The Sunday Giveaway: 2 Tickets to Rain.

The first concert I ever went to when I was a kid was Beatlemania. And I got so hooked on The Beatles that I bought The Blue Album, The Red Album, and The White Album.  If they had an album, and it had a color, I bought it.

One of things I remember about the concert was that the audience was filled with senior citizens, middle-aged couples, and kids like me.

I went to see Rain, the new Beatles experience on Broadway, about a month ago. In the middle of the show, I looked around at the audience and saw . . . senior citizens, middle aged couples, and kids (not like me).  In fact, right behind me were 6 teenage girls who might as well have been at a Bieber concert.  They were screaming, they knew every lyric to every song, and they kept talking about the singer’s haircut.

If you have ever wondered what classic material is, The Beatles are it.  They’ve stood the test of a time.  They are to music what Michaelango is to art.

If you’re our lucky winner this week, you’ll be able to see those generation-bending audiences first hand, because we’ve got 2 free tickets to see Rain on Broadway!

Here’s this week’s game:

Did you know that on their famous first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Beatles performed a showtune?  If not, click here to see it.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if today’s pop artists did the same thing?  Beyonce perfoming ‘For Good’ from Wicked on The Tonight Show, or even The Bieber doing ‘I’m Alive’ from Next to Normal on SNL.

In the spirit of last week’s contest, comment below on what pop artist you would most want to see perform a show tune today in their own style.

I’ll pick a winner from one of the commenters.

Go!  And good luck!

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– The next Get Your Show Off The Ground seminar is Saturday, April 2nd.  Register today.

 

 

Fun on a Friday: See Spider-Man for free.

On Wednesday, I spoke about the importance of the contrarian view.

Well, you can’t get much more contrarian that this.

Enter Justin Moran, who earlier this month issued a challenge to himself and to commercial theater in general when he announced that he would be producing his own version of a Spider-Man musical . . . with a budget of zero dollars.

In the YouTube video below, Justin announced that over a 30 day period, he (and whomever he could drum up for some support – including this talented lad) would write, cast, compose, rehearse and open his Spider-Man . . . before the official opening of the $65 million dollar monster on 42nd St.

He’s vowing to beat ’em on budget and beat ’em on time.

And get this, there won’t be any premium prices for his seats.

Everyone gets in for free.

Although with only one performance at The People’s Improv Theater (which seats about 17.4 very tiny people), the tickets could actually be harder to get than tickets to the actual Spider-Man!

Will he succeed?  Will he get a cease & desist?  Will it be any good?

Who knows.

But I do know this . . . it sounds like a lot of fun.

For more info, visit The Spidey Project.

Oh, and Justin, if you read this . . . and are looking for some rehearsal space, we’re happy to donate some time to your cause.  Anyone who challenges themselves and the system is a winner in our book.  Send me an email.

 

 

 

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– Enter The Sunday Giveaway!  Win 2 tickets to see Billy Elliot The Musical on Broadway!  Click here and enter today!

– The next Get Your Show Off The Ground seminar is Saturday, April 2nd.  Register today.

If you are a musical theater writer, or want to be one, this blog’s for you.

The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, one of the very few training programs for emerging musical theater writers, is looking for a new crop of students.

And did I mention that it’s free?

The famed program, which has churned out the likes of Ahrens & Flaherty (Ragtime and so much more), Jeff Marx & Robert Lopez (Avenue Q), Tom Kitt & Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), to name a few, just announced that it is accepting applications now for its 2010-2011 first year composer-lyricist class.

But you know what’s great about the progam?

It’s not the fact that it’s free, or that you get Tony Award-winning guest lecturers, or that it looks great on a resume.

The best part about BMI is that it’s like school.  You have homework. You have teachers.  And you have deadlines.

How many times have you sat at home and turned on the TV when you knew you should have been writing (or producing or exercising, for that matter)?  Now think back to when you were in school, college and/or graduate school.  Sure, there were still distractions, but somehow, you felt more compelled to finish your work, right?

Even the best self-motivators out there could use a little school in their life.

They’d be lucky to get a little BMI in their life.

For more info, including an application, click here.  (For librettists, check back later in the year – the librettist program looks for new peeps in the Spring)

And if you’re not near NYC and can’t make it to BMI, start your own version in your hometown.

Sure, Maury Yeston may not be available to you, but anyone and a deadline is better than no one and another game of Wii tennis.

5 Ways to get higher open rates on your email blasts.

Yesterday we dismissed the myth that the size of an email blast list determines its value.  Since we know that the true success of any advertising campaign is the number of conversions and ROI (return on investment), it’s essential that we examine ways that we can increase those conversions.

And before we get to the message inside the blast, we’ve got to make sure as many people are opening it as possible.

Here are five tips you can use to increase the open rates on your email blasts, whether a third party is sending them for you (Telecharge.com, etc.) or whether you’re blasting the subscribers to your own lists.

1.  Customize your “From” field.

Most third party email blast providers (like Benchmark, the service I use and recommend) allow you to send emails from whatever name you’d like.  Make sure it’s not coming from ’emailblast@yourcompany.com’ or anything impersonal like that.  It should come from you or your show or maybe even a character in your show.  The more personal your communication, the better. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s as instantly recognizable as possible.

2.   Avoid Spam flags.

A lot happens to every email you send before it (hopefully) gets to your intended recipient.  Their ISP scans that sucker a few times looking for signs that you are a spammer.  If it sees one of those signs, your email will be sent to your recipient’s Spam folder faster than it would take you to throw up after eating a whole can of Spam by yourself.  Or worse, the ISP may just bounce your email back at you!  How can you decrease the chances of being seen as Spam?  Here are some things to avoid in your subject lines specifically:  exclamation points, dollar signs, all caps, words like “free,” “discount,” “special,” “save,” etc.

3.  It’s all in the timing.

There are not only better days of the week to send emails to increase your open rates, but there are also better times of day.  The tricky part is determining the best day/time for your specific message.  My research has shown more success on mid-week email blasts for the best open rates when pushing a sales message, so I focus on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday when I have a choice. Since most folks get their emails at work, I try to avoid Mondays (when their inboxes are overloaded from the weekend) and Fridays, when people are trying to get out of work.  Weekends are more successful than they used to be, but I try to steer clear of selling on a Saturday or Sunday.  I time my messages for the middle of the day (around lunch time), in the hopes that the recipient may open it while they’re munching on their salad or sandwich, since they have more time.

4.  Your subject is not a subject, it’s a headline.

A well written subject is the equivalent of old-fashioned direct response copy (click here to read one of the most successful headlines of all time).  It’s an ad for the ad.  Don’t just slap a few words together to say, “save $20 on tickets to XXX show.”  Your subject has to rev up your reader so that they are compelled to hit that “open” button.  Spend time on your subjects.  And watch what subjects intrigue you as you open emails every day.

5.  Test it and tweak it every time.

Split test your emails with two separate subjects, if you can.  If you can’t split, then try different ideas with each blast and see how your open rate changes from blast to blast. Testing is the key to improving anything, not just advertising and not just open rates, but this is one of the areas that we seem to ignore in this industry more than anything.  If we are so dependent on email blasts and open rates, then we have to try different things with each effort and adjust accordingly.

Email marketing isn’t going anywhere.  It’s still your show’s strongest asset, whether you’re buying email blasts from third parties, or sending them yourself (I hope both).  If you focus on improving your open rate with these tips (that, by the way, don’t cost you any more) you can make that asset even more rewarding.

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