Unlocking Better Targeting with Tags

How the teams at Ticket Alternative and Freshtix get higher open rates by delivering the right content to the right people.

Freshtix Co-founder Iain Bluett standing and smiling outside of the Freshtix office.

When die-hard music lovers Iain Bluett and Jamie Dwyer launched Ticket Alternative in 2004, the mission was simple: provide support for folks who love and produce concerts and festivals. In the U.S., the major ticketing companies weren't prioritizing the little guys, so Ticket Alternative did just that, while also nixing the costly fees of their bigger, wealthier peers.

"We'll add a small fee on top. If we sell a ticket, great. If not, no harm, no foul. And of course they were immediately into it," Iain says. "Why wouldn't they be?"

8 years later, the duo launched their newest platform, Freshtix. From food festivals to Rolling Stones concerts, the Ticket Alternative and Freshtix audience is at the heart of all Iain and Jamie's marketing efforts. It's all organized using tags on Mailchimp's all-in-one Marketing Platform.

"The biggest challenge I have in my industry is there's a lot of pay to play," Iain says. "There's a lot of money being flown around to sign clients, and we've been very lucky because of the reputation we've built."

The Freshtix and Ticket Alternative teams keep that solid rep intact and stay competitive by sending targeted messages that speak directly to the diverse interests of their consumers. It starts with organizing their audience with tags, customizable labels for contacts based on what’s important for your business.

Illustration of person climbing stairs to use a telescope.
The goal: Deliver content that contacts want to see

Via the Freshtix newsletter, which goes out to hundreds of thousands of subscribers nationally, the team promotes all the different performances tied to their venue partners. The trick is making sure they're accounting for the myriad of overlapping interests and providing the right messaging. "We know that people who attend food festivals also attend beer festivals, and people who might go and see an indie band at some small club might also go to the largest Jewish film festival in the country," Iain says.

Sun with tag on one of its rays.
The tool: Tags

With tags, Iain and Jamie's teams are able to collect their contact data and create labels based on what's important to their audience. Being able to better organize and understand what their contacts want to hear has been crucial for the Freshtix business. "We use tags to organize our contacts and make sure we're sending them the best email, the email that's most relevant to them," Ian says. "Tags make that very easy for us."

Hand with very long fingers clicking on device.
The result: Higher open and click-through rates

Before using tags, Iain says they were basically making up their messaging strategy as they went along. "We've seen our open rates and clickthrough rates steadily increase month over month," he says. "That shows us that through tags, we're able to better tailor our campaigns to our audience's preferences."