How to Activate Infrequent Attenders

June 3, 2014 - Comments Off on How to Activate Infrequent Attenders

Typically, half the attenders on a database only attend once a year.  Research shows that they generally get the brochure and the mailings but that these don’t persuade them to book. They tend only to book for major shows or ones they already know they’ll like.

TelePrompt is a free information service to activate infrequent attenders.  Patrons are telephone periodically and given a menu of shows (and brief information about each) about which they can order more information.  The information sent is written to be more persuasive.

TelePrompt uses a deliberately ‘soft sell’ approach designed to build up a trusting relationship.  Typically…

  • 70% of patrons join the scheme
  • Calling them can double participation rates
  • Attendance keeps on rising in response to calls for up to 3 years
  • For every £1 invested, patrons have spent £3 at the box office

Taking TelePrompt further…

TelePrompt concentrates on delivering just the information people requested.  Stage 2 might involve some of the following:

  • Added Value: Exclusive open days, backstage tours or pre-performance talks strengthen links
  • Introduce a Friend: Provide incentives
  • E-Prompt: Convert seasoned TelePrompt patrons to cost-effective email
  • Crossover: Encourage ‘entry-level’ attendances at other types of productions with incentives
  • Frequency Packages: multi-buy offers to increase frequency
Objective Don’t Do
Get the right people Call the people who live 50 miles away Call people in the catchment area
Keep it legal Dive in without informed consent Ask for telephone consent as Q1 in the call if you don’t already have it
Explain the scheme Assume people will want to join – the scheme is unusual and they might worry there’s a catch Use a clear, reassuring script that allays their fears – people are then very positive
Build a personal rapport Be an anonymous voice reading from a pre-printed script Introduce yourself and make sure it’s you that calls this patron next time round
Record their preferences Just tell everyone about
everything all the time
Find out what they’re interested in and tailor the info the their interests
Solicit feedback Just transmit info in one way –
from you to them
Encourage dialogue, ask questions, and get feedback, comments and suggestions.  Record what they say and act on complaints
Arrange the next call Call again out of the blue Agree when you’ll call them again
Dispatch the info quickly Wait until there’s enough for a
batch mailing
Send the requested info 1st class next day
Keep it soft sell Check-up whether they went to
any of the shows you told them about last
Check the box office records.  Ask for feedback on the info you sent
Confirm their continuing interest Just keep calling Positively confirm that they still want to be part of the scheme
Develop their interests Always just tell them about
things they already like
Suggest and recommend shows that you think they might like
Move people off the scheme Call them forever Aim to move 50%+ onto e-prompt info by email.  Suggest others might be ok on own two feet
Try to deepen relationships Limit the relationship to occasional calls about single shows Sign letters from the caller, invite members of the scheme to open days/special events, move onto loyalty cards and first time subscriptions
Evaluate scientifically Just monitor the bookings of
those called
Establish a ‘control group’ of similar patrons and measure the ‘uplift’ caused by TelePrompt
Evaluate qualitatively Just judge by statistics Get feedback from staff who call – they are listening to the audience and you can learn a lot from these debriefs


Published by: Helen Dunnett in My Blog, Services

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