I had the pleasure of speaking with Tracey Johns, the Vice President of Communications for the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The museum is located in St. Michaels, Maryland and the organization was a 2017 recipient of the Constant Contact All-Star Award. The All-Star Award is granted to the top 10 percent of Constant Contact users who met a set of criteria for email marketing excellence in the previous year.
Constant Contact: For readers who might not be aware of, what is the mission statement of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum?
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum: The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and culture of the entire Chesapeake Bay region, and making this resource available to all.
CTCT: How important is marketing for the museum?
CBMM: Marketing is extremely important to CBMM and fulfilling our mission. We are a destination, a history museum, a full shipyard, a wedding venue, a boat donation and sales business, and a retail store, on top of being an educational institution and museum. So we have a lot of goals that must be met. CBMM's earned, owned, and paid media help us to sustain and grow the museum, and its education programs in particular. We have numerous constituents to communicate with.
CTCT: What other channels are important to your marketing efforts?
CBMM: All owned, paid, and earned channels are important, but especially in how we interpret the museum from a photographer, writer, or videographer perspective. Our YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr channels show journalists how we translate into their medium, and goes beyond our forever needs to attracting and retaining members, donors and guests to CBMM. Also, our business listings on Google have seen incredible growth in audience over the past year, and we are dedicating resources to post on these sites and more. Their analytics are awesome also.
CTCT: What is your strategy for email marketing?
CBMM: Email marketing is a critical component of our communications strategy. It's how we launch much of the promotions regarding our programs, festivals, and other important news. Because people can sign up on our website or on their mobile, it's also easy to grow the audience. We send a member newsletter out each Monday through Constant Contact, and monitor our click-thru rates, which are consistently above industry rates, which is another plug for Constant Contact because you help clients benchmark their efforts in this way. We also have several departments with dedicated email communication efforts, specifically for Education, Volunteering, Charity Boat Donation, and Member news. Recently, the most engaging articles in our Navy Point News general newsletter have been earned media stories from major publications that are shared via hyperlinks.
CTCT: How has it benefited your organization?
CBMM: We are able to meet and exceed our earned revenue and donor revenue while growing our education, collections, and Shipyard programs. Also, CC created a template for us that is mobile responsive and matches our website look and feel. A win!
CTCT: What is your advice for someone just starting in email marketing?
CBMM: Make sure you are using a mobile/tablet friendly template, check all your hyperlinks with text and make sure you add descriptions for ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliance and monitor your click-thru rates and effectiveness using CC's reporting tools.
CTCT: What does winning a Constant Contact All-Star recognition mean for the museum?
CBMM: We feel this award helps quantify how effectively we are using email marketing and legitimizes excellence in our work in this area. One of our values is Stewardship (see below), and that means being good stewards of our financial resources, which includes our annual investment in using Constant Contact for communications and making sure we leverage that asset to the best of our capabilities. VALUES
Relevance We provide meaningful and accessible experiences to all of our communities and constituencies. Authenticity We seek to represent genuinely the people and cultures whose stories we preserve and tell. Stewardship We value the priceless assets entrusted to us and accept their preservation and enhancement as our paramount responsibility—our collections, our campus and facilities, our financial resources—and we support the volunteers and staff who perform our Mission and make CBMM the rich enterprise it is.
A big thank you to Tracey for taking the time to talk with us and share their All-Star experience with their fellow Constant Contact customers! If you’re an All-Star and would be interested in being featured on the Constant Contact Community please learn more on how to do so here.