RSVP card with red ribbonI’ll be honest; the fact that 69% of small organizations think print advertising is effective in marketing events surprised me.

In the day of email, blog posts and social media, small businesses and nonprofits are still getting results from print. But could they be getting more?

There is always room for improvement, and this is especially true for print invitations.

So before you slap on a stamp, be sure to check your event print invitation against these recommendations.

Follow these three best practices for more response:

  1. Include the basics. Judging from some of the print invitations I’ve received, it’s probably a good idea to revisit the basics that every event invitation should have. The most important is the headline. This is the first thing people read and if it doesn’t grab the reader’s attention it can often be the last. Use this space to give them a compelling reason to attend your event. Also, make sure your branding is recognizable with your font, colors and logo. And don’t forget to tell them where to go and when to show up.
  2. Write a clear call to action. Are you sending a save the date, then tell them to “Save the Date.” Sending an invitation? Tell them to “RSVP.” It is that simple. Be direct and clear and it will positively impact your registration rate. But if they don’t see it, your direct and simple wording will be lost. Have the call to action stand out with a larger bold font and make sure it pops with plenty of white space around it. After the headline, the call to action should be the next thing to attract your reader’s attention.
  3. Make it easy to RSVP. So you have convinced them why they should attend and told them to RSVP, now make it easy for them to do that. Phone numbers are still a very effective way to collect RSVPS. But, they do have their limitations. Chances are your office doesn’t answer the phone 24/7. That’s where an online registration tool comes into play. By including a way to RSVP online, you can collect registrations at anytime from your print mailing recipients.

How well is your invitation doing?

One of the reasons small businesses and nonprofits switch from print mailings to online options is the reporting. The ability to answer the question, “Did it work?” is a huge plus. URLs also provide reporting that phone numbers do not.

But that benefit is now available with print invitations too! With QR codes and short URLs, you can still track your print invitations’ click through rate. The added ability to track URLs on your print invitation is fantastic because 50% of people who receive print invitations prefer responding through URLs.

Both QR codes and shortened URLs are a great way to easily drive traffic from your print invitations to your registration page.

QR codes allow smartphone users to scan a code that brings them straight to the site. You can easily create a QR code from a link using free sites like Kaywa QR-Code or QR Stuff. QR codes are very popular right now, but they are limited to smartphone users.

If that’s not your audience, I recommend using Bitly to shorten and customize your long registration URL into a short URL that can be easily typed into a web browser whenever it is convenient for them.

Get more response

By applying these three simple best practices and adding a dose of new technologies, you can move your print invitation into the 21st century and can move invitees through your event’s doors.

Do you have any tips for getting more response from your print invitations? Share them in the comments section below.