Campaign Checklist

Setting up your campaign

Tis the season for organizations to start finalizing their upcoming campaigns; Development teams are readying themselves for a calendar year-end fundraising appeal that will stand out in a mailbox full of organizations asking for money. While Marketing departments are receiving marching orders to sell what will be programmed in the upcoming season; even-though the current season just began. It can be quite overwhelming.

For both departments the most important steps in helping to create success is perhaps not the color of the brochure or deciding a one page or two page letters; but just basic planning. Put on your calendar when you want to begin and work backwards. You may be surprised at how much time you really need and you may be behind. However don't rush, take a look at each step and make sure you are taking care of checking each one off. And if you need a little help, feel free to contact me, I would love to be your partner through the process. 

Follow these steps add the ones that are unique for your organization. Report daily on what is working and what is not. Be ready to change direction mid-stream, which may mean spending more or directing resources from one area to another.

Historic Analysis

·         Knowing where you’ve been shows the way to where you want to be.

o   Also will influence each of the following steps


·         When are you announcing will direct your preparation and strategy.

·         Set the date and work backwards and forward with your team

·         Mail date may not equal announce date

·         Set renewal deadlines and stay strong.

·         Each package has its own start date

·         Set single ticket sale date


·         Are your prices too high? Are your prices too low?

·         Are prices in line with your communities expectations

o   Arts Community and Community at Large

·         Does your base price allow you to meet your goals with an overly successful subscription campaign? Under-performing campaign?

Scaling of the House

·         What is the most popular section for the audience? The least?

·         Too many seats at one price? Too little at another?

·         Maximize revenue by providing the audience with the seat they most desire.

·         Your seat maps may look different for weeknight performances compared to weekend


·         How much will sell via subscription, mini packages, flex series and when?

·         How much will sell via single ticket?

·         Dynamic pricing strategy. Discounting strategy.

·         Similar past production comparison.

Database Set Up

·         Creating a new season in your database may take longer than you plan.

·         House Maps, Base pricing, Price Types, Production/Performance set up

·         Roll over renewal accounts



·         Maximize how much you spend; different segments should receive different types of information. Board members, Major donors, VIP accounts handled internally.

·         Which acquisition segments performed best in the past?

o   Current multi-buyers, Lapsed subscribers, Outside shared lists


·         Most expensive marketing expense.

·         Focus on acquisition

·         Make sure you have a fair amount of accounts for telemarketing to be successful.

·         Renewal leads called only after every inside possibility has been completed.

Posted on November 19, 2015 .

Theatre Facts

The good folks at Theatre Communication Group have released their annual Theatre Facts for 2014 (the PDF can be found here

Some good news and some to give pause. Over the next several days we'll highlight some of the findings. 

One thing that stands out initially is that the TCG finds that "upswing in total income was driven more by growth in contributions than earned income, and it exceeded the rise in expenses over time".

How does your organization compare? Do you know how to compute your Contributed Revenue vs Earned Revenue? Are you comfortable with your organization's ratio? How do you compare with your peers?Are you targeting the best segments in your database to maximize the return during your subscription/annual fund campaigns?

On average, arts organizations rely on contributed revenue to make up 53% of their annual income.  Opera companies can see that percentage as high as 60% where performing arts centers with mixed presentations can see a reliance on contributed revenue around 44% of their yearly need. (credit National Center for Arts Research)

Segmenting your database properly is the least expensive project you can do for your organization. Do you know who your most loyal patrons are? The most revenue producing? Create targets based on similar behaviors. Your data should drive your decision making process, let Double L Analytics and Consulting show you how.

Posted on November 5, 2015 .

How much are you spending per attendee?

Marketing Influence Indicators

Wondering if your marketing dollars are in line with your peers?

Take your total expenses for a particular production or event; include your entire spend (advertising, promotion, materials, etc) including a percentage of your salaries. Then divide by the total attendees.  This will show how much your organization spends to bring in each patron.

Marketing Expense   /   Marketing Attendees   =   Expense per Attendee

According to SMU’s National Center for Arts Research:
Sector        Avg Spend
Opera               $11.72
Dance                $8.65
Theater              $8.03
Arts Centers       $6.55
Symphony          $6.31

Interested in learning how to bring your expenses under control? Create a campaign that’s strategic, planned, with goals and metrics that are obtainable. Contact Double L Analytics and Consulting to guide your upcoming season. Creating your most successful to date!

Posted on November 4, 2015 .