Direct-mail invitations represent the best way to get guests to attend a business event, whether it's a seminar, conference or trade show. Invitation marketing is a science, not an art, and this is something all graphic designers have to understand in order to make the most of their craft. Even if you're capable of producing the most tantalizing artwork the world has ever seen, it will all be for naught if it doesn't convey the right message to the right people at the right time. To help you fine-tune your presentation, take heed of the following invitation marketing strategies.
Highlight your message, don't dilute it
You might have the most creative theme ever, but remember that your goal as an invitation designer is to draw attention to a message and motivate attendees to register for your event. Thus, you should intelligently employ images and graphics to highlight your message. There's nothing wrong with large, eye-catching images (in fact, they're encouraged) so long as they have influence and demonstrate your message in a way that motivates action, but there is a problem with placing graphics in for their own sake or to simply show off your design skills. Every visual element should be strategically placed as a means to an end.
Hit the bull's-eye with targeting
It's no secret that direct-mail marketing success hinges on the quality of your mailing list, yet far too many businesses spend far too little time honing their lists to find that perfect target audience for their marketing campaigns. Yes, it is tedious and time-consuming, but it's also the difference between an outstanding invitation marketing campaign and a foundering campaign. Take the time to fine-tune your mailing list, and you will reap huge rewards.
Test and tweak - but only when necessary
A well-rounded invitation marketing campaign is tested and tweaked before full deployment. Send several versions of your invitation out to small yet similar subsections of your mailing list to see which version gets the best response. Make slight tweaks with layout, placement and headline verbiage; this will help you really hone down to what works. And once you discover what works, don't fix what isn't broken.
Send multiple mailers
Every marketer worth his or her salt knows that repetition is key to direct-mail marketing success. The same holds true for invitation marketing. Send a greeting card invitation followed up by a postcard invitation a few weeks later, and if you have time you can even send a third invitation for your event. Up the ante by pushing the time-limited factor in your copy with each subsequent mailing, and add a free bonus add-on with your last mailing to get the fence-sitters to climb to your side.
Print and mail quality invitations with efficiency
To convince invitees that you're hosting a quality event, you'll need to print quality invitations. Luckily, this doesn't mean you have to exhaust your budget. You can purchase high-quality invitations printed on premium paper stocks for exceedingly low prices. Have your printing company mail your invitations for you to increase efficiency and save on middleman shipping costs. This will help increase your return on investment, which will ultimately increase your event registrations and sign-ups.