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How to Actually Sell Tickets with Email Marketing in 2019

Email marketing has been around pretty much since the internet was born. Social media and search engine ads have stolen some of its shine in recent years, but we still believe in the power of good ol’ email! Why? It’s (almost) free, it’s accessible and everybody on the internet has one! With so many people using ad blockers and scrolling through their social feeds at the speed of light, email is also the perfect way to capture someone’s attention. Here’s the top ways to keep up with email trends that actually sell tickets in 2019:

 

  1. Personalization and Segmentation

Millennials have spoken, and they want custom content. We’re talking about diving a little deeper than your standard email {!Contact.FirstName}.  Huge digital companies like Amazon, Coca-Cola and the Austin City Limits Festival have changed the way we market by placing personalization at the center of their strategies. Think about how you react when an ad pops up in your inbox or newsfeed for something that you’ve already been lusting after for days. We’d bet your typical scroll reflex slows down and you’re much more likely to give it a click.

Next time you send out a marketing email, ask yourself if you’ve included these relevant contacts: Customers who have purchased tickets for the same or similar events, customers who have purchased merchandise, customers with abandoned carts, customers who have shown interest in the event on your website.

More importantly, think about who you SHOULDN’T include. Instead of sending every email to one giant list, segment your lists based on what each person is truly interested in. In other words, don’t waste your time sending kids story time emails to the rowdy 21+ crowd. While it may seem like you’re increasing your odds by increasing your reach, what you’re really doing is making it more likely for someone to opt-out, or worse, stop engaging with your event altogether.

 

  1. Clear and Compelling Call to Action

If you want your reader to buy anything, you’ve got to create engaging calls to action that compel your readers to follow through right away. Once a reader clicks away – that’s it. You’ve pretty much lost them, at least for now.

Many people see the call to action as a one-line sentence or link at the end of your email (Buy Tickets, Sign Up, Follow Us). While that’s an important piece to the puzzle, remember that the rest of your email is important, too. No one ever buys something without a compelling “why.”  What is it about your event that makes it a good use of their time? The delicious food? Great photo ops? A spectacular line up? Focus on one element and tell a really good story. Then hook them at the end. Storytelling is the best way to help people really connect with your brand, instead of just feeling like you’re trying to sell them something.

 

  1. It’s All About the Follow-Up

Here’s the great thing about selling online: you can essentially chase down a potential customer without looking like a total creep. It’s easy for people to get distracted online. Sometimes what people need is just another nudge (or 4) to lead them in the right direction.  Moz found that you can bring your conversion rate to up to 41%, compared to a 1-2% average by simply remarketing to customers who appear interested, but just haven’t bought yet.

Now, we’re not advocating for spamming people’s inboxes. Instead, what we’re talking about is using a well-timed, well-planned campaign to keep people thinking about your upcoming event. An email campaign for an upcoming festival might look something like this:

Email 1: Event announcement

Email 2: Early bird sale offer

Email 3: Line up announcement

Email 4: Second sale announcement

Email 5: Reminder: Two weeks left to buy tickets

Don’t forget to create an email for people who have abandoned their cart or who have high click & open rates but haven’t bought a ticket yet. It’s likely these people are interested, they may just need an additional nudge. You don’t have to follow up solely through email, either! Use retargeting to reach people who have recently purchased or engaged with your brand on their newsfeeds, Google search and using plain ol’ website banners.

 

  1. Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Sales are the oldest trick in the book for a good reason: they work. This one’s old school, but we still believe that a good sale or giveaway is one of the best ways to sell tickets. Just make sure that the offer is valuable for both you and the client.

 

Email marketing is still one of the best tools to connect with your audience and sell tickets, but it will only work if you are creating relevant content and humanizing your brand.

 

 

How to Instantly Reply to Your Messages Using Instagram Quick Replies (With screenshots)

If you use social media to sell tickets or merch (and you should!), you know how easy it can be for your inbox to start exploding with DMs.  Don’t get me wrong – a busy inbox is a good sign, but when you find yourself answering the same question over and over again, it doesn’t take long to realize that your time is even more valuable. To fix this problem, Instagram rolled out the Quick Replies feature to cut down on the time it takes to respond to direct messages.

(To take advantage of the feature, make sure you are using an Instagram Business Account.)

What is Instagram Quick Replies?

Quick Replies make it easy to respond your Instagram messages in just a few taps. The feature is similar to Facebook’s Instant Replies, except the saved messages don’t send automatically. Quick Replies comes in handy when customers are most likely to start conversations, like when tickets go up for sale, an event is right around the corner or when a giveaway occurs. It can be a lifesaver when it comes to staying engaged with your followers!

How to use Instagram Quick Replies

 

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile page and select your direct messages in the top right corner.
  2. Select a message.
  3. Tap the plus button in the bottom menu.
  4. Click on the quick reply button (a conversation bubble with three dots).
  5. Select “New Quick Reply.”
  6. Type your message, then click save.
  7. To use your message, type your shortcode or tap the quick reply icon to select your message. Then click send.
  8. You did it!

 

Say goodbye to hours spent replying to direct messages and answering the same questions over and over again. Quick Replies makes it easier than ever to quickly respond to direct messages – and as event planners know, in the middle of event season, every second counts!

IN THE NEWS 1/22/2019

Have you heard of virtual influencers? Fake virtual social media influencers are getting a lot of attention as More Investors are Betting on Virtual Influencers like Lil Miquela.

How to Create your 2019 Content Calendar (Plus a Free Template!)

Here at Saffire, our content calendar is our best friend! In fact, we just completed mapping out our calendar for the whole year. Whew! A content calendar is a plan, either for a few months or an entire year, of what you’re going to publish and where you’re going to publish it to further your organization’s goals. It is a complete roadmap of your outbound marketing efforts.

It took lots of time and planning to build our calendar, but we knew it would be worth it. Why? Because content calendars are the best possible tool to keep you organized all year long!

Most importantly, creating a content calendar forces you to put thought and creativity into your content instead of throwing it together at the last moment. (We’ve all been there!)

Imagine that you work at a festival known for its spectacular corndogs. Little did you know, today is National Corndog Day. You go on Facebook to see hundreds of festivals around the country posting their photos for #NationalCorndogDay. You search through your photo library but don’t see any great corndog photos available to post.

Instead, you miss out on the chance to gain some buzz and create some free promotion for you and your vendors.

A content calendar can help you make sure that you always have the perfect post for moments like this. Plus, you’ll never miss another National Corndog Day again.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few tips for getting started!

  1. 1. Identify your content

Before you start mapping out your content calendar, begin making a list of the topics you should cover. Start by asking yourself a few questions:

Who are your audiences and what do they want to see? Your audiences can include groups like: current and past customers, potential customers, vendors, board members, staff, etc. We recommend choosing 2 or 3 groups and creating content designed to keep them engaged.

What important dates, milestones or promotions does your organization have coming up this year? Ticket sales, box office times and promotion dates are obvious inclusions on your content calendar, but what about other interesting milestones? Anniversaries and holidays can make for lighthearted and engaging content! Make sure to check the National Day Calendar for other social media holidays related to your business. You can find it at www.nationaldaycalendar.com.

What kinds of assets do you have available? Who and what do you have available to help create unique content? Maybe you have a full creative team or maybe you’re using a simpler editing tool like Canva. Maybe you have a photographer or maybe you use Shutterstock. What about a videographer or even just partners that can contribute to your blog? Either way, take note of all people and tools available. This will determine what types of content you can post throughout the year.

  1. Decide when and where to publish

As little as a decade ago, there were only a few options for publishing. Today, however, there are dozens of options at our fingertips! Take a moment to take inventory of all the channels that your organization offers, and decide which content is best to post where. We bet that your organization already utilizes some of these channels: social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.…), video sharing sites like YouTube or Vimeo, newsletters, e-blasts, an online blog, your website and advertisements.

Next, decide how often to post. You could try to publish a new blog every day, but if you don’t have the resources necessary that could get tricky.  Be realistic about what you and your teammates can handle. Then be consistent.

  1. Create your calendar

There are many different ways to create your perfect content calendar! Here at Saffire, we recommend using a good ol’ spreadsheet. You can find our downloadable template at www.Saffire.com/Calendar.

Make sure to include important information like: date, post type, author, prize winners, publication channels etc. We love keeping ours in an organized Google Sheet that can be updated by all of our marketing teammates.

Once you have it perfected, get posting!

 

Remember, the best thing about your content calendar is that it’s flexible! See what works best for you and your team then add or remove things as you go! Once you get it perfected, we bet your content calendar will be your best friend too! You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every year. Next year, edit the template you create this year. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to manage your marketing presence!

This article previously appeared in IFEA’s ie Magazine.

IN THE NEWS 1/08/2019

Move over Google AdWords! Facebook will start testing ads in search results. Did you know Millennials contribute more than $50 billion to tourism in the U.S. alone? Here’s 3 Smart Ways to Market Travel to Millennials.

IN THE NEWS 12/11/2018

Ready for even more 2019 trends? The Wall Street Journal says in 2019 Travel Websites are Pushing Experiences. Facebook is continuing its “friends-first” emphasis, this time by encouraging more engagement: Facebook tests new “comment quality” feedback option as it looks to boost engagement.

4 Top Social Media Trends For 2019

It’s almost 2019, and (along with some fun surprises from Saffire!) that means a whole new year to connect with your friends on social media. Social media is constantly changing, but new features and ways to engage with your followers make it an exciting time to connect.

Here are our top social media trends to try next year.

  1. Use Stories

2018 was the year of the “story,” and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. This year, the feature blew-up on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and is even being integrated on YouTube and LinkedIn. Gone are the days when posts were seen as highlights of the past. In 2019, it is all about in-the-moment content. With some 400 million daily Instagram Story users, it is clear that audiences expect to have a more intimate relationship with brands than ever before. This is especially true for Millennial and Gen-Z consumers, who rate authentic relationships and FOMO as key influences for engagement and brand loyalty. For brands, this means constantly keeping fans involved – and stories are a great way to get started.

  1. Try Marketing Through Messaging

Rumor has it that the internet has not slept since it was born in 1983. Nowadays, consumers are constantly on the go with their devices in hand. People have come to expect almost instant responses when sending comments and private messages online. Because of this, organizations are learning that they must keep up with the demand from their customers. Facebook has also been adding new features to its Messenger app and rewarding business pages for maintaining high message response rates. It is clear that the social media giant sees messaging as a key tool in 2019, and Facebook isn’t the only one who feels that way. Studies show that more than 1.5 billion people use WhatsApp and other messaging apps each month.

3.Engage with Micro-Influencers

Anyone with an Instagram page knows that influencers have quickly become this generation’s celebrities. While working with powerful well-known influencers can get you big results, it can also be costly. That’s why many brands are now choosing to work with smaller social media users called “micro-influencers.” While they may not be celebrities, studies show micro-influencers still have great influence over their audiences – think of it as word-of-mouth marketing for the internet age. They key is to find relevant and trustworthy accounts to partner with. The best part? Unlike celebrity influencers like Kim Kardashian, who are known to charge up to $500,000 a post, 83% of micro-influences charge under $250. Try searching for accounts using hashtags related to your organization. Keep a lookout for profiles with high engagement and eye-catching posts.

4.Set up Shoppable Posts

Every marketer has been faced with the question – “how will social media directly contribute to the bottom line?” In 2018, Facebook and Instagram finally answered our question with shoppable posts, allowing users to buy their favorite products without ever leaving the app. Shoppable posts on Instagram and Catalogs on Facebook are a great way to help customers discover and purchase your merch. The key, however, is to remember to distinguish your post from other e-commerce by keeping it fun and interactive. It is still social media, after all.

 

Social media is all about creating a stronger relationship with your customers. In 2019 remember to build genuine relationships, put your customers first and have fun! That’s the magic recipe to a successful and profitable year on social!

IN THE NEWS 11/16/2018

Looking for how to boost visits to your destination page? A new report shows Interactive content is the most effective marketing tool for travel brands. When was the last time you audited your SEO? Study shows Search engines still dominate over social media, even for millennials.

How to Use Facebook’s Magic 3D Photo Feature

The world’s most used social media app added a brand new feature! It’s called 3D Photo, and it does exactly what it sounds like it does – well, kind of. The new feature adds distance between the foreground and background of a photo, making it look “3D.” Or, as Facebook puts it, like you’re looking at something “through a window.”

When you view a 3D photo, you can scroll or tilt your device to make the foreground of the image look like it’s moving in space. Facebook says the feature is “a new way to share your memories and moments in time with a fun, lifelike dimension.” The bad news? It’s only available on iPhones 7+ and up.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Take a photo using portrait mode on your iPhone.
  1. Open your Facebook app.
  1. Search for and like the Facebook 360
    This is the secret trick! Facebook has given a few select people automatic access to the feature. For most people though, liking this page is the key to unlocking the 3D photo option in the app.
  1. Close and reopen the app.
  1. Create a new post. You should now be able to see the “3D Photo” option in the list of features to add to your post. Click it. A list of available photos should pop up.
  1. Select your photo and wa-lah! Your 3D photo should now be available to post.

We see this feature adding all kinds of fun to our timelines! Photos with backgrounds that pop (we’re looking at YOU fairs, festivals and destinations!) come to life with 3D effects. For some eye-catching options, have a staff member ride your Ferris wheel with midway lights blinking in the background. If you live in a destination with water, waves crashing to the beach in the background is sure to be a pleaser!

Have fun! We can’t wait to see what you create.

IN THE NEWS 10/16/2018

Travel review site TripAdvisor is already one of the best tools to drive traffic to your destination or event. Soon it could get even better! TripAdvisor Wants To Become Your New Social Media Feed for Traveling. Planning for next year already? Check out these 11 Facebook Updates You Need To Know for 2019.