The Right Way to Write Seminar/Webinar Invites
You've got everything you need: a great product to demo and a spell-binding speaker lined up.
That's all well and good. But the truth of the matter is that getting people to attend your seminar/Webinar is never an easy task. Why? Because you're asking someone to give up precious time and make a firm calendar commitment.
Nope. If someone is going to attend your seminar/Webinar these days, he really has to be motivated. And the place to motivate him is in your invitation, where the proverbial rubber hits the road.
In fact, I've always believed that the best measure of a copywriter's skill is how well he or she writes seminar/Webinar
invitations. You see, if you can get someone to show up at 8:30 in the morning, on a day of your choosing, you're pretty darned good!
How do you go about convincing people to attend your seminar/Webinar? By loading up on benefits and turning the enthusiasm level to "High."
Let's take a look at part of an actual seminar/Webinar invitation e-mail sent by a well-known software company and see how the writer handles the job. I'll quote a section that takes up most of the e-mail. (The company's name has been changed.)
"Still trying to decide if you'll attend? Here are five quick reasons why you should register now for this one-day event:
1. You'll learn how to acquire, retain and satisfy more customers using proven solutions from the eBusiness industry leader: eBusiness Solutions.
2. You'll discover new ways to build strong customer relationships through your call center by utilizing phone, fax, e-mail and Web resources.
3. You'll learn to integrate eBusiness with your channel strategy for successful direct and indirect sales.
4. You'll find out how you can increase revenue, improve customer satisfaction, and boost employee productivity 15%-21% within 10 months.
5. You'll get in FREE, but you must register right away to guarantee yourself a seat."
So what do you think?
In my opinion, there are some nice things going on, but there's PLENTY of room for improvement. For example, the lead-in sentences that set up the numbered items never mentions that the event is free. Where is this vitally important fact highlighted? Way down in number five! Burying the "FREE" is a very naughty no-no that gets a copywriter sent to her room.
And what about the tone of the copy? It's O.K. but not enthusiastic enough. It's not brimming with the energy you need to really get people moving. Here, I've rewritten the passage; which do you think does a better job?:
"Still trying to decide if you should attend this important FREE eBusiness Solutions event? Here are just five fabulous reasons for registering now at 1-800-123-1234!
You'll learn . . .
1. Six proven ways to recruit new and highly qualified customers. (It's worth attending our free event for this information alone!)
2. The secret of building till-death-do-us-part customer relationships. (We'll show you how to use phone, fax, e-mail, and Web resources to serve your customers in brand new ways!)
3. How to integrate e-Business with your current channel strategy. (We've got practical ideas for dramatically increasing direct AND indirect sales!)
4. Four ways to increase revenue, improve customer satisfaction, and boost employee productivity by over 20% -- all within 10 months. (This isn't hype or overpromise. We'll show you how you can actually do it!)
5. Why companies like American Glass, Continental Foods, United Trucking, and other forward-looking companies are our valued clients. Listen to Bill Jackson, President of American Glass: "An eBusiness Solution Webinar is an event not to be missed. If you're serious about staying competitive, their fact-filled seminar is for you!"
Do you like the copy spunky, or are you someone like my conservative English wife, who thinks it's a bit crass to be so relentlessly energetic? For seminar/Webinar invitation copy, I vote for the high-energy version. Big time.
The take-away message this month? If you're preparing a seminar/Webinar and don't want to wind up talking to four sleepy people, get yourself worked up, pull out the stops, and write your invitation with passion.
Ivan Levison is a freelance direct response copywriter who works for companies like Bank of America, Fireman's Fund, Intel, Microsoft and many others. Levison writes direct mail sales letters, e-mail letters and ads. For a free subscription to his monthly e-mail newsletter for software marketers, visit his Web site at http://www.levison.com. He can be reached at (415) 461-0672 or at email@example.com.