Headliners Music Hall: Why and When Fans Engage with Email and Buy Tickets

“At the end of the day, our ultimate goal at Headliners Music Hall is to drive ticket sales and to reach potential ticket buyers in the most effective way possible. Rockhouse Partners not only has helped us achieve that goal, but they’ve opened our eyes to the many methods of reaching our fan base, keeping those people engaged, and how to connect with them on a more personal level.”
– Lauren Grulke, Director of Marketing at Headliners Music Hall

The Challenge

Headliners was a powerhouse when our team at Rockhouse Partners started working with them, and Rockhouse has been looking for new ways to maximize their ticket sales. After some strategizing, they decided to run an experiment to find out the effectiveness of Headliners’ weekly email newsletter.

What We Did

  • Our team built an aesthetically appealing and informative email for Headliners subscribers.
  • We ran an email test based on three groups: one group receiving the email at 9am, the next group receiving the email at 3pm, and the last group receiving the email at 9pm.
  • For six weeks, we alternated which group received which email at which time so our results would be as accurate as possible. See the chart below for how we split each group.
9am 3pm 9pm
Week 1 Group A Group B Group C
Week 2 Group C Group A Group B
Week 3 Group B Group C Group A
Week 4 Group A Group B Group C
Week 5 Group C Group A Group B
Week 6 Group B Group C Group A

How it Played Out

  • After running this experiment for six weeks, it was evident that the 9pm time slot was engaging the most with the emails.
  • What’s more surprising is that with an open rate of close to 24% and a click rate of 1.33%, the 9pm time slot resulted in the fewest ticket sales.
  • The 3pm email recipients were the ones actually buying tickets.

What We Learned

Headliners Story_1-16-2015

The time of day certainly impacted overall engagement, but actual ticket sales were a result of sending relevant content to the right recipients at the right time. While those receiving the email at 9pm engaged more with the email, the recipients receiving the email at 3pm showed more interest in buying tickets to the shows that were featured.

Next Steps:

  • This experiment shows that people are more likely to engage and purchase later in the day, but Headliners subscribers will start noticing their emails arriving in the afternoon.
  • It’s all about watching the trends and we will continue to develop strategic recipient segments for successful email marketing.