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Winning Back Season Ticket Holders: Three Proven Strategies

When season ticket holders don’t renew, organizations face the challenge of filling those empty seats and maintaining a loyal fan base. Implementing effective strategies to reengage these fans is crucial. Here are three proven strategies that have helped universities like Auburn and Wake Forest, along with an innovative approach from West Virginia University.

1. Personalized Outreach Campaigns: Auburn’s Targeted Approach

Auburn University effectively addressed season ticket holder non-renewals through a personalized outreach campaign. They identified past football ticket buyers and fans interested in football who hadn’t purchased tickets for the upcoming season. By sending targeted emails, Auburn segmented their audience into those interested in buying tickets, unsure, or not interested.

·         Interested Fans: Redirected to eVenue for easy ticket purchase.

·         Unsure Fans: Redirected to Eloqua survey to elaborate on their hesitation.

·         Uninterested Fans: Also redirected to Eloqua survey to understand their reasons.

Survey responses automatically flowed into Salesforce, allowing the sales team to follow up with tailored communication. This strategy ensured that Auburn addressed the specific needs and concerns of each fan segment, increasing the likelihood of converting hesitations into ticket purchases.

2. Dynamic and Personalized Emails: Wake Forest’s Efficient Communication

Wake Forest University tackled the issue of non-renewed season ticket holders by leveraging dynamic content and signature rules in their email campaigns. After the renewal deadline, they sent personalized emails to all non-renewed accounts.

·         Dynamic Content: Tailored the email’s text to match the recipient’s profile.

·         Signature Rules: Displayed the contact information of the appropriate sales rep for each account.

This approach allowed Wake Forest to maintain a personal touch without the inefficiency of sending individual emails manually. Eloqua’s automation ensured that each non-renewed season ticket holder received a personalized email, reinforcing the connection between the fan and their sales rep. This method not only saved time but also increased the chances of reengaging fans through a personal and relevant touchpoint.

3. Advanced Lead Scoring: West Virginia’s Data-Driven Strategy

West Virginia University leveraged Eloqua's Lead Scoring tool to drive football season ticket sales by evaluating contacts based on several key criteria:

·         Location

·         Previous Ticket Purchases

·         SeatGeek Transactions Exceeding $500

·         Email Engagement

·         Landing Page Submissions

Contacts with the highest scores were seamlessly directed to Salesforce for personalized outreach by sales reps. Meanwhile, 'somewhat qualified' leads received an initial email promoting season tickets, followed by subsequent emails prompting them to update their preferences to ensure relevant future communication.

This data-driven approach allowed West Virginia to prioritize high-potential leads for direct sales engagement while nurturing less-qualified leads through targeted email campaigns. By focusing efforts on the most promising contacts, the university maximized their chances of converting leads into season ticket holders.


Addressing season ticket non-renewals requires a multifaceted approach that combines personalization, efficiency, and data-driven targeting. Auburn’s targeted email campaigns, Wake Forest’s dynamic content, and West Virginia’s advanced lead scoring together form a robust strategy to win back season ticket holders. By understanding and addressing the specific needs and behaviors of their fan base, sports organizations can successfully maintain and grow their loyal customer base.

Connect with your Marketing Automation Rep today to incorporate these strategies into your overall renewal plan today!


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