The evolution of email invitations

Email has evolved since the first electronic-mail was sent in 1971. The invention of the World Wide Web 20 years later saw email take off as widespread form of communication and the emergence of the first email invitations. Today, over 100 billion emails are sent worldwide every day, according to data from the tech market research firm Radicati. Email invitations have changed the whole RSVP process. Event planners no longer need to send out paper invitations, hope that they reach their intended recipients and then wait for an RSVP to be sent back. In this blog we’ll explore the evolution of email invitations and how they’re used today.

The email invitations of the twentieth century were simple affairs

The very first email invitation probably took the form of monochrome text in the body of an email back in the 1980s, when email was used by the government, the military and universities, and could only be sent between computers physically connected to the same network. In the 1990s, email invitations may have progressed to slightly more elaborate emails attached to the email in a .jpg format, containing coloured text, WordArt, a few images and an “RSVP by replying to this email” call to action.

The twentieth century brought with it a new wave of email invites and a streamlined RSVP process

During the mid 2000s, landing page use became more universal and the RSVP process took a leap forward. Nowadays, beautifully designed email invitations appear in the body of an email – as attractive as any weighty paper invitation – embedded with hyperlinks that whisk invitees off to an equally impressive landing page, where they’re able to RSVP “yes” or “no”. On the RSVP page, guests can submit anything from dietary requirements, golf t-shirt size and details of travel and accommodation.

Invitation software is crucial for making sure email invitations reach their recipients

Email invitations might have made event planning more efficient, but they can easily get lost in the chaos of inboxes and junk email folders. This is why email invitation best practice is so important. It guarantees that your guests are receiving, opening and responding to invites: ensuring your event is well attended. Email invitations often bounce because guest contact information is not checked for typos or updated regularly. Excel is a fantastic tool, but specialised invitation software is far more effective for managing guest lists – 25% of which becomes redundant every year, we’ve discovered after collecting data from over200 events. Using reputable email invitation software will also prevent your email invitations from ending up in spam folders.

Content is king when it comes to creating a first impression

Getting guests to open your email is the next challenge. The subject line is the main factor that incites invitees to open email invitations. The quality of the text within the invite is the next factor that can make the difference between a recipient RSVP-ing and simply deleting the email. Using a professional copywriter to help create your invitations is crucial to ensuring as many people as possible come to your event.

What time you send the invitations and whether they’re mobile-friendly will influence whether they’re opened

What time you send invitations out will have a big impact on whether they’re opened and read. Invitation software can help you optimise the time you schedule email invitations, so you know that your invites aren’t being sent out in vain. Another vital part of designing email invitations is making sure that they can be opened and viewed on a mobile device. Almost half of all invitations are opened on a smartphone – fail to optimise your invites for mobile and you risk losing half of your guest list.

Using invitation software can make the difference between a full event and a half-full event. Download our Benchmarks report to find out more about email invitations best practice and how invitation software can help you plan a successful event.

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