Texas theater bolsters email engagement with Facebook

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Texas theater bolsters email engagement with Facebook
Texas theater bolsters email engagement with Facebook

Client: El Paso Playhouse

Vendor: iContact

Objective: To extend the reach and engagement of the theater's email newsletters by using Facebook's "Like" button.

El Paso Playhouse has two methods to communicate with consumers: its twice-weekly email newsletters and Facebook. But the theater wanted a way to link the two to grow both consumer bases. 

"We're trying to do more integration of social media and email," says Vanessa Keyser, theater administrator at the El Paso Playhouse.

STRATEGY: While the theater maintained a loyal mailing list of more than 400 subscribers, it wanted to use its email program to bolster its Facebook presence with the hopes that the effort would also pay dividends in the form of a larger mailing list. "We had been trying to advertise through Facebook, but we didn't have the engagement that we had wanted on the Facebook page," explains Keyser.

The theater worked with email service provider iContact to add the Facebook "Like" button to the bottom of its emails as a way to extend the reach of its marketing communications. 

"We continue to see social media marketing as an evolution of email marketing," says Jeff Revoy, chief product, marketing and strategy officer at iContact. 

IContact's Social Tools products enabled El Paso Playhouse to insert a "Like" button on any of its email templates and track shares. If a consumer is already logged into Facebook, he can click the button inline without being redirected to a landing page. After a consumer likes an email, his Facebook friends can see that in their own Facebook feeds and like it themselves, extending the content to their friends. El Paso Playhouse can then measure the number of likes attributed to the email. 

"It lets us see exactly who's tuning in, who's looking at us, and sets us in the right direction about how we need to 
market," says Keyser. 

Revoy says El Paso Playhouse can compare results among types of emails to determine how best to message consumers on its Facebook page. The theater also includes a "tweet" button in its email, but Keyser says that El Paso Playhouse doesn't focus much attention on its Twitter account. However, Revoy says, the analytics tool can show whether the theater's subscribers may be more receptive to its Twitter channel than its Facebook page.

RESULTS: Since implementing the "Like" button in its emails, the theater's mailing list has grown to 753 subscribers. In addition to its email program generating more interactions, Keyser says the theater has experienced a "noted increase in people coming to see shows that is a direct result of our emails."


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