Get inspired for your upcoming event, webinar, conference invitation email campaign by these 19 event invitation email templates & 19 subject.
Send out invitations at least six weeks before your event if possible. The invitation style should provide guests an idea of the nature of the event, whether casual, formal, academic, athletic, etc. and should answer the questions who, what, why, when, and where. If you use the campus logo, it should appear on the invitation appropriately. Creative Services can create custom materials tailored to your event and your audience, including the writing, design, and printing of invitations.
Public Affairs offers invitation templates that can be customized for your event.
When writing your invitation, remember to include:
Create a spreadsheet using Excel or similar software. Manage your list and use it as a database with categories such as first name, last name, title, and address. This database will be useful in creating nametags, table assignments, etc. If your event is annual, you’ll be able to add and remove names as necessary throughout the year, so it’s always ready to use.
Ask the guest of honor (if you have one) for input on the guest list and compare the size of your guest list with the size of your venue. Consider issuing “courtesy invitations” to people who aren't likely to attend, but would feel honored to be invited. Remember to use campus mail whenever possible to save money.
The response card is enclosed in the invitation with an envelope and postage is marked. Designate your response deadline at least one week before the event.
If you have a large guest list, make sure you can handle the increased volume of phone calls; someone must be available during business hours to receive the calls. A voice mailbox may be established that includes a message informing callers that they have reached the appropriate place to leave an acceptance or regret. Ask respondents to spell their name and their guest’s name.
Make sure the e-mail address you provide has room in its inbox for all of the responses.
You can simply estimate the number of attendees. This would be appropriate if you are not serving food, and you are not worried about the size of the crowd.
For larger mailings, you may want to hear only from those who are planning to attend in order to reduce the number of phone calls, e-mails, or reply mails. Ask whether guests need a vegetarian meal, but don't ask for general food preferences, or you’ll be inundated with special requests.
Confirmation cards are sent out confirming the acceptance after it is received. They can help ensure attendance and minimize confusion. Consider using them if:
Next step: Promoting Your Event
You can make your event invitation-only in Step 3: Additional Settings. Go to the Edit page for your event and access the Listing privacy section to mark it as.
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.
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.
Do not: add RSVP and Regrets only as this sends a mixed message.
Consider this: 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.
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.
Pro Tip: 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.
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.
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:
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 “[email protected]” 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).
Article first published February 2015, updated February 2019.
You may have composed an email invite for an event or two in your time.
But have you ever wondered what elements of an email invite compel people to convert?
In this post, we’ve pulled a few invite emails taken from our email design gallery and analyzed them for conversion.
We’ve outlined what they did well and offered some advice on how they could be improved, with the goal of giving you some ideas you can apply to your next event invite email to increase ticket sales and attendance.
Image: Really Good Emails
Image: Really Good Emails
Image: Really Good Emails
Image: Really Good Emails
Image: Really Good Emails
Across these 9 event invite emails, we’ve seen a number of things done well and a number of areas for improvement. Here are the common themes that you can learn from to help increase the conversion rate of your next event invite campaign:
Start creating your own event email from a free email template here.
Event invite campaigns are an incredibly important part of your event promotion and planning. They are a great way to get the word out about your event to customers, leads & contacts and can help drive ticket sales and get attendees through the door.
So take these tips on creating a great event invite email, apply them to your next campaign and let us know how it goes!
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Planning a corporate or work event? Browse our wide selection of online business invitations with styles ranging from classic to contemporary.