E-Mail Brings Repeat Visitors to Churchill Downs

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Churchill Downs Inc., Louisville, KY, owner and operator of the famed Churchill Downs racetrack as well as five other racetracks and 10 off-track betting parlors, is using ExactTarget's Connect e-mail marketing software, the e-mail marketing software provider said yesterday.


Opt-in recipients who open Churchill Downs' promotional e-mails are up to 16 percent more likely to make return visits to the company's facilities, said ExactTarget, Indianapolis.


Churchill Downs' e-mail efforts range from e-newsletters to an online-only contest conducted in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby. Working from a database of more than 75,000 opt-in e-mail addresses, Midland and his staff prepare and deliver several e-newsletters monthly during the live racing season. Each e-mail contains racing news and promotions such as track giveaways and special admission days.


Regular e-mails also go to 25,000 members of the Twin Spires Club, a customer loyalty program that rewards participants for activities such as track or OTB attendance, wagering and merchandise purchases.


"There is intense competition for the entertainment dollar, and in some of our markets we are vying not only against other sports and entertainment options but also against casinos and riverboats," said Mark Midland, vice president of marketing for Churchill Downs. "ExactTarget is helping us connect with our customers, keep them interested in what's happening in the world of racing in general and our facilities in particular, and increase both the frequency of visits and patron retention."


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