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12 Feb 2018

Top examples of email marketing from the arts and charity sector

Despite the rise and rise of social media, influencers and apps, email marketing is still a powerful tool in many marketers’ arsenal. It’s also a highly cost-effective means for arts and charities to stay in touch with subscribers, represent their brand and can deliver high return on investment. 

However it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, churning out the same old formats and subject lines that end up plonked in inboxes with all the dynamism of a puddle. So we’ve rounded up some of the best examples we’ve seen recently to help you get inspired about what’s going to inboxes.

1.) RSC

For beautiful, on-brand, vibrant email content that really sells, top marks have to go to the RSC for this one. The images work beautifully within an email browser and with each other. The CTAs are clear, the copy is short and the prominence of the stars means you don’t even have to read the email to know what it’s saying. Of course the RSC are in the enviable position of having a heap of high quality assets, but they are integrated simply and integrated for maximum value and impact.

RSC newsletter

2.) The Young Vic

Another great example that really places the emphasis firmly on the show, this time from the Young Vic. The images work beautifully within the email template and draw the eye across and down. There’s lots of information here but it doesn’t overwhelm the reader as the Young Vic make prominent the key messages they want to get across (namely the flurry of four star reviews). They also make the most of precious inbox real estate by using the email preview text at the top of the email to highlight their key message.

Young Vic newsletter

3.) Unicef

Too often transactional emails are the poor relation in email marketing, but they’re another opportunity to communicate with your audience and build your brand. We noticed this nice example from Unicef, sent when a person makes their first donation. Visual, positive and impactful, it really makes the recipient feel like they’ve joined a welcoming community of likeminded people. 

UNICEF newsletter

4.) The Roundhouse

We like this one for the use of simple email functionality that really makes the email work harder with very little extra effort. Roundhouse have done a great job of maximising space in the inbox bysyncing the email preview text with the subject line.

It tells the reader exactly what they want them to know, plus allowing them to squeeze in another message about other eventsThey also don’t miss an opportunity to get across their tone of voice, even adding their own twist to the functional ‘view in browser’ link.

Roundhouse newsletter

5.) Grammarly

We really like this example from Grammarly. It takes a cute tweet from a user endorsing their service and embeds it in the email, effectively harnessing word of mouth. It’s easy to see how this approach can be used by an organisation or venue looking to promote an event using the real responses of their community or audience. Just be sure to check with the user your planning on quoting first, or pull the quote out as plain text so there’s no personal identifiers.

Grammarly newsletter

6.) The School of Life

And now for something completely different. This example from The School of Life, promoting a talk from Robert Webb seems to break all the rules: it’s lengthy, there’s no CTA above the line - there’s not even a gif for crying out loud. But when you look a little closer, they’re almost treating the email itself as a piece of content. Sure you can book tickets if you like, but wouldn’t  you like to learn more about what Freud, King John or Kafka had to say about masculinity? It’s an example that you should always do what’s right for your audience - they clearly know that theirs won’t be put off by lengthy copy. So whether it’s dancing cats or an article-come-email like this, audience-first will always pay off. 

School of life newsletter

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