CUSTOMER STORY
Venue
Sydney, Australia
5.5k GA capacity, 2k seated
Founded in 1924

The Hordern Pavilion’s Email Nirvana 

How higher open rates & increased CTR helped this historic venue
sell more tickets.

Sydney’s iconic and longstanding venue, The Hordern Pavilion, boasts an impressive list of international acts that have graced its stage. The likes of Nirvana, Frank Sinatra, Queen, Elton John, and Billie Eilish have all performed at this historic venue. 

Holding 5,500 for general admission shows, The Hordern utilised their two-year COVID closure period to undergo renovations, allowing them to transform into a seated venue that holds 2,000 fans for more intimate shows. 

Putting on over 60 shows per year, the team at The Hordern work with a large number of different promoters, each with specific needs and requests from their marketing team. The team need to turn around marketing assets at pace and be adaptable to any changes that come up at a minute's notice. 

This meant that The Hordern needed an email system they could rely on to meet these challenges and keep their stakeholders happy. 

A Historic Venue Doesn’t Need An Archaic Email Platform  

The Hordern marketing team found themselves using a clunky and slow email marketing system, which was proving to be more of a hindrance than a help.

Stephen Charles, Digital Marketing, Ticketing & Bookings Coordinator at The Hordern Pavilion was running into issues that affected his ability to efficiently produce emails for upcoming shows.

“We had issues when building emails, for example, you couldn’t actually preview them, so the only way you could figure out what it actually looked like was by sending yourself a test email,” he says. 

No one enjoys a cluttered inbox at the best of times, and with every small tweak that came in from promoters and internal stakeholders, an eye-watering amount of test emails flooded the teams’ already full inboxes, creating a painstakingly slow and inefficient process. 

Apart from a time-consuming email builder, Stephen also found limitations with HTML codes and targeting capabilities, making the process of efficiently sending emails and audience segmentation close to impossible. 

These issues caused the team at The Hordern Pavilion to mention this to Ticketek - The Hordern’s ticketing partner - and one of Australia and New Zealand’s largest ticketing companies. 

With an integration already in motion between Ticketek and Audience Republic, Ticketek recommended Audience Republic as a solution to their email marketing issues.

How A Fast and Easy Implementation Set The Hordern Up For Success  

Migrating from one platform to another is never easy and is often a key factor preventing teams from upgrading systems. The migration process can sometimes be more painful than the issues experienced with an incumbent system, but even with 180,000 contacts on their database Audience Republic’s Customer Success team made the data migration a breeze. 

“The Audience Republic team were super helpful with loading all the data. It was a massive data load with us having 180,000 contacts. They're really, really important data pieces for us. They were also already heavily linked to different genres, so it was a pretty massive task, but the team made it very easy in getting it all loaded into the back system correctly.”
Stephen Charles
Digital Marketing, Ticketing & Bookings Coordinator

A World-Class System for a World-Class Venue

Higher open rates, improved conversion rates and fewer unsubscribes are what every marketer aims for and since implementing Audience Republic, The Hordern has been hitting the trifecta. 

Stephen attributes this to the platform’s ability to get specific with segmenting and tagging which allows him to filter audiences and deeply personalise fan communications.

“A big one for us is that the audience is heavily tagged now so when I break it down, it’s not just by genre anymore.”  
Stephen Charles
Digital Marketing, Ticketing & Bookings Coordinator

But it’s not just who to market to, it’s also who not to market to which is delivering a more engaged database with lower unsubscribe rates. Audience Republic’s segmentation capabilities mean fans won’t receive an email for a show if they’ve already bought a ticket.

The Noticeable Difference That Even Promoters Are Recognising 

Stephen says the promoters of shows are also really impressed with how emails are now performing.

Two Birds, One Stone: Improving the Customer Experience At The Same Time 

It’s not just the experience for the marketing team that has improved. Fans are at the forefront of The Hordern’s mind when creating emails. The experience for fans receiving emails has greatly improved with features such as design customization helping them to create something more exciting for fans to open. 

The ability to feature other shows at the bottom of emails is also helping the team to cross-sell events in the one send. Email campaigns are now seeing multiple purchases from the one fan due to the inclusion of the featured shows section.

Reporting with the previous system was a time-consuming task. Now, Stephen can redirect his time back into other parts of his day and leave the reporting to the Audience Republic platform to produce.

Time Is Money: Email Build Times Reduced by 75%

On The Hordern’s old system, the process of creating an EDM would take between an hour and a half to two hours. In a fast-moving industry, this is time that the team can’t afford to be losing on building emails.

Email Now Back in the Marketing Mix 

With a more responsive and user-friendly platform, the team have brought email back into their marketing mix and it now sits in equal use with sponsored ads and other marketing channels.

There’s No Looking Back for the Hordern

With enough data now under his belt to confirm the effectiveness of Audience Republic’s email platform matched with happy promoters and internal stakeholders, Stephen says the future looks bright for The Hordern Pavilion and their email marketing. 

Email marketing has gone from something that caused a lot of headaches with the team to a channel that they turn to as one of the main drivers to sell out shows. 

It’s made a huge impact on the way Stephen and his team spend their time marketing shows as well as equipping them with the tools they need to better segment their database, allowing them to keep fans engaged and happy with relevant emails they are receiving from the venue. 

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