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Best method to manage email invitations?


I'm looking for the ideal way to send out and manage email invitations.  i don't like evite because it's too cluttered.  I was using Google Calendar to send out invites.  I like Google Calendar, but the emails it sends out are pretty messy.  I discovered that it didn't inspire people to click the Yes/No/Maybe option because it was either too far down in the email, or the email itself was full of nasty headers and so forth.

part of the problem is the different ways people recieve emails.  Not all of them are using an html renderer to look at emails.  And some people access it from their blackberry's or smart phones.  So, ideally the email that is sent out should be simple enough to be handled even in text only mode.

The other problem is that all the invite services have to add additional stuff that I hate.  It's essentially advertising.  A bunch of headers and footers, and phrases about Google, and what not.

Ideally, the email should have my simple message.  And then the Yes/No/Maybe options have to be links of some sort, but they have to be very short links.  It can't be 80 characters, because the people with html turned off will see a mess.

Here's what the Google invite looks like in Outlook 2007, with html enabled:
Best method to manage email invitations?

now, it's not google's fault for the way it looks.  This is dependant on the person's email settings and will vary between clients, phones, etc.  That's why the best way to do this would be with simple text messages and short links.  And please, get rid of all the useless small print, disclaimers, and stupid mock-advertisements.

So, what's a better alternative for all of this?

OK, how about this.   I make the Google Calendar link I'm using public.  That means people can access the calendar without logging in at all.  The problem is that I can't make the specific event a link.  The other problem is that the link to the calendar is quite long, I'd like it shortened.  For the latter, I can use tinyurl to shorten the link.  Or, I can make a special page that embeds the calendar on my website.

the problem with all of this is how to get the people to use the Yes/No/Maybe options.  because if it requires any kind of logging in or anything more than clicking a button, they won't be inclined to do it.  Instead, they will just reply to my email and tell me they are or aren't coming.  but that defeats the purpose because the response is not recorded in the event.

I know this is an old thread...
I'm not sure I get what you need exactly, but have you looked at Tungle?


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