Open, don’t close, in the lead
When it comes to email invitations, writers are too eager to close: They put the date of the event in the headline. They lead with Register now for the webinar.
But you need to open, not close, at the top of an email invite. Seduce readers with what they’ll be able to do if they attend your event — not on dates to mark on their calendar or how to RSVP.
Here’s how Sarah Herr did it when inviting Sensus employees to attend the company’s holiday party:
The key to a good invitation lead is to make folks want to attend the event. So tell them what they can look forward to in a concrete, creative, provocative feature lead. Here’s Sarah’s:
Take a ride thousands of feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, touch a stone that’s traveled through space for millions of years or find out just how much DNA you and Fido have in common.
2. Nut graph
In the second paragraph, or nut graph, summarize the invitation in one sentence:
Do all this and more at the Sensus Holiday Party!
The third paragraph, the background section, gives readers information they need to know before they dive into the body of the story. That might be a definition, bit of context or history lesson. Here’s Sarah’s:
Based on your feedback, we’ve moved from a country club setting and into the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh.
The body is where you develop the story. In this case of an email invitation, you’ll give a few more details about what people will be able to see, learn or do at the event:
During the event you will have run of all four floors of the new Nature Research Center, complete with interactive science exhibits and dioramas. While you mingle, enjoy drinks, live music and heavy Hors d’oeuvres and carving stations.
If you have a series of three or more activities to showcase, you might use bullet points to make the body a list. The line breaks and extra white space make these activities stand out.
Your call to action goes in the wrapup, or the penultimate paragraph:
Join us from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Dec. 17 at the museum. Please reserve your spot by Dec. 10.
The job of the kicker is to end with a bang, to leave a lasting impression. Here’s how Sarah did it:
Need a last-minute Christmas gift? Be sure to enter the prize raffle for a gift from the museum store. The store has bugs encased in candy, fossils and models interesting enough for the scientist in all of us.
Sign me up, Sarah! That sounds like a party!
How can you get the word out via email?
Email recipients spend an average of just 11 seconds on marketing emails they review. They spend just 51 seconds on email newsletters.
Find out at Think Inside the Inbox — our email-writing workshop on Oct. 17.
You’ll learn how to make your email message short — but not too short, how to write paragraphs that get read on smartphones, and how to hit the right readability level for email.
You’ll leave with tips, tricks, latest best practices — and the data to back it all up — for getting your email newsletters and marketing pieces opened and read.
Save up to $100 with our group discounts.