How To Target Event Emails To Drive Sales – Sierra Nevada Style

1Whether a beer company or a band, savvy marketing rules apply. Here we look at how a targeted marketing strategy employed by the craft beer company Sierra Nevada helped them to dramatically boost event ticket sales.

By Tamisha McQuilkin, the Program Manager for Technology Partnerships at MailChimp from the Eventbrite blog

Sierra Nevada was one of the first brands to take craft beer mainstream. And the company still stays on the cutting edge of everything it does.

Take email marketing. Sierra Nevada doesn’t just fall back on the status quo of rote event announcements. To spread the word about its many events nationwide, the California-based beer company uses targeting and savvy messaging.

Whether your event is Sierra-Nevada-level huge or still scaling up, the same email marketing rules apply. By sending well-timed messages to just the right people, you, too, can inspire elevated fan fervor and sell more tickets faster.

From ticket announcement to just before the event, here are the types of emails Sierra Nevada uses for their email campaigns.

The six emails Sierra Nevada sends before each flagship event

Email #1: One week before tickets go on sale

Subject: Beer Camp tickets go on sale on April 15

Hey [name]! Just wanted to let you know that tickets to Beer Camp go on sale in just one week…

Flagship Sierra Nevada events like Beer Camp host up to 4000 attendees per event and sell out rapidly. Dave Hermann, who manages email marketing for such events, says, “It’s fast velocity, so we use a save-the-date email to let people know they have to be ready at 9 a.m. to get those tickets.”

Exactly who he sends email to is part of the strategy. Hermann uses segmentation to divide Sierra Nevada’s enormous global email list into geographies, areas of interest, and past ticket-purchase behavior. He might, for instance, send targeted emails about a Tahoe-based festival to West Coasters who’ve been to a Sierra Nevada festival before or who’ve expressed an interest in music events.

To accomplish this level of segmentation, Hermann relies on the MailChimp for Eventbrite integration, which automatically shuffles email contacts into the right lists.  Done well, email targeting can improve conversion by 355% and revenues by 781%.

Email #2: When tickets go on sale

Subject: Beer Camp tickets are on sale!

It’s time! Grab your tickets to Beer Camp before they sell out…

2The moment tickets go on sale, target recipients get the second message. “Act now!” isn’t just an old sales technique. For many of Sierra Nevada’s events, tickets sell out quickly. The brand has the back of loyal fans, who would be disappointed to miss out.

For the undecided, this second email imparts more detail about ticket types available and particulars of the event. Thanks to accurate targeting, Sierra Nevada averages a 39.9% open rate and 7% click-through rate for ticket-on-sale email announcements.

Emails #3-5: In the weeks leading up to the event

Subject: 5 things you need to know about Beer Camp

Sure, you’re coming for the beer, but did you know that Beer Camp will also include…

After tickets go on sale, Sierra Nevada sends periodic “reminder” emails to get the undecided and the ticket-holders excited.

For instance, recipients might get a “listicle” style article with five numbered pieces of information, such as “5 Things You Need to Prepare for Beer Camp.” These emails are quirky and funny — never cookie cutter. They hold genuinely useful and entertaining information for interested fans.

Subject: At long last, here’s the full lineup for Beer Camp

We know you’ve been chomping at the bit to plan your schedule at Beer Camp. Here’s a final list of who is playing when.

Or, Sierra Nevada might announce the full band lineup along with a colorful infographic illustrated with stages, bands, and times.

Subject: Which of these beers sound good to you?

We’ll be debuting six exclusive brews at Beer Camp…

Or, the brand might announce the beer lineup. For Beer Camp, for example, there are collaborative beers created in partnership with small local breweries, only available at the festival. This email colorfully teases the libation options.

“Half of our consumers come for the party,” Hermann says, “and half come for the beer.” So the brand spreads the wealth in terms of types of info, although Hermann can also send targeted emails to specific groups based on what he knows about their interests.

For instance, some Sierra Nevada customers are part of a subscription bottle service, so Hermann knows they’re likely to savor the beer menu.

Email #6: One week before the event

Subject: Your last chance to buy tickets to Beer Camp!

What are you waiting for…?

Finally, Sierra Nevada will send a reminder email a week before the event.

In this email, Hermann makes sure to include plenty of links to things like beers, bands, activities, and, critically, a ticketing page. Instead of routing the latter through the Sierra Nevada site, Hermann sends them directly to Eventbrite. Fewer clicks means a higher likelihood of completing the purchase.

By taking advantage of sophisticated, automated targeting usingEventbrite’s MailChimp integration, Hermann has cut down on the time he spends creating, sending, and measuring the metrics of emails.

At the same time, Sierra Nevada has continued to sell out quickly and add more and more events to its roster.

Big or small, you, too, can use the power of email targeting with the MailChimp for Eventbrite integration. To find out more, download Creative Event Email Examples: Success Stories from Top Event Brands.

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