I didn’t always use to be, but I’ve become quite the social guy. Seven years ago my Friday and Saturday nights would have been spent playing EVE Online or World of Warcraft. Nowadays, I’m out with friends doing something almost every WEEKDAY. But one of the problems I encountered when I was first developing my (now amazing) social circle and trying to figure out phone game was actually getting people out to all the things I was doing. I had my calendar full of cool things to do, but with new girls coming in and out of my life and more friends than the AFC me ever dreamed of having to manage, getting everyone to a certain place at a certain time became incredibly difficult!
Technology provided apparent solutions. The ability to mass-text dozens of people, create distribution lists on your phone, and the ability to message large groups of people through social media meant that I had a number of options for quickly sending out invites to dozens and dozens of girls who I wanted to join me at various parties and adventures. Unfortunately, I learned very quickly that mass-messaging people wasn’t actually a very effective way of getting a lot of people out for the night, to a party, or any other social gathering. Although it may have seemed to be efficient to have people grouped into distribution lists for easy sending, or even just sending the exact same message to a dozen or so people, I found that it would drastically reduce the chances of even getting a reply – let alone getting a whole bunch of people to show up! Although it certainly saved me plenty of time and energy and creative thought, I learned the hard way that relying on technology to get your social invitations out was actually very ineffective.
The Personal Invitation
The personal invite, I discovered through trial and error and observation of others, was by far the best way to ensure people would come to what you’re planning. And really, this SHOULD be common sense, but I know how easy it is to be blinded by the possibilities that technology has to offer for us PUAs. Even years later, when I was originally planning the VA Phone Game iPhone app there was talk about having the ability to mass-message groups of girls you had stored in your phone. On the surface, it seemed like a fantastic feature to add – until we considered the ramifications of thousands of guys spamming hundreds of girls each using the same canned messages over and over, ruining not only the pre-made gambits but also the chances those guys would have had with those girls if they had just taken a more personal approach to it! And looking at it deeper, we once again came around to the problem of enthusiasm, which is hard enough to convey in a text conversation, let alone a mass invite.
Ideally, you should be calling people to invite them out instead of texting. A phone call is far superior to a text message because your enthusiasm for what you’re doing is conveyed through your voice, and will help get your invitees more excited about coming. It’s also a lot harder for people to come up with excuses for not coming out on the phone than it is via text. It’s so much easier to just ignore a text (especially one that was obviously just a mass invite) than it is to come up with an excuse on the fly while the person on the other end of the call excitedly tells you the plan for the day/evening. Invites via phone call also requires less investment on the part of the invitee, which also means more people coming out to whatever you’re doing. If you send out a mass text like “hey all, we’re grabbing sushi tonight on Bloor street, who’s in?”, then anyone who is interested has to text you back asking for details like “where are you going?”, “what time are you meeting there?”, “who else is coming?”, etc, etc. Then you have to text them back, and maybe they’ll need more information so you have to go back and forth again while they figure out all the who, what, where, when, why, and how’s. With a single phone call you can do this all in one shot, alleviating any uncertainty your invitees may have and minimizing the amount of effort they have to put forth before they even decide if they want to come.
When You Have To Text
I mentioned above, there are some times when you have to text people rather than call them, but that does not mean it’s still ok to be lazy and send a mass text to everyone you can’t call. Texting is my fallback plan if I know I won’t get them on the phone or I know that the are circumstances which prevent the person from answering the call. For instance, if I know the girl probably isn’t off work yet but need to send her the plan for the night, I’m obviously going to text her and let her call me back when she’s either off work on when she’s free. It’s just good social sense.
Unless you’re a promoter and are texting hundreds of people, you should endeavour to send personal messages when texting to invite people out. Use the person’s name, nickname, and even some callback humor if appropriate. People are far more likely to respond to a personal invitation over an obviously generic message. People want to feel like you WANT them to come, they want to know that you took a few seconds out of your busy life to send them a personal invitation to come hang out with you, even if all you are doing is going down the street to meet the gang for some beers at your weekly wing night. Why do you think so many marketing emails have your name in them? Because it makes the message seem more personal, as if it was directed at you the individual rather than one of ten thousand email addresses in a database.
I have also mentioned in previous articles on phone and text game that texting is also useful for sending out the final details to everyone you’ve talked to on the day of/before the event. There are also times when, after personally inviting a girl in person or on the phone, it can be prudent to send her a text remind her or update her on the plan. Imagine you’ve got a girl who you’ve invited out for a bar hop with your friends. You’ve excitedly told her all about your plan to dress in suits and cocktail dresses and go drink classy drinks in dive bars, your friends may have even had a chance to tell her what cool outfit they’re wearing, and you’ve maybe even done a little role-play about the two of you strolling in as if you were on a red carpet and ordering a martini from some hipster bartender while calling each other “daaaahling!”. On the day of the event, you may want to text her a little reminder like “Hello dahling, we’re meeting at 10pm at Wide Open (the smallest bar in Toronto) for our first fancy drink. Be sure to wear something fabulous, there may be paparazzi around!” This can help remind her of how excited she was when she first agreed to come on this ridiculous adventure, while at the same time confirming that she’s coming.
The same kind of mentality for mass-texting also applies to Facebook events and messaging groups of people via social networking. Have you ever created a Facebook event, added a clever title and description and picture, invited hundreds and hundreds of people, and had only like 10 people respond saying they’re “going” while the other 400 didn’t even bother to respond? I certainly have. I remember, back in the early days of Facebook (back when it was theFacebook), it was easy to create an event and have everyone know about it and respond to the invite. Nowadays, between bands, clubs, performance artists, fundraisers, and special interest groups, most actively social people receive hundreds of Facebook invites every month – and most of them won’t even be viewed. I mean, I’m a guy and I get at least one invite to something on facebook every single day. Imagine being a hot girl with a thousand people on her friends list! I know some girls who have hundreds of unread Facebook messages from groups, events, or other various invites. For them, it’s gotten so far out of hand that they don’t even bother to read them anymore. So is it really that surprising that there is such a large percentage of people who never reply to your Facebook event invites?
Now, I’m not saying DON’T create a Facebook event. All I’m saying is don’t rely on it solely and expect a good turnout to your party. It is still very useful for making sure all the information (date and time, location, directions, special instructions) is easy to find for all your invitees, you just have to make sure that they know about it first. This is again why a personal invite is very powerful. If you have the person’s phone number or see them in person, bring up the event while in conversation and invite them personally. A lot of times, people will mention that they saw the Facebook event, but didn’t get a chance to respond. Many will even feel guilty and apologize. You can joke here that you’re just as bad since you get hundreds of invites and just don’t have time to respond to them all and you really only put it up so that people could find all the details.
The tools that technology gives us can be useful in certain situations. Texts can make sure that everyone quickly gets an update on the plan you’ve already talked about. Facebook events allow you to have a place where everyone can find all the details of your event, party, road trip, or whatever. In the end, however, nothing with get more friends and beautiful women you’ve been gaming out to your adventures than a personal, enthusiastic invite – ideally in person, but on the phone works just as well.
PS, if you don’t have lots of cool things to invite girls out to, check out my article on Date and Day-2 adventures for a TON of ideas!