We’ve all heard the saying ‘communication is key’ and the way we communicate – and when we communicate – can be so important in establishing relevance and helping customers feel valued. When setting up an email campaign, personalization can become a make-it or break-it factor when trying to sell tickets.

Why Should Relevance Be A Focus?

Email marketing is the main marketing channel for most organizations, being a fast and easy way to communicate with fans and audiences. It’s also inexpensive and not subject to algorithms or varying cost structures, so it should be a focus to make the most of it.

When setting up marketing campaigns, the aim is to create awareness and sales, but with email marketing this should both be a short term goal and a longer term strategy, since every email you write will influence how the next one is received.

The key to ensuring the best (long-term) results is to be consistently relevant. Your email list will contain people with different interests and motivations, so it is important to target the right people at the right time. Then you can capture their attention, improve conversion and ensure better results over time. If people experience that being subscribed to your list gives certain privileges, they’ll be there to stay.

For example, if you are a concert venue and you have a band coming to play at your venue, the way that you would communicate to someone who has already attended a previous concert with the same band, or is interested in similar types of bands, might just need the info “the band is coming back!”. This audience is high affinity, and would typically also be the best target for a presale campaign.

Those who may not know the band need to be communicated to differently. They need to know WHY they should attend specifically. Perhaps giving more details on the band, their music or describing previous concerts can entice this group to click the email or potentially buy a ticket.

Another key dimension to consider is the recipient’s motivation for attending matches or events. As explained in this article, FC Copenhagen had amazing results from differentiating their messages based on the experience their fans were looking for.

The Cost Of Irrelevance

If you communicate less relevant information, recipients might end up dismissing your campaigns by adding them to junk folders or unsubscribing entirely. On a more technical level, the email service providers (like Gmail or Yahoo Mail) will also rate you as a sender (mostly referred to as your Sender Reputation or your Health Score), which will determine if you reach inboxes or a “Promotions” folder.

The cost of an unsubscribe can be significant, with the cost-of-contacting through ad channels up to 100x that of an email. Add to this that the unsubscribe is permanent, the cost is both the accumulated cost of contacting and the reduction in (expected) future revenue.

Well Then, How Do I Relevantly Communicate?

Segmentation: Instead of sending general emails about all of your content to everyone on your newsletter list, set up subsegments and run campaigns to smaller audiences. Some content might be relevant to your entire base, but it should not be the default option. If your email tool allows it, you can also consider making some elements of the campaign only go to subsegments. When you make things more personalized for your email recipients, you’ll see higher open rates, click-through rates and, ultimately, sales.

Re-get to know your audience: A lot of this comes from knowing the audience and knowing what the audience wants. Data driven marketing gives you insight into understanding sales patterns and when and why people are buying, allowing you to create more personalized campaigns (McKinsey).

So many things have changed during the pandemic, send a mail to see how people are responding and then go from there. Perhaps you notice that there is more engagement in campaigns with broad appeal, perhaps you’ll see locals interacting, but less interest from recipients living further away. Keep experimenting, but keep an eye on the results and interactions.

Personalize from the beginning: Taking time to make small changes can make a big difference. Even changing the subject line could make someone curious about the event and then want to learn more. That all starts at the very beginning, with your subject line. “Emails with personalized subject lines generate 50% higher open rates” (Oberlo). Something as simple and easy to change as a subject line can make all the difference in selling out your event, so it might be worth it to go that extra step.

Personalized email is becoming a central focus towards keeping loyal customers and attracting new ones. Data driven marketing gives you access to this and allows you to take action on when and how to communicate. All in all, communication is key, but relevant communication is the key to success.