Case Study

Case Study | Making Full Use of Prospect2 for Boston Lyric Opera

Jamie Alexander

Director, JCA Arts Marketing

Jamie helps cultural organizations understand the behaviors of their audiences and create data-driven strategies to continually engage them.
September 21, 2023

For the past year, JCA Arts Marketing has worked with Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) to help its staff optimize their Tessitura and box office processes. Recently, we undertook a different kind of project with the BLO team—helping them improve their usage of Prospect2, the marketing platform they use for sending emails. While they have been on Prospect2 since 2021, they knew there was greater potential for getting more out of the platform. With JCA’s help, they put together a holistic plan. 

Project Goals & Priorities 

At the outset of the project, we first determined BLO’s goals and priorities for our project together, which were 

  1. To save staff time & effort – As staff time is always a premium resource, one of the main benefits of marketing automation is the time that it gives back to staff to work on more advanced endeavors. So, we began with work that would gain back time for the BLO staff. Without these hours back, it would’ve been harder to spend the time needed to plan out more complicated work, which leads us to our next goal.
  2. To improve marketing effectiveness through personalized and timely communication – Another important benefit of marketing automation is the ability to personalize communication by creating individualized communication paths based on web and ticketing behaviors. The BLO staff were keen on leveraging Prospect2 to create more effective email communication with their members.    

Time-Saving Measures: The Low-Hanging Fruit 

We began our work by tackling some quick wins that would save the BLO team time on cumbersome and routine email processes:  

  1. Audience Data in Prospect2: We first identified what criteria the team was using to build and segment email lists that were then manually imported to Prospect2 from Tessitura. We then set up the audience data to be brought into the Prospect2 infrastructure automatically, therefore decreasing the need for nonstop list requests and creation in Tessitura.  
  2. Automated Pre-visit Emails: We also worked on automating pre-visit emails, so that staff no longer had to send those manually and could focus on other endeavors. 

Personalized Communication: Individualized Communication Paths for Members 

Once we tackled the low hanging fruit, we could turn our efforts to automations that would improve marketing effectiveness. Together with the development team, the BLO marketing team and JCA Arts Marketing scoped out a series of automations that would create individualized communication paths for Members, based on their activation date, renewal date, and membership level. Through this automation, the team will be able to build and setup these membership emails once, but send them on an individual basis.This eliminates the need to create and send out grouped monthly reminders to new members to use their benefits, or to lapsing members to renew for another year.  

Because BLO has this foundation of membership data, they will also be able to insert member communications into their sales and customer service emails. This creates another layer of personalization, where members can be reminded to use their perks in pre-visit reminders, or be sent a reactivation offer for any email sent during the last month of their active membership. 

What’s Next 

As we move forward with the next phase of this project, we’re working to:  

  1. Connect web behavior data to automations, allowing us to create even more individualized communication paths. This kind of web event and conversion tracking will allow us to track who has interest in certain operas (as evidenced by web behavior events such as visiting a landing page or watching a trailer for that opera), and let us send triggered automations, such as for sending abandoned cart emails. 
  2. Increase staff confidence. A big part of our work together has been making sure the staff is trained (and comfortable!) maintaining this work going forward. We’re delighted to say that, as we’ve moved through each phase of the project, the staff has grown more and more confident using these tools, creating strategies, and troubleshooting solutions as new needs arise. As we’ve talked through each component, the team has been able to incorporate their newfound knowledge into their work, allowing us to keep moving the goalpost further and further into more sophisticated marketing automation work. 

If you’re interested in identifying the best way to leverage your organization’s email platform, let’s talk!

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