I attended a fundraising event in Washington, DC for No Rules Theatre Co., a young theater company whose founders graduated from UNC School of the Arts. As we waited for the entertainment to begin, I chatted with the woman sitting next to me. It turned out she was in development too: she developed a golf course in North Carolina whose name, River Run, called to mind our international film festival in Winston-Salem, which is branded in print and on the web as RiverRun. We had more in common, too: her daughter went to Wake Forest University, my alma mater and a long-time valued client.
Finally, I asked her, “So what got you here tonight?” to which she responded: “I’m a season subscriber of Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, where this younger company has just started performing. I received a printed invitation in the mail, so I thought I’d come check them out.”
Then she said, smiling, “with your experience in direct marketing, you must be pleased to know that direct mail really works.”
I learned that No Rules Theatre Co. was allowed to use Signature Theatre’s subscriber list to invite like-minded people to their fundraising event. Now that’s smart, targeted marketing.–J. D. Wilson