How to Improve Your Invitation Response Rate

How to Improve Your Invitation Response Rate

How to Improve Your Invitation Response Rate

More and more individuals, organizations and event planners are using email invitations for events. Online invitations are an excellent way to manage and get event information out quickly. Email invitations are also cost effective and an eco-friendly way to manage your event. But, how to you make sure your invitation does not get lost in inboxes? And, how do you improve your invitation response rate?

What is response rate? Response rate is the percentage of people who respond to your invitation. Should you be concerned about low response rates? Absolutely. Getting guests to respond to your online invitation is the first task to a successful event. Follow these six simple steps, and I am certain you will get the rate you desire.

Your Guest List

Be sure to have a current guest list. An outdated list will definitely decrease your response rate. Make sure email addresses are current and accurate. Also, be sure that those on the list have requested to be included and/or are expecting an invitation. If you are sending to someone who did not subscribe to your list, they will most likely not open your invitation or opt out of your list. Lists that are more than a year old should be thoroughly reviewed.

Subject Line

Catch your guests attention with a catchy subject line. One that entices recipients to open the invitation. Make sure your FROM name of your email is someone or an organization that is familiar to your guest. If your recipient does not recognize the FROM name or is not enchanted by the subject line, chances are they will not open your email invitation. Also, Make sure your subject line does not include stop words – read more about writing an enticing subject line and here.

Personalize Your Email Invitation

Make sure to personalize your invitation. By adding guest names to your address book, not just an email address, your invitation will be personalized when sent out. For example, “Sandy Smith, Please come to my fundraising event” is better than “Please come to my fundraising event”. Sendo automatically adds guest names for you when you include names with your contacts.

Keep the Email Content Short

Keep the content of your email short and suggestive. In your writing, persuade your recipients to click the link and RSVP. For example, “You’re invited to my annual Super Bowl Party! Please click the link below and RSVP!”. If you give too much information about your event in your email, your guest will not be enticed to click and view the full invitation or to RSVP. The goal is to get your guest to RSVP to your event. An interesting and familiar subject line, a short and enticing email will get your guest to click into the invitation to see details and respond.

Call to Action

Make sure your call to action is clear and easy to find. If the main goal of your invite is to inform and get your guest to RSVP, then mention a couple times, maybe in the email and again in the invitation to RSVP. Giving a date to RSVP by often helps. For example, “Please RSVP by January 20th”. This gives a sense of importance and urgency to respond. If you have another main goal for your guests. Make sure to repeat it and make it clear. Make it the focus of the content of your invite.

Send Reminder Emails

If you want a high response rate, make sure to remind your guests about your event several times. In a world of too much information and busyness, things often slip out of our minds unless reminded (especially as we get older!). Over the years, many customers have said “Well, I don’t want to remind them too much or bother my guests”. Although, there is a point where too many emails can become bothersome, for a good response rate, I would air on sending quite a few. You know your guests, try and think of how many reminders you think they will need.

I suggest sending an invitation two months before the event. Then, sending a reminder 3 weeks before the event. Another 5 days before. Then another the day before. With each reminder, try and think of something unique to tell them. Perhaps about parking, the dress code, the weather, or interesting information about what will be happening at the event to get them excited.

I hope these tips will help you improve your response rate. I’ve had 17 years experience with email invitations and guest lists. If you follow the above tips, I am sure you will get the turn out you anticipate.

Do you have any good tips on increasing response rates to your event invitation? I would love to hear them! Please comment below!

How to Improve Your Invitation Response Rate

Jennifer Sitko Skarakis, a graphic designer and design enthusiast, is the founder of Sendo Invitations and editor of The Sendo Blog.


  • December 26, 2017

    Hey Jenny, great info but the techniques you have suggested above is it applicable to VIP guests also. I mean to say, should i send the same email format to VIP’s also.

  • December 30, 2017


    Some great tips here. Reminders are a great idea, but they can sometimes come across as pushy. To really improve the response rate, you need to make sure that you are sending out the invitations out to the right people in the first place


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