Whether it’s a cinema, theatre or concert hall, your entertainment venue is missing a trick if it’s not utilising SMS marketing to get those bums on seats. We take an in-depth look at how all kinds of entertainment venues can really make the most of SMS marketing.
How Cinemas Can Use SMS
Many cinemas already use SMS messages for ticket bookings, but they don’t use that same channel to let customers know about films they’d like to watch. Alerts from a cinema may include pre-booking on new releases or information on dates of big releases, as well as links to teaser trailers. As with any SMS marketing strategy, the key thing to always remember is to avoid bombarding your recipients. This is why it’s such an obvious choice with cinemas, as you can simply text customers based on their preferences. For example, a customer who only books to watch family films will almost certainly be interested in the latest Disney release, information on your reduced price family Saturday morning screenings or family friendly deals. With the booking information at hand, you can easily profile customers based on film preferences and only text them with what they want to hear.
Music Venues and SMS
In the same way, those who frequent a music venue or concert hall may well be interested in upcoming acts. Music venues don’t need to bombard customers with details on every act, but can also send out alerts about certain acts based on customer profiling. Early release tickets, teasers featuring new music material and even reviews can all come to customers by way of text message.
Theatres and SMS Marketing
Theatres again can make the most of SMS marketing by profiling customers according to preferences and only texting what they want to hear. Theatres can also send out reminders with details of a specific booked show. Such texts can be arranged to only go to those with tickets for a certain performance.
We’ve looked now at how SMS marketing can be used to help entertainment venues such as cinemas, theatres and concert halls inform customers, but why SMS in particular? A few years ago SMS marketing was almost unheard of, nowadays it’s being picked up by more and more industries who are coming to understand its great worth. SMS marketing is one of the most instant and direct forms of marketing around, with your information literally falling into the hands of your potential or existing customers. It is also one of the most effective types of marketing when it comes to click through rates. According to an article published online for the Business2Community magazine, SMS is winning out vastly in comparison to the now seemingly antiquated email marketing strategies. SMS texts currently have a read rate of 99%, with email trailing sadly behind at around 30%. Of course this drops when it comes through to the actual click through rate (CTR), this means the amount of people actually clicking on the link within the text or email to reach your site or booking page. This sits at around 36% for SMS and a paltry 6% for email marketing.
Discounts, Promotions and Coupons
One area where SMS marketing is particularly effective is the impulse purchases that occur as a result of promotions. However cinemas, theatres and music venues are notoriously stuck in their prices and rarely offer promotions. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it though and SMS marketing allows you to set promotions only after a certain time (I.e. when enough tickets have been sold to already make a profit and you simply want to fill the auditorium at the last minute). These cut price tickets can be offered exclusively to customers signed up to an SMS alert service, making it a great way to get a list of subscribers.
Other Entertainment Venues
There are some further entertainment venues that can benefit from SMS marketing, some with even greater effect. Bowling alleys, who do traditionally offer lots of promotions can get a great reception by sending out daily deals (i.e. Two for Tuesday), exclusive discounts or even letting people know when lanes are still available in peak times.
The great thing about running an entertainment venue is that customers have positive connotations when they are reminded about it. People generally have a great time when they go to the theatre, to a bowling alley or to the cinema. Many people relish receiving listings through the post and read through them before placing them on the fridge. You can make your text messages just as exciting for customers by getting the balance right and sending them just what they need to know.
Helpful Info Equals Customer Retention
Not every text you send needs to come under the umbrella of ‘marketing’. Once you have an SMS service set up, you can use it to communicate with customers in a number of ways that will enhance and improve their experience at your entertainment venue and essentially retain their custom. Reminders of door opening times for specific screenings or events may be helpful. Texts to let audience know that the interval is about to end can also help get everyone back inside the auditorium as well.
All About Balance
As we mentioned earlier, and this is true of any SMS marketing strategy, it must be about balance. Too many texts and customers may block your number or even complain. This means that every text you send needs to be valuable to each customer or audience member. It must only draw their attention to events, screenings and plays that they are likely to want to hear about. Texts must also inform, entertain even, but never push a sale too hard.
As you can see, SMS marketing could be hugely advantageous to entertainment venues and is, as yet, a fairly untapped way of getting in touch with customers for those in the entertainment industry. Taking advantage of the fact that customers enjoy coming to your venue, offering exclusive deals as well as targeting customers specially based on their preferences are all great ways to make the most of this direct and hugely effective marketing method.