Picture this: You’ve worked harder than you thought possible to direct and produce a beautiful piece of theatre. Your team, ranging from actors and crew members to front-of-house staffers, have offered up blood, sweat, and tears in preparation for opening night. You lift the curtains for the first number, and … no one’s there? Ah, in the hustle and bustle of preparing for your show, you forgot a key component: theatre marketing!

Without best-in-class marketing and promotional efforts, your community won’t see the beauty of your show. That’s why implementing promotional efforts early and often is a surefire way to set up your show for success. On The Stage explores the specific benefits of email marketing campaigns and a few ways to enact them. 

Benefits of Email Marketing 

It Increases Your Reach

You may think that social media is the be-all and end-all of digital communication, but data shows that there are more email users than social media users. Imagine that!

By harnessing the power of email communications, you’re broadening your reach and connecting with key demographics. Additionally, you’re ensuring that those who are less tech-savvy (read: those who don’t quite understand Instagram!) are still in the know about your productions. 

It Allows for Personalization

Even if you’re using the most basic email marketing automation tools, you can almost always employ personalization techniques. Personalization can look like addressing your email subscribers by name or sending personalized messages on their birthdays or special anniversaries. 

After all, a 2018 study found that subject line personalization drastically increases email open rates. So why not set yourself up for success and implement that strategy? 

It Boosts Your Sales

No matter what industry you’re in, an email can convert potential patrons into ticket holders and convince existing patrons to buy again.

We all need reminders now and again – whether it’s an abandoned cart notification or a simple “Hey, remember us?” Email marketing keeps your theatre at the top of your patrons’ minds and encourages them to buy what you’re selling, no matter what it is.

It Provides Easily Trackable Data and Metrics 

In order to improve your sales, brand awareness, user engagement, and other metrics, you need to study the data you’ve collected from your campaigns. Luckily, it’s incredibly easy to track the success of email marketing. 

By studying the advanced campaign metrics of your email marketing efforts, you’re getting a deeper understanding of what’s working, what isn’t, and who your audience really is. This, in turn, allows you to make tweaks and better relate to and reach potential ticket buyers. 

It’s Cost-Effective 

Traditional marketing efforts like direct mail often incur various expenses that affect your bottom line – from paper to printing to postage and storage. The beauty of email marketing is that you take away a lot of those variables that can cost you money.

Instead, email marketing offers a cost-effective way to spread the word about your theatre while getting you a higher return on investment. 

It Facilitates Relationship-Building with Patrons

Email marketing can provide greater interaction opportunities with existing patrons and target demographics. By staying consistent in your messaging, you’re showing that you’re a reliable source of entertainment in your community, building patron loyalty, credibility, and trust. 

Tips for Effective Email Theatre Marketing Campaigns 

Remain Consistent

As mentioned above, the best way to nail email marketing is by keeping your messaging consistent – but not too consistent. Finding the sweet spot to update your patrons will keep your theatre at the forefront of your mind while not inundating community members with unwanted spam. In short, inconsistency sends a message that you aren’t taking your marketing efforts seriously, and sending too many emails shows that you aren’t thinking about what a patron wants and needs day-to-day. 

You can also offer tiered marketing email updates, where patrons can opt in or out or choose the consistency in which they receive emails. By putting the power in the patron’s hands, you’re setting yourself up for success. 

Provide Easily-Accessible Donation and Ticket Portals 

Email marketing efforts are among the most effective ways to reach donors, so ensure you harness that power. In your email marketing efforts, ensure you’re providing convenient ways for donors to give and for patrons to buy tickets.

This means making your donation page and ticketing portal front and center in your emails. The key word here is convenience — if a patron is trying to help your theatre, you don’t want to make them jump through hoops. 

Keep Messaging Short and Entertaining 

We could talk all day about how much we love our theatre, our productions, and our team, but patrons have lives outside your world and very little time to spend on reading your updates.

That said, keep your email marketing blasts short and entertaining. Make sure the email is visually appealing – with snapshots from a recent show or gathering – and that the pertinent details are bolded and easily found on the page.

Segment your Email Lists

Email marketing should not be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ effort. If you have the capabilities, consider segmenting  your email list into different groups – based on purchasing behaviors, age demographics, or your target objective for that group (donating, purchasing for the first time, upgrading their subscription, etc.)

By segmenting your email marketing lists, you can personalize messages and increase their relevance and effectiveness. 

Incorporate Automation

Automation should be an essential element of your theatre marketing plan. It will save you time, ease stress, and allow you to focus on creative endeavors. 

After all, email automation is a powerful tool. It reduces the overhead time necessary to deliver thoughtful communications, tailors information to a patron’s specific needs, and ensures that messaging is sent out at the perfect time. 

Get Your Timing Right

Speaking of timing, make sure you’re sending out your email marketing efforts at the right time. (So, not the day after tickets go on sale or a week after a performance’s curtain has closed.) After all, email reminders should be a helpful tool for patrons to buy tickets, sign up for pre-sales, register for workshops, or share feedback. 

Send Post-Show Surveys

Post-show surveys allow patrons to impart invaluable insight, share preferences, and feel their opinions matter. Armed with this data, theatres can craft tailored experiences that better resonate with these patrons, fostering repeat attendance and long-term patronage

Post-show surveys also encourage creativity and collaboration. Sometimes, we need a push to think critically, and post-show surveys can do just that. If you ask the right questions, a survey can help your patrons better understand your material, consider their likes and dislikes in theatre, and gain a greater appreciation for theatre at its core. 

On The Stage’s Marketing Tools

If you’re looking for ways to generate awareness, increase conversions, sell more tickets, and enhance the theatre experience for all involved, On The Stage (OTS) offers a comprehensive Marketing Suite. It supports all your marketing and promotion needs with one robust platform made specifically for the performing arts, with best-in-class tools across social, digital, email, print, and traditional channels.

With OTS’ Marketing Suite, you can: 

  • Grow awareness of your program through social platform integrations, email marketing, targeted marketing campaigns, and show art
  • Increase conversion rates and sell more tickets through Broadway-style show sites or a customizable ticketing widget embedded on your website
  • Nurture and grow your patron base with ticket buyer outreach, patron relationship management, engagement tools, reports, and insights
  • Increase efficiency and effectiveness by seamlessly integrating OTS with social platforms and marketing automation tools

Our consolidated platform has everything you need to market your productions and generate more revenue successfully. To get involved, book a personalized demo today.

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