A good event invitation should be preceded by an even better save-the-date email. Similar to a mailing campaign, save-the-date messages should be part of your event marketing strategy. The copy should be compelling, and must convince the receiver to mark the date in his or her calendar, while waiting for the real invitation.
You may want to send a save-the-date email when you don't have all the event details yet, but you want to inform your mailing list about the upcoming invitation. This type of email is necessary to encourage your potential guests to reserve the date for the future event and to ensure a higher attendance rate.
If you decide to send a save-the-date, know that this is the first interaction your potential audience will have with the event itself. That's why you must craft an attractive yet simple and discrete email. Here's how you can do it:
Tip 1. Set up a timeline
The moment when you send a save-the-date email is crucial. You can't send it two weeks before the event. When it's too close to the event date, people may have busy schedules or previous commitments, so they won't be able to block a time slot for your event. Also, it's not advisable to send the save-the-date email too early. People may forget about the upcoming invitation. Instead, send the save-the-date email around two or three months before sending the official invitation.
Tip 2. Make it catchy and personal
Although it's just an informational email, you want to use this first interaction to connect with your potential attendees. That's why you must make it attractive. First, you may want to personalize it. For example, if you have multiple target groups, you could elaborate different save-the-date messages according to the specific characteristics of each group. Second, spend some time on elaborating the email copy. You don’t want to end up having a boring save-the-date that people will just close and forget about. Keep it intriguing and friendly. Incite your potential attendees' curiosity and reinforce their desire to receive the invitation.
Tip 3. Include essential information
When you send a save-the-date email, your goal is to inform your potential attendees about the upcoming event and invitation. That's why you should include the following: the name of the event, the date (obviously!), the venue (if possible), the event organizers, and other details that might be of interest (maybe a star speaker, for example). You can also accompany the save-the-date email with the event’s logo or graphics.
Tip 4. Highlight the incentives
To grab the attention of your potential attendees and make them wait for the invitation, you may want to include a specific incentive. For example, you could introduce a discount code they can use to get tickets at a lower price.
Tip 5. Provide a clear call to action
A save-the-date email is a call to action itself. However, you may want to make it easier for the receivers and provide a Google Calendar link; that way, people can select to attend the event just by clicking a link.
Although it's not necessary in all cases, a save-the-date email will help you reinforce the information about the event and reach potential attendees with few event data. The save-the-date email is your first contact with your target group, so try to keep it simple, attractive, and memorable.