Email Integration at Lollapalooza


The annual outdoor musical festival Lollapalooza took place at Chicago’s Grant Park this past weekend, showcasing the best of today’s music and digital media prowess. One of the strongest suits of Lollapalooza’s organizers is their ability to use  an integrated email and social media campaign to promote the concert, resulting in selling out roughly 200,000 tickets to this year’s festival. Starting at the beginning of the year, emails about the announced concert dates were sent to a strong list collected via social media, website opt-ins, and past ticket purchasers. By Spring, a highly-anticipated release was emailed, this time detailing a number of headlining musical acts and sponsors. By midsummer, recipients had already received dozens of emails about the show that included news, travel package plans, and information about the performers. It is also around this point the show was declared “sold out.”

Lollapalooza’s use of email marketing and social media did not stop at promotion of the concert – Throughout the festival, concert-goers stayed in the loop about artists, schedules, and updates through emails, social media, and apps. There were plenty of QR codes for opt-ins abound, including on hand-held fans that were seen everywhere (including in the picture above). Although “Lolla” placed their primary focus on trying to engage guests via social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, there was one major problem with that route for everyone at the concert: Roughly 100,000 people in a confined area trying to access their 3G network = Network goes down. I tried a number of times to tweet, access Facebook, or send an Instagram picture to be apart of the experience. Unfortunately, every single one of my attempts failed. This is a shortfall of using social media as a promotion tool at very crowded venues.

Opting in at LollapaloozaDespite all social media channels being slammed throughout the course of the 3-day festival, sponsors that utilized email and QR codes as opt-ins reaped all of the marketing benefits this past weekend. One of the best examples of a sponsor taking advantage of email was insurance company State Farm.  At their sponsor tent, people flooded in to take a brief survey on an iPad (which even asked for demographic information) to earn a raffle ticket. Their raffle ticket guaranteed access to immediate prizes, ranging from State Farm sunglasses (a hot commodity at a daytime, outdoor event) to VIP concert tickets to see popular bands. By the end of the day, those who had opted to take the survey were sent an autoresponder email thanking them for their time and even providing five free song downloads of Lollapalooza music.

State Farm did a wonderful job making the most out of their email marketing campaign: They located their opt-in at a popular location filled with potential customers, gave the potential customers motivation to opt-in, made the opt-in quick and technologically-friendly, and quickly followed up with a thank you and incentive to open future emails.

How can you bring your email opt-ins to potential customers and reward them for signing up?

Registering for a free prize


Sarah Zibanejadrad
Inbound Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts

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