Rockhouse Success Stories: Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort

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“Rockhouse Partners added ‘WINGS’ to my advertising campaigns. The list of deliverables is extensive and beyond what I imagined this partnership would bring. Our concerts are selling a lot faster with Rockhouse Partners’ digital marketing integrated with Soaring Eagle’s traditional marketing! I can’t thank Etix, Suzanna and Rockhouse Partners enough for making our ticket sales ‘SOAR’.”

– C.C. Griffus, Advertising & Public Relations Manager for Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort

The Challenge

With incredible entertainment and amenities as far as the eye can see, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is the go-to destination for residents of Michigan and well-beyond. Soaring Eagle comes complete with two show venues, including a state-of-the-art outdoor amphitheater that will host musical acts as far-ranging as Keith Urban to Def Leppard this summer. It’s no surprise that one-time visitors quickly become lifelong patrons.

After several successful years with Etix, Soaring Eagle decided to bring Rockhouse Partners on board in January to up their digital marketing game. Prior to the partnership, their email marketing strategy focused primarily on gaming and resort specials, leaving a significant revenue stream unattended through an increasingly lucrative sales channel.

To begin, we utilized Soaring Eagle’s expansive ticket-buyer database expertly collected and organized through Etix; including email addresses gathered with Etix’s Pre-sale Customer Notification feature. Once a custom email template was designed and optimized for mobile, we sent an introductory campaign to the list encouraging ticket buyers to choose their preferences in order to receive the most relevant communication. That email alone generated 13% of the overall revenue from email and more than doubled the average email open rate. And, we haven’t even mentioned social media management and reporting…

The Question

How can Rockhouse Partners contribute to an already well-oiled machine with several moving parts?

The Players

  • Suzanna Best – Senior Account Manager, Rockhouse Partners
  • Raul Venegas – Director of Marketing & Entertainment, Soaring Eagle Resort & Casino
  • Kristina Griffus – Advertising & Public Relations Manager, Soaring Eagle Resort & Casino
  • Connie Struyk – Director of Sales, Etix

The Wins (So Far…)

  • In less than 3 months, over 1,000 tickets have been sold through email.
  • The Etix pre-sale notification contributes to 38% of sales through email.
  • Soaring Eagle’s average email open rate is 36% (2x the industry average) and an average click rate of 12% (4x the industry average).
  • Ticket sales through social media has increased by 953%.
  • Overall year-over-year ticket revenue is up by 119%.

What We Did

Email Marketing

  • Created a MailChimp account with all the bells and whistles (including a custom template and automated welcome email) and imported relevant customer information over the past 18 months.
  • Sent a “Welcome” campaign introducing the new entertainment-focused email series to the list of previous ticket buyers and casino-goers that allowed them to opt-out and encouraged them to choose their preferences. [Welcome campaigns earn 4x the open rate than regular promotional campaigns.]
  • Developed an email marketing strategy that includes show announcements, employs the Etix Pre-sale Notification feature for truly targeted campaigns, and increases overall awareness and engagement with the designated entertainment properties at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort. [Segmented emails receive a 15% higher open rate than emails sent to the full list.]

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Social Media Marketing

  • Added the Etix “Buy Tickets” Application to the Soaring Eagle Facebook account. [The Etix “Buy Tickets” Application contributes to 50% of sales from social for Soaring Eagle.]
  • Successfully incorporate show-focused social on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in conjunction with the heavily casino and resort-related content.

Operations and Reporting

  • Created a comprehensive Content & Communications Calendar to measure week-over-week sales across each channel as well as monitor email marketing success and develop social media posts.
  • Worked with various Soaring Eagle partners to successfully update all Etix links with the appropriate partner ID for accurate sales tracking.
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