How to Email an Event Announcement

So you’ve been preparing for your big campus event for weeks… or even months. You’ve reserved the space, maybe requested special media equipment, and perhaps you’ve arranged for some catering. Now all you need is for people to actually show up!

The last thing in the world you want to do is send out an event announcement that buries the most basic details of your event: the what, the when, and the where. Yet so many emails announcing events do just that, either by obscuring important information in unnecessarily detailed language or by emailing the announcement as an attached file that must be downloaded and opened by the recipient. Sure, it’s not that hard for people to read through your descriptive paragraph or to click on the attachment and wait for it to open, but think about your own experience as a reader of email. You want things to be clear and easy-to-understand, right? If they’re not, you’re unlikely to remember the event information (or add the details to your calendar).

Here are two suggestions for how to email an event announcement — or any time-based announcement, really, including deadlines — in a more effective way.

Suggestion 1: Use an informative subject line, rather than writing something like “Save the date!” or “An invitation.” Your readers will know immediately what’s contained in the email if your subject is, for example, “Grant Writing Workshop: Wed (Apr 7), 1-2pm in Faculty Ctr Seminar Room.” And if they’re looking back over yesterday’s email to try to find the necessary information, they’ll see it without having to open the email.

Suggestion 2: In addition to a visually appealing attachment or a detailed and persuasive paragraph, include the following information somewhere in the content of the email such that it is all but impossible to ignore:

What: Grant Writing Workshop
When: Wednesday (April 7) from 1:00 to 2:00pm
Where: Faculty Center Seminar Room

Go ahead and include more details using whatever method you like, but make sure that the above 3 elements are presented close to the beginning of your announcement.

Bonus! If your recipient is a gMail and Google Calendar user, they’ll be able to add your event to their schedule with just a couple of mouse clicks.

What about you? Do you have any suggestions for how to send out effective event announcements?

[Creative Commons licensed Flickr photo by zakwitnij]

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