Last week I came up with a good idea about growing my email list. At each Stage Left Studio performance, I hold a raffle. To enter, the audience member joins my mailing list, and at the top of the show, I draw one of the just-added names. That winner gets a free ticket to a future show.
The audience members have gotten a big kick out of this. They applaud the winner, and 90% of them sign up for my newsletters. It makes for a great start to the show, and it’s growing my mailing list at the rate of about 500 names per month.
I don’t know yet if it will drive more business to my space, but I bet it will. Sure, maybe only 1% of the people who receive my newsletter buy a ticket, but as a producer of independent theatre, and the manager of a small house, I have to measure my successes incrementally. And 1% of 500 is an additional 5 tickets per month. That’s the cable bill.
There’s also much to be said for good will, and for presenting a steady stream of high-quality programming. Those who come to Stage Left often tell me about the other shows they have seen in my performing space. Last week a woman on the front row remarked to her partner, “If you want to see good theatre, come here.”
Last night I arrived back at the space as people were spilling out of the elevator into the lobby after the show. They were laughing and exclaiming about what a good time they just had, and how they were going to tell their friends. The woman who won the raffle has already contacted me to claim her free ticket.
This progress, despite how minute, is still progress. I’ll keep on having good ideas, and people will keep being glad they came to see the show, and in a year, it will be fun to see how many more names are on my list, and how many of the shows sell out.