#FTA Hey. Listen Sometime?

Published on October 1st, 2015
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Hey! So good to see you! Let’s get together.
(It’s never going to happen.)

Hey! So good to see you! Let’s get together next week. 
(Chances are…it’s never going to happen.)

Hey! So good to see you! Let’s get together at Starbucks, tomorrow at 3.
(Chances are…it’s going to happen.)

You know the drill.  If you really want to see someone, you have to make an appointment.  PPM is taking that same life lesson and magnifying it for Program Directors: If you really want someone to listen to you, you have to make an appointment.

Think about your circle of listeners, a wide group of people who share a number of similarities – like listening to you – and a number of differences, including when they listen to you and why. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a way to identify these folks, find out when they listen and specifically what they’re listening for? You do; it’s your station database.

The people who have signed up to get your emails or participate in your online contests and surveys are telling you, “I listen to your station. I’m a fan. Pay attention to me!”  They’re just waiting for your timely and targeted invitations.  Are you sending those invites?  Are you asking these most loyal of listeners to listen, to listen sometime or to listen “tomorrow at 3”?  Here’s the checklist for making sure you’re maximizing your database in order to magnify the value of those invitations:

Grow your Database: It all starts with having a big, vibrant database. Get it by promoting the benefits of registering through steady on-air and on-site promotion. Include a no-hassle sign-up and specific reasons for opting in to your email.  Include links to sign-up throughout your website and on your Facebook page.

Keep Growing Your Database: You can’t stop. White papers suggest databases churn about 30% per year. If you’re not actively growing your database, beware…. basic inertia will kill it. Just like you’re always striving to gain listeners, you need to gain new database members.

Segment Your Database:  Not all database members are created equally. Some listen longer than others. They have different favorite features, artists and listening habits.  The more you know about those differences, the more effective your database becomes. Post surveys to identify the interests of your listeners. Ask about listening habits, favorite artists, free time activities, etc. Gather the critical data that tells you when and why your listeners are tuning in. 

Make The Appointment:  Use this indispensable data to target email messages to segments of your database.  Featuring a Friday full of Michael Franti? Let the Michael Franti fans know. Just finish up a contest? Alert contestants when to listen for their name.  Follow the example of Next Media’s KBAY, San Jose. KBAY targets emails based on the Favorite Artists of their database members and the contests/surveys their members have participated in.  Different segments get different emails.  Specific listening appointments are set based on what KBAY’s friends like to do and when they like to do it.  What’s the number one station in San Jose you may ask? That’s a no brainer. It’s KBAY!

Use Appointments as Rewards: Database growth and engagement incentives go beyond the tangible tickets and other freebies.  Exclusive information available to members-only is a legitimate benefit with significant upside.  Listeners want to know when to win that trip to Vegas or the $1000 giveaway. Post it on your members’ only web page, include it in your emails.  Drive web page hits and grow open rates while providing inside information on how to win. Access to these appointment-making times becomes another benefit of membership, one in which you and your listeners win.
Triple A The Peak, and Country, JRfm, The Pattison Group stations in Vancouver, post “Listen To Win” times on their database member pages every week.  Only members can access the information.  The result?  Their web page visits have skyrocketed, leading to more listening from database members.

Facebook Rocks: You want to be where your listeners hang out, and they’re hanging out on Facebook in droves. Grow your database and collect deeper information by including links to contests and surveys that allow for the segmentation discussed above.  A post about specific features is appropriate for your fans, but make it conversational and benefit-oriented.  “Be the first to hear the new Linkin Park.  Check it out today at 11:15.”

But Facebook Doesn’t RULE: You can’t abdicate your database building to Facebook.  The level of data you can gather through your station website is deeper, more lucrative and most critically YOURS.  Facebook can start the conversation, but don’t let the focus on Facebook stand between you and a deeper understanding, and therefore deeper relationship, with your listeners.

Tweet it:  Like Facebook, a well crafted Tweet from a personality with a specific time to listen, links to registration, exclusive info and surveys are totally legit.

Don’t completely freak if you haven’t started segmenting your info. There’s still opportunity to drive listening occasions by reminding listeners of special on-air features, programs, artist interviews, morning show events, etc.  The regular station email and Facebook postings should – at least once in copy (and post) – specifically recommend a feature, day and time to listen.
Your friends are the most likely people to take you up on your invitations.  The same is true with your database members. They like you. It’s a large part of why they registered. They’re just waiting for the right invitation, reminding them to turn your station on.

So, do you want to meet? Do you want to meet, soon?  Or meet at Starbucks, Friday at 3?



[#FTA — From the archives:  each month, we revisit a post from our past to show how some marketing strategies stand the test of time.]

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