Tag Archives: Audience Engagement

Vertical Response

What is Vertical Response?

Vertical Response is a web-based email marketing campaign service that is geared for both large and small audiences. This tool allows arts organizations to create unique emails, surveys, and landing pages to connect with their audiences and subscribers. Vertical response has a free 60-day trial, but following that there are three pricing options, two of which operate on a sliding scale. They offer a basic and pro subscription which ranges from $11-$363. The Pro version offers more features such as A/B testing and additional information on the analytic reports. Individuals also have the option “Pay as you go” meaning paying for each email that is sent rather than pay for unlimited emails per month. Emails and surveys are created online via a computer through the Vertical Response email manager editing page. Vertical Response has roughly 30 templates for users to edit for their use as well as a “Create you Own” option. This system is most useful because it is easy to establish mailing lists and schedule emails, allowing administrators to write several emails at once and not have to go back and send them later. The system also has the option to schedule auto-follow-up emails to send to specific groups, such as those that didn’t open the first email.

Emily Johnson. “Screenshot of Final AMGT Class Email .” 19 February 2020. Vertical Response.

Arts organizations would benefit from using this system because it allows organizations to create well-designed email to share information and advertisements with their audiences. Ambassador Theater uses Vertical Response to manage their launch page and reach audiences through regular emails. Many private artists such as Mick McAndrews also use Vertical Response since it is an affordable resource to send email campaigns to audiences.

Toolkit for Podcasting

In 2004, former MTV video jockey Adam Curry and software developer Dave Winer created a program designed to read RSS feed and download audio files, leading them to launch the world’s first ever “podcast.”

Podcasts are a creative storytelling medium free for listeners to download that engages 62 million Americans weekly, with 40% of them being under the age of 24. Given that many American art museums wish to expand their relationship with young adult audiences, capitalizing on podcasting as a tool for engaging millennials is crucial to arts managers.

Museum managers use podcasting to create intimate encounters with their institution outside of museum walls. Additionally, they use the medium to create advocates out of their young adult audience by engaging them in their mission through audio.

I hear you, museums should use podcasts to attract young people, but isn’t it expensive to create a podcast? Not necessarily! There are several tools needed to create a podcast, but many of them are available at reasonable prices.

  • Microphone — phone sound memo (free) handheld mic (min. $100)
  • Laptop for editing, hosting, listing, promotion, and funding — Macbook ($1,200)
  • Sound Editing Software — Audacity (free), GarageBand (free)
  • Hosting Service stores the audio file on the web — Anchor (free), Libsyn ($5-$40/mo)
  • Submit RSS Feed for Listing on Directories — Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play
  • Promotion — Canva (free), SquareSpace ($12-$40/mo)
  • Funding — Patreon (free to start)

Sidedoor, a podcast produced by the Smithsonian, is an excellent example of a museum using podcasting to reach young audiences by providing them with an inside look into the millions of secret objects stored in their vaults, an experience one cannot replicate with a physical visit to SI.

Screenshot of Sidedoor: Episode 15 | The Worst Video Game Ever?
Screenshot of Sidedoor: Ep. 15.” February 20, 2020. MacBook Pro 2013.

Want to bring millennials into your museum? Start a podcast.

How to Use Live Broadcasting to Expand and Retain Audiences

Live Broadcasting is an effective tool for expanding adult audiences. Data collected by the NEA (2008) shows that adults participate in the arts through media. However, this population does not replace the live arts experience for an online one, rather, the later is simply a different experience. To reward arts media participants, organizations such as the National Theatre (London) and the Metropolitan Opera have screened live broadcasts of select performances, giving them an, “experience of artistic merit…not second-class” (David Sabel, National Theatre). The digital and live experiences of art should be of the highest quality and the success of live broadcasting makes this clear.

How Are Arts Organizations Embracing Technology?

Americans spend over 10 hours a day on their devices, so it is essential for arts organizations to embrace online technology. Pew Research Center data shows that arts organizations are using digital tools—mostly websites and social media—to expand the way they interact with audiences to promote the arts. But despite the many benefits of these technologies, organizations struggle to find the funding and staff time to implement a comprehensive plan. The Pacific Northwest Ballet is an example of a group that successfully increased their teen and young adult audience with targeted social media and web content.

Continue reading How Are Arts Organizations Embracing Technology?