A personalised and segmented email marketing programme by ODEON cinemas in the UK, working with email marketing provider DotMailer, has seen the ODEON Premiere Club loyalty programme's sign-ups increase by 21.3% and resulted in 19,000 bookings. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

The Premiere Club allows members to earn points that they can spend in-theatre on food, drinks and tickets. The programme forms a key part of the cinema chain's engagement strategy and the aim of the email communication programme was to increase loyalty as well as increasing numbers of sign-ups.

At the beginning of 2013, ODEON turned to email marketing provider DotMailer in order to start mining some of its huge amounts of transactional data for targeted email communications.

According to ODEON's Carolyn Caie, "Before we teamed up with DotMailer, our customer sales and transactional information database sat completely separately to our email marketing database. As we decided to increase our engagement with our Premiere Club members, it was obvious we needed to integrate our systems to be able to send much more personalised emails to targeted segments of our base. Previously, it would have taken up four days to export segmented data and create a campaign to use - but after it was integrated with DotMailer we could run massive segmented lists in six minutes."

DotMailer assisted in integrating the chain's existing database and sales data with its platform and the DotMailer API imported and synchronised the data from ODEON's transactional systems then stored it within the Customer Insight Module. The cinema's marketing team was then able to segment their own data from within the DotMailer platform, with data queries including: age, gender, demographics, location, seating preference, films seen, email interactions, cinemas visited, points redemption behaviour and retail spend.

As well as increasing the loyalty club sign-up rate by a fifth, triggered email campaigns are now receiving open rates of up to 63%, and standard campaigns showing open rates up to 40% which is massively above industry averages. DotMailer had recently refined its Customer Insight Module to hold web browsing and social media interactions, allowing segments to be built from an even wider set of customer behaviours.

The improved email marketing campaign didn't just focus on promoting recent relevant films to customers but also on improving and extending the customer journey itself. Consequently, ODEON was able to set up daily triggered campaigns, including a birthday email, a welcome programme, and emails that are sent out both before and after cinema visits. These programmes have shown open rates of up to 63% and click-through rates of up to 22%.

"Overall, the migration to the new email marketing platform has massively increased effectiveness within ODEON's marketing team, enabling them to very quickly segment the data they need to send highly personalised email news and recommendations. This translated into impressive increase in loyalty club sign-ups and click-through rates," concluded Caie.