In this day and age, with digital marketing, emailing, and social media, the art of designing a good seminar invitation has been lost. Most advisors are not marketers so they don’t realize that design matters and that focusing on the benefits of attending a seminar is what attracts potential attendees. Advisors may not appreciate that key information needs to be included in the seminar invitation in order to get results.
This post is part of the Seminar Series and is intended to give you best practices for designing a successful financial advisor seminar invitation.
Seminars can be a great source of business development for financial advisors, if done correctly and participants who don’t become clients can be added to the advisor’s warm prospect list to continue marketing efforts after the event.
The amount of information on your seminar invitation depends upon your choice of medium. The larger the source, the more you can add. However, the main focus should be on THE TITLE! If potential attendees don’t like the title, they won’t read anything else.
Here’s a checklist for what this blog post covers:
- When to send invitations
- Invitation types
- Seminar Title
- Seminar Tagline (what’s the benefit)
- Who’s this for? Who is your target market?
- What will they gain?
- Content – bullet point what they will learn
- Is food being served?
- Create urgency
- Make it easy to sign up
- Who is the presenter?
- Where is it being held? Give the name and full address
- What time?
- Your company name, phone, and website
- Invitations published in print media/online media
When to send your invitation
Let’s just get this out of the way. People need at least 3 weeks notice so that they still have an empty space on their calendar to reserve it for your event. So the optimal time to send your invitation is 3-6 weeks prior to the event. Plus you probably need time to market your event to get the best attendance.
- Post cards
Invitations that are designed by a professional, whether they are for use digitally or through the mail, tend to result in the best-attended seminars. Don’t forget, design plays a key role in the power of your financial advisor brand. With a professionally designed piece, you will get more people in the seats. That being said, people need to be reminded several times (depending upon who you are inviting), so an email invitation can be very useful as well.
My favorite type of printed invitation is the post card because they result in more eyes on them than letters. Postcard sizes vary from 3×5 to 6×11 jumbo. I prefer the jumbo size, as there is great potential for using quality design and persuasive content.
The title holds the key to success for your event. Without an exciting title, people will say “so what.” You’ll need to GRAB them with the title by making it juicy, sexy, enticing, and irresistible. If you’re using pre-approved seminars provided to you by your broker/dealer, you may want to consider updating the title as they are usually pretty ho hum. Here’s an article I wrote about seminar titles: 5 Ways to Craft a Financial Advisor Seminar Title That Will Attract An Audience
The tagline is a short description of what the attendee gets out of attending your event. For example, if your seminar title is about Social Security, your tagline could be: 7 Social Security Challenges Baby Boomers Face Today
Who’s this for? Who is your target market?
Determine ahead of time just who you want to attract with your seminar invitation. Make it clear who will enjoy the information.
What will they gain from attending? What are the benefits?
Formulate a list of 3-5 key facts that attendees will learn. Come from a position of education rather than sounding like a sales pitch. No one likes to be sold. They want to understand first.
Content – bullet point what they will learn
Make your key lessons easy on the eyes and quick on the brain by using bullet points. The eyes are drawn to symbols and bullet points and thus they provide a sense of order to an invitation.
There has to be a food benefit for attendees. You can risk offering only coffee and dessert, but feeding people is by far the best benefit (besides the content) to get people in the seats. Of course if you’re charging a fee for your seminar, and some advisors do, you will definitely serve food.
Create urgency and a Call to Action (CTA)
You want people to take action on registering for your seminar. So let them know that “Space is limited” and add a call to action “Reserve today.” You can even offer a gift to the first few registrations to get them excited.
Make it easy to sign up
Provide the registration phone number in larger font or send them to a page on your website. The easier you make it for the target attendee to say “yes” the better your results.
Who is the presenter?
Provide an engaging headshot of the presenter (shoulders and head only) and a short blurb on their experience and credentials.
When and where is it being held?
Provide the name and full address of the venue. Of the issues most people are concerned about is how to find the location and the ease of parking. They will most likely plug the address into their navigation system. And don’t forget to include the time!
List your company name, phone, and website (no need for your address as it will be on your website).
Invitations published in print media/online media
All this information applies to print media as well as invitations that are mailed, emailed, or posted on your website.
There you go! That is everything you need for a successful seminar invitation. You may not need every piece of information, but the checklist will help you figure out what’s necessary and what can be excluded.