Are you organizing an event and are struggling to get your guests to RSVP? With our WordPress form builder, you can quickly collect RSVPs via text.
If you’ve ever organized a party or worked as a professional event planner, then you know how difficult it is to get guests to RSVP.
Thankfully, you can solve this problem by making the process less stressful. In the past, the only way to do this was by allowing guests to RSVP online.
Let’s get into it.
Advantages of text-based RSVP forms
How much of a difference would it make to let your guests RSVP by SMS compared to the usual “send them an email to visit your wedding website” route? Well, a lot.
People don’t like to open emails
When you send an email with a link to your event website, there is a 15 - 25% chance that the recipient opens the email. If they do, it may take them 90 minutes or more to reply (Source).
Now, getting them to click the link is another problem. The average click-through rate for emails is 2.5% (Source). Let’s assume yours will be higher because the recipients know you, but you’re still working against huge odds.
So, if you send an online RSVP form to 100 people, maybe 35 of them will open your email. And if you're lucky, 2 people may fill the form immediately after opening it.
Honesty, this isn't much better than paper RSVP cards. It can put a wrench in your party planning and is sure to cause some delays.
Text messages are opened in 90 seconds or less
Conversely, the average open rate for text messages is 98% and people typically respond to an SMS within 90 seconds of receiving it (Source). The difference is massive.
Imagine forms that can be sent via text. How good would it be to send your birthday invitation text message to 100 people and have 90+ of them reply in 90 seconds?
You can simply use your guests' one-word SMS replies to fill your form. That's it!
The RSVP text message sample below shows how it’d look:
Just like that, your RSVP form is filled and submitted. Your friends can go on with their day and you can get to planning your party.
Please note that this entire process is automated via the Formidable Forms® plugin. So, you don’t have to sit by your phone, send text messages to 500 people, and record their responses manually.
So, how do you set up RSVP via text? Here you go:
Creating RSVP via text with Formidable Forms
To configure RSVP by SMS, you must have previously set up a WordPress website for your event/party. You will need this to create an online RSVP form that your guests can fill.
If you have a website, follow the steps below to convert your website-based form to a text-based one:
Step 1: Install Formidable Forms
If you’re not already using it on your WordPress website, quickly install and activate Formidable Forms. The entire process can be completed in 3 minutes or less.
Step 2: Create your RSVP form
To create the RSVP form, go back to your WordPress dashboard. Then, click on Forms; it’s the first entry under the Formidable tab.
When you're done creating it, this is a sample of what your RSVP form should look like:
If you need any help creating the entries as shown in the image above, here’s how to create a WordPress form.
Take note of the ID of this RSVP form, it will be required in Step 3. You'll find the form ID on the Formidable → Forms homepage.
Step 3: Set up your form to collect RSVPs via text
On your WordPress admin dashboard, go to Formidable → Add-Ons.
Scroll down the Add-Ons page until you find Twilio. Click install.
Follow steps 2 to 4 under the set up text voting section to configure your form to receive replies.
NOTE: At the end of the Messaging URL string, replace "5" with the ID of the RSVP form you created in Step 2.
Now, your RSVP form is ready to receive responses from your potential guests.
Step 4: Prepare your guest list form
The next step is to prepare a form that contains your guest list. Ideally, you should have the details of the people you're sending a party invitation to. This information could exist in 2 formats: in a physical notebook or an electronic spreadsheet.
Whatever format your guest list is in, you need to create a Formidable form version of it. So:
1. Using our drag and drop builder, create a new form with 2 entries for name and phone number as shown below:
2. Take note of your field IDs that correspond to the highlighted section above, you’ll need them in Step 5.
3. Navigate to Settings → General. Scroll to the end of the page and compose the message you want your guests to receive when they reply to your text.
4. Now, go to the right-corner of the page. Click Update, but remain on the page.
If your guest list is in a physical notebook, you’ll need to fill this form manually. However, don’t start filling it yet.
On the other hand, if your guest list exists digitally on a spreadsheet, Formidable Forms has a feature that lets you import form entries. We’ll show you how to do that in Step 6.
Step 5: Configure your form to send RSVP via text message
1. On the same page you’re currently on, navigate to Settings → Actions & Notifications. Click on Send Twilio SMS.
2. Configure the Send Twilio SMS section as shown below:
3. The To field collates the phone numbers of everyone on your guest list. So, replace the “P” above with the ID of your number field. You’ll find the ID in Step 4(3).
4. Instruction 6 in the form submission section outlines the different ways you can fill the From field.
5. Compose the text in the Message field as you wish. To personalize every SMS you send out, replace the “N” in the sample image above with the ID of your name field (found in Step 4(3)).
6. Fill the Trigger this action when field by selecting the 2 options shown below:
7. When you're done, click Update at the top-right corner of your screen.
Your guest list form is now ready to send text messages.
Step 6: Send your RSVP via text message
1. To send the text messages, you need to publish your guest list form.
2. Afterward, fill out the names and phone numbers of your guests individually and Submit. This does 2 things: it creates a database with their details and sends an SMS to each guest.
3. Conversely, if you’re importing your guest list, follow the steps in the linked article. As each entry gets imported to your guest list form, an SMS is sent to the phone number.
4. Since you linked your Twilio account to your RSVP form in Step 3, responses from your potential guests are sent to that form. And they fill the 1, 2, or 3 radio options.
5. You can find your guests' responses under Formidable → Entries.
Our Views feature lets you display the entries collected by the form as you wish: on a table or in a list. Check it out.
Create powerful applications with Formidable Forms
Formidable Forms is the most advanced WordPress form builder, and we combine ease of use with near-limitless functionality. With 30+ add-ons, over 125 hooks, and easy integration with platforms like WooCommerce, Salesforce, MailChimp, and PayPal, you can quickly turn your forms into powerful applications.
This is why over 300,000 businesses (including Apple, H&M, PBS, Audi, and Wells Fargo) trust us to handle their form building and data collation. It’s why Formidable Forms® is one of the highest-rated plugins on WordPress.
RSVP by text is just one more way you can use Formidable Forms to make your life easier. Beyond event planning, this feature opens up a world of possibilities for SMS-based data collection.
Remember, people are 7-times more likely to respond to a text message than an email. Imagine how much potential this has to change the way you reach and communicate with your audience.
More posts about SMS-based forms
Do you want to try out the RSVP by text feature? Start by installing and activating Formidable Forms. First-time users get 50% off our pricing plans.