This guest post by Amelia Northup-Simpson, reposted from the blog Analysis from TRG Arts, offers several easy tips on how organizations can get first-time visitors to come back - the first step in building patron loyalty.
Who's responsible for building patron loyalty? You are, according to TRG Arts, a national firm whose clients have included internationally known groups like Cirque du Soleil, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center, among others. (Image credit: Todd Huffman via flickr.)
At TRG we often compare arts organizations’ patron relationships to dating. We counsel clients to “Love the ones you’re with” to remind them to prioritize subscribers, members and donors. We exclaim “Don’t ask them to marry you on the first date!” to illustrate why marketers should offer another performance instead of a subscription to a first-time attendee.
Fear not. Too many organizations are afraid to ask, assuming most patrons will say “no”. In two decades of client experience, we’ve found that’s simply not true. Some patrons will refuse, and in those cases we advise giving an appropriate response to a patron’s “no, thank you.” Try: “Of course, we hope you enjoy being with us and that you’ll come back again!” If pressed (which may occur rarely) suggest that your organization thrives on continuing relationships with patrons and that’s why you ask for a way to contact them. Make it clear—with a smile—that you’ll honor their wishes....
Eager to learn more? Take these steps:
* Sign up for "Turn Your Tryers Into Buyers, Donors, and Advocates", our free, live Q&A chat on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 1-2pm ET, with Joanne Steller, TRG Arts' Vice President of Strategic Communication. Since joining TRG in 2000, Joanne has managed consulting services for the company and has been lead consultant for a broad portfolio of clients, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Pittsburgh Opera. Send us your questions in advance! We will devote most of the hour to YOUR questions.
* Read the rest of Amelia's article to get six more tips that you can start right away to get your new visitors to come back for second, third, fourth dates...or even for something more long-term.
This was orignally posted in Philanthropy Front and Center - Cleveland.