Invitations set the tone for any event. But how do you craft an event invitation that gets your guests excited to say "yes” to attending?
Roughly 75-85% of invited event guests will attend, but you can only reach these numbers – or higher – with compelling, personal invitations. Need some examples?
Throughout this blog, I’ll discuss what makes an event invitation compelling, share some must-have elements, and provide a few event invitation templates to help you get started.
Why Are Event Invitations Important?
Well-crafted invitations generate excitement and convey key details in a way that kickstarts a positive event experience. Your event invitations have the power to:
Drive interest and attendance: A compelling invitation piques interest and excites guests to attend the event, boosting event turnout. The more you highlight the amazing things invitees will miss if they don’t attend, the more FOMO you’ll generate. More FOMO = more reasons to register.
Set the tone and expectations for the event: The invitation provides initial information about the event's purpose, style, and atmosphere that helps guests know what to expect.
Reflect brand identity: Invitations allow planners and marketers to reinforce their organization or brand's visual identity through design elements. If promoting your brand is part of your event KPIs, make sure it’s clearly visible in your invitation. If your brand is well-known, use that to your advantage, and put your brand front and center to entice people to attend.
Provide essential details: Invitations should communicate key details like date, time, location, registration/RSVP info, and other information guests need to know. Of course, you can also include more specific details on an event registration page or in subsequent communications, so find a balance of critical information and exciting details for your invitations.
Create a lasting impression: High-quality, creative invites make a strong first impression and set the stage for an impactful event experience. If your invitations are dull, it’s not a huge leap for recipients to assume your event content might be dull as well. If your event outreach is interesting, enticing, and maybe even witty, your event looks a lot more promising.
Aid event planning: If your invitations offer an option for quick RSVP or immediately direct recipients to a registration page, this can help planners easily manage registrations and predict headcount. Once you’ve sent your invitations, you’ll get a sense of just how effective it was based on initial registrations.
What Should Be Included in An Event Invitation?
Event invitations are crucial for conveying essential details to potential attendees, helping them understand the event and decide whether to attend. A well-crafted invitation typically includes:
- Event name, date, time, location, and website or contact information
- High-profile speakers or featured content
- Registration instructions
- Travel guidance and location highlights
- Benefits of attending, especially including unique experiences
Pro Tip: Leverage event marketing software to streamline invitations, follow-ups, and analytics. The right platform can automate sending email invites and reminders to potential attendees and provide insights to optimize outreach through open and click-through rates.
With event email marketingsoftware handling communications and tracking effectiveness, you can create targeted campaigns that drive registrations and maximizes the impact of your event invitations.
What Makes an Event Invitation Successful?
While every invitation needs many, if not all, of the elements above, a truly compelling invitation takes a bit more finesse. Among the many event invitations I’ve come across (or that have come across my inbox, rather), here are a few elements that seem to set the most compelling apart from weaker entries.
1. Personalized Greeting
When you’re sending out invitations to your events, it’s not exactly a well-kept secret that everyone’s probably getting the same email. Of course, you might be blessed with a sophisticated set of lists catered to different audiences, but even so, your emails will all look essentially the same.
No one likes to be spammed with emails, so to help ensure your recipient knows you care about them as an individual – and not just another on your long listserv – for the love of all things marketing, address them by name.
It’s a small detail, and yet, surprising how many event invitations come across one’s inbox without a hint of pleasantry.
2. Front-and-Center Value Proposition
Another possibly obvious suggestion, but it warrants repeating if everyone hasn’t caught wind of this essential element: highlight your value proposition. Of course, attendees will need to know crucial information like the date and time of your event, but not before you show them why they should care about your event in the first place.
If recipients can’t immediately see the value of your event, will they even care to know when it’s taking place? Unlikely.
Whether it’s a rockin’ lineup of speakers, earth-shattering wisdom to be shared, out-of-this-world product releases, or simply a unique, can’t-miss experience, use your event’s biggest selling point to sell it to potential attendees!
3. Clear Call-to-Action That Actually Inspires Action
I won’t lie and say I’ve seen ground-breaking call-to-action (CTA) buttons that had me itching to click myself away to the landing page. I have, however, seen my fair share of fantastically dull CTAs that had me rolling my eyes at their direct, tactless attempts to sway me to “register here.”
CTAs should welcome action without being pushy, hint at next steps without being obnoxious, and be intriguing enough that one wants to see where that button will lead. Rather than the tired old standbys, try something like:
- Save me a seat!
- Avoid the FOMO: Click here
- The unforgettable awaits!
- I’m sold – sign me up!
4. Flaunt What Sets Your Event Apart
Many events within the same industry can look quite similar to one another. It’s a marketer’s job to make it clear what sets their event apart from the rest. This may be different than your value proposition depending on your audience and industry.
For example, if you have an amazing lineup of speakers and your event is the only one of its kind that offers attendees an opportunity to earn a certification, you’ll want to highlight both of those elements. Of course, the main value proposition should still take precedence in your invitation, as it should appeal to almost all of your attendees, whereas your unique element(s) might be more niche.
Such elements might include:
- Training and certification opportunities
- Interactive sessions
- Networking opportunities
- Workshops with professionals
5. Note What Makes a Recurring Event Worth Revisiting
If your company hosts recurring events, such as annual industry conferences, sales kickoffs, or companywide events, make it clear in your invitation what makes this iteration of your event different.
If someone attended your event previously and had an amazing experience, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re an easy sell. In fact, it may be the opposite. They’ve already attended once, so they may assume they’ve gained what they can from your event and don’t need a repeat performance. It’s your job to convince them it’s worth coming back to your event.
6. Insert a Sense of Urgency
As all marketers know, urgency sells. Of course, that’s not a hard and fast rule, but if you can convince your potential attendees they’re going to miss a great opportunity if they don’t act quickly, you just might convince them it’s true (and it helps if it is).
You can create urgency with phrases like:
- This event is selling out fast!
- Don’t miss this opportunity!
- The countdown begins…
- Take advantage of our early bird prices while you still can!
- It’s not too late to get a great deal on registration!
7. Offer Incentives to Attend
What do people love more than free stuff? Free stuff they win! If you’re able, consider offering incentives for competitions like early registration, being among the first to check in to the event, or plugging your event on social media.
Prizes can include free branded swag, access to VIP events, gift cards, vouchers for local establishments at your destination… the possibilities are endless!
8. Let Your Fans Do the Talking
Leveraging testimonials from past attendees or brand loyalists can not only lend credibility to your event and brand, but also might entice new invitees to dig deeper into your event and ultimately register.
9. Catch the Eye with Photographic Evidence
Sometimes, a killer photo from a past event or an image that really makes your venue shine can sway someone into at least learning more about your event. If you have great imagery, use it to your advantage! (And it doesn’t hurt to break up your email text a bit.)
10. Create Cohesive, Branded Communications
Branding is huge for event invitations. If your email invite doesn’t match the look of your event website, which doesn’t match the feel of your company website, you’re liable to confuse everyone (including your own team).
Ensure your email’s design mirrors the event website to create a unified, seamless user experience that doesn’t leave recipients going “HUH?!” when they follow your CTA link.
5 Email Invitation Templates
Different events necessitate varying approaches to invitation emails, each tailored to the event's unique features and the audience's expectations.
Here are 5 templates to ensure your event invitations are spot-on:
1. Webinar Email Invitation Template
Engage your audience with the value of the webinar. Highlight the key learnings to make it compelling for your attendees to spend time with you.
Subject: Elevate your skills: Exclusive webinar on [Topic]!
Hello [Recipient's Name],
You're invited to join our upcoming webinar: "[Webinar Topic]"!
When: [Date and Time]
Where: Online - join from anywhere!
Dive into the latest [Industry/Field] insights with our expert [Speaker's Name], who will be discussing [Key Point #1] and revealing strategies on [Key Point #2].
Learn cutting-edge techniques and tools
Engage with industry peers
Gain valuable insights that can be applied to your work immediately
Reserve your virtual seat now – spots are filling up fast!
CTA Button Text: Secure My Spot!
Looking forward to your participation and an engaging learning experience!
P.S. Can't make it live? Register anyway [LINK], and we'll send you the recording!
2. Product Launch Email Invitation Template
Create buzz with a blend of information and intrigue without giving away too much.
Subject: Be the first to witness our latest innovation!
It's with great excitement that we invite you to the exclusive launch of our latest innovation – [Product/Service Name]!
Date: [Launch Date]
Time: [Launch Time]
Location: [Venue/Online Platform]
[Your Company Name] is taking a giant leap forward, and we want you to be a part of this momentous occasion. Here's a glimpse of what to expect:
- First Look: Be among the first to experience the features and benefits of [Product/Service Name].
- Behind-the-Scenes: Hear the story of its creation from our visionary team.
- Live Demonstration: Witness the capabilities of our new product/service in action.
- Expert Insights: Gain valuable insights from industry leaders about the impact of our latest offering.
- Networking: Connect with like-minded professionals and industry influencers.
This is not just a launch; it's the beginning of a new chapter in [Industry/Field], and your presence would be the perfect addition to our celebration.
CTA Button Text: RSVP to Join the Revolution!
Spaces are limited, and anticipation is high. Secure your spot today and be part of the innovation wave with [Your Company Name].
P.S. Exciting giveaways and exclusive offers await our attendees. Don't miss out!
3. Conference Email Invitation Template
Outline the educational and networking opportunities, spotlighting speakers and sponsors to draw interest.
Subject: Connect, Learn, and Innovate at [Conference Name]!
Don't miss [Company Name]'s [Conference Name] with over [Number] industry leaders. [Conference Name] is more than just a conference; it's a collective journey toward the future of [Industry/Field]. It’s a place where innovation meets opportunity.
Date: [Event Date]
Time: [Event Time]
Location: [Event Venue]
This year, we're excited to bring together an exceptional line-up of speakers, thought-provoking panel discussions, and unmatched networking opportunities.
What's on the Agenda?
Insightful Keynotes: [add details]
Interactive Panels: [add details]
Networking Opportunities: Connect with peers, industry leaders, and potential collaborators.
Exclusive Workshops: [add details]and after-hours events!
Whether you're looking to gain deeper industry insights, foster meaningful connections, or showcase your latest work, [Conference Name] is the place to be.
CTA Button Text: Secure Your Early Bird Pricing!
Secure your spot and take advantage of our early bird rates by [Early Bird Deadline].
Please find the detailed event schedule and speaker lineup here [LINK].
We look forward to welcoming you to a transformative experience of learning and networking.
P.S. Stay in the loop! Join the conversation on [Social Media Hashtags/Platforms] and get live updates leading up to the event!
4. Awards Event Invitation Template
Celebrate industry excellence by detailing the event's purpose and honoring nominees without spoiling the surprise for winners.
Subject: Join us for a night of excellence at [Award Ceremony Name]
Join us on [Date] at [Location] for a night of recognition at the [Award Name] awards.
As we gather the brightest in [Industry Name], the [Award Name] will honor the outstanding achievements and innovations that have propelled our industry forward this year. This year's categories span [List a few categories], and the nominees have set new benchmarks for us all.
We look forward to applauding their contributions and sharing this memorable night with you.
Let us come together to raise a glass to those who have led the way with their vision and dedication. Please join us in what promises to be a night to remember!
CTA Button Text: Support your peers – RSVP by [Deadline]!
View the full list of nominees and event details here [LINK]!
5. Customer Appreciation Event Invitation Template
Express gratitude and center the event around the customers, offering a personalized experience.
Subject: A special thank you from [Company Name]!
We want to celebrate YOU!
Join us for an evening dedicated to our stars – our customers.
You're Cordially Invited to [Your Company Name]'s Customer Appreciation Night!
Date: [Event Date]
Time: [Event Time]
Venue: [Event Venue]
Here's what we have in store for you:
- Gourmet Bites and Sips: Indulge in the finest flavors our chefs have to offer.
- Live Entertainment: Enjoy the melodies and moves from some of the best performers in town.
- Exclusive Perks: Be the first to get a sneak peek at our upcoming products and services.
- Heartfelt Conversations: Mingle with our team and share your stories that inspire us every day.
- Surprise Gifts: Because a party without a present is just a meeting!
Your presence means the world to us, and we can't wait to celebrate the evening with you.
Dress to impress, and join us for a night that's all about celebrating YOU.
CTA Button Text: Save my spot!
Parting Tips for Successful Event Invitations
Creating an engaging invitation for an event is crucial to boosting registration. A compelling invitation entices potential attendees, reflects the event’s value, and provides critical event details.
As you begin drafting your own event invitations, I have a few more tidbits for you to keep in mind:
Design your event to intrigue: Whether it’s a snappy event name or intriguing tagline, your event should sell itself as much as possible.
Always follow up: Like any good communication strategy, your event invitations shouldn’t be a one and done situation. Craft a marketing strategy that includes timely follow up, offering new information and incentives to register as you get closer to the event.
Help attendees plead their case: If you’re hosting a ticketed event, you don’t just need to convince attendees it’s worth it – you need to convince their employers or stakeholders. Whomever is holding the purse strings has final say, so consider including a one-pager with benefits of attending that prospective attendees can share to get buy-in from their higher-ups.
Measure the success of your event invitations: As with any marketing communications, you don’t want to fire off your invitations blindly. Use marketing email software to track open and click rates, and compare these to registration numbers to help evaluate the success of your invitations for future reference.
Survey attendees: To measure the success of your events, and to understand what convinced attendees to register, use online survey software to send and analyze results easily. Pro tip: Studies show sending survey invitations on Mondays yields the highest response rates.
Whether hosting an intimate gathering or a major conference, crafting strategic invitations is vital. Leverage these tips and templates to create event invitations as memorable as the events themselves.