Striking up a Conversation!

Introducing dcm_dial_log!

DCM is proud to announce the launch of dcm_dial_log, DCM's new conversation with you regarding trends, analysis and insight into the world of non-profit teleservices.

We have you to thank!

Our clients, prospects, partners and staff have told us that they want more information about what is happening with our campaigns and in the industry as a whole. dcm_dial_log gives us another outlet to do what we do best – listen to people and talk to people.

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Susan Impalla

In our first dcm_dial_log we check in with DCM Account Executive, Susan Impalla who provides the following insights regarding renewal rates from our performing arts telemarketing campaigns.

Thanks to our ever increasing trending capabilities, we have the ability to look further into each campaign than ever before. Utilizing these tools can help us analyze the results of a campaign and compare those numbers to other DCM campaigns. We are also able to aggregate the data at the genre level, so for example DCM can study how ballet campaigns perform vs. theater campaigns.

Now that Labor Day has passed, many of our performing arts clients are about to open their seasons. As they look forward they are also looking back. A key piece of information that they are reviewing is how their renewal lead segments performed. At DCM we keep close tabs on these rates, especially how they match up against projections, previous years and other campaigns.

Many clients want to know how their results measure up to other DCM calling efforts and how economic factors may have played a role in why patrons responded the way they did. To help address those questions, here is a look at renewal rates from DCM campaigns across performing arts genres:

  • Ballet telemarketing campaigns in 11-12 renewed at an average of 35%
  • Presenting venue telemarketing campaigns in 11-12 renewed at an average of 31%
  • Theater telemarketing campaigns in 11-12 renewed at an average of 26%
  • Orchestra telemarketing campaigns in 11-12 renewed at an average of 22%
  • Opera telemarketing campaigns in 11-12 renewed at an average of 17%
NOTE: These rates reflect the percentage of those contacted by phone who then renewed via telemarketing. In all instances, calls were made after subscribers received several renewal notices, emails and in some instances, recorded messages or courtesy calls.

How did economic conditions factor into the trends in our renewing subscription close rates? Did price and flexibility play a role in encouraging subscribers to renew? Why the huge difference in renewal rates when comparing opera to ballet subscribers?

There are so many variables in play that it is difficult to say exactly why buyers acted the way they did. Below are the trends that were evident:

The ballet companies with the highest renewal rates have a few things in common: an average subscription price of under $300, flexible subscription options and a high contact rate on the phone. It seems our success was due to contacting a higher percentage of unrenewed subscribers who responded positively to prices and flexible packages.

Our presenting venues on average renewed at 31%. One particular campaign exceeded the renewal rate from last year’s campaign by 13 percentage points. This occurred in a market that has a higher unemployment rate than the national average. It seems that the economy had little effect on this effort. Why? A strong season and ample available seating inventory at multiple price points were met with enthusiasm by the patron base. Perhaps, this is example of arts loving patrons being willing to pay for a subscription to their favorite venue when given the right price and point of sale seating confirmation.

Among our theater campaigns, one in particular exceeded DCM's projected renewal close rate by 10%. This occurred in a market where the average income is significantly lower than the national average. Again, subscribers renewed at a higher than projected rate, in spite of the economic downturn.

The highest renewal rate on an orchestra campaign occurred, ironically, in a city with a high unemployment rate. The average subscription price on this campaign was under $300.

Our opera campaigns have the lowest renewal close rates of all the compared genres. The average renewing subscription price on our 11-12 opera campaigns was $517, which translates to an average order of more than $1,000 (usually two subscriptions per order). This is in sharp contrast to the average on all other performing arts genres, which was below $600 (per order). Could renewing Opera subscribers be seeking other performing arts options due to the higher price of attending the Opera? We may not have the answer, but acquisition sales for Opera don't seem to be affected. One DCM opera campaign for example, whose average subscription price is $549, had a very successful acquisition campaign--bringing in over $1million dollars in sales from almost 2,000 new subscriptions, making it one of our top revenue generating campaigns.

Even in trying economic times, or perhaps, in spite of trying times, people have a desire to attend live entertainment. It seems that in the current economic climate, some patrons may be gravitating toward more affordable and flexible packages since they may have less disposable income. Still, for some campaigns the stature and reputation of the organization and/or the excellence of the season trumps the subscription price in the minds of the patrons. As we've seen evident in our renewing campaign trends, success is possible in any genre even in the toughest of economies.

To learn more about DCM and our services please visit or contact DCM’s Vice President of New Business and Marketing, Eric Nelson, at or 718-488-5577 x5017.