Hi Team,

 Calendar invites is the chat for today. 

The scenario is

you have your wonderful event all organised, live and people have started registering for it. When they register, you are sending them on a customer journey and sending them a marketing email with their registration confirmation, as well as the details of the event – time, day, location, etc.

  Would it not be nice if we could also send them a calendar invite file to add to their Outlook, Google Calendar, or Apple Calendar?

 Of course, it would! Keep reading. 

Definitions

Just to make sure we are all on the same page, when I say a calendar invite I mean an ICS file, which is a calendar file saved in a universal calendar format used by several email and calendar programs, including Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, and Apple Calendar. https://fileinfo.com/extension/ics

 

What you need

  1. Marketing email
  2. Customer journey
  3. ICS calendar file hosted somewhere 

Marketing email and a customer journey

We won’t go into much detail of how to set up the marketing email, or the customer journey here. Even a very simple ones would do to illustrate the point. 

ICS

The easiest way to create one is in your calendar app, let’s say Outlook, 

Either double- click on the date for your event or Click New Appointment   >  Fill in the details of the event, name, locations, start and end time > Click Save > Click File > Save As > And just save it in a location that you recognise and can remember. 

 

 

The next step is to host it somewhere. If you have a company supporting your website, pass the file on to them and they can pass you back the URL.

Or if you are managing your website yourself and you are using a platform like let’s say WordPress, you can upload it there. The important part is to get the URL for where the file is saved.

For our blog example I am going to use the Argentinian holidays from Calendar Labs – a website hosting the national holidays for most countries, and many other popular calendars. https://www.calendarlabs.com/ical-calendar/

 Once you have the URL, the rest is very quick and easy.

 

Add calendar invite link to an email

Attachments are not currently supported for a marketing email, so what we will do is add a button and point it to the location of your calendar invite.

 To do this, go to your marketing app> Marketing email > open it > Add a button element from the toolbox > Click on it > in the link text box, add the URL to your calendar invite. (or to the Argentinian national holidays in our case).

 And that’s you done. To send the email you need a customer journey with a segment and a marketing email tiles.

From the customer's point of view

This means that when we send the email to a customer and they click the button, the ICS file will get downloaded to their machine. Clicking on it, will open up the invite and let them save it to their Outlook or other calendar app.  And Voila, no customer will miss your event because they have forgotten. 

Hope that makes sense, people. If it doesn’t, or you want to chat more about what else we could do with it, do get in touch.