For small businesses and nonprofits, tracking the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns can be a struggle. That obstacle is something the Georgia Museum of Art’s communications team deals with daily. Communications Director Hillary Brown invited the What’s in Store crew to learn how she’s using Mailchimp optimization tools such as reports and segmentation to keep tabs on campaign performance.
Via the museum’s website, customers can make donations, sign up for tours, and purchase merchandise. The communications teams puts out a weekly email updating their members and media outlets on the programming, as well directing them to the website. Because the majority of the museum’s offerings are free, staying on top of every communication that goes out to visitors and press is key. Tracking the impact of their weekly messaging has always been the museum's biggest challenge.
Before the team used Mailchimp, they were going about their marketing the old-fashioned way. “We sent a weekly email of events, but it was text-based,” Hillary says. “There was no way to gauge impact, and they took up a lot of effort relative to the reward.”
To accomplish their marketing goals of increasing attendance, and raising awareness for museum events, Hillary and her team are optimizing their messaging. They do this by leveraging Mailchimp reports to figure out what’s working for different segments of the museum’s audience, and then following up with their most engaged subscribers.
Step 3: Send a personalized follow-up
From there, the communications staff can personalize their follow-up emails, and future correspondence with different journalists.
“The data prompts me to send a personal email saying, ‘Hey! How’s it going? I saw that you opened our advance exhibition schedule, and I think you might be particularly interested in these shows.’ If I can see specific clicks, even better!”
Step 2: Analyze reports
Once Hillary’s team sends out their targeted messaging, they can then use Mailchimp’s reports to determine how those different campaigns are performing.
“When we send out our big advance exhibition schedule twice a year, I always look at the report several times,” she says. “We can now know if our communications are being read, if media are clicking on particular exhibitions, and if we’re annoying people.”
Step 1: Target with segmentation
The team uses Mailchimp’s segmentation tools to better manage communications with different subscribers. Those lists are broken down into various categories including media, subscribers who receive the museum’s weekly email of events and exhibitions, and the museum’s Board of Advisors. Being able to segment their audience has been crucial, especially for targeting media outlets.
“Segmentation is helpful in the media list because some press releases (exhibitions, major hires) go to all media and some (events) only go to local media,” Hillary says. “We can decide who gets a given release without having to send more than one email.”