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TOPIC: The POWER of the NEWSLETTER

The POWER of the NEWSLETTER 06 Feb 2008 23:32 #17596

  • RoxyVaudeville
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I'm curious as to how other exhibitors use their e-mail newsletter list to promote their attractions or theatres, other then the usual weekly announcement of what's playing and when?

I've seen Mike use his to promote special programs at his theatres and events within his community as well.

It's a great way to update your members of last minute changes, or closures due to weather or power outages.

What I have found it to be extremely useful for is to give your current attraction an extra boost after it has already opened. This is something that I wouldn't do too often, as it would lose its punch if done too may times, but 3 to 5 times a year seems to work. When I open an extremely good film that has not done all that well, I will send out my own review and personal recommendation. My current attraction "August Rush" is a good example. It's one of the best films that I have seen in a long time, yet it didn't do all that well anywhere. It kind of got lost among all the blockbusters that came out before the holidays.

It opened poorly on Friday evening. I sent out my review on Saturday and told people that this is a film they don't want to miss. I went into great detail to let them know what the film was about, and how beautifully well done it is. Saturday night quadrupled Fridays business when we usually double Fridays business on a Saturday. Sunday was soft thanks to the Superbowl. However, the weekday business on Monday through Wednesday has been above average. I can honestly say that as many as 50 to 60% of the folks coming in on the weekdays made it a point to tell me that the only reason they came was due to my special newsletter recommendtion. They said that they had never heard of it, or didn't know anything about it, and had no intention to see it until they read my e-mail.

Many many people made it a point, on the way out, to thank me for the e-mail saying that they were so glad not to have missed this wonderfull film which they otherwise would have. I probably added at least 25 to 30% to the films gross just by sending out that special review e-mail to our members.

That's something that we couldn't do years ago when we only had newspaper or radio ads available to us. It just proves the power of the internet, and the best part is that it's Free!



[This message has been edited by RoxyVaudeville (edited February 06, 2008).]
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Re: The POWER of the NEWSLETTER 07 Feb 2008 01:26 #17597

  • slapintheface
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I have been lazy doing this.How did you ask for the email addresses?
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Re: The POWER of the NEWSLETTER 07 Feb 2008 10:10 #17598

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We simply have a signup box at the top of our "movies page" on our website, and have several signs both outside and inside at the theatre informing people of the availability of the newsletter.
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Re: The POWER of the NEWSLETTER 07 Feb 2008 10:26 #17599

  • leeler
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I have done this as well to similar results. BTW, August Rush is a great film and once word of mouth came out on it we did good business with it.

When do you normally put your newsletter out? I have been doing it thursday evenings so that when people get up on Friday it is there for the weekend for them. However, I used to put it out on Mondays after I had Fridays movie booked. That way I could put in a plug for what was playing during the week as well. What would you suggest?

"What a crazy business"
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Re: The POWER of the NEWSLETTER 08 Feb 2008 16:00 #17600

  • MovieGuy2
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Email newsletters has proven to be very effective for many exhibitors. However, they have to be done properly to work. Most exhibitors use Cinema Source to do their email newsletters. Here is their site, plus it has interesting info about movie emails whether you use them or not.
http://westworldmedia.com/emailnewsletters.asp

Good luck!
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Re: The POWER of the NEWSLETTER 08 Feb 2008 16:17 #17601

  • rodeojack
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Leeler asks a good question.

I've never been convinced that sending my emails on one day is better than another.

If I send them too early, some might just wait until the weekend. Others might not remember. On the other hand, some might use the info to make their weekend plans.

If I send them too late, I might not sabotage my early-week business, but might miss people who make other plans before knowing what I've got for the weekend.

Several ways to circle the dog. Which is best?
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Re: The POWER of the NEWSLETTER 09 Feb 2008 06:24 #17602

  • Pieman
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hmm.. thats interesting..do cinema source charge much to do the newsletters? How does it work? do you send them the addresses etc or do they make up a framework for you to fill in each week?
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Re: The POWER of the NEWSLETTER 09 Feb 2008 12:18 #17603

  • Mike
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we had a print arrive by mistake and the film co rep begged me to play it to save her butt as she had screwed up and did not want to discuss with boss: no newspaper or prervious ads: we sent out email Friday at 5:00 that we had put the show on for 11:00 pm and 100 people showed up: only due to email. You can convey so much more content via an email than you ever can in an ad.

Not doing email addresses? OMG!

Michael Hurley
Impresario
Michael Hurley
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Re: The POWER of the NEWSLETTER 09 Feb 2008 16:18 #17604

  • RoxyVaudeville
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I always write my newsletter on Tuesday night after I get home from the theatre, and send it out about midnight. That way it's in everyones mailbox on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday seems like the perfect time to me, not too early so that people forget what you sent and not too late, thus giving them time to make plans for the weekend and coming week.

As to using a service like Westworldmedia, I think it's a total waste of money. It's not that they aren't professional, they certainly are... I think too much so. I checked out their samples and think there is just too much flash and too much information which makes it too time consuming to read... and why pay for something that's so easy to do yourself and FREE! Also the print and showtimes are too darn small. I haven't checked but I suppose that you might be charged by the amount of space you use, and therefore everything is small in order to use as little space as possible.

I use the Yahoo Groups which is Free and I can use as much space as I want, and make anything any size or color that I want. I have complete control. I can also send one out once a week, once a day or 50 times a day if I wanted to. Sure, the way I do it is somewhat simple in design, but it gets the job done. I believe in the KISS theory... Keep It Simple Stupid. I use different font styles, sizes and colors along with a few grapics to keep it from being too plain, but beyound that it's fairy simple.

The important thing is that it gets the message to those that want it, it's easy to read,and it doesn't cost me anything.

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Re: The POWER of the NEWSLETTER 11 Feb 2008 08:57 #17605

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I use the westworldmedia ( Cinema Source ) newsletter. They provide the system for collecting emails and deleting dead ones. They have the times anyway because they are the ones we send times to so that they get published on all the websites like Yahoo etc. They also have all the movie descriptions and links to the movie's web site.

When you sign up for my newsletter you get a coupon for a free popcorn. I advertise my newsletter on my website and with a screen ad. I also put out cards at local business that advertise with me promoting the FREE POPCORN when you sign up for the newsletter.

I choose to have it done because it does take time, that I don't have right now, to get movie descriptions typed in and manage emails lists as well as doing things to make sure spam filters don't block you etc.
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