Embedding Purpose-Driven Communications into Email Marketing

The purpose of a brand is a reason for the brand to exist beyond making money. Why does your museum open its doors each day? What motivates visitors to choose your attraction as their destination?

Every arts and culture organization has a brand and that brand has a purpose. By pinpointing your organization’s purpose, you can unlock a powerful marketing tool that will enable audiences to connect deeper with your messaging. Purpose-driven communications are those that put brand-purpose at the center. Establish your organization’s brand purpose and use it to guide the development of your marketing strategy whilst considering the most effective ways to communicate that purpose to various audiences. In this blog, we’ll talk about the importance of getting to know your audience and how you can use purpose-driven communications to build lasting relationships. Let’s dive in.

What is purpose-driven communications?

To put it simply, it means communicating with your audiences in a curated and meaningful way. The core of purpose-driven communications is understanding whom you are speaking to, what message you are communicating, how you are engaging audiences and why this communication is meaningful. For arts and culture organizations, brand purpose is often about facilitating learning and engaging visitors in unforgettable experiences that provide educational and social value. Audience consideration is key here as arts and culture organizations tend to have several different target audiences or varying ages.

Get to know your subscribers and followers

  • What are the ages of your followers?
  • Will they be visiting with children?
  • Where are they located?
  • What other museums do they follow/enjoy visiting?
  • How engaged are they? Ex. open rate, CTR
  • What type of content do they respond to best? Ex. blogs, videos, photos, etc…

Social media platform insights can offer a lot of this information but doing an informal survey or poll can also work to learn more about your audiences. Developing a strategy for embedding purpose-driven communications based on audience data will likely involve a fair amount of trial and error. Consider looking beyond email marketing to social media to establish what kind of content your audience responds to by testing different types of content and using the results to inform email marketing and strategy. Effective communication involves being agile, responsive, and brave when it comes to trying out new media, trends, and delivery.

Blackbaud Altru has powerful analytic tools that can help you better understand your organization’s audiences and you can your own create patron personas. Personas are data-driven but fictionalized representations of your supporters. They describe the demographics of your core supporter segments, but personas can also describe your supporters’ motivations, channel preferences, and even personal details like hobbies. This visual representation can be very helpful when developing audience segments and marketing strategy.

Patron personas also allow you to more effectively segment the highest-impact supporters who need your team’s individualized time and attention the most. Just as purpose will be embedded in your communications, essential targeting information can also be embedded when using personas as a tool. For more information on how Blackbaud Altru can help your organization, click here.

Customer Journey

Once your audiences are established, it’s crucial to think about the path they will take when getting to know your organization; this is where the customer journey comes in. What is a customer journey? Essentially, it’s the path that subscribers follow when getting to know your organization whether it be a physical one like in the museum, or online through curated touchpoints that guide them along a certain route. Email marketing is highly effective when it comes to creating customer journeys as many popular platforms offer tools to easily send and personalized messages to audiences, guiding them towards deeper engagement.

Introducing auto-generated emails into your communications strategy can revolutionize the way that your organization creates customer journeys. Processes can be arranged where an email is sent out based on a trigger which can be a number of things like activity (that does, or does not take place), time, customer behavior and more. Auto-generated emails are also a wonderful way to add personalized touches to your communications. A warm welcome email and birthday greetings are great ways to let subscribers know that you value their time and attention. Additionally, email automation can optimize your team’s workload by eliminating manual processes and saving valuable time.

Merge tags are another great tool to improve email customization and add purposeful friendly touches to your communications. Merge tags (also known as personalization tags or personalization fields) allow you to insert data from your mailing list directly into your email campaigns. Consider using merge tags to address emails directly to readers using their first name. Think about speaking to a friend when drafting your text. The more personal you can make the message, the higher the probability of that email resulting in a lasting relationship.

Wrapping it up

I’ll end with a particularly great question that I like to share in my webinars and blogs… “Do we need this email?” Too many organisations go overboard when it comes to creating and sharing content out of an imagined need to adhere to a strict schedule or be at the forefront of audiences’ minds. Quality is always preferable over quantity when it comes not just to email marketing, but digital marketing more broadly. Embedding purpose means sending the right message at the right time, not just sending a message sometime.

Purpose-driven communications cut to the core of your organization and share your brand’s mission and values. Built on a comprehensive audience understanding, purpose-driven communications can make your subscribers, existing and potential, feel more appreciated, valued and listened to. If you are asking that people take the time to open, read and engage with your email, you should also take the time to understand their wants, needs and motivations.

Now, go forth and use your new understanding of purpose-driven communications to reinvigorate your marketing strategy.