Sending invitations and managing guest lists for events is about to change – it’s going to get a whole lot easier, less time consuming and, dare we say it… enjoyable!
We were pretty excited when we heard that the team at zkipster were creating a new online invitations platform that would be compatible with their already awesome guest check-in app. There’s no denying that when it comes to managing guest check-in for exclusive events and functions, zkipster is one of the best – you can read all about it in our previous post: Five fabulous guest checkin apps for events.
Before the launch date, we were invited to an exclusive preview of zkipster’s new online invitation and RSVP system. So, late one cold August night in Australia, we jumped online for a call with Zurich to find out more… We won’t give too much away, but let’s just say we LOVED it!
What is the product?
zkipster have created an online invitation and RSVP platform that allows you to design bespoke invitations, forms and reminders to be sent online to your nominated guest lists. You can use the system exclusively or synchronise it with zkipster’s event management software that manages your guest check-in, seating plans and name badge printing.
How easy is it to use?
Super easy! The interface is impressive and intuitive – even a rookie with no graphic design experience can create a beautiful email campaign.
How creative can you be?
The system is pretty simple – load image or logo here, type text in here, etc. While the layout appears fairly simple, at each stage you can customise fonts, text colour and image layout easily. This ensures you can create a range of beautiful (and completely functional) email campaigns without being a designer or knowing any HTML.
Oh and it’s worth noting that during the design stage you can also add optional and compulsory data fields for your guests to enter details in when they RSVP – again, adding these elements to your design is really easy.
Can I load my own HTML designs?
Yes! If you are a brilliant designer or know someone that is, just load your own invitation design at the click of a button.
What type of emails can I send?
What we love about this system is that you can create customised invitation campaigns that will have you looking like the savviest event planner in town! You can create save the date cards, the invitation, the reminder, the “can’t wait to see you” and the thanks for coming emails all very easily. All email designs can be saved to the same ‘event’, which means you can track who is opening and clicking at every step.
Loading and managing guest lists…
Just like zkipster’s guest management system, loading and managing your guest list is not only really easy, but super savvy too. Load your CSV document or merge data from SalesForce, match up your data fields and away you go!
The ease of managing guest lists is what sets zkipster apart from most other online invitation and guest management systems. When you load a list, you can categorise the guests into sub-categories, eg VIP, media, ticket winners, general admission, etc. By having the guests in separate categories you can then easily send them bespoke invitations – Media get one set of information, VIPs another. Customising the invitations is really easy – you can use the same master template you created for the event to tweak details for the speciality sub-groups. The system will also ensure that no one is accidentally sent the wrong details – brilliant!
Tracking opens, clicks and RSVPs…
Through the central event dashboard you can view how many people have received (the system actually tracks if an email was successfully delivered), opened, clicked on and RSVP’d at any time. From here you can also choose to send additional emails to segments of your lists. Send an RSVP reminder to those that haven’t replied yet or, at the click of a button, send a ‘can’t wait to see you’ message to only those that are coming.
If you are also using zkipster’s guest check-in app, then post-event you can send emails to those that came and those that didn’t! For example, for those that checked in to your event, you can send “So glad you made it!” style emails and, for those that didn’t turn up on the night (but RSVP’d that they would), “Sorry you had to bail” emails can be issued. No more ‘glad you made it emails’ landing in the inbox of those that weren’t there!
The beauty of all this tracking is that it allows you and your marketing and sales teams to communicate tailored messages to your guests, before and after your event, making the most of every touch point possible.
Managing additional guests and plus ones…
zkipster have seriously thought of everything – you can tell they have consulted hundreds of event planners when designing this product! Another really awesome feature of their online invitation system is the ability for guests to add details of their ‘plus ones’ or RSVP for another guest.
Similarly, you can easily design your invitations so that guests are unable to forward the invitation to others – this is a great feature for those exclusive, must-attend style events!
Oh and once you’ve pressed send on a campaign and your colleague races over with an additional few guests to add… you can easily add their details and send without any fuss.
Collecting additional data about your guests…
We mentioned earlier that you can add data fields to your invitations for your guests to complete. These form-like fields can be added to any of the designs and can be made either compulsory or not. This is a great option for collecting dietary requirements or seating requests, plus any additional contact details like mobile phone numbers, should you want to collect data for an upcoming mobile marketing campaign.
Is my data secure?
Data security is one of the features that zkipster were very keen to highlight. For a huge number of zkipster’s existing clients, the security of their guest’s personal details is a key concern. We have been assured that zkipster have invested in some pretty tight data protection for their system and that all your guest’s details will be kept safe and secure – no one is getting Kanye’s email address from zkipster!
It’s obvious zkipster have done their research. They have created a system that will be every event planner’s best buddy when it comes to sending online invitations. The system is super easy to use, intuitive and logical. The benefits of using the invitation system in conjunction with their existing event management software ensure that managing your guest list from invitation to guest check-in to post-event follow up, is a dream. zkipster offer a free trial, so if you have a need to send invitations to social, corporate, fundraising, gala or networking events, then you should do yourself a favour and check it out.