FlyTips: Effective Email Marketing

Cristina Peralta

Dec. 19, 2013

Season’s Greetings from Ticketfly HQ! As we near the year’s end, we are giving the gift of a new FlyTip on email marketing. I know, I know…how exciting! Back in May 2012, we shared 10 Tips for Email Success. This time, let’s narrow this down and focus on the three main goals of email marketing: opens, clicks, and sales. We’ll provide benchmarks and actions you can take today to increase effectiveness and measure your success.

Email performance data is a treasure box of insights about how to resonate effectively with your audience.

Boost Open Rates

Send emails from a personal email address. When you are Backstage and build an email campaign in Marketing > Email Campaigns, use a real person’s email address instead of an alias like “” for the “From Email Address” to help ensure higher open rates and fewer emails caught in spam filters.

Test different subject lines. Create unique and interesting subjects to see how your open rate changes with different messages. Many clients have seen higher open rates with subject lines that include the words “New” and “Just Announced.” Avoid excessive use of caps, exclamation points, and spammy words like “Free”, “Contest”, or “Guarantee”. Try splitting your email list into test groups, then send emails with different subject lines to each to see if you can pin down what language us most effective to get that initial open.

Target your message. Getting the right message to the right audience will increase your open rate, click through rate, and ticket sales conversion rate. When building events, tag artists with genres and target emails to recipients (a.k.a. “Members”) based on genre purchase history. You can also target your Top Fans, those who consistently spend the most on event tickets, or customers who have previously purchased tickets to specific events.

"Targeted Top Fan emails"

Send at the right day and time (and not too often). Early morning (6-10am) and after lunch (2-3pm) are usually the best times to reach people, but keep your onsale times in mind. In general, sending mid-week emails (Tuesday-Thursday) results in better performances. We recommend that try not to email your entire list more than once per week. However, you may send highly targeted emails more frequently, since they’re more relevant to individual fans. Experiment to see what works best for your audience.

Drive Clicks With Content

Create a branded email theme. Your branding assures your customers that the email is legitimate and the content can be trusted. In Backstage, click Appearance > Email Theme to set up a a theme that matches the look and feel of your brand. You can add custom HTML for your email header and footer that includes links to your website, social media, and location marketing accounts.

"Brand your email theme"

Put important content first. Content that is visible on opening an email has the highest engagement, so put the events that you need to actively promote there, versus the big shows that are guaranteed to sell out. Consider adding an “Almost Sold Out” event list in the Custom Content section during your campaign build to push events into a sell out.

Develop engaging content. Emails with unique, compelling content motivate recipients to click purchase links. Run contests, crack jokes, announce exclusive events via the newsletter to keep subscribers motivated to open them, whatever it takes to get those customers clicking.

Evaluate Effectivess and Experiment

Monitor your email performance. Visit Marketing > Email Campaigns in Backstage and use the success metrics and definitions in this guide to help measure your performance and refine your emails.

"Monitor your email metrics"

Opened: the percentage of people who received your email and also opened it, based on the time you send and your subject line. On hover, you can see the actual number of unique opens. Note: an “open” is only tracked when recipients load images in their email, so the open rate you see may be lower than your actual opens. Open rates vary depending on what you include in your message, but a good average to shoot for is 15% or higher.

Clicked: the percentage of people who received your email and clicked at least one link in the body. On hover, you can see the actual number of unique clicks. The best way to tell whether your content is effective is based on your clicked %. Click-through rates vary depending on your content, but a good benchmark to shoot for is 2% or higher.

Conversion: the ratio of tickets sold from your email to clicks on your email. This number varies depending on how desirable the events in the email are, how targeted your list is, and the price of your tickets (high ticket prices lead to lower conversion rates). For targeted presale emails for high-demand events, you may see a number higher than 100%. For example, if 400 people clicked on your email and each of them bought two tickets, the “Tickets Sold” number would be 800 and the conversion rate would be 200%.

Gross: The total value of tickets purchased through clicks from each email campaign.

Test, test, and test again! Experiment and keep track of your email statistics. Test subject lines, targeting, timed sends, and content variations to help you determine which elements are most effective at helping you engage your customers and selling tickets.

Related Resources:

10 Tips for Email Success
Using Fanbase to Target Top Fans
Ticketfly Help Desk: Emailer

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