Email Invitations

Email invitations are an easy way to invite people to your event. Review and follow these guidelines to ensure invitations are on-brand, accessible, are sent within a standardized timeline.

Keep in mind that your email invitation should:

  • Be consistent with the style, theme, or significance of the event
  • Use appropriate branding
  • Be digitally accessible
    • Accessibility guidelines are available on the digital accessibility website
    • If you send via Outlook, and insert an image of an invitation into the body of your email, you will need to include the invitation text below the image and attach a PDF for accessibility purposes.
  • Be hosted by university officials, colleges/schools, departments, or organizations, not University of Missouri or Mizzou. If you believe your invitation should be hosted by the University as a whole, contact University Events for approval (events@missouri.edu)
  • Always refer to the President as President Mun Y. Choi
    • Invitations for events that include the President must be approved by the Office of the President prior to sending.


Jump to:

General Timeline for Invitations  |  Save the Dates  |  Reviews & Approvals

Sending Email Invitations  |  Content, Layout and Design Guidelines

Invitation Examples  |   Print Invitations & Envelopes

 

General Timeline for Invitations

  • 3-6 months prior to event
    • If you plan to send a save the date to leadership or VIP guests, do so anywhere from 3-6 months prior to the event.
  • 4-12 weeks prior to event
    • Plan to send the official invitation at least 4-12 weeks prior to your event to allow guests the time to arrange their schedule to attend.
  • 1-3 weeks prior to event
    • Plan to send a follow up reminder invitation 1-2 two weeks prior to your event.

Prior to invitation distribution, make sure you have gained the necessary approvals and reviews from the appropriate offices and leadership.

If inviting leadership, forward the invite to their assistants after the initial send to inform them of the invitation. This can be done via forwarding in Outlook or attaching the invite to an email.

Sample Language to Assistants:

Good Morning!

I wanted to let you know that your administrator has been invited to the below event. If you are RSVPing for them, please do so with the Qualtrics link listed in the invitation.

  

Save the Dates

  • Save the date should include date, time, and name of the event. If the location has been confirmed, it is appropriate to share that as well.
  • Please style your Save the Date to match what the design will be for the formal invitation.

 

Reviews & Approvals

  • If the invitation lists a university official or department as event host, sponsor or participant, it must be approved or reviewed by the appropriate office. For example:
    • the Office of the President must review and approve an invitation where President Mun Y. Choi is listed as host
    • Office of the Provost must review and approve an invitation where Provost Latha Ramchand is listed as host or speaker
    • The Dean’s Office must review and approve invitations to events hosted by a school or college.

If the invitation is coming from the University as a whole (“The University of Missouri invites you to…”), it must be approved by University Events, events@missouri.edu.

 

Sending Email Invitations

Subject Lines

  • The subject line should include a call to action, the name of the event and the date of the event.
    • You’re Invited | Name of Event – Month Date, Year
    • REMINDER | Name of Event – Month Date, Year
      • You’re Invited | Deck the Columns – December 12, 2021

Platforms & Email Lists

  • If you are sending an invitation to more than 30 guests, it is recommended that you use the mass email platform your department uses (iModules, Dotmailer, etc.). A general events email template can be found on iModules. Template name: Mizzou_University Events Invite Template
  • If you do not have a mass email platform and plan to send your invite via Outlook to more than 250 people, please see the IT Mass Email Policy for more information.

 

Content, Layout & Design Guidelines

Follow these guidelines when developing your content, layout and design.

Content & Layout

Line 1

Name of the Host(s)  (optional depending on event)

  • Bold font
  • May extend to two lines when necessary
  • “President Mun Y. Choi,” “President Mun Y. Choi and Provost Latha Ramchand,” “Dean Truman Tiger,” “The College of Arts and Science”

*If the invitation is hosted by multiple entities (colleges/departments/organizations), you may skip this line and opt for “You are invited to…”. Include the list of sponsors/hosts in the event description lower in the invitation.

Line 2

Extends the invitation

  • “invite(s) you”
  • “invite(s) you and a guest to”
  • “invites(s) you to celebrate the…”
  • “You are invited to”
  • “You and a guest are invited to”

Line 3

SPACE

Line 4

Event type/name/purpose

  • Bold font
  • Name of event should be a larger size font than the rest
  • “Scholarship Lunch,” “Award Dinner,” “State of the University,” “XYZ Grand Opening”

Line 5

SPACE

Line 6

Event date

  • Bold font
  • Entire date, including year, should be written out
  • Days and months should not be abbreviated – use November, not Nov.
  • “Saturday, November 21, 2020”

*If you would like to combine the event date and time in the same line, you may do so. For example:

Saturday, November 21, 2022 | 4:30 p.m.

Line 7

Time of the event

  • Time should be AP style – p.m.
  • “at 6 p.m.,” “at 6:30 p.m.” “5-6:30 p.m.”

*If using all capital letters, “AT 6:30 PM” with no periods is acceptable

Line 7b

Further Event Information (optional)

  • If your event has a reception following the initial program, or the program starts following a reception, please note this here
  • “A brief program honoring the 2021 Mizzou faculty authors will begin at 5 p.m.,”
  • “A reception with hors d’oeuvres will follow the ceremony.”

Line 8

SPACE

Line 9

Location of Event

  • Bold the first line
  • Always include the full street address, most can be found at map.missouri.edu
  • For on campus events, include the official building name and room information
  • Include hyperlink to location on missouri.edu when possible
  • Save the dates may include only the town or University name
  • For formal invitations, include the City, State and Zip in the address

    Ellis Library Reading Room
    University of Missouri
    520 South Ninth Street
    Columbia, MO 65211

  • When hosting an event where guests need parking information, include this information below the address block in italicized font. Confirm parking accommodations and needs with Parking & Transportation.
    • Complimentary parking available in Turner Avenue Parking Structure” “For parking accommodations, please contact [EVENT HOST/POINT OF CONTACT]”

Line 10

SPACE

Line 11

Brief description of event (optional)

  • If you are hosting an inaugural event, or reimagining an old event, it may be helpful to share a brief description of what will be included at your event to build excitement and gain traction with potential guests.
  • If your event is sponsored by multiple entities (colleges/departments/organizations), you can include this information here if it was not in the host line (Line 1) at the top.
  • Keep this section brief. Long descriptions lose readers.
  • Consider linking to the event webpage or MU Events Calender which may have more information.

Line 12

SPACE

Line 13

RSVP information

  • RSVPs and/or link to Qualtrics RSVP form
    • Please remember to include an RSVP deadline at least one week prior to your event.
  • If applicable, include event dress code here.
    • “Attire: business professional” “Attire: formal black tie” “Attire: Game Day black & gold”
  • If a meal is being served, this section should ask for dietary restrictions. The Qualtrics RSVP form should also include a section for dietary restrictions.
  • Sample verbiage, with ADA requests included:
    • “Please RSVP with dietary restrictions and ADA accommodations by May 14.”

Line 14

SPACE

Line 15

Contact for questions

  • List phone number and email of the individual in charge or resource account
  • Typically in italicized font

Line 16

SPACE

Line 17

Alternate Location (optional)

  • If hosting an outdoor event, you may include the alternate location for the event
  • “The alternate location for this event in case of inclement weather will be…”

 

Design

 

Invitation Examples

Example email showing layout of content

Example email showing layout of content

Example email showing layout of content

Print Invitations

  • List the phone number and email of the person taking RSVPs.
  • If you are including a reply card, “RSVP card enclosed” should be printed on the invitation.
  • The reply cards should include areas for the first/last names of attendees, response, menu selection (if applicable) and payment information (if applicable). Always include space for dietary and accommodation requests.
  • Parking information and campus maps may be included on an invitation insert.
  • For further print invitation guidelines, please review the Mizzou Stationery Policy.

 

Addressing Printed Envelopes

  • Envelopes should be addressed in a legible font that adheres to Mizzou Stationery Policy.
  • There are many forms of address; using the correct honorific is a sign of respect. For example:
  • When in doubt, use the most formal option when addressing envelopes.