Email marketing is an essential tool in your marketing mix. No other channel is as good at reaching your customers and as effective at building personal relationships with customers. In fact many large performing arts venues in Australia would attribute their email newsletter as the number one marketing tool driving event ticket sales.

But what about social media? While building your social media following is important for an integrated campaign, you’ll always be at the mercy of ever changing algorithms requiring increased investment to have your message seen, where as through email marketing you have complete control over the distribution of your message.

With this in mind we’ve put together some tips to help you get started with creating great email marketing campaigns.

Building your enews subscriber list

There are lots of ways to encourage people to subscribe to your enewsletter, here’s a couple of ideas

  • Collect email address when they purchase a ticket -especially if you sell tickets through an online platform. Alternatively have a sign up sheet to record their email address at ticket point of sales
  • Add an opt in question to your post show surveys
  • Include a subscription link on your email signature
  • Collect business cards at events
  • Add subscription link on Facebook

You can also incentivise subscriptions by offering

  • exclusive access to the best seats
  • discounts and offers
  • regular giveaways such as show tickets or prizes from local businesses

You may also consider approaching like-minded businesses or organisations with a competition for their customers (such as a ticket giveaway). Through this type promotion you not only gain wider event exposure but everyone who enters the competition should be signed up to your enews as part of the terms and conditions.

Keep your enews subscriber list in a database program or an excel document. That way it is will be much easier to manage when it comes to sorting and importing into an email marketing platform. Here's a template we created to get you started.

Enews Regulations and Spam

Once you’ve got your list ready and before you send any emails it is really important to be sure you are complying with email laws and regulations. You can read a little more about this through this Campaign Monitor resource. Another useful resource to consider is how to avoid getting caught in Spam Filters.

Enews platforms to try

It’s a good idea to manage your enews through an email-marketing platform such as Mail Chimp, Vision 6 or Campaign Monitor.

These three platforms offer very simple tools like drag and drop functionality to help you build good looking, mobile responsive enewsletters. Mobile responsive means your enews looks great on both desk top computers and mobile devices, this is important as the use of mobile devices continues to grow rapidly. Importantly unsubscribe functionality is included which means you’ll always be complying with spam regulations and unsubscribes won’t ever get missed (which can happen when they are being manually handled).

Mail Chip is a good place to start, as they offer free access if your list of subscribers is less than 2,000. While Campaign Montior and Vision 6 both start at $9 a month and the price increases with your subscriber list. For example a subscriber list of 5,000 with the most basic functionality on Mail Chimp will cost $50 per month, Campaign Monitor charges $69 per month and Vision 6 starts at $49 per month. Each platform offers increased pricing based on your functionality needs.

One of the most powerful features enews platforms offer is analytics and reporting. By using an enews platform, you’ll be able to monitor how many people open your enews, click on links or choose to unsubscribe. This is important so you can be sure you are producing engaging relevant content that is valued by your enews subscribers.

Remember people are subscribed to so many enewsletters, so don’t send out an enews just for the sake of it. Make sure your enews is an engaging read, include images that are cropped well and copy that is short and interesting.