Where are My Audiences? Audit Your Database
Based on their Missing Audiences survey, focused on looking at which audiences would come back, and when – post-pandemic, Indigo Ltd suggests that two main questions are considered by organisations, i.e. is it best to:
Focus on attracting customers who haven’t been back to us since before the pandemic
Do we try appealing to new audiences and then keep them?
Indigo suggests that before deciding who to target in communications, it’s worth auditing your database by asking:
How many booked pre-covid? This indicates the size of your starting contact list.
What percentage have the proper GDPR permissions? Typically only ~20% have full opt-in consent.
Within that group, how many can receive email, postal, phone, or a mix? Segment appropriately.
How many made just one purchase pre-pandemic vs multiple? Frequent buyers may be the best initial group to focus marketing efforts on.
Without thoroughly auditing your database, you may only actively market to a fraction of previous patrons.
However, you can leverage legitimate interest to expand the number of contacts you’re actually talking to.
What is Legitimate Interest?
Legitimate interest provides a lawful GDPR basis for contacting customers after an initial purchase, provided:
Customers booked and voluntarily shared contact details as part of that transaction.
Subsequent communications are about similar offers.
There is a clear opt-out mechanism at all touchpoints and in messages.
Contact data isn’t shared or sold to third parties without explicit opt-in consent.
Many companies use forms of legitimate interest to justify keeping customers on mailing and contact lists post-purchase, allowing for communications about new releases, sales, relevant offers, and other updates based on preferences and history.
Huge potential exists for arts organisations to use legitimate interest to substantially grow and better engage existing customer database segments. Too often GDPR seems restrictive, but a solid strategy can overcome any limitations.
A Step-By-Step Approach
Identify your legitimate interest case and ensure proposed data processing meets basic standards. Key questions to answer are:
- Why is this data processing necessary to achieve our goals?
- Does the approach comply with GDPR, ePrivacy Directive, and other regulations?
- Is there another reasonable way to meet our aims without relying on legitimate interest?
Conduct a necessity test. Ask yourself:
- Why is this processing specifically important for furthering our interests?
- Is there an alternative that would allow us to accomplish the same aims?
Perform a thorough balancing test seriously weighing customer privacy rights against organisational interests in contacting them.
Devise pragmatic safeguarding measures like careful segmentation and customising messages for specific groups that mitigate risks.
Document your decision process, analysis, case details, safeguards, and final outcome. Critical for demonstrating transparency if challenged later.
Systematically review and update privacy policies to reflect data held, precise legal justification for use, processing activities, preference management, and withdrawal of consent procedures.
Proactively notify customers about use of legitimate interest at relevant purchase touchpoints like box office counters.
Templates for all of these steps can be found with a special thanks to Katy Raines, of Indigo Ltd.Find them here
Activating Legitimate Interest with Ticketsolve
Enabling expanded legitimate interest communications in Ticketsolve is straightforward:
Set clear email opt-in messaging at different points of the booking journey online, mobile, and box office.
DDefault customer email opt-in preference toggle to auto-selected, allowing patrons to manually opt out.
Ticketsolve’s integrated reporting segmented by contact groups also helps assess engagement, monitor opt-in/opt-out trends, identify reactivation opportunities, and more – once Legitimate Interest is set up.
There is a treasure trove of knowledge over in Zendesk on each of these actions for Legitimate Interest set-up, as well as reporting, but you can always call on us if you need a hand!Head to the Help Centre
Proof It Works: Real-World Case Studies An Táin Arts Centre
An Táin Arts Centre saw new email newsletter subscribers increase 400%+ within 4 weeks using legitimate interest, versus only 3% growth the prior year without it. Despite worries, no rise in opt-outs occurred demonstrating patrons welcome relevant communications.
Mermaid Arts Centre
Mermaid Arts Centre’s identified marketing database expanded 5% relatively quickly just by leveraging existing customer information, requiring no additional marketing budget. Careful staff training and updated policies were used to ensure success. Mermaid noticed no increase in complaints from patrons about additional communications.
Your customers want to hear from you
With preparation and adjustments, arts organizations can leverage Legitimate Interest to grow their database, even making it a part of their long-term marketing strategy . It’s an approach that fuels expansion passively over time – as customers opt to stay connected if communications prove timely, relevant and valuable, especially considering the deeper relationship that arts and culture organisations have with their customers compared to other industries.
Thank Yous and Further Resources
With Special Thanks To
Mary Claire Cowley – An Táin Arts Centre
Aoife Demel – Mermaid Arts Centre
Anna Walsh, Director – Theatre Forum
Katy Raines – Indigo Ltd
for their invaluable assistance and insight with this paper and for sharing their wisdom so openly.
For further info:Listen to our podcast episode here Discover further resources here