Customer name: House of Guitars
How long they’ve been a customer: 12 years
Fun fact: The House of Guitars’ CD & Record Shop features a “Wall of Rockstar Signatures” with hundreds (if not thousands!) of rockstar signatures, including Steven Tyler, Ozzy Ozbourne, and Nancy Sinatra.
Where you can find them: House of Guitars website, Facebook, Instagram
The House of Guitars in Rochester, NY isn’t your average music store. With vinyl records, posters, and autographs covering the walls, stepping into the music supply and record store is more like stepping into a rock ‘n’ roll museum.
The story of House of Guitars began back in 1964 when brothers Armand and Bruce Schaubroeck started the store in their mother’s basement. They didn't have much money, but what they did have was a passion for music and a gut instinct about just how much others loved music, too.
“It was perfect timing. Everybody wanted a guitar, everybody wanted to be like the Beatles,” said Bruce of their humble beginnings. Fast forward to today, and House of Guitars is known as the largest music store in North America.
They sell all kinds of guitars, amps, and other musical instruments, both new and vintage. But they're not just a store. They also host live performances, offer music lessons, and even have their own record label, making it a world-class destination for musicians and music lovers.
With famous bands and musicians like Metallica, the Ramones and Steven Tyler just swinging by to hang out, it has a storied history and a lot of credibility in the music world– but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to market themselves to keep the business thriving and the music playing.
After their inception, House of Guitars relied on traditional marketing methods like word-of-mouth and direct mail. But as the internet grew in popularity (and so did potential avenues for competition), they knew they had to adapt. So they turned to social media, email marketing… and Constant Contact.
For nearly 13 years, House of Guitars has used Constant Contact to stay in touch with their fans and customers. Their regular subscriber newsletter keeps their audience informed about new music releases, product sales, upcoming performances, and events. And with open rates higher than the industry average, it’s easy to see that it’s working!
“People don’t like getting a bunch of stuff sent to their [physical] mailboxes. So with Constant Contact, we can email more regularly without annoying them,” said Michael Schaubroeck, Manager of House of Guitars. “It makes it very easy to reach out to our customers on a weekly basis.”
Constant Contact provides them with email templates, drag-and-drop functionality, and video embedding, making it easy for them to design unique and engaging content.
“We're focusing on the Internet more than ever. whether it be texting or emailing or Facebook or Instagram, that's the way to reach people today. That’s our goal, to really focus on what we can do to get people excited,” shared Bruce.
Want to be a marketing rockstar like House of Guitars? Here are their greatest hits:
Using Constant Contact mobile-friendly templates
Keeping things efficient and easy with image upload and drag-and-drop design
Including video in their emails to drive engagement and interest
Including a sign-up sheet at their checkout to grow their list
Using Constant Contact analytics to keep track of open and engagement rates
By embracing digital marketing and continually seeking new ways to engage and rock with their customers, House of Guitars is reaching more people and providing a strong backbeat for their small business community.
... View more
Customer Name: The Rochester Lilac Festival
How long they’ve been a customer: 12 years
Fun fact: This 10-day festival features thousands of lilac bushes in 800 varieties
Where you can find them: Facebook, Lilac Festival Website
The Lilac Festival isn’t your average festival– unless your average festival includes thousands of flowers and hundreds of thousands of visitors. This ten-day extravaganza in Rochester, NY features beautiful blooms, local vendors, and more than 85 artists, so it’s no wonder it attracts an average of 500,000 attendees every year, making it the largest festival of its kind in North America.
So how do they get the word out? Well, behind the scenes, the festival team relies on Constant Contact to spread the word and keep their audience informed.
“I am constantly marketing the business. It’s number one on my list of priorities, so I use Constant Contact daily,” says Lexany Rivera, the Production Manager and Director of Marketing for Rochester Events. Calling herself the “Canva queen,” Rivera uses Constant Contact’s integration with Canva to make sure their emails portray the beauty and excitement of the Lilac Festival, and she cites segmentation as a game-changer for effectively engaging their audience.
“Given the fact that we have so many different people, it's tough for us to be able to nail down who exactly we want to hit with what messaging. But Constant Contact helps us do that with email segmentation,” Rivera explains. “It helps us know what people really want to hear from us… because nothing makes my heart more sad than seeing us lose followers!”
Lexany RiveraTo gather data and preferences from their subscribers, the festival team created a sign-up form that allows people to opt-in and select their notification preferences. This way, they can send relevant information about the Lilac Festival or other events hosted by Rochester Events based on what their subscribers want. And that level of targeted communication is working– the Lilac Festival has built a healthy email list over the years, growing their contact list by 14% year over year.
But even with such successful Email Marketing strategies in place, Rivera and the team are always innovating, learning, and looking for the next new thing, citing Constant Contact’s webinars as a source of ongoing education and inspiration. Now, they’re fixing their sights on what the next big marketing move will be for them, including expanded channels. “We will always be using email,” Rivera says. “But to be able to shoot a text? That’s going to be a game changer for us.
Rivera sums up her experience using Constant Contact with a common theme we hear among our small business customers: “I have to be quick on my feet, and Constant Contact gives me that ability.”
Want to see your list bloom like The Rochester Lilac Festival? Here’s the bouquet of marketing tactics they manage with Constant Contact:
Using Constant Contact for email marketing and segmentation
Creating a sign-up form for subscribers to self-select their preferences
Integrating Canva for easy email design
Utilizing WooCommerce to track merchandise sales
Networking with similar companies for growth opportunities
Taking advantage of Constant Contact's webinars and ongoing customer education
With these strategies in place, the Rochester Lilac Festival team continues to foster community, promote local art, and make their festival a must-attend event for residents and visitors alike.
... View more