If your ticketing solution gives you access to your patron data, then you have a ready-made email list of ticket buyers at your fingertips. But when it comes to actually crafting emails, pesky questions arise: How often should we send them? Who should we target? How many events should we feature? How soon before an event do we send them?
This post will cover the ins and outs of writing emails that sell tickets so you can get more butts in those seats.
1. Make a Schedule
Coming up with a schedule of when you want to send emails is an essential part of email marketing. You should draft your calendar based on your events, paying careful attention to when they go on sale, if you’re offering a pre-sale to members or by promo code, and how often you want to send them out. Maybe you want to send out an email on the day before a pre-sale starts, notifying patrons so they don’t forget – but send a cross-marketing email a week before the show along with the event reminder.
It’s also important to take into account what day to send out emails. Keep in mind this marketing know-how: The most successful email campaigns are sent between Tuesday and Thursday, with most people opening more emails on Wednesday and Thursday.
2. Craft a Subject Line
Your subject line is what draws someone to open your email. It needs to be straightforward but catchy, and your offer or value should be clear.
Example: Instead of “Reminder of Your Upcoming Event,” try “You have tickets to West Side Story this Friday!” when sending an event reminder
The same can be used for promotional emails: instead of “Pre-Sale for West Side Story,” you can set a tone of urgency with, “Get your exclusive promo code for the West Side Story Pre-Sale.”
3. Consider Your Email’s Tone and Length
Different emails require different tones. An email announcing a special discount should be clear about the offer while creating a sense of urgency in the buyer. A newsletter or list of upcoming events should still have a clear CTA (call to action) – a BUY TICKETS button that links directly the point of sale should be clear, and easily accessible with mobile.
If your software is built with responsive design, your patrons will be able to easily follow this CTA directly to the point of sale and complete their purchase with no loss of functionality.
4. Make it Mobile
I can’t stress enough how important it is that your emails be compatible with any mobile device. Fortunately, most third-party email services offer this function, and make it easy to view a test of how your email will look on a mobile device. We have a few rules of thumb when making an email mobile friendly:
- Use finger-friendly links. Links should be easy to click – preferably a button that announces what the link is, “REGISTER” or “BUY TICKETS.”
- Single or double column designs. If you have no way of testing how your email looks on mobile, use a single column design, so there’s no opportunity for your format to be skewed. If you’re able to test your design on mobile, pay attention to what columns rearrange when viewed on different devices – for example, a two-column design may always adjust so that the right-hand column sits below the left when viewed on a mobile device. Make sure you always keep the most important information (your Header) in the column that will be viewed first.
- Fonts that aren’t too small. Choosing a font below 12 will often be hard to view on mobile. We often keep important information in size 14 while less important information is in size 12.
5. Choose What to Send
- Cross Marketing: A Ticket Buyers Dream. If you host multiple types of shows and events at your venue, you have an easy opportunity to cross-market to buyers of similar shows. Sending out an email to patrons who purchased tickets for your comedy show with an invitation to purchase tickets for another comedian you have coming is an easy way to get those patrons to purchase their tickets ahead of time. Your patrons will appreciate you putting the event discovery into their hands, and offering them an early chance to buy. Consider running this email with a promotion code or discount to increase early ticket sales and build loyalty for your venue.
- Event Reminders. Many ticketing systems (including TicketForce), offer venues the option to set up automatic event reminder emails to patrons.
This is an easy way to remind buyers that they’ve purchased tickets to an upcoming show, as well as offer them reminders about the show (Can they put in an order for concession early? What time do the doors open?). If your system has merge tags set up, you can easily use them to create a single email that will work for any event.
You can also take this opportunity to add a “You might like…” and include a link to another upcoming performance, prompting them to purchase tickets to another event.
- Venue Newsletter or Digest. If your venue has a lot of events and chooses to send out a venue newsletter or event digest, make sure that your BUY TICKETS buttons are large and easy to click from a mobile device. That way patrons can complete the sale from their device as soon as they receive their email. This email from PACE is right on track, but could be improved with by replacing the small link with a mobile-friendly BUY TICKETS button.
6. Tracking Your Email
Finally, after you’ve put in so much work to make sure your email will be effective, don’t forget to track it. Find out what links patrons click on the most, or what special offers are the most effective. Without analyzing your data, you’ll never know what works for your venue or event.
What type of emails does your venue send? Share your tactics for email marketing in the comments section below.