Hustle has given us an excellent way to start conversations with our guests. Breaking through that barrier to get the toe in the door.

  • Ken McClain, Director of Ticket Services

The Problem

Starlight Theatre is a historic city landmark in Kansas City that has welcomed travelers and residents for over 60 years. At the heart of community and theatre arts in Kansas City, Starlight Theatre is not only a prime destination for travelers, it is often where local residents see their first concert and experience their first Broadway performance. Organizing and investing in programs to support various education and scholarship programs, Starlight is deeply connected in the community.

As an outdoor venue, Starlight Theatre experiences very unique challenges; the season is much shorter and most active in the summer months. This gives their team a very short window to generate urgency and excitement for the upcoming season with tens of thousands of patrons to renew and upgrade to season seats. Compared to renewal campaigns with very committed audience members, acquisition campaigns are often, at best, targeting fair weather fans. Exactly the audience you want to build a relationship with, but the hardest to reach and close.

The Solution

The biggest obstacle for Starlight was just starting the conversation. That's where Hustle came in. Starlight’s sales team had busy day jobs and were overloaded with information, but nevertheless relied on less effective means of communication and coordination. Email blasts were impersonal and have very low response rates. Phone calling was personal, but incredibly slow with response rates falling. Internal systems and online portals were often passive and outdated.

Hustle, on the other hand, helped Starlight overcome these challenges by building trust and encouraging engagement via conversational, one-to-one text messaging. Starlight found that by bridging the connection between its employees and patrons, it could increase productivity, strengthen its ability to attract and retain talent, and positively influence how individual employees interact with their customers and colleagues.

"Hustle has allowed us to meet our contacts halfway and not only interact in a more personalized way but also in a way that's more convenient for them. Both our staff and our patrons are really reacting positively to our new approach."

  • Katherine Tolbert, Subscription Sales Coordinator

The Outcome

Using Hustle, Starlight Theatre had personalized one on one conversations with 2,400 previous ticket holders, with an average response rate of 27.46%! With Hustle's targeting features, Starlight segmented their audience by ticket purchase history to help personalize conversations at scale between Single, Lapsed Season, and Group / Multi-ticket holders. Within 2 weeks, the team at Starlight was able to generate 3x more sales compared to their previous phone based outreach and saved over 500 hours of staff time on the phones by initiating conversations with text messaging.

By leveraging the communication channel with the highest engagement, Starlight was able to cut through the noise, develop genuine relationships with patrons, and more effectively drive ticketing, fundraising, and volunteer efforts.