your email is interesting enough for your recipient to convince them to open it and click the link you sent them.
Components of email message
Writing a perfect invitation email depends greatly on your creativity. Nevertheless, there are some components that you can’t go without. Here’s a checklist of components that will make an invitation email a great one.
Professional email address (sender)
You need to build trust in your audience from the very beginning. Use an email address that will look serious and professional. It’s natural you don’t want to use your official work email since you may get a lot of answers or autoresponders replies. It’s good to keep this separate and simply hygienic. But remember that an email address like: sales@, invitation@ etc. shows straight away that it is a mass mailing. Sometimes though, you may not have any other option. Still, make sure that the sender’s name displayed belongs to a real person, the actual sender. Your email marketing software should have an option for you to write whatever you want as the email sender.
Eye-catching subject line
It should be the source of your main focus, as it is often a deciding factor for recipients whether to open the message or not. It should be something catchy, maybe with a punch. All sorts of word plays are allowed, you can also use idioms, famous phrases and everything else that comes to your mind. As long as it fits your communication and this particular target group. It’s good not to be too official – let your recipients feel that you’re a person too. Besides, remember that people get tons of emails daily, make sure yours stands out from that crowd.
It is the first thing the receiver sees once they decide to open your message. Make sure it’s well fitted to them. If you use a good email marketing software, you should be able to personalize the salutation for example accordingly to the sex of the recipient. Use the right tools to collect as much information about your users as possible. It will help you to better adapt content to your target group and make them feel more comfortable reading your message. Consider how you address them – officially or casually. Think for a moment how would you start a conversation in real life. Would you use official ‘Sir’ or a first name of this person? It all depends on your company’s individual communication style and this particular target group.
There are plenty of marketing automation tools, as well as such features in email marketing softwares. They allow you to collect data about users visiting your site and subscribing to your mailing list and, in effect, help you personalize your content better. Simple things like adding your recipient’s name in the salutation or the main text and other elements making it look like if that message was written specifically for her/him can really make a change. It shortens the distance by bringing you closer to the user and creating some kind of individuality in your communication. It will greatly help in message reception.
Keep it short – I know you really want to tell this person how great your event is – but no one is going to read that. I would say two short paragraphs are more than enough. Switch on your inner editor – get rid of any sentence that doesn’t bring any valuable information. Also, remember that the language you use (I mean the tone) should be adequate to your target group. If you are organizing a political event you obviously should use more professional language. However, you don’t always have to keep it strictly official – just think about how you would communicate with the recipients if they were face to face with you. You know your target group best, you should know how to talk to them.
It’s no secret that it is easier for a human brain to remember a picture than a text. So, no surprise here that it is one of the main components of email message. That’s why no matter how great your invitation is, you should still take care of the illustrations. Interesting, maybe a bit funny concepts are sometimes all that is required. But, what if your brilliant image doesn’t look so good on a mobile screen? And the text of the whole email doesn’t make sense? If your message is not responsive, don’t bother sending it – I mentioned in the beginning of this article that 55% of email are opened on mobile, remember? In the following paragraphs I’m elaborating this topic a bit more, so read on.
I would recommend inserting just one image into your email, so the message doesn’t get too heavy. It is also very important to maintain a “healthy” text / image ratio. If there if significantly more graphics than text in your message, it is more likely it will end up in spam folder. One more thing to remember – a picture should only be an extra to your message. Please, don’t ever create an email that is entirely an image. Why? Because many email providers block images automatically, so your amazing graphic won’t even show and in most of the cases users will quickly close your email or delete it.
Just as in a normal email you need to sign that message. With traditional letters we had handwritten signatures, you can also add it to your email as an image. It makes a great impression since it brings a recipient closer to the traditional communication. However, that is a nice touch, but the necessary thing is to add a signature with all the contact information that will allow your recipients to get in touch you if interested.
One thing is to make an invitation email with all the right information, a nice graphic and a personalized content, but is not all. In order for your campaign to be effective you need to make sure your message has all necessary components that can guarantee that your recipients will understand what you expect of them.
Highlighted benefits for the attendee
I already suggested you to keep your message concise, but make sure the most important elements are well visible. When inviting to an event you need to convince your attendee that your conference is worth their time and money. Show them why! If the person sees a value behind your event, they will want to be a part of it. All sorts of listings work really well. Use the right language of benefits to highlight all the reasons to come to your event.
Bold CTA (call to action)
You are sending your email campaign with a particular goal – to make people buy tickets to your event, sign up on the attendance list – in other words to join your event. Everything in this message should concentrate on getting people to complete this action. That is why you write a clear text, emphasize the benefits and put a bold CTA that will guide and encourage your attendees to do exactly what you wish them to do at the bottom of the message.
Apart from the one graphic you wanted to add to your message, you can also insert a banner that will catch people’s eye and also lead them to perform the action you intend – join your event. You can also use banners to navigate users to your website so they can learn more about your event. With the right tools, you will also be able to track those users. Marketing automation software will help you display them personalized content on the website. If your message didn’t convince them to sign up for your conference, maybe a little bit of lead nurturing will help them make up their minds.
Making your email nice and clean means not overdoing with colors, fonts, sizes, graphics and various styling razzle-dazzle mixture. When trying to emphasize some elements and keeping it concise, you may end up highlighting almost everything. Your readers won’t appreciate a whole circus made out of your message. It’s simply not good for the eyes, it is not pleasant to read and will definitely not lead people to accept your event invitation. Your main focus should be on the email recipient, so make sure you create a pleasant experience for all of the people who will open your message.
Cold email tips
People who receive your cold email invitation are not even warm leads – it takes a lot of creativity to coax them to open and read the email. Once you covered the creative aspect of your email, you have an interesting text that will make your recipients smile, you highlighted the benefits, you’re almost good to go. The last thing to do is to check some technical things that are crucial when it comes to cold emailing.
Good email marketing platform
I already spoke a lot in this text about the right tools in your email marketing adventures. I would like to emphasize that there are many available softwares you could use. So to choose the right one for you, you must list all your needs in regard that kind of service. To make things easier, I would recommend checking if a software has personalization features, SPAM testing, has user-friendly layout, is intuitive and allows you to easily create emails without the need of IT support. Emails are usually written in HTML so a programmer could do it easily, but it’s in your best interest to be independent and be able to create email campaigns without the need of IT involvement, and do it as convenient and fast as possible.
If you are planning to send your email to a wide audience, you may want to consider A/B testing. Especially if you have two ideas about your email campaign and cannot decide which is more effective. Let your users tell you which will perform better. A/B testing is a great topic in general, you can find our more about how to use it in event promotion in on our blog. Using this feature you can verify on a selected group of users for example which subject line will result in higher open rate or which CTA will generate more clicks. Use the small group extracted automatically from your database and pick the better message. Then send it to the rest of your contact list.
Before sending anything, check it for spam – there are special programs to do so. But there is something that you can do even before that: scan your text. Usually too many exclamation marks, specific words like “fantastic offer” or “best chance” and other typical advertising/selling collocations are the main reason why your emails get recognised as spam. Then, run an anti-spam test to see whether your message will not be considered unwanted by different email clients. Also, try to send it to different inboxes – just to check where will your message land and how will it look like on mobile. Even if you use predefined email templates instead of coding it from scratch you should check if everything looks the same on Gmail, Outlook and other popular email providers. There can be a lot of differences and you don’t want to risk having half of your user receiving a “broken” message.
Targeting your message
As mentioned before, the language of your email, the subject line, even the design depends on your target group. So choose it wisely. All of the elements mentioned here aim to create a unique experience for the reader. Targeting your message is one of them. Segment your user base as much as you can (without excess, of course) and create a corresponding number of email versions, each well-fitting that specific target group. For example, you will use different reasons to attend your event reaching out to people whose goal would be to generate leads at your event than talking to those who are looking to recruit new employees at the venue. Targeting your message will help you get a better conversion rate, meaning more attendees.
One of the marketer’s most powerful weapon is their language. Use it to make people fall in love with your event. Appealing to users’ personal preferences will get you better results, because they will simply be more interested in things they find valuable, useful or just cool. That is the kind of information your marketing automation tools should help you collect. Moreover, more advanced solutions have features that allows dynamic content implementation, so based on a given parameter, every user will get a personalized message.
I tried to cover all the necessary elements required to create great emails. Hopefully, you now know how to write an invitation email that will amaze your attendees. If you have any questions or suggestions on what I should add to this list, please let me know!