Delivering an ROI of 1600% for Seatwave

Case Study: Seatwave’s Fan-to-Fan Ticket Exchange


Seatwave is a fan-to-fan ticket exchange site which allows music, theatre and sports fans to buy and sell tickets in a secure, online environment. Founded in London in 2006, the company was created to meet the needs of an audience that want to go to more live events but miss out because they struggle to keep abreast of what’s happening and when.

In the three years since its inception, Seatwave has gone from strength to strength winning numerous accolades, including being named ‘Best Technology Media Company 2009’ by The Guardian.

The Challenge

Seatwave’s success is dependent on it being able to quickly, and efficiently, send out the latest information about events and ticket availability – and crucially it needs to ensure that the emails arrive in each subscribers inbox at the time they are most likely to open, and act on it.

Seatwave also require a marketing campaign that brings to life its three core principles: simplicity, clarity and passion. Operating in a new industry, Seatwave needs audiences to be able to understand the product proposition quickly and easily: that fans can buy and sell tickets to a wide variety of live events. It is therefore vital that the final design of the emails references these consumer benefits throughout, encouraging recipients to see themselves as both buyers and sellers.

Ultimately, Seatwave’s objective is to drive traffic to the Seatwave website and increase ticket sales, in a cost-effective way.

The solution

Seatwave decided to partner with progressive email marketing providers, Pure360, to create and deliver a highly effective, cost efficient, email marketing campaign by capitalising on cutting edge email marketing technology.

Pure360s range of flexible, cost-effective email marketing solutions are designed to maximise impact and responses to email campaigns. Its technology enables Seatwave to quickly assess the effectiveness of campaigns and build relationships with its customers by gathering data and tracking responses to enable more personalised campaigns.

Timing is everything

Seatwave’s ongoing email marketing campaign uses Pure360’s ‘Intelligent Time Sending’ tool to analyse when each of its customers is most likely to open their emails, and click-through to the website. This information is used to ensure emails arrive in recipients’ inboxes at the time he or she is most receptive – an essential tool as Seatwave’s success is dependent on the audience responding quickly and purchasing tickets.

Timing is everything for Seatwave, and it is imperative that it sends out the latest information about events and ticket availability as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Pure360s ‘Automatic Message Import’ tool makes it possible for Seatwave to send out the latest offers by uploading web content automatically into their email marketing campaign, meaning they use minimal resources.

The power of personalisation

Many of Seatwave’s events have broad appeal. However, for local or niche events, Pure360’s technology enables Seatwave to construct lists based on recipient interests and location. New events can be announced at any time and the ability to rapidly build segmented lists from its database, to target the right subscribers with new and relevant information, is key to capturing traffic and sales.

Battle of the inbox

Seatwave uses Pure360’s ‘Automatic Subject Line Selector’ to send out campaigns with multiple subject lines and analyse open rates in real time to ensure that further messages automatically adopt the most successful subject line. ‘Subject-line optimisation’ has also been central to the success of this campaign – getting the subject line right is the difference between Seatwave’s emails being opened or deleted.

Pure360’s design toolkit enables Seatwave to create visually engaging emails that reflect its three brand concepts of simplicity, clarity and passion. Seatwave’s emails include dynamic content to convey the emotion and passion of the live experience, as this is the ultimate purchasing trigger.

A social service

Ticket purchasing is frequently a group decision as the majority of events are attended in couples or groups. Using Pure360’s technology, Seatwave enables recipients to quickly and easily share information with friends by incorporating ‘Send to a friend’ functionality, a feature that has proved extremely popular and highly effective. The technology also enables Seatwave to reach many more people than those that are listed on its database.


Using Pure360’s technology to track user behaviour, Seatwave has created a highly effective email marketing campaign, ensuring that its customers receive content tailored to their interests, at a time when they are most likely to open and act on the email.

Pure360’s technology provides the ultimate in customer activity visibility, enabling Seatwave to monitor not just open and click through rates, but also vital post-click information such as how many and what type of tickets were bought. In addition to helping measure campaign effectiveness, this has proved invaluable in increasing the effectiveness of targeting within future campaigns.

The email marketing campaign has been so successful that it is now an intrinsic part of Seatwave’s marketing. Its average open rates are 11.18%, and click through rates are 31%. The campaign has driven phenomenal growth in an extremely cost-effective way, delivering an ROI of 1600%.

Seatwave has now won numerous awards and its email marketing campaign has been central to this success. The company has been named the number one Tech Media Company by The Guardian, Online Business of the Year (Fast Growth Business Media Awards 2009), and Europe’s Fastest Growing Digital Media Company (GP Bullhound Media Momentum Awards 2009).


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  • "We've used Pure360 since 2005 and have come to rely on its speed and functionality for all our eCRM activity, with the addition of their new social media tools it makes perfect sense to roll out Pure360 across all our European territories."

Paul Edge
Paul Edge
At Pure360 I have gained a strong knowledge of email marketing best practices, including segmentation, deliverability, data cleansing and optimising performance including subject line testing, message content, setting up email nurturing programmes and sending targeted offers.
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