Gallery Above Penn Square (GAPS) is a nonprofit gallery, dedicated to the advancement of artistic talent and cultural diversity in the community of Reading, Pennsylvania.

“The gallery features a blend of musical performances and art exhibits from local and international artists and performers,” explains Anca Bala, gallery and event coordinator for GAPS. “We also host art classes and community events throughout the year.”

When GAPS opened its current location in 2013, they knew having an easy way to stay in touch with the community would be essential to fulfilling their mission.

Luckily, they already had a loyal following of people who shared their passion.

“Even before we got started, we had a lot of people sharing their email address with us asking to hear about our upcoming events,” explains Anca. “We wanted to make sure we had a safe way to communicate with these people.”

In October 2013, Anca found out about Constant Contact from a friend of the gallery.

“When we first started, I really wasn’t sure how it would work for us. I’m not a professional marketer, and thought I would need a lot of training,” Anca explains. “But I decided to give it a try and was able to teach myself everything I needed to know.”

In November, Anca sent her first email to a list of just over 350 contacts, thanking them for attending a recent event.

 GAP - Constant Contact Customer

After seeing almost 100 people open the email, Anca quickly developed confidence that email could help promote upcoming events.

In addition to sending out event announcements and reminders, GAPS soon began sending a monthly email newsletter with information about all of the gallery’s upcoming activities.

Using Constant Contact, Anca also creates event homepages for some of the gallery’s biggest events — complete with hours, location, and information about attending.

“I think the biggest benefit for me has been how easy it is to customize our campaigns,” Anca explains. “I just go in, pick the different colors I want, and put in my information and it’s ready to go.”

With email playing an important role in how the gallery communicates with supporters, Anca has made growing the gallery’s email list a top priority at gallery events.

“When people come in, we always ask if they’d be interested in receiving emails about future events,” Anca explains. “It’s a really easy way to get people to sign up so we can stay in touch with them after an event is over.”

Since sending their first email in November, GAPS has grown its email list to more than 1,450 contacts.

This has resulted in more people attending and talking about events like Reading Art Fest or the gallery’s weekly musical performances, Live @ the GAPS.

“We’ve done some other work to promote events — we’re on Facebook and Twitter — but promoting events through Constant Contact has been the most effective, by far,” Anca explains. “It’s an easy way to let people know about everything that’s going on at the gallery.”

It has also resulted in some great feedback from GAPS supporters.

“It’s always rewarding when you hear from people and they tell you that they received your emails and they looked great!” says Anca. “I would recommend Constant Contact to anyone who wants to do marketing with confidence.”

Build your marketing toolkit

Whether your goal is to get people to sign up for events, make a donation, or just help spread the word about your organization — you need to have the right tools to communicate with your audience.

For GAPS, building an effective marketing toolkit allowed them to leverage online marketing channels — like email, social media, and web — to raise awareness for events and to stay connected with their community.

As a result, they’ve been able to fulfill their mission and continue to grow every day.

You can do it too! Start your free 60-day trial of Constant Contact today!