BLOG 14th November 2018

The Forgotten Emails

Every piece of text on your website, every room in your venue, and every image in your programme - they're all chances to engage with someone, tell them about who you are, or enhance their visitor experience.

One of the most neglected spaces in cultural marketing is in the 'forgotten' emails. These are things like sign-up forms, subscription confirmations, or automatic welcome emails. Often, these are set up once and forgotten about, or worse, left as the original template of your email client, or not even sent at all.

Once someone takes the active step to sign up to your newsletter, they are already interested in what you do. Now it's time for you to start building that relationship with them, converting them from an interested person, to a loyal advocate for your organisation.

Here are some ways to make sure every part of the email journey is working for you and your subscribers.

Sign up forms

Your sign up form is the first point of contact for any new subscriber. Use your brand colours, logo, or an interesting visual to customise your form. To customise a sign-up form in Mailchimp, go to the lists section in the top menu tab and then click on ‘Sign up forms’.

You'll need to make sure that your sign-up form is GDPR compliant too, and start building that trust with the reader. We've covered some of the main aspects of GDPR and email marketing in another blog post, but here are the main things you need to include:

What are they signing up to? You can link to your privacy notice. How often it is sent. Let them know they can unsubscribe at any time. Only ask for the info you need. Clear unambiguous action to subscribe - not pre-ticked.


Once you've got the basics covered, you can get a bit more creative with your sign up form. This beautiful image of Naomi Campbell was incorporated into the National Portrait Gallery's subscription pop-up on their website. It encapsulates what they're about, and what benefits the reader will get from signing up to their newsletter.

National-Portrait-Gallery-Subscription-Pop-Up.jpg?mtime=20181109134556#asset:1090


Confirmation Forms

Most email marketing services will require two-step verification. So once people subscribe, they'll be sent a confirmation email to check it was really them. This is another chance to add visuals and text to reflect your brand. Here's a simple but effective example from The Young Vic:

Hurray! Welcome! And thanks for confirming your email address. You've been added to our list and will be the first to hear exciting news about the Young Vic. If you haven't done so already, please add us to your address book just to be safe.

Another thing to consider is personalising these emails. Buffer add a name and and a photo from a specific staff member to their emails:

Hey there, Welcome to Buffer! We'd love to make sure we've got the right email for you. Please click the button below. :-) Thanks, Joel. Photo of Joel.


Welcome emails

This is another thing that can be set up to happen automatically in MailChimp. This is the first email that any new subscriber will get - and they are more likely to open this than most subsequent emails. So use it wisely to not only welcome them, but to invite them to engage.

Do you want them to check out your latest programme, or invite them to a free gallery tour?

Here's what the MAC send to all new subscribers, a £5-off voucher for any first booking.

Fancy £5 off your first booking? Enjoy £5 off your first booking at the MAC. Simply quote WELCOME5 online or at the box office. Browse shows.

When writing text, think about your target market. What kind of personality should show through in your writing? You don't necessarily need to be formal - are you welcoming, fun, indulgent, calm, or energetic? Here's a great example of welcome email copy from Portico. 

We’re really pleased that you came to visit Portico and have agreed to join our mailing list. With our fantastic array of events and your evidently excellent taste in arts and culture, this is surely the start of a beautiful relationship! **(Now when we say relationship, please don't panic: we won't send that many emails - just one every ten days or so. We'll never share your data with a third party and always keep your details safe. And if at any time you want to unsubscribe just scroll down to the unsubscribe bit at the end. Or, if you really want, send us a sparky Dear John letter detailing all our faults...)

Pre and Post-event emails

Most ticketing systems allow for automatic pre and post-event emails. Before an event, you can remind the visitor of their booking, and give them handy advice about transport, weather, food, and what to expect. Here's part of the Lyric's pre show email, giving really helpful transport and parking info.

A section of a pre event email from the Lyric theatre, featuring a map, and transport instructions for car, bike, bus, and walking.


Around half of all companies didn’t send after-sales emails - missing out on collecting positive customer reviews, and finding out what they could improve. 

Post-event emails also let you thank the visitor, invite them to come back to another event or show, and give you the chance to ask for facebook or tripadvisor reviews.

We hope this has given you some email-inspiration. Even setting up a welcome email will take only 30 minutes or so, and will keep working for you every time someone signs up to your list.

Colette Headshot

Colette Fahy

Communications Executive communications@wewillthrive.co.uk

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