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How Arts Organisations Can Use Email Automation to Power Sales

We’ve moved past the point in the arts sector where one-size-fits-all email campaigns can successfully maximise revenue and drive customer engagement. Email automation is the new frontier for arts marketers looking to increase earned income and deepen relationships with eventgoers. In our new Revenue Maximisation guide for arts marketers we look at ways you can optimise marketing campaigns for peak performance, and how your email strategy can make revenue maximisation a reality in your venue. 

Customers now expect a level of personalisation when we engage with them. We notice when a clothing store emails us about children’s clothing when we’ve never bought children’s clothes from them, or if we’re vegetarians and a supermarket sends us the latest meat deals.

Technology is helping you to engage with your customers in new ways, with highly personalised content based on behaviours and relationship while still being easy and efficient. Although it would be nice to email every customer individually, realistically we don’t have the time or resources to do this. But we can still make communication relevant to that customer, based on what we know about them and how they’ve engaged with us in the past.

Your free revenue maximisation review
Want to know where to go next? Give us 30 minutes and we’ll evaluate the easiest areas where your organisation can develop its revenue maximisation potential. Whether you want to discuss revamping your membership scheme or how to devise a new email strategy, our in-house experts will share their top tips and advice to set you up for revenue maximisation success. 

How email automation tool works

We recently released the Spektrix email automation tool to the Spektrix system. This is built on our powerful integration between Spektrix and Dotmailer. The new feature allows you to send highly customised communication to your customers, all of which can be automated.

You can now send tags to Dotmailer which in turn can power dynamic content and Dotmailer ‘programmes’. Programmes are basically tailored journeys of multiple email campaigns which you can automatically enroll customers on when they match any criteria you specify. You can decide how each customer makes their way through the programme and how their campaigns are personalised, based on the rules set in the programme and the customer’s interaction with the email campaigns.

This opens lots of opportunities to create personalised content for your customers based on their relationship with your organisation. By combining the information and powerful segmentation tools in Spektrix with campaign management tools in Dotmailer, you can send customers highly personalised communication at the most relevant time for them.

Best of all, once set up, these campaigns can be left to do their own thing. Making these campaigns part of your marketing and audience development strategy is a great way to make these tools work for you.

Below are three examples of arts organisations venues using email automation to generate ticket sales, upsell memberships, and engage audiences at various levels. These campaigns are already seeing great results with impressive ROI.

Increasing Reattendance at Town Hall Symphony Hall

Birmingham's Town Hall and Symphony Hall (THSH) offer discounts to customers booking three or more concerts in their Classical Birmingham Season. This works as a cumulative discount, so customers don’t need to book everything at once to get a discount, they can purchase tickets throughout the season, saving more the more they purchase.

The team at THSH wanted to encourage customers who had already purchased 2 concerts to purchase more. This, of course, means increased revenue and ticket sales, while also deepening audience relationships as the booker moves from attending twice to becoming a regular attendee. To do this they took customers on a journey with a Dotmailer programme. This journey consists of two emails, sent with a waiting time between them. If customers don’t choose to purchase more tickets after the second email, they simply leave the programme. As soon as a new customer matches the criteria for the journey, they are automatically enrolled – there’s no need for the THSH team to be pulling lists daily or weekly as all of this is constantly happening in the background.

In around one month, 141 customers have been sent at least one email – by being highly targeted the total spent on this campaign was only 76p. 17% of the customers who entered the programme went on to purchase more tickets, and have already brought in over £2k in extra revenue when compared to the same customers’ spend at this point in the season last year – an impressive return on investment.

Calling all Arts Organisation Marketeers looking to maximise revenue!
The key is to create the best audience experience possible.
Find out how with our free Revenue Maximisation Guide.

Upselling Memberships at Cadogan Hall

Being a member of Cadogan Hall gives you access to discounts for some events and no booking fees. As well as an important revenue stream for Cadogan Hall, the membership scheme helps the venue foster long-term relationships with their customers. The team were keen to promote the scheme to regular bookers who could have saved money last year had they been members. To do this they use the segmentation tools in Spektrix to build rules identifying potential members and a Dotmailer programme to take those customers through a journey that promotes the membership scheme. As soon as a customer matches these rules they are sent the email below.

Following on from this email, based on the customers’ behaviour they either leave the programme (if they purchase a membership) or are sent one more reminder before exiting the programme.

The result? January enjoyed a 56% uplift in new memberships (compared to same number of new memberships in January 2017) at various levels generating a 130% return on investment on campaign expenditure. It will continue to run and enrol new customers as soon they match the pre-defined rules, doing the job of selling memberships to those customers who could be saving money

Re-engaging Lapsed Bookers at The MAC Belfast

When the MAC Belfast turned 5 years old in 2017, they began a campaign to re-engage with lapsed bookers as part of an ongoing CRM strategic project.

Defining those customers who are ‘lapsed’

The MAC realised that there were a significant number of past bookers on the database that had not booked a ticket for an event for more than three years. It was planned to engage on an ongoing basis with these lapsed bookers, with an overall objective of increasing re-engagement rate and encouraging those customers who had not booked a ticket in three years to return to the MAC.

Re-engaging with those customers

The MAC began reaching out to those customers who had not booked a ticket in three years, by sending a bespoke and engaging email to them saying "we miss you." They then offered the customer a free ticket to a show of their choice by sending through an offer code. This offer will remove the cost of the ticket and allows the customer the freedom to book a ticket online, over the phone or in the building by quoting this unique code.

Using Dotmailer programmes to automate the process

The MAC use auto-tags in Spektrix to tag lapsed bookers. These bookers are then removed from mailings for regular bookers and only receive targeted emails as part of the Dotmailer programme. This involves the initial email, sent to customers who have not booked a ticket in three years and fulfil the lapsed booker requirements. Ten days after the send, the programme then evaluates those customers who have not opened the initial offer email and sends a slightly different version of the original email reminding the customer that they still have a free ticket to use.

Results so far

Since setting up the automated programme in August 2017, the MAC have seen a 7% re-engagement rate, meaning customers who were not engaged at one point have since returned to the MAC and have specified that they still wish to remain on their database and receive email marketing communications from them.

How you can get started with email automation

All the tools we've mentioned are ready and available to everyone who uses Spektrix. If you want to start using email automation, have a read of our resources on the Support Centre or get in touch with the Support team to discuss next steps. 

If you don't use Spektrix but want to know more about how you use email automation to boost revenue for your arts organisation get in touch for your free revenue maximisation consultation