That’s how many contacts the Festival City Theatres Trust has accumulated since turning to Constant Contact Email Marketing in 2009 to better market the Festival and King’s Theatres in Edinburgh, Scotland.
That’s a big list to manage, and with big lists come big responsibilities.
If you don’t send the right emails to the right people, then your campaigns can get sent straight to the trash and customers will start unsubscribing.
There’s no doubt that the Festival City Theatres Trust is doing something right: the average open rate for each email is around 35%.
Here are the three strategies the organization uses to build relationships, retain customers, and keep open rates high:
1. Create lists that acknowledge different interests
Opera, like street dance, isn’t for everyone. But the theatres host both of these events and many, many more.
So, when someone joins the email list, it’s crucial to find out what kinds of shows they want to know about and which they’ll probably never, ever attend.
If you sign up for the list on the theatre website, you’ll find you have more than 15 options to choose from:
Digital Marketing Officer Nicola Hopper explains that a similar strategy is employed when theatre-goers buy tickets at the box office.
“We ask people if they’re interested in joining our email list, then we put them into the list that corresponds with the show they’re attending,” she says.
Nicola adds that, occasionally, the theatre will try cross-selling shows by sending an email about a different kind of performance to a list if it seems like guests would be interested.
2. Create a list for loyalists
Loyal theatre-goers and trustees who have been supporting the theatres for a few years also get an exclusive list.
Every so often, they get a personalized email acknowledging them and thanking them for their continued support.
Those emails can include special brochures, offers, and news about the Festival City Theatres Trust in general.
3. Create a list that guides people to the show
Nicola’s newest innovation is a list for people who book a specific show. We can take a look at this by examining the customer experience for theatre-goers who booked a ticket for Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream” show.
First, the Friends of the theatre were offered a special discount on the tickets:
Then, everyone who purchased a ticket was put into the list “IDAD Thank you for booking” list.
In turn, this list was sent a comprehensive email that shared all the details of the show. Not only that, this email gave the theatre an opportunity to promote a special event that went along with the “I Dreamed a Dream” show:
Bringing it all together
Engagement marketing is about having a much more dynamic approach to communications. The goal is to show how much you appreciate each customer and that you also understand how each person is unique.
The Festival City Theatres Trust’s expert segmentation has done this by giving rewards to loyal customers and supporters, customizing the experience for theatre-goers, and making sure that, people who love stand-up comedy, opera, street dance, and concerts all get emails that they’ll open, instead of reaching for the delete button.
How do you segment your email list to engage your customers? Let us know below!