The Film Business

Are You On The List?

constant contact

photo by: Koalazymonkey

Imagine having access to hundreds or thousands of genuinely interested audience members just waiting for news of your current or next release. Constant audience engagement is key to keeping people interested in your work and your career as a filmmaker. Email lists have been around as long as the internet and have been used for everything from swapping recipes to running PBEM’s (that’s Play by Email to the uninitiated). This article is to make filmmaker’s aware of a couple cheap and free email services they can use to manage their contacts and get their news out to their audience.

First up is a service called MailChimp. They have an abundance of features to make sending email blasts a cinch. Even if you’ve never done any HTML coding before in your life, MailChimp has templates that suit many of the most common email newsletter formats. Are you afraid that people won’t be able to read the awesome HTML email you’re sending out? No problem because they will translate the words of your newsletter to a strictly text format. Their analytics are also second to none! If you want to keep track of how many times your newsletter has been opened, how many people clicked on links in your blast, and how many people shared your newsletter, MailChimp keeps track of everything. They have a wonderful iOS app that allows you to add people to your email list easily and you can even track your social media reach with your blasts within the app.

The next service is Constant Contact. They specialize in email newsletters and event management. The event management part is something of note because filmmakers often want to set up and promote their screenings at various venues. They offer a free 60 day trial to check out their event management service too! You can collect ticket fees via their service (integrated with PayPal), which is something that is highly recommended because all of the “demands” or “I’m attending” invites that confirm for your event, it means little if they don’t fork over the cash for the tickets. Constant Contact’s services are more expensive than MailChimps (event marketing starts at $20.00 a month at Constant Contact, and their email list service starts at $15.00 a month for up to 500 subscribers. MailChimp’s email service is free up to 2,000 email sends).

Keeping lists is an incredibly old school way of marketing, but it works. These digital tools have made list management more integrated into your online life and even work with other contact management tools you might already be using like Gmail and Highrise. Keeping lists is also a good way to see who in your audience stays engaged with your content and may enable you to form a VIP list based on your most active participants, giving them exclusive access to information and content so you aren’t wasting your time pandering to people who just aren’t as interested in extras.

There are plenty of cheap and free tools out in the digital landscape to make audience engagement easier. But don’t underestimate the power of a good old fashioned pencil and clipboard to gather email addresses or capture other audience info at your events.

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2 Comments
   Hakim Poetry Company Inc., said on December 29, 2011 at 6:50 pm

I would like to keep in contact with you all.

   Hakim Poetry Company Inc., said on December 29, 2011 at 6:51 pm

I WOULD LIKE TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOU ALL.

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MasteringFilm, powered by bestselling Routledge authors and industry experts, features tips, advice, articles, video tutorials, interviews, and other resources for aspiring and current filmmakers. No matter what your filmmaking interest is, including directing, screenwriting, postproduction, cinematography, producing, or the film business, MasteringFilm has you covered. You’ll learn from professionals at the forefront of filmmaking, allowing you to take your skills to the next level.