Title:E-Mail Newsletters for the Museum and Its Visitors
Authors:Ted Drake
Publication:MW2002: Museums and the Web 2002

This presentation will discuss the steps necessary to set up an effective e-mail marketing plan for museums, with the emphasis on newsletters. To maintain a positive impression, you must understand the line between ethical and non-ethical use of e-mail. Most museums use direct mail to send unsolicited information to prospective members' homes. While this is tolerated in the physical world, it is not accepted in the virtual world. It could leave your museum open to criticism, problems with your Internet service provider, and even legal troubles. The line between permission based mailing and 'spam' must be understood before an e-mail marketing plan is begun.

The tone and style of an e-mail campaign should match the other publications of the museum; perhaps the same team that prepares the information for a printed newsletter will prepare the electronic newsletter. Once the message has been produced, it has to be distributed to the recipients. Production and distribution could be achieved with Microsoft Outlook and Qualcomm's Eudora, but these programs do not offer the flexibility, tracking, and efficiency of programs designed for mass mailings. Stone Analytic's Key Factor and mailing list options will be discussed as well.

Are you ready to use the most efficient, affordable tool in your marketing chest? E-mail will help you build the visitor foundation every museum needs for future growth and solidity.