ARTICLE: How Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh Increased Member Conversion and Retention Rates

August 16, 2018 Rosita Bradham

This article is part of the bbcon 2018 Speaker Series on npENGAGE. Get a taste of the 250+ sessions that will help your organization transform and have a bigger impact!

Like it or not, technology is everywhere. While on vacation or a professional conference, you are probably exposed to innovative technology, increasing your engagement level.  Today’s audiences, and ones of the future, are growing up with the expectation that technology will be used to enhance their experiences. To sustain this engagement level, organizations are actively developing new strategies around technology.

Before using technology to drive engagement, first you should understand if it’s the right path for your organization. A clear vision will also secure support from your key stakeholders.  Some common motivators that prove technology can be healthy for audience engagement are:

  • Technology can strategically help develop a path to obtain goals and sustain your organization’s mission.
  • Technology can keep organizations communicative efforts current and accessible.
  • Technology can drive repeat visitation that turns visitors into members.

Technology is complex, so try not to get overwhelmed.  Create a budget and make sure to allow time for adjustments.  As you try different scenarios, remember to expand your engagement strategy through testing, risk-taking, and evaluation.  Start out small, learn as you go, and build a recognizable platform that you can utilize in the future.  If you are trying something new that will add additional work for your staff, plan for that as well.

Enhancing your online presence is a great way to start.  For example, create a contest/game via social media that leads to prizes or discounts. Create a scavenger hunt and require visitors to text or post the required answers. Both efforts are economical way to draw visitors to your site, exposing your mission.

Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh utilized their resources to develop an innovative retention strategy.  They used technology in a creative way to boost their visitation numbers and increase their onsite membership sales.  Repurposing an existing effort, they redeveloped the Member Summer Adventure program made up of events and fun activities.  Participants earn special stamps when they visit one of the museums or attend an event for a chance to win a grand-prize.

The creative technology comes from how Carnegie Museums tracks the stamps.  To engage users, while tracking their progress, Carnegie Museums built a program called, Andy CarnegieBot.  This program uses Facebook Messenger to connect with participants and monitor their attendance.  They decided to use Facebook Messenger because of the benefits over texting as well as development cost.  In addition, Facebook is something most users have, and the platform is very robust for programming.

This ambitious project was full of challenges and opportunities.  To learn more about how this program worked and how to use technology to drive engagement, join us at bbcon 2018 in Orlando!

Join Rosita Bradham for her bbcon sessionUsing Technology to Drive Engagement and Conversion at your Arts & Cultural Organization with co-presenter Arielle Bateman, Director of Prospect Engagement at Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, to discover how to build consensus, rock multi-channel marketing, and take the next step in your engagement strategy. Register today!



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RECORDED WEBINAR: The Center for the Future of Museums Presents: Museums in 2040
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