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How Brighton Festival secured record bookings

How Brighton Festival secured record bookings

Best Practice from Pure


The 43rd Annual Brighton Festival saw record levels of online bookings and attendance in 2009, following an ongoing campaign with email marketing specialist Pure.

The festival, which offers more than 160 events over three weeks, is one of the countries most important arts festivals, using the city’s landscape to present a wide range of exclusive performances and featuring a collection of premieres.

Strategy and Results

An initial email was sent to over 65,000 subscribers introducing this year’s festival, followed by five specific bulletins focused on music, theatre, dance, books and outdoor events. 

Promotional codes were trialled this year within the email bulletins; offering consumers discounted tickets online for the first time.

Online bookings subsequently increased to 34% and accounted for over a third of all festival bookings.

A targeted email campaign sent to recipients interested in classical music, informing them of exclusive festival dates and offering discounted tickets, received a 34% open rate.

The other four campaigns achieved an average of a 25% open rate and a 29% click through rate.

“Email marketing is an invaluable part of any marketing toolkit,” said Head of Marketing at Brighton Dome and Festival, Carole Britten.

Brighton Festival has been working with Pure for five years, and in that time our subscriber database has grown from 5,000 to over 65,000 people.”

She added, “Pure programmes are extremely user friendly and provide instant tracking information in real time, which is extremely powerful.

The Brighton Festival website has seen traffic increase by 12% overall this year following the email campaigns.

“The Brighton Festival has seen excellent response results and has increased overall sales and awareness,” said Abi Clowes, Marketing Manager at Pure.

“Digital marketing is crucial for a festival looking to appeal to a wide range of visitors and Pure’s technology allowed Brighton Festival’s database to be divided into areas of interest - sending specific emails and discounts relevant to each customer.”

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