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Though it may not sound like the sexiest online platform, email marketing is definitely your ticket right into the digital bedroom (metaphorically speaking of course) of your most loyal audience members and investors.

Think about it: every time you share an update whether it is some new stills, a new trailer, or even new details about what went down at the latest festival, that message will go straight to the inbox, right underneath last month’s internet bill. Is this powerful real estate in your audience’s online experience? You betchya. But how do you go about creating one in the first place? Read on to find out!

Build A Subscriber List

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Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

Without a list of emails, you’ll have no one to send any out to. SO how do you do this? There are a few ways to go about doing this. I’ll talk about two here: landing page pop-ups and social media list building.

Landing Page Pop-Ups

These pop-ups should be attention-grabbing and offer an incentive that will make the visitor want to subscribe. Some different options include timed, scroll, exit and entry popups. Each has a different function so make sure you are using the pop up strategically or risk your website visitor leaving your site entirely.

Social Media Pages

If you have a social media business page for your film (I highly suggest creating one today), you will have the option to create posts using Facebook ads. Now while you may have to pay to display some of these ads, the subscribers that you get will more than pay for the advertising cost.

When you get onto the advertising dashboard, you’ll be greeted with many different options. Choose the “lead generation” consideration and follow the steps towards building out your advertising campaign. In fact, this is the step where having an empathy map and persona for your target viewing audience will help immensely.

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Figure Out Your Campaign Goal

Like any online marketing campaign you do for your film, you should ask yourself, why are we sending out this email? Like I noted above, getting space in a person’s inbox is an extremely valuable place to be so you need to make sure that you’ve got a concrete goal for getting in there in the first place.

Are you trying to update your subscribers on production updates?

How about increasing engagement on your website or social media?

Perhaps you are looking to push out a new crowdfunding campaign and want your subscribers to get first dibs on donating.

Determining what your campaign objective will allow you to A. determine which metrics are most important to the goal and B. provide a framework on how you can craft your message for the ultimate impact.  At the end of the day, you’ll want to make sure the email message fits the tone and style of your film.

Get an ESP and Craft Your Message

Now, you can go ahead and start searching for the right email service provider. You might be thinking: why not just use Gmail? While the platform is great for personal email, it is not very user-friendly when trying to send out bulk emails. Services like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Axigen should get the job done.

Once you’ve chosen an ESP and know the goal of your campaign, start crafting how you will transmit your message. This is the super fun part and where your creativity as a filmmaker can truly shine. This is the part where you can actually communicate the vision for your project. Grab their attention with your unique storytelling ability and don’t hold back any punches. This is why they need you in their inbox in the first place.

Measure Your Email Campaign

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Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

No online marketing campaign is complete without a good old fashioned metrics tracking. This part of the step might be the most tedious but it is very much a necessity as you move forward. Measuring your email opens and unsubscribe numbers will let you know where your messaging is going awry and how you can fix it.

Testing and tracking multiple variations of one message can give you even better insight into what you can do to make your content even stronger in the future.

Hopefully, this has demystified some of those odd email marketing challenges you may have run into when brainstorming a campaign. Building a list, choosing a service provider, and crafting a unique message that caters to the goal of the email will aid in your email efforts for your film. Don’t forget to track and experiment with this kind of content. It is extremely powerful and can be one of the tools that take your film to the next level.