Columbus Theatre

Bouncing back after a long closure: what are the basic projects to prepare the recovery?

Bouncing back after a long closure: what are the basic projects to prepare the recovery?

In the midst of a dynamic season, it is often very difficult to focus on fundamental projects, to rework databases or communication campaigns. The periods of closure are therefore opportunities to think about relevant marketing strategies to engage the public and trigger their visit as soon as the new season starts. So how can you optimise these quiet times to prepare for the reopening ?

Data: make a diagnosis of your database

First question to ask, depending on the level digital maturity of your structure: what is the status of your database ? Is it centralized? Qualified? Does its framework comply with the regulations (GDPR) ? Does it allow you to know your audience and segments in a  relevant way?

A well-managed and easy-to-use database is first and foremost a database that centralises all points of contact with your audience. Your data sources include the ticketing, but also your website (newsletter registration form), a guest book or even the data from your social media (games and contest). Centralising your contacts in a single database allows you to qualify your audience, analyse their behaviour and interests and target them more effectively while respecting their communication preferences. Consent, promotional newsletter or service email, opt-in, opt-out... These concepts are unclear for you? Read our dedicated article  to understand these notions.

A healthy database: qualified and responsive contacts

The stage of centralisation, knowledge and segmentation is already carried out? Bravo! Next step: make sure your base is healthy. Are your contacts active and responsive? Make sure they are! Start by identifying your inactive contacts by carrying out your analysis over a significant period (preferably before the pandemic crisis). You can then consider setting up a creative reactivation operation and definitively exclude from your mailings contacts who are no longer interested in your communications (change of address, moving house etc...). The performance of your campaigns will be improved at the time of the reopening. An operation that is easy to set up using a centralized database connected to an email and sms campaign management module such as Arenametrix.

Louvre email reactivation
Newsletter on the reactivation of the Louvre Museum

Maintaining a dialogue with the public

An other advice : never let your connection with your audience fade, even if you remain closed for an extended period of time. This is for obvious relational reasons, and to preserve the dialogue already established with your loyal audiences.. But also for more technical reasons like email campaigns performances and more specifically deliverability at the time of your reopening! Since Internet service providers favour regular communications, they may find your messaging account suspicious and block your mailings if you have been dormant since October 2020 and suddenly start sending thousands of emails.

And just because you're closed doesn't mean you have nothing to say! Your are archives certainly full of content : recordings or historical anecdotes that your audiences would be delighted to discover. Do not hesitate to use them to send out a few communications before the reopening. Your current organization does not allow you to relaunch campaigns now? Don't panic: just take the time toorganize carefully the resumption of your mailings at the reopening. Set up targeted mailings and to leave out mass mailings for after the restart. Do not hesitate ask for support by an expert.

Development of new audiences and relational strategy

Your database is healthy, qualified and you know how to segment your audiences to send them the right message at the right time. Perfect, you already have the right assets in hand to build a loyal audience. But be careful not to lose sight of your other goal: the development of new publics. The objective is to attract more and more spectators with diverse profiles to come to your site and discover your offers


First thing to check: can spectators who spontaneously take an interest in your work  easily subscribe to your newsletter? If you have set up an online registration form that's usually the case. But what happens next: do  new registrants adresses instantly appear into your database? Will this audience that is very eager to receive information from you receive it quickly after they register? In some organizations, leaving these new subscribers aside for too long is not uncommon. Because you don't have time to manually integrate them to the next editions of the newsletter.

Communication preferences and first relational steps

This audience has spontaneously shown an interest in you, they want to hear from you: take care of them. Start by seting up a registration confirmation email which outlines the types of communication you will send, or offer to register based on their areas of interest thanks to communication preference management (the differentiated consent feature is new in Arenametrix). Then, don't wait until you have a new show to send them an email: write a few days later. Then initiate the first chapter of the relationship that opens up as you welcome him. For example by presenting the history of your institution or company or by telling him what makes your artistic project special, through video content for example. This step which, after having been well thought out, can be automated and customized through marketing automation which we'll talk about a little bit later.

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House Welcome Mail

Once you have all this in place, you can start thinking about how you can collect data on the new audiences you want to develop. Think about setting up competitions on social media to develop young and digitally engaged audiences. If you want to capture audiences who already come to you but have booking habits that are outside your digital environment (spectators who book with retailers in particular), think about designing now data collection mechanisms in your environment. Are you looking forward to the reopening to schedule a special event? Let your audience know and give them the possibility to receive an alert when the venue reopens or the show goes on sale.

Theatre Edward VII
Registration form for an Event Alert at the Edouard VII Theatre

Knowledge of audiences and their booking habits

The abc of audience development and cultural marketing strategies, knowing the public and the diversity of profiles is necessarily at the heart of your business whether you are a front house manager, ticketing manager, marketing manager or communication officer! A centralized database allows you to segment your audience in just a few clicks to get to know them better. and adapt your future communications.

Do you already have a good knowledge of your audience and know, for example, their geographical origin, their age or their interests? Don't hesitate to look at other indicators linked to their booking habits to better target your communications. Check out for example the notion of loyalty to offer subscription pasckages to frequent spectators. Imagine targeted communications towards spectators who did not visit  your structure for a while. These indicators are a real gold mine for getting to know your audience with finesse and precision. You don't know all the secrets yet? Do not hesitate to read our dedicated article.

Are you waiting for the reopening to launch a show/event ? You are wondring about best time to launch your communication campaign? Identify for example at which moments  your spectators book the most, then send them your emails accordingly. Analyze the purchase window to find out whether your spectators book 30 days in advance or just the day before the event. Set up an editorial schedule for sending out your communications according to the highlights of your season.

Going further in relationship strategy: marketing automation

Marketing automation is based on a pre-designed scenario triggered by the behaviour of your audience. We mentionned this example above: your audience subscribes to your newsletter, which triggers a confirmation email, and then two days later a welcome email.

Marketing automation is a powerful tool to support the spectator experience. It saves you time and strengthens the relationship with your audience!

Its only limits? Your creativity and your objectives. Your marketing automation scenarios can be designed to trigger a
transactional action (relaunching an abandoned basket or subscribers at the end of their subscription), to support the spectator's journey (sending an email with practical information before a show or a satisfaction email about the experience after coming to the theatre). You can even set up a relational strategy for the spectators (spectator birthday mail, relationship birthday mail, etc.).

Paris Opera
Example of a pre-show email from the Paris Opera House

Moving into the digital age: centralized tools and a step-by-step strategy

Whatever the level of maturity of your company's digital strategy, it is important to take the time to think about it and to give yourself the means to implement it. The current period can be the right time for you to make a diagnosis of the existing situation and prepare the recovery by setting objectives and a schedule of actions to be implemented to achieve them.

This may also be the time to equip yourself with a facilitating tool and to be accompanied: this is exactly what Arenametrix offers. Arenametrix is a solution that allows you to centralize all your data in a single tool to then analyze your audiences and sales and develop the most targeted and effective marketing actions possible.

Apolline Locquet

Apolline Locquet

Would you like to carry out a data & CDP diagnosis of your organisation? Take advantage of 30 minutes of free consulting by reserving your slot.

Visual Solene crop

Solène Jimenez

Would you like to carry out a data & CDP diagnosis of your organisation? Take advantage of 30 minutes of free consulting by reserving your slot.

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