Infuse Your Museum Experience with Capture Points

At the most elementary level, museums must have enough revenue to achieve sustainability. To sustain, museums need financial support at many levels: membership, annual donations, major gifts, legacy gifts, etc. One of the most fundamental keys to building a funding base is a good communication strategy. The quality and frequency of your communications with current and potential funders frequently have a direct correlation with short and long term funding success. To have a successful communication strategy, you have to have people to communicate with.

Successfully building a museum’s email list and social media following is essential to long term sustainability. Your museum has the highest percentage chance of capturing someone’s email address or convincing them to ‘like’ the museum on social media while a visitor physically is in your building. One of the fundamental tenets of a good museum experience is what I refer to as ‘the sales pitch.’ From the moment the visitor enters the building to the moment they leave, you are attempting to convince them to take a step toward a long term relationship with the museum. Once they leave, the likelihood they will be involved with the organization in the future drops significantly.

You need to have several email and social media capture points within your in-building experience. I recommend at least two capture points per 15,000 square feet of public facility space.

Here are a few examples of the easiest capture moments to implement in any museum:

  1. Gallery comment book with the ability to leave email and physical address (see picture).
  2. Email fishbowl in the lobby (see picture).
  3. Trifolds which include information on how to follow the museum at the front desk and in the gallery.
  4. Trifolds which include information on how to follow the museum stuffed in the gift shop bag.

Article by Frank Bennett, originally published at

Pictures from The National Quilt Museum, Paducah, KY.

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