Writing a webinar invitation email seems simple at first. However, on closer inspection course creators must convince prospective or current learners to attend, and here is where it becomes more tricky. After you’ve created a high-quality webinar to establish yourself as an expert and market your course, it is important to create a great webinar invitation email that will get people excited to show up. In this blog post, we’ll share our favorite tips for how to write one that will help fill your webinar with eager participants.
What does it take to write a great webinar invitation email?
Let’s look at the most important elements to include in your webinar invitation email.
1. Know your audience
Before writing your webinar invitation email, it’s vital to think about the characteristics of your participants. As a course creator, your audience is likely to be people seeking new knowledge to benefit themselves or learning about a topic as part of an academic or career requirement. Consider how this may influence their reading experience. What might they be seeking advice about? If you’ve hosted a webinar before, what sorts of things did attendees have questions about? Are there different learning preferences among learners studying different subjects? Use a webinar planning checklist to develop your webinar and then personalize your email webinar invitation.
Personalization ensures you are catering well to the needs of your readers. This applies to both content and logistics. As you decide the time and date of your webinar, you may have to account for different schedules common to different groups. For example, if you create an online course for teachers, they probably need the webinar to be scheduled during evenings or weekends.
2. Write a catchy subject line
The subject line is the initial hook of any email, which determines whether or not the audience takes the next step to access the rest of your content. A catchy, interesting subject line is the single biggest determinant of whether your potential attendees will open your webinar invitation email. If you have attended any webinars recently, go back and look at the subject line to remember what compelled you to open the email.
Try to create a sense of urgency or exclusivity and a small piece of information about the content you’re selling. A line like “Webinar Invitation” won’t be nearly as enticing as “Reserve your spot for [X]” or “Tune In to find out how to [X].”
3. Tell your audience: Who, what, where, when, why, and how
Now that your audience has clicked through to the body of your email, it’s important to provide the information they need to make their decision. Remember the first rule of news stories: Tell your reader “who, what, where, when, why, and how.” These are the key pieces of information attendees will look for in your email.
- Who: Provide details about the speaker(s), such as relevant skills alongside a profile photo, so that readers can acquaint themselves beforehand
- What: Explain the contents of your webinar. What is the agenda? What will the format be, and will there be an on-demand option? How long is it expected to last?
- Where: Tell participants what platform will be used, such as Zoom or GoToWebinar
- When: Display the date and time of the webinar prominently and in a bold font, so that readers can’t miss it
- Why: How will attending your webinar enrich the life or career of an attendee? What new knowledge can they expect to gain from the experience?
- How: Explain the skills or equipment required, if applicable, and include a button that links to your sign-up page
4. Engage your participants
After you’ve covered the basics of who, what, where, when, why, and how, the next step is to engage your readers to increase their emotional investment in their learning. One excellent strategy for doing this is to give your attendees an opportunity to submit questions before the webinar goes live. This increases their chances of showing up to hear the answers to their questions, and it also serves as a content check for you to make sure your webinar covers the topics your participants care about the most. Once the webinar is live, see Tip #3 here about increasing audience engagement and excitement.
The second method of engagement is to make your sign-up process clear and easy to understand. Make sure the “call to action” button is easy to find with a clear label such as “Register Now” or “Save My Seat.”
5. Provide reminders
Your attendees won’t show up if your webinar slips through the cracks of their schedule. Consider including an “Add to Calendar” button in your email, including a nice standout color for the date and time.
It could also be beneficial to send some automated reminder emails to your readers in the days leading up to the webinar. One or two reminders are helpful and not annoying, and then send a final email as your webinar goes live.
6. Create a sense of urgency
With a simple formula, you can accurately convey to readers exactly why attending your webinar will be beneficial to them. First, outline a problem. You can do this with a question near the beginning of your email, or even in the subject line. Next, explain in one to three lines how this problem will be solved or improved by tuning in to your webinar. Finally, include a reminder that you’re a one-chance solution. You can do this by highlighting the date and time of your webinar directly under the pitch, and including a “call to action” that conveys that it’s a limited offer, such as “Secure Your Spot.”
7. Use an attractive, informative banner
Most potential attendees won’t stick around long enough to read through a wall of text. Formulating an eye-catching banner for the top of your webinar invitation email is an important way to deliver your message quickly. But leave lots of “white space” in the image for a cleaner look, and keep in mind that many readers associate emojis and gifs with spam.
Here is an example of a banner:
This banner has plenty of white space (white space doesn’t have to be white!). The time of the webinar is a different color from the background, catching the reader’s eye. It’s clean, includes photos and a summary of the speakers’ qualifications, and displays the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the event in an efficient and aesthetically pleasing way.
8. Choose careful wording
First, make sure your webinar invitation email makes it clear to your readers that you intend to inform and educate, not to market to them. If your wording is too sales-oriented, many readers will tune out.
Second, if your webinar invitation email gets caught in a spam filter, your participants will probably never see it. Consider avoiding certain words that are associated with spam.
Third, use spell check and ask someone else to proofread your email. While readers will probably forgive a minor error or two, the fewer errors your webinar invitation email has, the more credibility you will have.
9. Follow up
After your webinar ends, consider sending a follow-up email to both attendees and people who registered but didn’t show up. In the email to attendees, thank them for coming and briefly summarize the content they’ve just learned. If you charged a fee for their spot, it might be beneficial to offer a discount for next time.
To registrants who did attend, send a “Sorry to have missed you” email to remind them they still have the chance to participate in your next webinar. Most course creators offer a recording to everyone who registered, whether or not they attended.
Now that you know how to formulate the perfect invitation, it’s time to do it. There are plenty of email header templates available online if you need help with a good design. Once you’ve sent your webinar invitation, don’t forget to analyze what does and doesn’t work for your own audience. It’s always great to pay close attention to the data so that you can continually improve and draw in an even bigger audience in the future.
Also, after your webinar is over, build upon the work you have already done so you can continue to educate your audience and market your online course.
You’ve got this!
Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D., is a writer and psychologist with expertise in communications, education, and technology. She writes about business, workplace psychology, and the e-learning industry.