how to craft the perfect invitation email to your corporate event
posted by Kay De Garay Jun 09, 2017
It should be a doddle, right?
Compared to all the technical and logistics planning involved in planning your corporate event, inviting the delegates seems like the easy bit.
But without some key things to think about, this simple job can easily become a headache later down the line. Having to chase people to register or having endless queries is the last thing you want when you’ve got so much else to think about.
Plus, the invite is the first impression delegates get of the event and the first opportunity to tell the event’s story.
So how do you make your delegates’ first impression feel as easy, quick and simple as possible?
There is a fine balance between communicating all the information delegates will need and causing information overload by throwing it all at them at once. Since your invitation email will be read on a screen or tablet, just like any other web content, you’ll be surprised to find that on average, people only read about 28% of the words on a web page.
When it comes to sending email invitations then, how do you get delegates to read the invitation and register quickly, without having to send a hundred more chasing emails?
Here's what works for us: Bold conciseness. Concise by leaving out filler words and irrelevancies, and bold by being visually obvious, whilst giving clear instructions what actions they need to take - one instruction at a time.
It sounds patronising but people just don't have time to read lengthy introductions or woolly instructions in an email. In fact, the longer the text, the fewer words are read. This means that the carefully crafted 300-word explanation to why this corporate event is being held, how it will transform the company’s vision of the future and change the world will sadly fall on deaf ears. Or, blind eyes.
People scan for the key points, so you have to make these as easy to spot as possible, especially when you need them to take action.
They want to know within a matter of seconds:
- What (on the first line ideally, no need for a long intro)
- And which button to click to get them there
Bullet points are very much your friend here.
We all love images and there’s good reason to: the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds. That's a whole lot slower than text, which we can only process one word at a time. So an event graphic that excites interest is sure to grab attention and entice people to read on.
However, if your invitations are going external, remember that many companies’ Outlook settings are set to block images. This is why you have to make sure that your key event details are shown in text and made obvious by the choice of font style, size and pops of colour. If the important details are only part of a graphic and this gets blocked, readers might simply assume the mail is spam and hit delete.
When it comes to opening emails, a full 55% of all email users admit that they don’t even open and read messages regularly–whether business or personal. This means your subject line has to grab their attention. Here’s how:
- Keep it short (50 characters with spaces or fewer)
- Lead with an action word (this prepares them that they need to do something)
- Include the company and event name (obvious, but this adds legitimacy that this isn’t spam)
For example: Register today for ABC Annual Conference: Leading the Future - Simple.
Timing your mailings is also key. We've had clients asking to send delegates a reminder to register last thing on a Friday afternoon, which we advise against as it's just plain ineffective. If it does get seen, it'll most likely end up in the to-do list for next week and by Monday it'll have been buried in the week’s to-do pile.
When needing delegates to register, we've always found them much more responsive in the mornings and earlier in the week. And where possible, avoid sending out any vital information close to public holidays. By the time they come back, your invite will have ended up in the do-it-later list again.
Overall, the best way to handle the delegate comms is to agree a mailing schedule in advance, so that no-one has to chase their tails as the event approaches and you have all the immediate issues fighting for your time.
Lastly, a quick note about reminders – make sure these are visually striking and give crystal-clear instructions. You don’t need to include the whole introductory pre-amble from the original invite, just focus on action words and the big button they need to press to take them to register. Simple and direct is key.
We’ve been refining our invitation email strategy for getting delegates to register on our bespoke Delegate Management Systems for years and we’re always analyzing what works best.
So we really do hope you find these tips useful for crafting your perfect corporate event invitation email.
And if you want any help with your event, we’re just a phone call, or indeed an email, away at firstname.lastname@example.org