Helpful resources for venue managers around Western Australia seeking to successfully attract and develop their audiences.
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Direct Marketing: mail

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Although email is much cheaper than mail, you won’t have email addresses for everyone on your database, and some people will prefer to receive hard copy information from you in the post. Mail is the more expensive option, so when you mail, you want it to be as effective as possible.

The most effective direct mail campaigns are personalised, i.e. individually addressed to each recipient, and start out “Dear John”, rather than “Dear theatre-goer”.

ALWAYS include a personalised cover letter with a flyer in a direct mail campaign.

As for an email campaign, refer to their past experience with you in the copy. Segment your mailing campaign so different groups get tailored content: everyone who saw xxx, everyone who saw yyy, etc.

Keep the content short and concise, no longer than one A4 page, in 12 point type (remember your ageing audience), reasonably spaced, not crowded.

Consider including some review quotes. Choose the ones you think will resonate best with your audience and the particular segment you’re writing to.

Although it’s much less likely that people you’re mailing will access it, compared with the people you’re emailing, you could include a YouTube address link for those who can get online. Seeing the teaser is a much more vivid indication of what the event is like, than anything you can write.

Include a call to action, like ‘book now for the best seats’ or ‘book by x date for our early bird offer’.

AIDA is a useful copywriting acronym that stands for:

Attract or Attention

Interest

Desire

Action.

Using it will help you ensure that your direct marketing copy is as effective as possible. First it must grab the target audience’s attention, and engage their interest. Then it must build a desire for the product offering, before setting out how to take the action that the writer wants the audience to take.

Direct mail practitioners will also tell you that a P.S. can be very effective for increasing response rates. Using a P.S. draws particular attention to that content, so it should be a strong selling point. For example, you could include the fact that a particular actor toured last year in another play which they may have seen ..

Online resources:

Direct Mail Tips for Sophisticated Marketers: NEW LINK NEEDED

http://www.microsoft.com/business/en-us/resources/marketing/customer-service-acquisition/direct-mail-tips-for-sophisticated-marketers.aspx?fbid=MAqOmGOqZFv

23 Direct Mail Tips:

http://www.understandingmarketing.com/2010/03/23/23-great-direct-mail-tips-for-entrepreneurs/

Example Direct Mail copy

This copy was written for the 2012 Victorian tour of “The Flood”

To be included with DL flyer

Dear <first name>

Have your sandbags ready next month when The Flood comes to town for x night/s only.

As someone who enjoyed <relevant play title> recently/last year/etc, we wanted to make sure you had the chance to book early so you don’t miss The Flood.

Bristling with dark humour and edge-of-the-seat performances by three of our finest actresses, The Flood is startlingly authentic writing, plunging audiences into the lives of characters so real you feel you know them; a web of family intrigue against the haunting Australian outback.

“[The Flood] is the best piece of new theatre I’ve seen this year… See it. See it. See it.”

– Anne-Marie Peard, AussieTheatre.com

A preview of the play is available on YouTube if you have internet access. Go to <YouTube link URL>.

Written by Patrick White Award winner Jackie Smith and featuring Maude Davey, Shirley Cattunar  and Caroline Lee (who you might remember from her performance in Cosi last year), The Flood is a theatre experience you’ll be talking about for days.

If you book before <day/month> you get our early bird special, which includes your choice of complimentary pre-show or interval drink.

BOOK NOW on our website <include URL> or phone <phone number>  to claim your free drink.

We look forward to welcoming you to The Flood.

Yours sincerely etc …

(mail should always be signed by a real person; digital scanned signatures are fine)