The San Antonio Cocktail Conference (SACC) has a unique footprint in San Antonio. It’s the only event of its type in the Lone Star State and in just 5 years’ time, had become one of the top 5 cocktail events in the country. They had been experiencing double digit growth each year and knew that smart planning would assist them in growing thoughtfully and positively over time.
Using existing organizational research, we learned that 80% of attendees were from San Antonio and though they were promoting the event regionally and nationally, the real ticket buyers were local. In the past, ticket sales during the kick-off month of November were modest. This posed challenges for the organization on many levels. We believed effectively utilizing their email list of past ticketholders combined with a local marketing partner and planned social content to integrate messaging would achieve the desired objective of moving $25,000 in sales to November from January’s last minute ticket purchase rush.
The team began pre-sale communication in October with taglines like “be the first to know” and “get on the list” messages in social media using the new call to action buttons on Facebook and Twitter content. This drove email list sign-ups. At the same time, aspirational content was tagged with “tickets go on sale Nov. 15.” Daily messages were shared in social media and scheduled using an editorial calendar. When the sales window opened, aspirational messages continued, but taglines changed to strong calls to action. Four email newsletters during November used similar calls to action using clever double entendres and cocktail lingo to encourage early ticket sales, creating for the first time a triangulated sales funnel for the organization.
- High engagement rates on all social media channels were maintained with three times the output of previous years.
- Dedicated email and contest with a marketing partner delivered consistent web traffic – it was in the top 5 sites referring traffic to the ticket sales page.
- Open rates and click through rates on the email newsletters originated by the SACC were higher than industry averages and previous years
- The key result was a 98% increase in ticket sales (the first month) over the previous year and 34% higher than the goal.
The integration of social and digital platforms together with a strong marketing partner showed the organization what could be done with smart email marketing and team planning and set the bar for future integration of social and digital efforts.