Conversation with Steve Richo: Marketing Insights for State Fairs & Rodeos
Noise New Media has become a leading marketing agency for state fairs, venues, events, festivals and rodeos. We sit down with Co-Founder Steve Richo to discuss better email marketing and share best practices for event marketers.
Based in Nashville, TN, Noise New Media has successfully helped some of the largest event clients increase their ticket sales while providing strategic marketing initiatives to engage and connect with targeted audiences. With a client base that represents 8.5 million annual ticket sales, Noise New Media has established itself as a leading social media marketing agency for state fairs, venues, events, festivals and rodeos.
We had the pleasure of connecting with Noise New Media Co-Founder Steve Richo to chat about email marketing best practices for state fairs and rodeos.
Thanks for connecting with us Steve - we are excited to chat about email marketing with you. Could you tell us how you were first introduced to our platform?
After major events began to pick up after the 2020 shutdown, a few of our long-time clients were in need of the "next big thing" as a successor to Mailchimp and Constant Contact. We spoke to Klaviyo and a bunch of other platforms - the challenge was the cost of integrating it with ticketing data. When we spoke to one of our ticket providers, AXS, they told us about Hive. They had completed an integration between AXS and Hive so we tried it out and loved it. Hive had everything we needed including event focused features built-in, which would have been custom builds in Klaviyo or any other platform. That’s it - I was sold on Hive.
We work with 45 to 50 events in the country and tons of ticketing partners to help my clients adopt better email marketing practices. We also have clients using Saffire and Etix, so we get the pleasure of working with Hive with all those mutual clients.
What do you think the biggest mistake event marketers are making when it comes to their email service provider?
In the event world, especially in the state fairs and rodeos industry, what happens a lot of the time is that marketers will use Constant Contact or Mailchimp and sell a bunch of tickets online during the course of the summer. And in October or November, someone on the team remembers to export those customers out of the ticketing system and manually import them into their email system. This manual process delays their marketing campaigns for the next season. Unfortunately this is normal practice for many event marketers and it's because their email platform is holding them back. The biggest thing for us with Hive is that live ticketing integration and building a CRM on the fly.
What email marketing strategy have you implemented for your clients that has seen the most success?
When it comes to ticketing offers and boosting attendance, our team takes care of it all. So with our client the Indiana State Fair, they have an extensive list of contacts - we target those people over June and July about buying their tickets to the fair in advance. In the past with Mailchimp, every single person got every single email. So if you purchased your ticket in June, you’re still getting a galaxy of offer emails in your inbox.
Now that we have access to ticketing data in Hive, we can run targeted and personalized campaigns to contacts that haven't yet made a purchase. The ability alone to live exclude current purchasers of certain products or events is so mind-blowing.
Wow! That is such a simple feature and it makes a huge impact in your marketing.
Exactly. Everyone talks about building segments for targeting, well I’m talking about building segments for exclusion - that’s one of the biggest things for us. It reduces the fatigue and improves the email experience so much.
We truly believe better email marketing starts with segmenting your data. How else can marketers benefit from using segments in their strategy?
In the comedy world, every week is a rainbow of events. We’ll have urban acts, a medium or hypnotist, a clean comic, an old comic, a drag show - we’ve got all these different genres of events happening. So the ability to build segments based upon genres and also affinity fans of previous performers - without having to do spreadsheets and imports and exports - will cut down on your production time immensely.
A lot of time there are mental hurdles with these things, it’s too hard and marketers don’t have time to prepare a CSV file and import and export it and make a segment in Mailchimp. We just click a few buttons in Hive and deploy the email to the right people.
Amazing! We love that Hive can support your workflow and help your team become more efficient. Can you tell us about other successes you've experienced with clients while working with Hive?
The way attribution works in Hive is really important to us. We lost so much attribution tracking with iOS 14.5 in the advertising world. It’s funny that we’re back to first party data with emails and SMS. The ability to track and attribute dollar amounts to our emails - our clients love that. We especially love Hive's ticketing revenue breakdown report - I pull that up on conference calls all the time. Clients want updates on what we're doing and we can easily show them in real-time.
As we wrap up, are there any tips you could share with event marketers in the state fair and rodeo space that could boost their strategy?
Take some time and set up automations. The ability to create an automation around post-purchase is something we’ve never been able to do because this data would get lost in a spreadsheet.
With Hive, we can set triggers based off a variety of filters. And a lot of those triggers aren't available on any other marketing platform.
In our automations we can remind people to join the Facebook event or remind them we have our own secondary market they can sell their tickets on. Marketers should be implementing a re-engagement drip as well. If contacts haven't opened the last 5 emails, send a quick “we miss you” or “note from the CEO” - all these things we implement to keep our lists active and optimized.
We want to thank Steve for taking the time to share his insights on better email marketing in the event space. If you're looking for more strategies to increase ticket sales for your next event, visit Noise New Media.