Automation in email marketing is something of a hot topic at the moment; the idea of using technology to help get the right content to the right customers at the right time. Ticketing and marketing technology is at the point now where it’s possible to tailor communications based on all sorts of criteria, using the information you gather regarding your customers. It can all sound a bit intimidating sometimes, but here at Spektrix we’re keen to demonstrate that it’s actually quite simple.
We’ve got lots of automation tools available to all Spektrix users, from automatic tags and ways of highlighting customers to venue staff, to automated email generation based on customer behaviour. You can use these tools for all sorts of purposes like generating welcome or thank you emails, prompting personalised interactions in the venue, even upselling. We’ll talk about a few examples a little later, but first of all...
What’s the benefit of automation?
There are actually quite a lot of benefits, but the main one is simply that it’s a great tool for making sure you're talking to your customers in the right way based on their relationship with your organisation. Remember, that relationship goes all the way from making a first booking to being a regular booker and maybe leaving a legacy - it's a full lifecycle.
There are all sort of places in this cycle where automated communication can be beneficial, from welcoming new customers to converting existing customers to members based on their behaviour. Ultimately, if you reach your customers at the right time with the right message, you’re giving yourself the best chance of encouraging them to spend more time and money with you.
That’s not to mention the time-saving benefits of leveraging software to do this sort of work for you, allowing you to spend more time working on other things, like creating the best possible content. Just think about it; if your organisation currently spends two hours a week doing manual tasks that you could automate instead, over a year you could save up to thirteen working days by setting up automation.
How can I use automation?
First of all you need a good CRM tool, as a way of capturing and storing high quality information about your customers. Secondly you need your CRM tool to integrate with a capable email marketing tool, so that you can use your customer data to power your emails.
The automation functionality can come from either one of those systems. For Spektrix users, we provide a range of useful tools such as Scheduled Customer Lists, Auto Tags and Customer Groups, which allow you to set up all of your automation within Spektrix. Scheduled Customer Lists allow you to set up standard emails which will automatically send based on customer behaviour, but it’s not just about emails.
Automation can mean things as simple as prompting sales staff to offer upsells or front of house staff to recognise when a member’s tickets are scanned, which are great ways of using technology to support a culture of excellent service. Auto Tags allow you to apply tags to your customers automatically when they fit certain criteria (and automatically remove them too, where appropriate), while Customer Groups let you clearly highlight certain customers so that they are flagged up to your sales staff.
Here are a few suggestions for how to use automation based on your customers’ behaviour:
1. Saying hi when people sign up to your mailing list
How many customers sign up to your mailing list, but never go ahead and book a ticket? Could it be that they just need a little nudge to encourage them to actually book? You could send each of them an email saying hello and letting them know what shows you’ve got coming up, to start them on the path to becoming a booker.
2. Automatic thank you emails to donors
Whilst you'll always aim to thank every single one of your donors, regardless of the amount they donate, you might not have time to thank them all personally. Automated thank you e-mails are a great way to say thank you to your low level donors, thanking them for their donation and giving them some information about what their donation is going towards.
3. Recognising donors in the box office
When major donors attend events, wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to recognise them, maybe when they pick their tickets up or when their tickets are scanned? A combination of Auto Tags and Customer Groups lets you do exactly that, either flagging these customers to your sales staff or popping up on scanner screens.
4. Encouraging back lapsed bookers
If some of your customers used to visit regularly but have since stopped, how about reaching out to them with information about what you’ve been up to while they’ve been away. Or maybe send an offer to try and entice them back?
5. Encouraging regular bookers to become members
Customers who visit regularly are a great group of people to convert to members, your sales staff just need to know who to sell memberships to. Try setting up Auto Tags to automatically apply based on number of visits, which can power a Customer Group that highlights these regular bookers to your sales team. That way it’s easy to spot the best customers to upsell to.
6. Welcome emails for members
You might already send out membership packs to everyone who becomes a member, but maybe think about sending out an email each week welcoming everyone who’s purchased a membership in the last seven days.
7. Reminder email to non-auto renew members
Auto-renewable memberships are a great way to save time and encourage loyalty, but not everyone is going to sign up for them. You can still automate the renewal process for non auto-renew members though, by scheduling emails based on the expiry dates of memberships. Use these emails to remind members to renew, or even suggest they change over to auto-renew.
Anything else to think about?
Automation is a great tool, but it can’t do everything for you. You still need to get the basics right, and that includes things like making sure you’re not sending unnecessary emails to your customers. In Spektrix, you can use Mailing segments in your Customer Lists to make sure you’re not spamming your customers and sending them too many emails. These are just a few ideas for how you can use automation, but we’d love to hear from you if you’ve got other great examples.