Sunday, November 15, 2009

TIP: Fancify your online invites

Sure, fancify is only a word the littlest Obie Joe could conjure, but the intent for online invites is the same. How best to match the online invitation to your event? There are a fair amount of these services, and nearly offer the same points:
• Ease of design. Some offer more options in clip art. Most offer templates for any occasion; Constant Contact is known for their range.
• Tracking. Evite pings you by cell phone; all services notify you by e-mail as the yea/nay/maybe somedays roll in, as well as tell you how many opened the invite at all.
• Cost. Only Evite is free, and scrolling through the ads can annoy. Constant Contact does offer e-mail management; those authors with multiple e-mail lists arranged by niche audiences can find this service a life-saver.

We're also been intrigued by a new player, paperlesspost. Still in beta, and not offered for free (yet), there are aspects of using an online invite system that looks more at home with a wedding planner. When we received an paperlesspost invite from Love Is a Mountain author Mozella Perry Ademiluyi for appearances in London, we paid more attention because the look, and suspense of "opening" the invite gave a larger sense of exclusivity to it.

When designing your next evite, try for a personal, formal look. It might not work for an event in an institutional setting (library, bookstore), but for a more intimate setting (book club), where you want to guarantee close to 100% confirmation, something along the lines from paperlesspress might work.

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