TicketPrinting Blog

Entertainment

Center Stage: Online Theater Promotion (Act II): Newsletters and Blogs

By Lance Trebesch and Dustin Stoltz August 11, 2009

Comedy and Tragedy

Newsletters and Blogs

(Act II)


Welcome to the grand finale of great online promotional methods for your theater. Today we focus on advertising through audience members. Newsletters and blogs effectively capture the attention of readers and connect them with behind the scenes aspects of your theater. Are you ready to take a personal approach to theater marketing? These steps will help you create the ultimate theater blog and newsletter campaign along with a strong fan base.

I. Know Your Audience

Readers of newsletters and blogs don’t want to hear an advertising crusade. Instead, market yourself by connecting with them. All your content should relate to the fans. Provide the background information they want on your theater, performers, and shows. For instance, you could write the “History of the Burlesque” in the weeks leading up to your upcoming burlesque production. A great way to connect with the readers of your newsletters and blogs is to personalize. Always use a signature and add a link to the website at the end of the article. Let your own persona shine through your writing.

II. Encourage Conversations
Got a theater blog?

The biggest difference between a blog and a newsletter is the interaction potential of a blog. Comment features allow natural conversations at the end of every post. You can ask friends to get the discussions started. This will cue other readers and let them know they are part of a larger audience. Discussions also help you understand your readers better. Gauge what you write by the outcomes of the conversations. Write back! Readers need to know that you pay attention to your own blog, so it’s important to respond to comments on a regular basis.

III. Don’t be Afraid to Mix it up!

To keep readers on their toes, include more than just habitual writing. Consider a guest writer. This could include current or past cast or crew members, an angel or long time audience member, or the owner/manager of the theater. Because newsletters are generally sent out through email, you can easily attach other attention-grabbing tidbits such as helpful articles, pictures, and videos. Don’t forget to add backstage information like pictures of the cast in the greenroom, at rehearsals, or just hanging out and having fun. This will provide potential audience members with an idea of what theater is really like behind the scenes, along with a preview to the actual performances.

IV. Keep Your Readers up to Date

When new content is added to your website, let your audience know! Don’t sound like an advertisement. Mention new additions to your website or theater in your letter. No need to write a whole article about it. Casually mention add-ons like merchandise for sale on the site at the end of your letter. Performance T-shirts are popular sellers. Also, remember to write consistently. A blog should have new material posted daily (or at least weekly). Aim to updating around the same time every day/week so readers can get into the habit of expecting your newsletter or blog. While fans are on your website, offer them the opportunity to sign up for your RSS feed. This will automatically notify subscribers to any updates on your site.

‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’

Newsletter and Blog Content Creation Quick Tips (Scene I):

‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’

  • Use word-of-mouth marketing! Let everyone know about your newsletters and blogs at performances and on your website. Create a link to allow readers to “Send to Friend” so they can promote for you.
  • Whenever possible, get email addresses. Allow fans to sign up for newsletters/blogs at performances and online. Only send information about the theater if they ask for it. You don’t want to be labeled as a spammer and end up in the junk mailbox.
  • Make your articles professional while emphasizing the character of the theater. This will differentiate you from the countless blogs that are out there, and will keep readers interested.
  • Be aware of variance among email providers. Content in your newsletter may appear very differently in Hotmail than it does in Gmail. Create some test emails and send out a sample letter to check formatting.

Creating interesting newsletters and interactive blogs can help you take large strides in generating more visitors to your website and selling more seats to every show. To get more ideas and see how these methods are used, check out other theater blogs and newsletters.

Take the first step! Use online promotion to generate new fans, keep old fans interested, and help fill your theater for every performance.