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10 Ways to Personalize Event Invitations for Your Business
Personalize Event Invitations for Your Business
Entrepreneurs know that marketing is an essential part of their success, and event invitations fall under that category. Personalized invitations promote a sense of belonging and exclusivity, which can help create the right atmosphere for potential clients to feel valued and important at your business event.
Providing guests with personalized invitations also helps them prepare for the occasion by getting excited about it, knowing what to expect, and having everything they need to enjoy themselves on hand before arriving.
This article will provide you with some great tips on how you can personalize your next event invitation in order to make it more successful than ever! The key is creating a unique invitation that reflects your company’s personality or theme; something that makes people want to attend. Most importantly, your invitations need to be personalized so that each recipient feels they're being invited individually.
Before we get into these strategies, let's look at why personalization is important.
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How Important Is Personalization?
The short answer is, "very." The long answer is more interesting.
Personalization helps move the needle for any marketing effort because it takes a generic message and tailors it to fit the wants and desires of each recipient. Invitations are a form of marketing. They're aimed at raising awareness as well as creating demand for the event. The more you can make your communications feel like they've been created for the individual, the more likely people will feel you're speaking to them.
According to a 2013 study by Experian Marketing Services, personalized emails offer six times high transaction rates over generic emails. This personalization takes a cold, impersonal medium and warms it by addressing the recipient as an individual. This effect can be found throughout marketing. It's partly responsible for the dramatic returns possible with handwritten direct mail. When a person feels they're being addressed as an individual, they're more likely to listen.
Personalized invitations are also more effective at increasing attendance. When one study analyzed invitations sent for highly competitive events across 10 different categories, they found that up to 41% more people responded to personalized invitations than they did to their generic counterparts.
Personalization is important because it takes a conversation with the many and reduces it to a conversation between two people.
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Personalization Helps Drive Connections
First impressions are important. When people receive a personalized invitation, they know they’re invited to something specifically for them and their interests.
Personalized invitations make recipients feel like you care enough about them to set up an event tailored to what matters most to them. And when prospects feel special and personally connected with your business, the more likely they are to come and want to learn more about your products and services. They feel valued and important, which creates a sense of exclusivity.
A well-designed, personalized invitation also ends up as a piece of marketing that gets used and passed around for years after the event has passed. This means that you’re creating a lasting impression with each guest at your business events, which is priceless.
What Does Science Have to Say About Personalization?
Current research echoes what our common experience tells us. Personalization makes us feel good. A study out of the University of Texas identified two main drivers of this phenomenon: our desire for control and information overload.
Looking at the first, we know that a personalized experience is necessarily uncommon. It's tailored specifically for us and satisfies basic needs unique to our situation. In this way, it's familiar. It's comfortable. It gives us a sense of control in a world where that's often lacking. The desire for control is a universal human trait, and so personalization works equally well with almost everyone on the planet. It satisfies our desire for the known when the unknown threatens us from all sides.
The second trait involves reducing the onslaught of choice we all face. One side effect of our modern economy is the overwhelming number of choices we have to make — and the number of options presented. Go to the store and try something simple like choosing a candy bar and you'll understand what we mean. This glut of choice becomes information overload. For some people, this torrent of options can be overwhelming.
Personalization reduces these choices by offering us items and experiences already within the set of choices we prefer. This reduces mental calculations and simplifies our experiences. Instead of having to choose one candy bar from 30 different options, a personalized experience would present us with our three favorite candy bars, dramatically reducing the time and effort we might need to spend to make the decision.
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Ways to Personalize Your Business's Event Invitations
You don't have to send generic, one-size-fits-all invitations. You can personalize them to fit your target market and each recipient. Try these techniques with your next mailing.
Design Your Invitation With Your Theme in Mind
Consider the theme of your event. Are you hosting an exciting outdoor party? Maybe a winter wonderland is more in order! Are you hosting a business gala for your clients to show them how much they mean to you? Maybe an elegant black-tie invitation will do the trick.
Customizing your invitations to fit your theme is the beginning of an individualized experience. The event becomes exclusive to those invited instead of feeling like a catch-all for anyone that wants to attend. More critically, your guests will know what to expect when they arrive and they'll know how to interact with your brand.
Create a Custom Font or Typography Design
Don't send out generic fonts or designs on the invitations you mail. Instead, create a custom font or typography design to use throughout your invitation and other correspondence. Use a simple font or design that people can easily read and recognize. You don't want your design to be the focus of your invitation; you want it to seamlessly compliment your branding and event theme.
Hand-Drawn Pictures and Graphics Are a Personalized Touch
Invitations with pictures printed on them are more personal than invitations that simply contain text. If you have an art department, task them to design exclusive imagery that appears both in your invitation and at the event.
You might also consider handing pencils and paper to each attendee as they walk in. Ask them to draw a picture of themselves attending the event. This creates a keepsake that your attendees will remember and gives you user-generated content for use in future marketing efforts.
Use Your Company Logo on the Invitation
This should go without saying, but it's worth mentioning if you aren't already using your logo in all of your marketing materials. Having company branding on your event invitations is a subtle way to let recipients know that your business cares about them (and lets them know who is throwing the event!)
Use Each Recipient's First Name to Open the Invitation
This also seems obvious, but it's often skipped for financial or practical reasons. If you're sending standard printed invitations it can be too expensive to print what is effectively a different invitation for each person. You might also handwrite each recipient's name into a mass-produced invite, but that takes time and can feel like an afterthought.
One of the benefits to using a service like Simply Noted is that each invitation is "handcrafted" by our advanced handwriting machines. That means each one can be different, including the recipient's first name and any other personalized information you might want to include.
The other implication is that you don't have to handwrite your invitations because we can do it for you! Our proprietary handwriting robots use real ballpoint pens and our groundbreaking "Infinity" fonts to generate flawless recreations of real handwriting.
Include a Meaningful Quote or Saying Inside the Invitation
Having a quote, poem or brief phrase written inside the invitation sets your event apart. You can include this information on either the front or back of the invitation, depending on how you'd like to format it.
Don't be afraid to get creative with this one! Imagine your company is hosting an exclusive, fantasy-themed party for your clients. You might include this quote from The Hobbit on the invitation, "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."
The idea is to find something funny, witty, meaningful, or profound that will resonate with your audience. This connection to something meaningful to your recipients helps your communication feel personalized even when everyone gets the same quote.
This is another one that you can take into your own hands by handwriting the quote or saying inside each invitation. This will make it feel even more personal for your recipients.
Include Event Details and Directions on the Invitation
To make sure that every guest who receives your invitation shows up to your event, be sure to include all of the pertinent information (and directions if necessary) inside the invite. Keep it brief and avoid using too much text; you don't want to overwhelm people with a wall of information.
Take the time to mention where your event will be, at what time it starts, and how people should dress for the occasion if you think that might make a difference. A good rule of thumb is to include enough details so that attendees don't have to email or call you with questions about logistics before they decide whether or not to attend.
Include Specific Event Information
Another way to personalize your invitations is to point out specific information about your event that's of interest to your target market. If you plan to offer free personalized consultations during the event, be sure to feature that early on in the text. Specifics like this answer a very important question that every recipient is asking in their heads, even if they aren't aware of it, "What's in it for me?"
To boost your response rates, omit anything that doesn't answer this question and focus entirely on the reasons your targets should want to attend.
Sign Your Invitation as an Individual, Not a Company
Yes, the invites you're sending come from your company, not you, but this works against your personalization efforts. A company is a faceless entity. To create a personalized connection on your next event invitation, sign them as if you were sending them personally. Make it clear that you, as a representative of your company, are making the invitation.
Imagine trying to have a conversation with a corporation. The concept is silly, and yet if you leave out your name, that's the experience your recipients will have. Don't make the mistake of addressing the individual from an amorphous group. Start a dialogue from one person to another.
Include a Photograph of the Hosts
Want to take the last tip to the next level? Adding a photograph of the hosts is an excellent way to make your invitations more personal. This is the perfect place for a headshot or group photo, depending on your event. It can be helpful to include the name of each person in the photo so that guests know who they'll be meeting when they show up.
If you're throwing a party, this is also a great opportunity to include a candid shot of the hosts having fun and enjoying themselves. It's always nice to get a little preview of what to expect at the event!
Simply Noted Makes Event Invitations Fast and Easy
Another element of the equation we haven't yet focused on is the medium you choose to send your invitation. In recent years individuals and companies have switched to e-vites. They're not without their benefits. Most of the time they're free, they're delivered the moment you send them, and they don't require handwriting a bunch of invitations.
We get the appeal. Really, we do. But we have a better option.
With Simply Noted, you can have lovely, handwritten cards mailed with the same effort you'd put into an electronic invitation. Simply choose a card style and smart font, type your message, upload your recipient's addresses, and you're done! Our advanced handwriting machines will set to work translating your text into real, pen-written cards using state-of-the-art smart fonts to create utterly convincing handwritten cards.
Our custom fields offer unlimited personalization options. With each card we write, you can swap information like names, addresses, personal details — truly anything you can imagine. With Simply Noted, you'll get the ultimate in automated, personalized, handwritten invitations.