September 2011 - Make Your Invitation More Inviting

tips invites more invitingIncrease response rates with meaningful, relevant mailers that speak directly to your audience.

When it comes to being invited somewhere, nobody wants to be a number. Everyone wants to have an invitation extended personally. Everyone wants to know that their presence is noticed and valued. Not surprisingly, one of the most common uses for personalized printing is event invitations.

Here are some ideas for increasing the appeal of your business invites.

1. Speak to prospects by name.

Which are you more likely to respond to? When you want to tell people that you have an exciting event planned for them, do you want to send an invitation that reads, “Dear Robert” or “Dear Recipient”? Or perhaps that includes no salutation at all? While speaking to people by name in print is fairly common these days, it is easy to do and there is little reason for not doing it.

2. Use demographic segmentation.

By breaking your mailing into demographic segments, you can customize your marketing message to various target groups. If you’re pitching a financial seminar, you’re going to speak to 40-somethings differently than you will retirees.

3. Conduct a survey.

Another way you can increase the appeal of your invitations is by asking recipients’ opinion about something. If you’re planning a seminar, for example, you might want to survey them about their attitudes or understanding of the subject matter in advance. This creates an emotional investment in the event while, at the same time, giving you insight into how to tailor your material to be most effective.

4. Make sure the offer is compelling.

People respond to invitations that offer them a real benefit. What are you asking people to respond to? What’s their incentive to do it? Are you drawing them to a trade booth? A customers-only sale? Don’t just offer an off-the-rack incentive. Really think about it. What would motivate this particular audience? If you’re marketing to C-level executives, the chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com might not get their attention at all, but author-signed copies of a best-selling business title might.

5. Use multiple response mechanisms.

Not everyone wants to respond to an offer the same way. For some, picking up the phone might be the most natural way to accept an invitation. For others, it might be scanning a QR code or going online to a personalized URL. For every campaign and target audience, a different mix of response mechanisms might be necessary.

6. Use dynamic mapping.

One of the unique capabilities offered by personalization is dynamic mapping. Don’t just tell prospects where the event is located. Show them how to get there. Give them an estimated drive time. By using the recipient’s address to generate personalized maps from their home or business address, you help them visualize actually arriving at the location and increase the chance of getting a response.

From name personalization to surveys to mapping, all of these are simple, cost-effective ways to create powerful emotional connections with your audience. Put them together and they represent a dynamic set of tools for helping recipients engage with your invitation in a way that makes it easier and more likely for them to respond.