By Suania Cereceda on 1/21/21 12:52 PM
As digital marketers in the leisure industry, one of the primary goals we thrive to achieve is to increase the reach and brand awareness of our zoo, theme park, wellness venue, indoor playground, or museum by the strategic use of the different digital channels out there.
Now (yes, now!) is the perfect time to sit down and strategize how to generate that brand awareness and reach that will ultimately be reflected in additional revenue. Definitely a challenge, some would say, due to the fact that most venues are closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. But, this is exactly why now is the perfect time!
If you are struggling to think of creative ways of producing this extra revenue without any ad spend, email marketing will be your best friend.
One of the most known channels to both guests and venues is email. We use it daily for work, for online subscriptions, online shopping, and basically almost any digital activity we incur, which lately, due to COVID-19, has skyrocketed.
But, how to make sure our emails perform how we want them to perform? How to increase the open rates, click-through rates, or any relevant conversion rate? How to create a compelling subject line? Introducing: Data-Driven Email Marketing.
What is data-driven email marketing?
To keep it short and simple, data-driven email marketing is an email marketing campaign that uses data as a primary source for strategic planning. This could be from the most basic and probably known actions such as including your first name in the email to more complex actions such as data segmentation for a strategic purpose.
Basically, if you send the right message to the right person at the right time, your email marketing efforts will pay off. You do this by relying on data.
And this is not just a theory. A couple of weeks ago we worked with one of our partners, helping them promote their special Black Friday offers with an email marketing campaign, and even though they were closed, they managed to get an ROI of 4617% (yeah, that’s not a typo, you read right!).
So the real question is not whether you implement a data-driven marketing campaign or not. The real question is how.
How to implement a data-driven marketing campaign?
We have seen the quick results of a good data-driven email marketing campaign, but how can one put it into action? How to use data to boost your promotional emails and help sell more tickets or season passes?
1. Outline your strategy.
As with any normal marketing campaign, the first step starts with outlining your strategy and goals.
When thinking about strategy, make sure you think about who you are specifically targeting, with what message, and with what purpose. Are you targeting someone who hasn’t made a direct booking for a long time? Or maybe someone who has already made an online booking through your website in the past month?
In the case of email marketing campaigns for leisure venues, you could establish a goal of undated tickets sold, or season passes acquired. Just make sure your goals are expressed in a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based) way so you can always go back and measure the efficiency of your email marketing strategy.
A good example of a measurable goal could be:
Increase upsells by 20%, targeting the people who have bought un-dated tickets in the past 2 months. Measure this campaign in a 2-week timeframe.
2. Segment your audience.
If you are a leisure venue that is going direct-to-consumer, then you have probably generated a lot of relevant data. In previous posts, we have spoken about the importance of owning your data and using it to make effective decisions across your business. By owning useful data, you can get a better understanding of your customers and therefore take your customer experience to the next level by offering personalized and customized experiences, which will drive your venue’s long-term success.
You could be interested in: Understanding different data sources and how to use them in your venue.
Great marketing tools for leisure venues should be able to connect to your data streams and use them to tailor your strategies based on personalization and segmentation. Your goal here is to extract a relevant email list of people you want to reach out to.
These audiences should be able to give you a specific approach or angle into making the best-personalized emails out there.
Get creative on your segmentation! Here are 5 examples:
- People who speak a specific language
- People who visited your venue on a certain range of dates
- People who have visited your venue more than once
- People who haven’t visited your venue for over a year
- People who found you through social media
- People who are part of your loyalty program
3. Test and measure.
Here at Convious, we have a saying: "Test, test, test, and when you finish testing, test some more."
It is extremely important to test and learn about your segment’s behavior. In email marketing, there is a great variety of assets you can A/B test. Just make sure that whenever you are testing, to choose only one of the assets, so you can clearly identify what is driving your growth.
Think of testing things like:
- Subject Lines
- Email preheader
- Email sender
- Email content
- Call to action colors
- Send out times
After your campaign time frame has finished, it’s measure and reporting time. Identify the success (or not) of the assets you tested.
Analyze open-rates, click-through-rates, traffic attributed to your website to your campaign, purchases attributed, and any other metric that your venue considers relevant.
Where are your segments relevant? Could you use even more data in the future to fuel your email marketing efforts?
A true story.
A couple of months ago, one of our partners asked us to help them increase their sales during Black Friday. It was a complicated time because, like most of the venues in the region, they were closed and in need of revenue flowing. We suggested working with an email marketing campaign, using all the relevant data they had collected by selling tickets online with the Convious direct-to-consumer eCommerce platform.
We had done something similar on the previous Black Friday, managing to deliver a ROI of 1200%, and we were convinced we could make it even more successful. What did we do this time?
- Outlined our strategy: We wanted to target people who had done a purchase in the last year and show them new offers for flex tickets and season passes, with a special Black Friday discount. Last year we sold 80 orders, with an average cart size of € 68,96. Our goal was to triple the orders and increase the average cart size by 2 euros. The goal was set and the strategy was ready.
- Segment our audience: We had a clear overview of the segmented audience, allowing us to use data to customize our message. Within our audience, the data showed that there were 3 primary languages to be used. This meant that if we wanted to get better results, we would have to create content in different languages. We were up for the challenge because we knew that this would definitely drive better results.
- Test & Measure: Once we had our audiences and our content ready, we decided to test two important things: the subject line to increase the open rate, and the send time, to see what did our audience prefer.
We let our campaign have a range of 3 days, which were the 3 days the venue was offering Black Friday Deals.
By the end of the 3rd day, we measured our results. We were extremely positive about the efficiency of this data-driven email marketing campaign!
We managed to sell 297 orders (more than double!) with an average cart value of 78.74 €, increasing it by 10 euros! The campaign had a ROI of 4617%. A total Black Friday success despite the pandemic!
And you, why are you not taking data-driven decisions to drive growth in your leisure venue yet?
If you would like to get started, there's no better time than now. Our team is always happy to schedule a call and discuss your business goals, together with the best approach to deliver a boost in revenue for your venue as well.