The Christmas Lite Show is Michigan’s largest Christmas light show. The Christmas Lite Show uses more than 40 animated displays that stretch almost two miles. Now in its 20th year, the Christmas Lite Show approached our team, in collaboration with Northbound Studios, to tackle all design, marketing, development, and PR efforts.

The Details

What We Did

  • Built a brand new website on Shopify that allows people to purchase tickets (couldn’t do that before)
  • Developed a bulletproof strategy to build an email list from nothing (seriously, no email list to work with, and that’s really bad)
  • Worked in collaboration with Northbound to design beautiful new print and digital assets (those guys did amazing)
  • Managed a Facebook Ad Campaign to get the word out about the big 20th Anniversary Golden Ticket Giveaway
  • Set up and developed an email marketing strategy full of highly targeted campaigns that sent based on website behavior, email behavior, time of entry, and were all measurable for their dollar value in revenue generated

We Had Fun

We knew this was going to be a fun project due to the nature of the beast. Who wouldn’t love working with a client whose purpose is to spread the holiday cheer? Our main objective was to make sure that all the work we did together was purposeful and intentional in creating an unforgettable experience for the attendees of the events. By creating phenomenal experiences, you create loyal, brand ambassadors that help spread the word about your awesome brand, event, and experience.

Before Approaching Avalanche

It wasn’t pretty. Their old website lacked import information about the event, users were not able to purchase tickets online, the site was not mobile-friendly, and we could go on…

The most alarming thing (to us, but we’re digital marketing nerds) was that after 20 years, they did not have any customer emails.

I’m not sure what you know about digital marketing, but that’s a big problem. Not simply to resell to past customers (and email marketing is the most effective to do so), but that list can help you create a Facebook lookalike audience, which helps you identify people that are qualified to buy your product/service based on similar qualities/interests Facebook finds from your email list.

Creative Problem Solving

We knew the Christmas Lite Show would be better served if they had a large email list to work with, but creating one from nothing wasn’t going to be easy… Or was it?

Together with the Christmas Lite Show team, we created “The Golden Ticket Giveaway” which would give one lucky family the opportunity to experience the Christmas Lite Show absolutely free for the rest of their lives.

This was our funnel.

We created highly targeted Facebook ads to get people to sign up for a chance to win the Golden Ticket, just by giving us their name and email.

Once we had their email, we started slowly, and not annoyingly, selling to them. We got them excited:

  • for the chance to win the big prize
  • for Christmas in general
  • for other events the Christmas Lite Show puts on

With a new Shopify-powered website that allowed visitors to buy tickets on the website (so we can easily measure ROI of ad spend), we’ve already sold over $10,000 worth of pre-event ticket sales. In the past, there was $0. Using Shopify as a platform to sell tickets vs. other popular platforms like Event Brite allows the Christmas Lite Show to retain more profit and for digital marketers like us, it allows us to determine the average cost to acquire a new customer. An Event Brite solution would cost $.99 per ticket sold plus 2.5% of the ticket value.

The Math at 5,000 tickets sold at $20/ticket:

Event Brite Profit: $92,550

  • $.99 per ticket
  • 2.5% of every ticket

Our Shopify Solution Profit: $99,960

  • $20 per month for 2 months

But there’s no way you have all the same features as Event Brite!

Well, we do. Automatic ticket delivery via email, simple passbook integration, scheduled and variant ticket types, you name it, we can handle it.

How effective was it?

We’re still, at the time of writing, working the digital marketing strategy for the Christmas Lite Show, but we’ve got a cost per conversion into a new or potential customer at $0.17 per person. We’re estimating conservatively that those emails are worth $100/person for a lifetime on average, which means we’re doing really well. But, it helps when you’ve got an awesome experience like going through 2 miles and over 2 million Christmas lights.

Update December 2nd: One email was sent to the email list of 5,000 local, interested attendees that we generated in less than 30 days and it generated just over $2,000 within 12 hours.