Better RSVP Rate: Evite or Paper Invitation?

Updated on September 12, 2013
A.S. asks from Chicago, IL
16 answers

I need to send out invitations to my son's class soon. I usually use evite but am surprised that the response rate isn't as good as I'd expect. I figured since it's via email it's less likely to get lost or buried in a pile, although email does get buried in an Inbox. Also thought people would be more likely to reply quicker. I should add that not RSVPing is a huge pet peeve for me. I do follow up about 5-7 days before the party so that I have a better sense of the count for food and favors for the kids. What are your experiences?

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't even do an RSVP. People just don't do them. I don't expect them to.

I put on the invitation that the party is open from __ to __ and to come if they want. I get cake for how many I invited and if they don't come we have extra cake. If they do come we don't take any cake home with us.

I DO NOT do favors, gifts for the kids who are not the birthday kiddo, or anything else. We have a party and do the activity. If the kids come they have fun, if they don't come they miss out and we get to eat cake for dessert for a few days.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I sent out paper invites (photos of the kids with the invites printed on them) and had 100% RSVP rate for both kids. We only invite friends though, not the whole class.

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answers from San Francisco on

I don't think it matters. If they want to come they will rsvp. I think when you invite the class versus just inviting actual friends you have a lot more people simply ignoring it and not bothering to respond which is of course, rude, but that seems to be the reality nowadays.
I prefer evites, no paper waste and easier to track, plus you can see if the invitation was actually viewed (no way to do that with paper.)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

If you do Evite, set it up to send automated "reminders" every couple of weeks. I've done that (and received those) and it's helpful, people are less likely to forget because it keeps showing up at the top of their Inbox.

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answers from Sacramento on

Evite, by a long shot. I got a 100% RSVP rate within days when I sent one for our daughter's birthday party in June. I was floored because I was so used to the lazy non-responders. Never again going back to paper.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

Either way there will be an excuse such as "I didn't get the email" or "I never saw the paper invitation." If you happen to have a cute paper one then use it. If you like seeing who viewed the evite, then do that.

I have had some invitations say RSVP regrets only. I honestly do not understand how the host can manage a party like this.

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answers from Chicago on

Neither is a sure bet. To be honest, people do not RSVP in general any longer. I appreciate when I can RSVP via text though. One parent included her cell phone and said "texts welcome," I found myself RSVPing immediately.

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answers from Dover on

I would send a paper copy and follow up with the evite or email. Even then I don't get the rsvp rate I would like. Some think "I didn't reply so they know I am not coming", while others think "they know I'm coming, I don't need to reply". In reality, we get less than 1/3 replying so it's anyone's guess what's happening with the other 2/3. It's rude and inconsiderate and makes for very difficult planning. Hate having so much left over and going to waste but would hate to have someone left out (especially since the ones that miss out are often the ones that replied because those that didn't reply are first in line to "get theirs").

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charleston on

Evite for sure, but it still isn't great. I am just convinced that most people just don't have any manners anymore. :( I've had to resort to calling and/or emailing just to find out whether to pay for people's kids for a b-day party. It's ridiculous.

I rsvp within 1 day of receiving an invitation - so I can get it off my plate. Who has time to wait around to see if something better will happen, which in my opinion, is what people do.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntington on

The last few showers I have thrown, I have had 2 out of 25 people rsvp. Invites were made by mail. Aggravating! However, my personal opinion is that people are more likely to see a mailed invite. I received an evite a week ago and it was totally buried in my email. I would not have noticed it at all had a friend not mentioned the party on facebook.
Good luck. I swear nobody bothers to rsvp anymore. I do not get it!

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answers from Chicago on

Evites are good if you have everyone's email and they check it.

I respond the fastest when I get an option to email or text. I over think when I should call, if by phone is the only option, and I have forgotten in the past.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My experience is that, no matter what you do, a lot of people just don't reply because they are too focused on themselves or because they think it doesn't really matter because you're inviting the whole class anyway. We see on Mamapedia all the time that people invite everyone hoping that half won't come, and those invited get sick of an invitation or a party every week or two. So you can't win.

Evites are easier to follow up on though, so I guess I'd go that route. People like to get "real" mail but then they put the invitation aside and figure they can reply later when they're at the computer. Then someone puts the mail or the soccer schedule on top of the cute envelope, and that's the end of it. Finally you contact them again saying "I really have to know" and they either reply or feel guilty so they put it off.

We just never invited the whole class because half the kids weren't our son's friends and the parents didn't know us, so there was no real motivation (unfortunately) to be all that polite or accommodating. You see it in the lack of thank you notes too. That's another reason we just kept things small, so it was more intimate, easier to keep track of, and far less expensive that a party for 20.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Sometimes Evite gets caught in a junk mail filter.

I get the best response if I mail out paper invitations, and ask for RSVP either by email, or to my cell phone by call or text.

If I give everyone all 3 options, I catch most (but not all) people.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I prefer evite. But some people just don't RSVP no matter what you do.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

How about trying Paperless Post ( I find it's the best in-between. There's no "maybe" option on the RSVP's and there are ways to see whether invitations have been received, etc. They have a variety of customizable invitations, either free or for as much as $1 each. We have had much better success with my daughter's birthday party RSVP's using Paperless Post than using Evite. And I love saving paper, too!



answers from Los Angeles on

I dont think it matters. I did a party AT chick fil a and stressed on the invite that I had to preorder the food. We invited about 20 kids total (I knew we would not get 100% turn out) it was her soccer team (11), 3 other friends and 6 cousins. 2 kids from the team said they couldnt come and 3 cousins. 9 came (plus my 2 kids). 5 RSVPed yes on their own and I asked the other 10. 6 that I asked to confirm and gave me their childs order did not show (1 had a family emergency and texted us during the party.) so even if you drag an rsvp out of someone they still might not come.

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