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Email is cultivating personal art journeys

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Email is cultivating personal art journeys

With around 6 million visitors arriving every year, The National Gallery welcomes everyone from academics and tourists to hardcore art fans; its marketing messages need to cater to a wide breadth of knowledge and interests.

Before making the move to dotdigital in 2016, Francesca Macnaghten and her team had limited access to advanced targeting tools that would enable them to share this wealth of content with the appropriate people at the right times.

“Previously, we had to extract huge amounts of data and put it into spreadsheets to be able to manipulate it in any way. Engagement Cloud has totally transformed this process,” comments Francesca.


Renewed relevancy in pre-visit emails drives a 72% open rate

Access to automation has allowed the National Gallery to move away from ‘batch and blast’ communications. The Gallery’s key automations are its pre-visit and post-visit programs, which deliver emails to online ticket buyers. 

“The day before someone arrives at the exhibition, we automate an email that includes a reminder of the date and time they’re booked for; this draws upon Engagement Cloud's advanced personalization feature,” explains Francesca.

Improved relevancy of content is achieving impressive results: the gallery’s pre-visit emails enjoy average open rates of 72% and click-through rates of 25%, while the post-visit email achieves an open rate of 60%.

In the pre-visit emails we send to members, we’re able to dynamically display specific events and member-only offers that we want to promote to this group, saving us a huge amount of time and effort,” Francesca comments.


 25% of lost ticket sales were rescued by abandoned browse follow-ups

Many marketers suffer lost revenue from browse abandonment without any real strategy for recovery. The National Gallery has implemented email marketing automation in a successful rescue mission that delivers a 25% average conversion rate. Emails sent to abandoned browsers who’ve opted-in are optimized by send time and personalized based on the user’s membership status.

“We use the user’s dwell time and browsing data to reach out the following day with more information about the exhibition to try and convert them,” explains Francesca. “The emails include links to video content where they can watch the exhibition film series or Facebook Live tours, and reminds them that booking online will allow them to skip the ticket queues on the day.”


Personalized newsletters have doubled click-through rates

The National Gallery uses Engagement Cloud's WebInsight functionality to send its segments better, more relevant emails based on their browsing behavior from the first in-email click. Having access to more granular data on each contact has inspired the team to test new and innovative strategy elements – and achieve brilliant results:

“Previously, we triggered emails based on click retargets – so, for instance, we might look at people who clicked on family activities content.” Explains Francesca. “Thanks to WebInsight, we’ve really been able to enrich those segments with information that allows us to achieve more relevant communications, such as those who’ve viewed a particular category of content during a specific timeframe.”