How State Theatre New Jersey Utilized Membership and Subscription to Grow Audiences and Revenue.
By J.L. Nave, Senior Consultant
State Theatre New Jersey uncovered an opportunity in their patron buying behavior when it came to their Broadway series. What they saw in their data was demand through repeat customers who were single ticket buyers. For the 2016-17 season, State Theatre introduced a flex package which offered a 15% discount when three or four Broadway shows were purchased or a 20% discount when all five shows were purchased. State Theatre sold 1,988 “Buy More Save More” admissions to 251 households that first year (at launch, “Buy More Save More” packages went on sale at the same time as single tickets and patrons were not guaranteed the same seats for each show).
At this time, State Theatre reached out to TRG Arts to help them grow this series with an eye toward strengthening patron loyalty. After an initial baseline analysis and demand management summit, TRG and the team at State Theatre determined that a fixed subscription package would be the best next step for supporting long-term patron loyalty.
The new subscription package included all five Broadway shows, offering a 20% discount (more shows than “Buy More Save More”), and guaranteed patrons the same seat for every show and from season to season as long as they renew.
Based on the multi-single ticket buyer and “Buy More Save More” historical data, projections were made to sell 269 full series subscriptions with revenue of $88,900. State Theatre and TRG planned a best practice subscription campaign plan. The team at State Theatre implemented this plan flawlessly and made sure to put inventory controls in place to ensure that the hall filled front to back and side to side. What a great (and rare) opportunity to start from scratch!
|(State Theatre New Jersey staff place thank you notes on seats of Broadway series subscribers.)
It didn’t take long for State Theatre to achieve the initial goal… five days to be exact. A new revenue goal was set to $180,000 (more than twice the original goal). Meeting this new revenue goal took the team at State Theatre another 3 weeks to achieve.
State Theatre also wanted to increase participation in their membership program and it was decided that members of $500 or more would get first choice of seats followed by the current “Buy More Save More” patrons. Once this option was added to membership, State Theatre immediately saw patrons wanting to become members or increasing their membership so they could choose their seats first.
By the end of the campaign, State Theatre sold 947 fixed series subscription packages or revenue of $348,819! They also grew their “Buy More Save More” package to 3,421 admissions with revenue of $220,177.
Implementing a best practice subscription retention campaign throughout the 2017-18 season and a strong subscription campaign for the 2018-19 season, they grew their fixed series subscriber base to 1,203 packages with revenue of $404,600.
|Chart note: At the time of publication (February 2019) '"Buy More Save More'"
was still on sale.
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