Planning an event is an exhaustive (and exhausting) process. From idea, to planning, to execution, there’s one thing no event can go without: guests.
Which is why creating the perfect event invitation email is essential.
In this article, we’re going to show you what your event invitation email requires in order to be effective, as well as provide you with email samples and templates for various types of events to help you level up your event email marketing campaigns.
Table of contents
What makes an effective invitation email?
Whether you’re using an email invitation template or coding from scratch, there are a few things that make any invitation email more effective.
Before we get into the specifics, here are some structure and branding ideas to improve your email invite performance.
Event invitations that come from your business email rather than your personal address are more likely to capture a reader’s attention. That’s because business emails carry more authority and assure guests that the event is official and sponsored by your company.
It’s important to make sure to set the send name to your company name on your invitations. Alternatively, if you want invitations to come from an individual, include the company name somewhere in the subject line.
With well over 300 billion emails sent and received every day, inboxes are crowded by nature. If you want your invitation to stand out and have a chance of being seen, your email subject lines need to inspire the click-through. Now’s not the time to play coy about what your event has in store.
Your event invitation email’s subject line should feature the most exciting, interesting, intriguing aspects of your event in order to boost open rates. Save the less interesting event details for inside the email itself and focus on writing a catchy subject line instead. It’s a crucial part of every email marketing strategy.
Preview text displays either directly next to or below the subject line.. This so-called ‘second subject line’ gives you a second chance to explain what’s inside the email and incentivize recipients to open it.
While there’s no magic subject line and preview text formula that will guarantee your audience’s attention, focus on being both exciting and informative and include the event name. That way, readers know why they’re clicking and what to expect once they do. This will have a big impact on your email’s click-through rates.
If an email recipient misses your send name, your header logo can serve to remind them who's invitation they’ve just opened. Your logo design is the heart of your brand, so make sure to feature it prominently in the email design of all of your invitation email campaigns.
For event marketing especially, consistent use of your logo (from invitations to cocktail napkins) will build brand awareness and recognition. This helps to make your brand memorable, which boosts the chances that your events deliver a return on investment (either right away or, long after the event is over).
Your company’s logo isn’t the only element of your brand design and identity to feature in your invitation emails. You also need to consider your company’s colors, fonts and image style.
Portraying consistent brand assets will help your event invitation emails to build on the brand awareness generated by your other marketing efforts. After all, events can be an expensive investment, so ensuring they are aligned with your overall marketing efforts and process will help you to get your money’s worth.
As much as the body copy of your event invitation emails needs to be functional, it also needs to be exciting. Why people should attend your event, not just how or when, should be front and center in your email content. Even if you think you’ve gotten your point across, take a step back to ask yourself:
What is your audience looking for in an event?
Are you motivating people to attend this event?
Does it sound interesting?
Is your value proposition and its biggest selling points being pushed?
Would you want to attend this event if you weren’t running it?
If you have a world-famous speaker or an open bar, mention those in your invitation email to drum up interest and build anticipation.
Some aspects of an event look better than they sound. WhenFor highlighting things like location, venue and swag, you should show, not tell. Rich media like photos of your venue or videos of your speakers will likely motivate attendees to RSVP more than your descriptive copy.
Aim to keep your content snappy, as readers may otherwise lose interest and click away. An image, video or gif can cut the number of words you need to use to get your point across. You can always follow -up with a more detailed text-heavy reminder email later, if required.
Space is at a premium in your event invitations, so be sure to choose an event email invitation template that keeps things short, as well as a prominent call- to- action button (CTA button) leading to a landing page.
If you can’t convince people to attend your event in the first few paragraphs, adding five extra paragraphs won’t help.
You started your event invitation with your name and logo and you should aim to finish it the same way.
Including your brand name, colors, logo and links to your social media in the footer lets unconvinced readers check you out online and potentially change their minds. In doing so, they might be persuaded to attend your next event.
Types of events and event invitation emails
Different events have different selling points and different needs, and so do the emails you send out for them.
To help make things a little easier for your events team, we’ve put together a few event-specific tips and event invitation email templates. With these tips and event invitation email examples, you can be sure you’re sending the best event invitation possible, for any event.
These online, interactive seminars offer a quick way for office workers to brush up on industry-relevant information. When you’re inviting your audience to the webinar, you need to make sure they know why it’s worth their while.
Focus your email invitation on explaining what attendees will learn from your online event. Get to the core of your webinar’s takeaways, emphasizing exactly what attendees will get in return for an hour or two with your team. You can use this email invitation template as a way to remind your audience about an upcoming webinar:
There’s just one week left until our [Insert topic of presentation] webinar!
[Insert date and time]
If you’re still making up your mind about whether or not to attend, here are [Insert number] reasons to attend:
[Key learning #1]
[Key learning #2]
[Key learning #3]
[Key learning #4]
Can we look to see you there?
Whether they’re taking place online or offline, exclusive sales let you create a sense of urgency while treating your best customers to a VIP experience. However, invitation emails for sales need to look like more than just a cash grab. Focus on the exclusivity of the event, along with benefits and discounts.
If you’re offering a free gift with purchase or 50% off, emphasizing those points in your event invitation will guarantee increased attendance. Remember not to skimp on the fine print as it’s better for customers to know details and exclusions before they shop. Here’s what an exclusive sale email might look like in action:
[Name], you won’t want to miss this!
This [Date], we’ll be offering up to [Discount percentage] off our [Relevant products], available exclusively to our [Loyalty tier] customers.
Join us online or in-store to enjoy the best deals of the [Time period]—just for you!
Announcing a new product to the world can be exciting (and terrifying) for any company. When you bring an audience into the mix, a product launch can be a daunting task. Whether you’re inviting people to join you in person or via a live webcast, you’ll want to generate hype in your invitation emails without spoiling the surprise entirely.
While webinars and exclusive sales require you to be upfront with why attendees should show up, product launches need a little mystery. Remember: the whole point of the launch is to make a big, splashy announcement. This becomes almost impossible if your event invitations spoil the news. Here's a product launch announcement email invitation template to inspire your own:
Have you heard the news? Something big is coming from [Insert company name].
On [Date and time], we’ll be launching our [Insert new product or service name] live at [Location].
Be the first to learn everything about [Insert new product or service], as well as receive exclusive access to [Benefit of attending].
Get on the list today!
Whether you’re focusing on education with a seminar, or spotlighting products with a tradeshow, hosting conferences and business events can boost your profile as an industry authority.
On the educational side, email invitations for seminars should highlight key takeaways attendees can look to receive. If you have high profile speakers presenting or on your panels, dropping those names in your invitation emails can help push people towards purchasing their tickets for your upcoming event.
If you’re throwing an industry-specific trade show, feature the companies in attendance as sponsors, along with any relevant educational sessions they’ll be hosting. You can be a little more niche here, since attendees will normally be limited to a particular industry.
For all conference events, don’t be afraid to go beyond business. If you’ve got afterparties or after-hours events, emphasize these as networking opportunities. This will show attendees additional value in your conferences, beyond just what’s said in booths or onstage. To get you started, take a look at this conference invitation email template:
[Company name]’s annual [Insert conference name and type] is fast-approaching. This year, we’re going bigger than ever before, with [Number] expected guests, [Number] speakers, and [Number] networking events—all in just [Number] days.
Featuring presentations from:
And [Speaker #3]
Along with afterhours events and activities hosted by:
And [Sponsor #3]
You won’t want to miss out on [Name of conference]!
Tickets start at [Price], with prices going up on [Date].
Looking to celebrate the stars of your industry, customers or company? An award presentation is a powerful way to show appreciation and win a little loyalty in the process.
For award events, attendees should know the categories of awards, nominees and any entertainment accompanying the awards. That said, if someone is nominated for an award, they shouldn’t find out from your event invitation email. A separate email informing nominees should also go out so they’re not the last to know. This is what an award invitation email sample might look like:
You’re invited to join us at [Location] on [Date and time] to celebrate the [Name of prize] awards.
This year’s event will feature [Event activity or attraction] and [Event activity or attraction], to mark the occasion.
Honoring [Area of focus] across [Scope of award], the [Name of prize] is all about [Purpose of award]. This year’s nominees include:
[Nominee #1] in [Category #1]
[Nominee #2] in [Category #2]
[Nominee #3] in [Category #3]
For full details on the nominees and categories, along with information on [Name of location], visit [Website link].
Hope to see you there!
Customer appreciation event
Awards aren’t the only way to show customers a little love. Customer appreciation events bring your best and biggest customers together in one room. While these can have an educational element, the focus here is human connection, which your invitations should emphasize accordingly.
Tell customers you’re excited to see them in person, explain who they can look forward to meeting and show what else their event will include. Customers are the stars here, so your invitation emails should put their experience in the spotlight. Here’s an example of a customer appreciation event invitation email template you might send out:
We know these emails are typically all about what’s going on at [Insert company name], but this email is all about you.
[Company name] wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for people like you, so we’ve put together a little something to show our appreciation.
On [Date and time], you’re invited to join the [Company name] team and other [Company name] customers to celebrate the people that make this company great—our customers!
Aside from a chance to mix and mingle, you’ll also be able to enjoy:
And a few special surprises!
Say you’ll be there?
Executive retreats and incentive programs
These exclusive events give your organization’s biggest players a chance to talk strategy, while also giving them time to unwind. A mix of business and leisure makes these events unique. It also makes the way you structure your invitations important.
While you’ll want to highlight the location and leisure time, providing a schedule for the business components of the event ensures attendees know their obligations before clicking “‘Attend”’. Take a look at this sample option:
As a member of our [Tier of company position] team, we’re pleased to invite you to [Company name]’s annual executive retreat, hosted this year in [Location]. As a reward for your contribution to [Company name], we’ve designed this week with you in mind.
With the opportunity to connect with other [Tier of company position] team members and enjoy the sights and sounds of [Location], the executive retreat offers top tier networking and top tier experiences.
For a full schedule of meetings and activities, please visit [Website link], where you’ll also be able to register for additional activities taking place around [Location].
Confirm your attendance by [Date] to guarantee your spot.
Charity events can offer an opportunity for networking and relationship management. Whether you keep your charity internal or invite external parties to join your cause, that cause should be clearly stated in your event invitation email.
A vague charity golf event with no clearly stated cause might make for a good time, but it doesn’t make for a good look. This is especially true if your business is trying to grow its philanthropic efforts. Here’s an example of a charity event invitation email template, to inspire your own:
From day 1, [Charitable cause] has always been important to [Company name].
Through the years, we’ve worked hard to benefit [Charitable cause]—from our [Example 1] to our [Example 2].
And we’re only just getting started.
This [Date and time], you’re invited to join us at [Location], to help us raise funds for [Charitable cause]. Activities will include:
And [Activity #3]
With all funds raised going towards [Name of specific charity]. If you’re unable to attend, you’ll still be able to contribute online, through [Donation link].
Thank you for your help and hope to see you there!
Executives aren’t the only ones who benefit from mixing work and play. Large-scale team-building events bring different departments together and create new connections within your company.
Beyond offering internal networking opportunities, team-building events can also re-enforce your company’s culture and brand, and it all starts with the event invitation emails you send out.
You can begin by leveraging your brand logo, colors, fonts, images, visuals, messages and values in your team-building invitation emails. This step adds a sense of authenticity to your brand, while also priming employees for any culture-related team building activities. Here’s a team-building invitation template to inspire your own:
The [Company name] team is getting ready for our [Name of event] team-building day. We’ve been planning this event for a while and now there’s just one thing missing—you!
On [Date], we want to invite you to put away your work for the [Time period] and join your fellow [Company name] teammates in a few fun activities, like:
Feel free to break the usual dress code and pop on your [Company name] swag for the day, or pop on your favourite casual outfit to [Activity #1], [Activity #2], and [Activity #3] in.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
All work and no play can leave both your employees and customers feeling a little down. So when you’re celebrating a holiday, anniversary or milestone, make sure your invitation emails are appropriately fun.
Feel free to get a little more creative on these invitations (while still staying appropriate for the context). A simple example of a party email invitation template might look like this:
[Company name] is throwing a [Reason for the event] party, and we want to see you there.
Need the details?
[Date, time, location]
Not convinced? Here’s what you can expect:
And a few other surprises we’ll announce closer to the date.
RSVP with your details by [Deadline date] to reserve your spot.
Whatever kind of event invitation you’re sending out, focus on your target audience and the people you’re inviting. Your invitation emails should inspire excitement in your audience. Still, you need to be informative enough that attendees know all the important details about your event. Here are a few guiding takeaways to help your email invitations stay human:
For webinar invitation emails, explain upfront what people will learn before they spend an afternoon attending
With select sales, a sense of exclusivity can be just as important as a discount
When it comes to product launches, people are more excited by anticipation than the news itself
With conferences, give a list of learnings upfront, while also highlighting networking opportunities
For most attendees, awards are just as much about the entertainment as they are about the winners
If you’re looking to throw a customer appreciation event, keep your focus strictly on customer experience
Charity events can be a lot of fun, but people will be skeptical if the cause gets lost in your invitation email content
While executive retreats are about giving top players a getaway, you still need to set expectations for productivity
When you want to get some team building in, bring your brand front and center to make your efforts more authentic
As for parties, the rule above all else is to remember to have fun
If you wouldn’t want to receive your event emails, chances are your invitees and subscribers won’t either. So, stay human and watch your event attendance numbers soar.