In a previous post (“Why a choir email marketing list should be your top priority”) I described how a choir mailing list, with email addresses, could become one of your choir’s most valuable assets. It provides the basis on which you can build audience and choir membership.
In the post I did make a few suggestions on how to build that choir mailing list but, as a result of some discussions I’ve had with a couple of people from other choirs, I thought it worth going into more detail.
I am sure that I do not have all the answers for collecting contact details from potential choir supporters, so this post is more of a ‘conversation starter’ than a definitive guide. I would be delighted if you could comment with ideas or examples of ways in which you have succesfully built your choir mailing list.
Be aware of privacy and GDPR
In 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force protecting the privacy of individuals ‘personal data’ (including email address). It therefore impacts what you can and can’t do to collect and process contact details. I recommend that you read my post on the topic (“GDPR for Choirs – don’t bury your head in the sand”) so that you do not fall foul of the regulation in building your choir mailing list.
The key thing to do is be very explicit and open about what you will use the contact details for. You must ensure that individuals actively ‘opt-in’ to receiving your communications and you need provide the ability for them to ‘unsubscribe’ at any point.
Using an online service, such as Mailchimp, to collect, store and use email addresses will enable you to comply, and show compliance, with GDPR. In addition they enable you to create and distribute professional looking newsletters and emails to your supporters.
Use every opportunity to add to your choir mailing list
Rather than attempting to build your choir mailing list in one big action it is easier to use every opportunity where you engage with potential choir or audience members to collect details. Here are a few examples that I would suggest you try out.
Friends and Family
As with many areas in the field of choir publicity your best avenue is often through your existing choir members. Using the online services like Mailchimp you can provide a sign-up form on your website, on your facebook page or a free-standing ‘landing page’ and encourage your members to request all their friends and family.
On your choir website
You should have a sign-up form on your website that encourages visitors to register to receive your newsletters. This can be in the ‘footer’ of each of your web pages or as a “smart-bar” at the top.
Although some people might find them mildly irritating, it is recognised that having “popups” on your website will increase the likelihood of signup. Using a good popup tool also means you can configure them to reduce the irritation by only appearing on certain pages or devices and as a result of certain activity such as going to leave the page.
On Social Media
On your profiles, such as on your choir Facebook page, you should place a button to link to your mailing list sign-up page. If you have a choir Twitter account then I would recommend ‘pinning’ a Tweet with a link to your sign-up page to the top of your account profile. This means that it stays there, at the top, without progressing down the timeline.
On your Email Signature
Your email app, such as AppleMail, Microsoft Outlook or Gmail, will allow you to create a ‘signature’ that is placed under each email you send. This is normally used to put your name and contact details at the end of your message, but you can also use it to place a link (perhaps on an image) to your choir mailing list sign-up page.
Make your Newsletters shareable
Make sure that in your email newsletter you include a “forward to a friend” button that allows a reader to send the newsletter onto friends who may be interested. They can then sign-up to receive the newsletter directly.
If you do your own ticketing for concerts then collect email contact details from ticket purchasers (as long as you follow GDPR compliant principles). This may not be possible if you use external agencies, such as theatre box-offices, to sell your tickets for you.
At your concerts
Provide the ability for concert goers to sign-up and receive your newsletters as they leave the concert. This can be done through a choir representative having an iPad/Tablet on which your choir mailing list sign-up ‘landing page’ is accessed or even ‘old school’ paper sign-up sheet (as long it is clear what the individuals are signing up for to comply with GDPR).
Via promotional materials
On all your digital promotional materials you can include a link to your sign-up page. But also try adding a comment to printed materials, such as posters, flyers, banners and tickets, about how to sign-up to your newsletter. If you can personalise the sign-up page url to something simple then you could include it – or even a special email address to register for your updates.
How are you building your choir mailing lists?
As I said upfront – I am sure I do not have all the answers. What have you found that has worked for your choir? Do you have any bright ideas? Please share them below.