I just saw your show. Do you think I’m going to see it again?

I subscribe to a ton of show newsletters.  1 – I’m a fan of a lot of shows.  2 – I like to see what the other shows are doing in terms of continuing to engage fans like me.

So what is the most common communication I receive?

A discount offer to see the show again.


I’ve got news for you, shows of which I am a fan, most theater folks only see a few shows a year to begin with. Do you really think they are going to go back and pay to see your show again, no matter the price?

Very few shows have repeat attenders, and the ones that do usually have a younger, passionate, lottery-lovin’ fan base (Rent, Spring Awakening, etc.).  And even if you’re lucky enough to be one of those shows, those repeaters make up a very small percentage of your audience, and probably your email list as well (another reason why you should segment your list).

So why, oh why, do we use up so much email newsletter real estate trying to sell to the same people who already saw the show?

Your goal of communicating with a past customer should not be to get them to buy a ticket to see your show again, because your conversion rate will be exceptionally low.

Your goal should be to encourage them to spread the word of mouth about your show faster and louder than they would have done on their own.

If anything, pitch why they should buy the show as a gift for others.  Give them incentives to send a discount to their friends.  Get them back to the website to engage in your content again so they can be reminded of what they loved in the first place, so they’ll be more inclined to talk about it to their friends later (I once did a trivia contest with a decent prize . . . the answer was buried in my b-roll, which forced all the entrants to watch it again, soaking up my show’s messaging along the way).

A show is a not cruise, or a baseball game where each experience is different.   Ours are exactly the same.  So don’t try to sell to the same people.

Try to get them to do the selling for you.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.