Just $X for this and $Y for this and I’m not listening, are you?

I’m a subscriber to every Broadway discount site there is, and I recommend you sign up for ’em all as well.  Get on that Telecharge list, the Playbill List, the Theatermania list, my Your Broadway Genius list and more.  One, you’ll get some great deals every once in a while, and support the industry that we all know and love.  And two, you’ll learn a heck of a lot about what makes a compelling email blast.

What makes you open up an email?  What makes you delete one?  What makes you click?  What makes you forward it on to a friend?

Figuring out what works for you is a part of figuring out what works for your customers.

A lot of you probably get these blasts already.  So let me ask you . . . are they all starting to look the same to you?  Are your eyes numbing over like mine?  Especially when we’re getting 2-3 per day, at least?  (My inbox is starting to feel like a Sunday Newspaper coupon section.)

Case in point.  I received three emails in the last few weeks that had almost the identical subject line:

“Just $45 for SHOW ONE.”

“Just $50 for SHOW TWO.”

“Just $55 for SHOW THREE.”

Now look, this is a definite strategy.  Should you know the SHOW that they’re emailing about, and were inclined to buy in the first place, you’ll probably open . . . and maybe buy.

But if you don’t know the SHOW, then why would you open?   (Answer?  You wouldn’t.)

Email blasts are the new print ads . . . but the big difference is, the advertiser can’t display their images unless the user clicks that open button (and selects “display images,” actually), which is why the subject line is so dang crucial.

I’m a fan of Urban Daddy’s email blasts, and their subject lines (sign up – you can learn a lot of emails that are out of your industry as well).  Here’s a few:

You Haven’t Danced This Much at Lunch in Years

A Boozy Snow Cone Sounds Pretty Good About Now, Eh?

You’re in Hong Kong.  You’re Thirsty.  Here’s What You Do.

Slightly different, don’t you think?  More creative?  Less salesy?

And absolutely unique.

Our advertising, especially our email direct response initiatives are all starting to look the same.  Similar subjects, similar layout, similar sales . . . it’s time we start to shake ’em up a bit, before our customers start saying, “It’s just $12.50 to see a movie!”


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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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.