18 Event Invitation Emails Proven To Work
Looking for a bit of promotional inspiration? Read this list of event invitation email examples to learn what goes into creating an effective message to turn your audience into attendees.
How do you create the perfect email? The short answer: there is no such thing.
But there is such a thing as crafting the best possible email for your specific goal, like when creating event invitation emails as part of your event marketing strategy.
If you're holding a virtual event, you have to stand out from the crowd. If you're getting back to in-person events, you have to convince and convert as folks get used to the new normal.
Many factors come into play when crafting an event invitation. We’ve compiled a list of exceptional event invitation examples and organized them based on qualities that constitute a great email: driving action, promoting your brand, keeping it simple, and getting engagement. The last category, X-factor, is for those event invitation emails that just get it, ya know?
To learn even more about email marketing best practices for events, check our guide to the 9 essential virtual event email examples.
5 Categories of Event Invitation Emails
Understanding the impact of emails based on characteristics as opposed to labeling all of them as “good” is a much more effective way to come up with a personalized strategy that aligns with your objectives and email segmentation. There are plenty of great emails out there, but the focus of this pieces is to distill why each one is effective and to replicate that into your own email. We hope this list helps you to achieve that with your event invitation emails.
To navigate this list, click on a category below to be brought to examples that illustrate that particular trait.
The point of an email is not to solely communicate information but to drive a specific action. In the case of event invitations, the action that should be taken after opening the email is to register for the event. There are a number of different ways to do this and the following examples typify how to drive action from the readers most effectively.
1. Saastr: back to in person
One of the biggest tech conferences in the US, SaaStr went back to in-person for its annual event in September 2021.
The messaging is bold, excited and (more than anything) urgent. You see "in-person," and two different versions of "back" (complete with two exclamation points) in fewer than 50 words of copy. SaaStr also includes a special offer in this announcement email: two tickets for the price of one. We're sure this is designed to incentivize people to get back on the in-person event train and drive early excitement with still a few months to go.
Key takeaway: If you want urgent action, make your messaging urgent. SaaStr didn't shy away from good old direct response copywriting tactics for this one.
2. INBOUND: Urgency Through Humor
This email’s specific call-to-action is to encourage the reader to register before the deadline. Instead of creating urgency through straightforward text, the email does so through humor.
HubSpot’s INBOUND achieved this perfectly by using a gif of the now infamous Robert Kelly BBC interview. By using a topical viral video and angling it in a way that remains in line with the email’s core message, the reader is both entertained and informed. The body of the email remains sparse as the header and GIF do most of the communicating. This is an excellent example of how urgency does not need to be overbearing. It can actually be funny.
Key takeaway: When using humor, make sure the joke is relevant to the main message of the email to effectively drive action.
3. Event Stack Webinar Series: Multiple Buttons, One Action
In 2020, 306 billion emails were sent and received every single day. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people often lose track of what a particular email wants for them to do. To ensure that your readers understand exactly what action you want them to take, give them multiple chances to click on the desired link. In the case of event invitations, the key action is to have them register for the event.
This webinar invitation from Bizzabo places the CTA in three different ways. The first is in the email header, the second is a hyperlink in the body text, and the thirds is the final CTA button. Although doing this may seem redundant, being repetitive in this case will only further emphasize the purpose of the email and make the reader more aware of the webinar registration.
Key Takeaway: Add multiple CTA buttons that lead to the same landing page and help to further emphasize the important of the action to readers.
4. Sumo Webinar: Obvious Value Proposition
When it comes to attending an event or webinar, the most valuable investment that the attendee is making is not their money, but their time. Thus, a focus in all event invitations should be to clearly explain exactly what the reader will get out of the event if they attend. Doing so will drive action more quickly and effectively.
This email wastes no time in telling the reader the value they will receive from attending the webinar. By boldly stating that the webinar will help increase eCommerce revenue by 50%, the reader immediately understands the benefit of attending the webinar and thus spurs them to take action more quickly. The sooner the reader knows what’s in it for them, the faster they will decide whether or not they want to end.
Key Takeaway: Let the reader know, as soon as possible, what he or she will be getting out of the event. Making the value prop clear and specific will help to drive action.
Staying On Brand
Event invitation emails are an extension of your event brand. Thus, making sure the brand is represented accurately and consistently throughout the email is key to an event invitation. Doing so will ensure that the reader associates the email with your event and in turn will keep your event brand top of mind.
1. sxsw: remember us
Arguably one of the most popular conferences in the US, SXSW works as everything from a tech event to a music festival.
After cancelling the major Austin event in 2020 and going all-virtual for 2021, SXSW is ready to get back to in-person in 2022. The event might be months away, but that didn't stop the fantastic event marketers at SXSW from sending out a little reminder once participation opportunities were ready to go live.
By sending out a simple, on-brand message, SXSW was able to create excitement about its return to Austin and drive early interest in everything from sponsorships to volunteer opportunities.
Key Takeaway: Not every event email has to point to registration. Build up interest in your brand by messaging the value of your event early and often.
2. Percolate: Custom GIF
Percolate is a content marketing platform that was looking to promote their annual conference, Transition, by having a ping-pong party the day before the event. This email is in line with previous examples of simplicity and fantastic design but this one particularly stands out because the customized GIF is directly relevant to the event. Creating an on brand visual that is unique and simple is a good way to capture the reader’s attention. The more branded you can make the invitation email, the more memorable it will be.
Key Takeaway: If the resources are available, create a customized GIF that goes well with the message to keep the email invitation completely on brand.
3. typecast Webinar: Branding Beyond Design
The webinar invitation email stays on brand throughout by maintaining consistent color schemes and even keeping the value propositions in lowercase lettering. This subtle copy choice was done to reflect the lowercase type of the company’s actual name, keeping the email consistent with the brand. Though a seemingly insignificant change, it catches the reader’s attention because people are so accustomed to seeing sentences with a capitalized first letter. Making this decision keeps the email on brand while making the reader do a double take.
Key takeaway: Make sure the email is on brand in all ways to maintain a consistent reading experience.
4. Marketing Optimization Week: Memorable Logo
This webinar invitation stands out because of its unique branded logo. With so much talk about on brand emails, it would make sense to emphasize the importance of the brand itself. A week of online workshops hosted by Unbounce is sure to cover many different topics, but the simplicity and clarity of the logo make the reader feel that the workshops will be neatly presented in a consumable format. A logo does a lot to affect an event invitation so spending enough time and effort to ensure that it is a good one is a worthwhile investment.
Key Takeaway: Unique and memorable logos go a long way to keep an event invitation fresh in the minds of the reader.
Clean and Simple
In 1977, Apple coined the slogan, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Decades later, the slogan still rings true, especially for emails. Event invitations that are clean in design and simple in message are successful in grabbing the reader’s attention and staying memorable. The following emails do an exceptional job of maintaining simplicity in both visual and text to have maximum impact on the reader.
1. Opticon: Simple and Succinct
Whereas the Conex email used an assortment of different images and colors, going in the complete opposite design direction can also have a positive impact. This invitation email for Opticon, a conference on digital experience optimization, keeps the aesthetic clear and simple with two bright blue CTA buttons sandwiching the text. The blue buttons and colorful Opticon logo against the all white background makes the invitation feel clean. Being as succinct as possible while still conveying all necessary information is crucial for event invitation emails.
Key Takeaway: Maintaining a simple design while still conveying all necessary information is the right balance to strike.
2. Livefront Augmented Reality Demo: Less is More
There’s a difference between simplicity and intentional lack of information. This invitation by Livefront is meant to promote their augmented reality demo event by giving as minimal information as possible. While they give the date and time of the event, they leave out the location and specific details of the event to induce a sense of curiosity within the reader. The consistent bubble theme throughout email makes this message both clever and memorable. Combining a clever, unified theme with a slight lack of information to encourage a CTA button click is what makes this invitation email successful.
Key Takeaway: Withhold certain information from the reader to make them want more information, nudging them closer to the CTA button.
3. Facebook Developer Conference - Subtle Yet Startling
Facebook makes this invitation stand out by focusing on clarity and subtlety. With a total of only 47 words in the entire email, the message gets straight to the point without unnecessary information. This email is inviting the reader to livestream the event and the CTA button is contrasted with the rest of the text with a different font and color. These small differences give the email a clean feel and distills the objective of the message which is to encourage readers to join the livestream.
Key Takeaway: Making subtle changes in the text to create contrast is a good way to bring attention to your main call-to-action.
Engagement Through Video
It is not a surprise that video is an often used medium in event invitation emails. According to a study done by Syndacast, simply having the word “video” in the email subject line increased click-through rates by 65%. Using video in event invitations are especially effective if the video lures the reader into wanting to learn more. These three emails use video in different ways to keep the reader engaged.
1. ANA Masters of Marketing Conference: Personal Invitations from Reputable Speakers
JPMorgan carries a brand that automatically attracts attention. This email promoting the Masters of Marketing Conference put on by the Association of National Advertisers understands JPMordan’s brand recognition and effectively leverages it to lend credibility to the event. What’s more is that they feature the JPMorgan’s CMO in a video convincing the reader to register for her session. Having the top marketing executive personally invite the reader to attend to the event is a powerful tactic that adds on to JPMorgan’s brand recognition.
Key Takeaway: Conveying a message through video can feel much more intimate than plain text. Use this to your advantage by personally inviting attendees, especially if you’re able to have one of your well-known speaker to do so.
2) AWS re:INVENT: Recapturing The Experience
Visuals are meant to capture an experience. Including a recap video of the previous years’ events helps to put the event in context and encourage people to imagine themselves at the upcoming event. Amazon Web Services did exactly that by embedding a recap video of the previous year’s re:INVENT conference in their event invitation email to articulate what people would be missing out on if they chose not to attend the event.
Key Takeaway: Let readers know what they would be missing out on if they don’t attend by embedding previous event videos and images within the email.
3. WistiaFest: Tell a Story
The video does not always have to directly relate to inviting people to the event. Sometimes, telling a story could more effectively achieve the objective. The team at Wistia devised a clever way to increase their click-through rate by doing just that. Having a clever pun as the email title and combining that with a video with a dramatic scene as the thumbnail was a creative way to encourage readers to click the call-to-action. The email itself has very little information about the event besides the date and location. Having minimal information with a fun story is what entices the reader to continue the flow into the next piece of content.
Key Takeaway: Telling a story through video could be a fun way to entertain and pull your readers to the next landing page.
event invitations with an X-Factor
These email examples could not be organized within the four other categories but still have qualities that deserve to be emulated. From design to tone, these examples show how thinking outside of the box can prove successful when crafting an event invitation email. While these three emails do not share the same quality, what they do share is a clever and effective way of conveying the core message.
1. gainsight: the streaming experience
With clean design and plenty of images, Gainsight promoted its virtual event in a very Netflix-reminiscent way.
The copy of the email makes it clear that there is a ton of content to choose from, and even the header and CTA button feel more like a streaming experience than an event from a tech company.
Key takeaway: Take your time with design. You don't always have to get fancy, but a clear and clean visual layout will help you stand out in the inbox.
2. MozCon: Transparent Purchasing Process
Invitations are not only supposed to generate enthusiasm for the event but they are also meant to effectively convince readers to attend. One such tactic of persuasion is to justify the costs. Attending a conference is a sizeable investment for companies since each ticket can cost hundreds of dollars, not to mention the time spent at the conference and away from the office. To help justify these costs to attendees, the event team at MozCon decided to create a ticket breakdown to illustrate exactly how their dollars were being put towards the event. This is an effective way to not only be transparent with attendees but to help them justify to their managers that attending the event will be worth the investment.
Key Takeaway: Readers will appreciate transparency when it comes to ticket pricing. This will help justify the costs not only to themselves, but to their managers as well.
3. Conex: Vibrant Visual Elements
Taking a break from the usual “header-text-CTA” combination can be a breath of fresh air for email readers. In promoting their conference Conex, Uberflip chose to use vibrant visual elements to convey the information as opposed to relying heavily on text. The header image spotlights the conference speaker while each of the four icons in the latter half of the email offer a different call-to-action. Fitting all of this information in a traditional text-based email would have been bland and easily dismissable. Conveying the info via colorful visuals helps to pique the reader’s interest.
Key Takeaway: Email is not all about text. Consider ways to communicate the message with minimal use of text and more use of images and graphics.
4. GDPR Webinar: Mirroring Tone With Topic
Not all emails are meant to be catchy and colorful. Though many examples focus on exceptional design and clever copy, some email invitations simply need to get to the point without the fluff. This is particularly true when the topic of the event requires a more serious tone. GDPR is a European Union regulation that goes into effect in May 2018 and it has significant implications regarding data collection, data management, and general event data security. This webinar put on by Leanplum looks to inform attendees on the implications of GDPR. Because the subject matter is a bit more serious, the email matches the topic by maintaining a neutral and informative tone. No need for colorful banners or eye-catching visuals. Having a header of the EU flag and a short paragraph describing the webinar does just enough to get the job done.
Key Takeaway: Make sure that the tone of the event matches the tone of the email to maintain professionalism and credibility.
5 Tips for an Effective Event Invitation Email
To summarize, here are 5 key takeaways that touch on each of the main categories.
- All emails are meant to drive an action. Make this action as clear as possible to the reader.
- Event invitations are an extension of your event brand. Ensure that your brand is consistent and put on full display throughout the email.
- Simple design and straightforward messaging are what make an email memorable.
- When utilized correctly, video is a great way to engage your reader and invite them to click within the email.
- Don't get caught in the same email crafting cycle. Constantly think of creative ways to capture your reader's attention.
For more tips, check out these 20 event email marketing examples or click the button below to download a comprehensive guide.