Exciting Updates and Introducing Anyvite Plus

For the past two years, Anyvite has been the easiest way to create and send invitations online for thousands of people. Over the past few months, we’ve seen a steady increase in new people discovering just how easy it is to send invitations with Anyvite, which has introduced its share of new challenges for the service. In order to continue offering the same level of functionality and reliability that Anyvite has become known for, we’re going to be making a few improvements in the coming days, which we’d like to share with you.

We’ve noticed two main problems that we feel need to be addressed in order to continue providing a great service.

  1. As with any increase in visitors to a website, the servers which power the service take a beating, which we’ve seen evidence of in recent months with slower page loads and sporadic periods of downtime.

  2. Some individuals have started taking advantage of the 1,000 guest list limit to mass email large groups of people for their own personal gain, resulting in email delivery problems for all users across the board. While we understand that occasionally some events are misinterpreted by end users as spam, steps must still be taken to limit these types of events in the future.

To deal with these issues, we’ve decided to take the current free service and break it into two tiers, Anyvite Basic and Anyvite Plus.

Anyvite Basic will continue as the free service you know and love. To help with the cost of servers, we’re introducing advertising on the main invitation page, and to limit both spam and the overall effect on system performance, we’re limiting new invitations to a maximum of 250 guests. You can take a look at a sample Anyvite Basic invitation here: http://anyvite.com/events/home/nigtxyioru

While Anyvite Basic is suited for most events, we realize that there are some event organizers who routinely invite more than 250 guests and prefer invitations without advertising. For them, we’ve created Anyvite Plus, which features advertising free invitations and an increased guest list cap of 1500 people (which is 50% larger than the current Anyvite offering). In addition, we’re also introducing significantly enhanced capabilities for customizing the look and feel of your invitations, including changing fonts, colors, styles, and even allowing the use of custom CSS. You can get all of these new features and functionality for the low price of $10 per event.

We’re really excited about Anyvite Plus because it gives us the opportunity to release great features, like enhanced customization options, to users who can really take advantage of them. It also gives power users a way to contribute to Anyvite, so we can continue to provide and improve upon the service you know and love!

These changes will be going into effect for all newly created events starting on November 1st, 2010. Everyone should start seeing improvements in page load speed and less downtime almost immediately, and a higher percentage of emails being delivered directly to recipients inboxes as time goes on. We’d love to hear your feedback on these changes, so please contact us at any point with your thoughts. Thanks and happy holidays!

UPDATE: We’ve also added an additional option to only remove the advertising, without an increase in the guest list cap or additional customization. You can read more about that here: http://anyvite.com/blog/2010/11/an-additional-option-for-removing-ads-from-anyvite/

  • http://blog.scoopst.com/ David Ambrose

    Great initiative Jeff! Would love to see what the freemium event page looks like with ads.

  • http://anyvite.com anyvite

    Absolutely! Just added a link to a sample invitation which includes a banner ad.

  • eneely

    This new plan strikes a great balance. I don't mind an advertisement to pay for a great service. In fact, I'll go out of my way to visit those advertised sites. (Just don't advertise websites that are low-rent scams, please! I'm amazed at the junk sites that respectable websites like weather.com show.)

    For commercial users, a fee structure makes sense, as well. Per event is a great way to go, I think.

    This is the best invite system out there. Keep up the good work!

  • eneely

    Just looked at the sample page. I think we'd all agree that SAP is not a scammer :)

  • http://blog.scoopst.com/ David Ambrose

    Very cool Jeff. I emailed Dan about getting us potentially onboard as advertisers. Let me know when you guys have some more details/next steps.


    You have to be kidding.
    We have a non-profit group and have been using Anyvite for some months now. We don't have the ability to pay $10 per invite (don't care about the ads, but our member list now stands at about 550)
    I don't have any problem with your changing your service, it is certainly your right.
    However, to inform us by email on November 2 (I've forwarded our notification email to you at support@anyvite.com) that the policy change was effective November 1, is just plain nasty.
    Now, we have to come up with some other service or method for our members, with no lead time at all.
    I take back all the nice things I ever said about Anyvite in the past. Even though wit the new system, I would have recommended it to those who could afford it, I can't say I would do that now. This one act of inconsideration certainly erases any confidence I have in your ability to serve paying customers.

  • Mcollignon

    Is it possible to add an automated “recurring event” function to the site? I host a weekly event, and having to copy and paste the invite every week is slightly annoying.

    Oh, wait… I don't see the “copy invitation” function anymore. What happened to that?

  • Ben

    I'm switching to mypunchbowl.com. Their paid plan is priced much better ($50/year); anyvite would cost me $520/year at this new pricing.

  • http://anyvite.com anyvite

    Recurring invitations is on our list of things to consider for the future. The Copy Invitation button is only being displayed for Live events now to prevent any confusion before the event is launched.

  • http://anyvite.com anyvite

    Hey Ben, I don't see where you're hosting any events over 250 guests so unless you have a problem with the single banner ad on the page, I don't see why you would have to upgrade to Anyvite Plus at all. You can continue to use the service in exactly the same way you have been. Let us know if we missed something…

  • http://anyvite.com anyvite

    We replied to this user by email but I wanted to post a follow up here also. I told him, and will extend the same offer here, that if any non-profits (or anyone at all!) are negatively affected by this change, let us know and we'll work with you to ensure the affect is minimal. We're not trying to be “nasty” we're just trying to keep the service moving in the right direction.

  • http://anyvite.com anyvite

    We hate those scam ads as much as anyone. If anyone happens to see one on Anyvite, please email us the name of the company or service in the ad and we'll try to block it from showing up again!

  • Ben

    To summarize email conversation I've had with Anyvite:

    I send out frequent small invites (ten people, once a week). I would happily pay money to get rid of ads, but not *that* much money; it comes out to $500 per year, when I can get the same thing elsewhere (mypunchbowl.com) for $50 per year. With this change, Anyvite is a bad deal if you want high-frequency low-voume ad-free invites.

  • Mcollignon

    Awesome. I hope it is added soon. The only other place I've seen it is Evite, and they are teh suck. Hence why I'm here.

  • Anthony

    I like what you're doing with the site. I don't mind an ad or 2 in order to support such a great service. It beats Evite anyday… HOWEVER, there is still (in my opinion) a major issue. I seriously think there needs to be (or I guess I should say I would love it if there was) an option to leave the details of the event OFF of the initial invitation email in order to get people to go to the actual invitation by clicking on the “View the Invitation” link within the email. I usually put a lot of work into the look and style of the invitation and I'd like for people to actually see it. A lot of people just end up looking at the email and never going to the site because they have all the information they need in the email. Yes, I understand that Evite does that in oder to get as much traffic as possible to make more money on ads, but I think Anyvite should at least give us the option of including or not including the details of the event in the email. You already have this option on the “Contact Guests” tab with the little check box option “Include the invitation details in the message” at the bottom. Why not just add it to the initial invitation as well? (or whenever you send or add another guest) Why are people going to visit the invitation page that I've worked so hard on when they have all the details they need in the email? This may not seem like a big deal to some people, but when it's a Halloween Party and I'm positing a picture from the year before as the main picture trying and entice people to come, it really matters to me. But besides all that, I just plain want people to go to my invitation page to get into the spirit of the party AND so I can at least see if they got the invitation or not. Some of the people I invited never got the initial email because it went straight to their spam filter. Week after week I saw that they still haven't visited the site, therefore, I just thought they were completely ignoring the invitation. I ended up emailing them directly (not from the site) and they were like “huh? I never got the email!”. They looked in their filter and saw it there. They ended up coming to the party, but only because i contacted them directly. – that kind of goes against the whole idea of making invitations easier isn't it?

    Anyway, sorry for the rant, I just think that option needs to be standard on your site. Would solve a lot of problems and I'd end up using your site for more events than just Halloween.

    I really hope you add this much needed option to your site.

  • Pstumbo

    Anthony is right on target… Why open the invitation if you get all the information you need from the email.

    As the Host, the problem this causes is that you do not know if your recipients actually recieve the invitation. You also do not have any idea of how many people you are reaching, or number of people that actually viewed your invitation.

    I too was a 500 plus user on Anyvite, and now am trying to figure out how to send out my three invitations per week. I have no problem paying a monthly plan if i could understand all my choice with this new plan. What happened to the Premium Basic plan for $19.95 a month with upto 1500 guests per event… ( Is this still a choice)???

  • http://anyvite.com anyvite

    In case anyone comes across this comment, I wanted to mention that we rolled out this feature last week. If you go to the Edit Details page and click the “Additional Options” link towards the bottom, there is now an option to no include the details in the invitation emails. If you have any feedback, let us know!

  • http://anyvite.com anyvite

    I just added a reply to Anthony's post mentioning that we added the feature to not include all of the details in the emails. It's not the default, but you can enable it by following the directions in that post. That's one of those things we never would have though our users wanted without you guys telling us so thanks!

    I understand the premium options are a bit confusing right now. If anyone sends two or fewer large invitations per moth, their best bet is to use this new Anyvite Plus upgrade. If another sends more than two large ones per month, then it's going to be cheaper to sign up for an Anyvite Premium Site which you can read more about at http://anyvite.com/premium.

    Let me know if that still isn't clear!

  • Karl

    I'm glad this is an option, but just an option, not the default; it drives me crazy when I get evites and I'm forced to click through just to see when the heck the event is!