4 Direct Mail Ideas Straight From Broadway
Can direct mail get people away from all of their screens and into theater seats?
Live musicals on TV are events that draw big ratings, and it’s next to impossible to get a ticket to "Hamilton." But at the same time, lots of shows and theaters struggle.
When I volunteered for a performing arts theater a few years ago, I wondered how so many groups survived from one year to the next. Successfully marketing a show can be one of the hardest things to achieve in the world of theatre, no matter where you are.
So, how can they use direct mail to engage theatergoers?
I looked at a lot of mail we collect at Who’s Mailing What! for some quick answers.
1. Make Print Really Stand Out
There are lots of ways to take advantage of print. Using high quality paper and images is one. I loved this mail piece with a powerful image of Lupita Nyong’o, the star of "Eclipsed."
Here's another I liked, from Roundabout Theatre Company. It used foil stamping to make this promotion for “She Loves Me” shine.
2. Leverage Star Power
Stars of film, TV, and music bring a built-in audience with them to the theater stage as performers or producers. Add to that the continuing stream of productions adapted from works in other media, like novels, movies, etc., and it’s clear that familiarity works in attracting audiences. Or at least in inspiring backing from investors.
3. Make A Memorable Call To Action
A few years ago, the classic "Godspell" was revived. This mailer put its ticket ordering information on a sign against a brick wall backdrop, like the ones used in the show. And, at bottom, the three social callouts cleverly borrow from verses of “Day By Day,” one of its biggest songs. Smart shows will have a social strategy in place that’s appropriate for each platform’s audience.
4. Showcase Your Awards
This year’s telecast of the Tony Awards saw its highest ratings in 15 years. Maybe it was driven by the success of "Hamilton", but people still pay attention to industry recognition.
There are other ideas. Some older direct mail included CDs with music samples to give people a taste of the experience. That’s great content that can be delivered online today.
Because of increasing postage costs, mass mail in this market no longer makes sense, if it ever did. And, continual email blasts mean more unsubscribes.
As in every other niche, more precise targeting is key, with better demographic research on audiences and personas that allows limited budget dollars to be spent more wisely.