Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

Stop Spamming your Customers!

Email marketing was a topic that we covered in marketing class, but this article discusses the idea that it is crucial to know when you are sending too many emails. The article implores art organizations to do the following regarding emails: find a frequency sweet spot to which recipients would be happy to see emails from your organizations, figure out what your audience has in common, make targeted campaigns REALLY targeted.

While these points do seem fairly obvious, I certainly think that some arts organizations could do well to follow this article’s advice. Many of the arts organizations (ie ArtsJournal) who I have signed up for email updates with have over saturated my inbox with emails to the point where I do not read most of them. They’ve got to find the frequency sweet spot!

I thought the article brought up an interesting point regarding the fact that arts organizations measure the effectiveness of their emails by the percent that opens the email. Today, many people use their smart devices to check their email. In order to make the emails appear as read people will click on them and NOT even read them. I for one like to have no unread emails on my iPhone, and therefore will read all of them as soon as I see them. Unfortunately, this idea takes away from considering opening an email to be a valid measurement of effectiveness. People might be opening emails… but are they READING them??????

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4 comments on “Stop Spamming your Customers!

  1. evanjsanderson
    October 29, 2014

    You know what my least favorite thing that marketers do is? Send me emails on birthday. Whenever I have to enter by DOB when signing up for some service or product, it makes me cringe. Why, why oh why, would I want to a stupid half-hearted generic birthday message from DiningIn? It actually does the opposite of it’s intention – it makes me feel LESS special, and leads me to view the organization as out of touch.

    I think there might be a pervasive feeling that when these companies gather all of these email addresses, they need to somehow capitalize on that data. It’s easy for a department to show their supervisors: ‘Hey, look, we sent out 9 emails today. That equals money!’ But like you said Jared, most of us aren’t even reading them! They become a nuisance, and undermine the entire effort. In fact, when people are asked for their email addresses nowadays, they pause and sometimes refuse to give them out. What a shame for organizations that actually want to use that information to deliver smart, targeted communications to people who might actually be interested. It’s much easier to just shotgun blast it out and hope for the best.

    How cool would it be if one your birthday, you received an email from an actual person associated with a company you enjoy (like a theater or bookstore), wishing you happy birthday and maybe thanking you for your patronage? I would go back to that place forever.

  2. sarasps85
    October 29, 2014

    I don´t read most of the emails I receive from any newspapper or blog. I prefer to just go to the source and find them myself. This is a good question, I wonder if e-newsletters have, nowadays, any impact on the audiences. Also, I think they are just to exhaustive – full of text and not visually appealing. Arts organisations should come up with online material that it is VERY different from mainstream online communication. I don’t know exactly how but Evan´s idea doesn’t seem bad at all. Something sharp, funny and UNEXPECTED.

  3. hshambroom
    October 29, 2014

    I will be interested to see what happens in the future with email marketing campaigns. I mostly feel annoyed when I receive 70 emails a day from different companies and museums, but that being said when it’s to offer a discount or a special promotion to a place I frequent, I usually take advantage of it.

    To the article’s point of knowing your audience, I have noticed recently that museums targeting younger demographics have moved away from email campaigns and into social media. For example, LACMA recently started a SnapChat account, and I have to say the snaps they send are hilarious and always grab my attention. I wonder if other museums will start to stray towards newer apps to market in creative ways.

  4. emkais
    October 29, 2014

    I’m conflicted on this matter. I do think email marketing can be awful and wonderful. I also do tend to zero in on the emails I’ve found to really enjoy from the organizations who do a really great job in their email campaigns. I find if the content in the email adds a little something extra I cannot get on their site then that’s a great hook. Even if they can repackage and deliver the info to me in an interesting manner that’s also a hook. Regarding your point about opening up an email but not actually reading it…I do the flip. I save unread emails from my favorite and reliable organizations to read when I have down time. So, while they likely only track the open rates of an email for say a week…I may not actually open and read it until my next lull in email activity. My open wouldn’t necessarily register with them in a meaningful way or time frame.

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