3 Tips for Driving Subscription Sales for Arts Marketers

April 5, 2017 mogoarts

Since subscription season is upon us, many of your patrons will be renewing their subscriptions online and you’ll be leveraging multiple channels, both offline and online to acquire new subscribers.

When running a successful subscription campaign, it is important to focus on increasing awareness and driving consideration for your organization’s subscription packages. Here are three tips for running a successful subscription campaign:

1. Utilize Facebook to showcase your subscription packages.

One way to promote your available packages is to use carousel ads to showcase your different shows. See below an example of Arizona Opera’s carousel ad from their 2016/17 mini subscription campaign. Be mindful to create cohesion across channels and creative, so that your print materials, emails, subscription landing pages and advertising all have a similar look and key messaging. In Facebook, you can create a lookalike audience to target qualified prospective patrons and tailor your ad messages to users in different stages of the purchase funnel based on the depth of their engagement with your website and ads.

2. Activate segmented audience data from direct mail, email and telemarketing, and increase frequency via multiple channels

Display, video, native and mobile ads are effective for both remarketing and driving new acquisition awareness around your subscription packages or membership offerings. Using various audience segments from your database, you can align your offline and online efforts and target lapsed subscribers/members, multi-single tickets buyers, donors etc. with specific messaging. Given subscriptions are a more considered purchase adding an online channel to support your other efforts is cost-effective, highly targeted and can provide added frequency to help offset limitations of email open-rates and call contact rates. See the examples below of display ads from San Francisco Ballet and Dallas Symphony.

3. Target patrons who almost purchased a subscription package, but abandoned their cart.

When a patron adds tickets to their online cart but then exits the website, that is referred to as abandoning the cart. If a patron was about to purchase a subscription package but then abandoned the cart, it is a good idea to retarget those patrons by serving them ads with alternate messages that have a much stronger call to action. Since these patrons have a higher intent to purchase, it is important to avoid “banner blindness.” This is when after seeing campaign creative for an extended period of time, patrons consciously or subconsciously  lose sight of your banner ads. See examples below of Phoenix Theatre and Cal Performances ads served to patrons who abandoned their cart when purchasing tickets to their 2016/17 subscription packages. Depending on your shopping cart configuration and timing of your campaigns, it is best to utilize this tactic when you are only selling subscriptions or if it makes sense for those buying single tickets to also receive a similar subscription message.

We hope that these tips help your organization with your upcoming campaigns. With the right media mix and messaging, your organization can successfully drive subscription package sales reaching both new and existing patrons online.