I’ve spent the last few days putting together our monthly email newsletter for people who are interested in Museums at Night. It goes out to people working at the museums on the Culture24 database, people from the Museums, Libraries and Archives council, who fund Museums at Night, and anyone else who’s interested. (And if you’d like future copies of the newsletter, you can sign up for it here.)
Newsletters are great because there’s a lot of stuff Ruth and I want to communicate! In this month’s one, we list some of the exciting events that venues are planning, to inspire others; share links to our presence on various social media spaces; point readers towards our new pages of downloadable logos and the PR toolkit; and generally subtly remind them that they don’t want to miss out on the Museums at Night fun!
These calls to action are generally pretty effective – in the days following a newsletter mailout, we’ll get lots of follow-up emails and phonecalls, see a flurry of new Museums at Night events entered onto our database, and if I call a venue to ask them if they’re taking part, I generally don’t have to explain what Museums at Night is, because people have recently been reminded.
We use the online service www.mailchimp.com to do this, which makes the process relatively simple and features a cartoon monkey mascot who offers you toasted sandwiches and comedy YouTube videos. One challenge is that because this email is going to go out to thousands of people, you don’t want any mistakes, unclear sentences or broken links. It’s very quick to stick text and photos in, but formatting the message is what takes the most time. Ideally, all the text should be the same size and without a format painter tool, this isn’t easy!
Before sending the mailout out this morning, I sent the final draft to my colleagues for double-checking. Thankfully, someone spotted the excessive number of exclamation marks I’d scattered through it, which I was able to limit to one. A blog, rather than a sector-facing newsletter, is the place to exclaim!
Do you send out newsletters? What works for you? If you’re coming to this blog post via the newsletter I’ve just sent out, was there anything you expected to read there but didn’t see?