Benchmarking to the Spektrix Insights Report

Hannah Wisdish
Hannah Wisdish
  • Updated

NOTE: This article refers to the use of ‘opens’ and/or ‘open rates’. In Apple's iOS15 (released 20 September 2021) and MacOS12 Monterey (released 25 October 2021) software updates, new mail privacy settings will affect the usability of 'opens’ as a metric in Spektrix. For more information please click HERE.


The Spektrix Insights Report 2019 brings together data analysis on over 25 million transactions across 343 organisations and features benchmarks, inspiration, and provocation on some of the most critical topics facing the sector, including:

  • Audience loyalty
  • Donor behaviour
  • Communication strategies
  • Online behaviour
  • Revenue maximisation

Whether you're looking for a data-led benchmark for your organisation or ideas to inspire your approach, you should be able to find actionable insight into the sector within the pages of this report.

The first thing to do is to download the report – if you haven't already done that, you can do so right here.

Once you've read through the report, the rest of this article will help you find out how your organisation measures up. It's a step-by-step guide to getting key metrics out of your system, so you can compare your organisation with the benchmarking data in the report.

You'll need access to dotdigital and the Spektrix Insights & Mailings Interface, familiarity with the basics of running Customer Lists and reports, and a spare hour or so.

For each metric, we've also suggested useful articles for implementing any of the suggestions in the Insights Report to improve your results. As every organisation is different, we've not gone into too much detail here; rather than give detailed instructions on how to set up very specific things, you'll find links to articles that show you how to use the various system features.

Of course, this article doesn't replace the Spektrix Support team so, if you have any questions  from how to run a report, to what longer term strategic support we can offer on improving key metrics at your organisation  don't hesitate to get in touch.

If you're looking for a particular metric you can click on the link below to go straight to that section: 

Chapter One: Understanding Audience Loyalty

Chapter One looks at the need for arts organisations to actively encourage customer loyalty, whilst also reaching out to new audiences. To get a good picture of your organisation's audience loyalty, we'd recommend tracking the following metrics:

  • Percentage of first-time bookers in a year
  • Audience retention across multiple years
  • Audience reattendance within a year

First-time customers

Targeting new audiences is great for expanding your reach, but only if these customers are being engaged for the long-term and cultivated in addition to your current audiences.

How to get your stats

You can use the Customer List tool to find out what percentage of your customers were new last year.

System tools: Customer Lists
Support articles: Customer List Explorer, Global and Local SegmentsCustomer List Builder

In Insights & Mailings, create a new Customer List with two Purchasing Segments looking for customers who bought a ticket last year:

  • Any tickets purchased in 2018
  • Tickets purchased in 2018 which were a ‘first visit'

You should end up with two separate Segments, looking like this:


Add the first Segment to the list, update the count and make a note of the number this is your total number of customers in 2018. Remove that Segment and add the second Segment, then update the count and make a note of that number, too – this is the number of first-time visitors you had in 2018.

To work out the percentage of first-time customers over the year:

  • % first-time customers in 2018 = (number of first-time visitors / number of 2018 customers) x 100

What you can do

Here are a few suggestions for how to make the most of your first-time bookers to help ensure those hard-won customers return to your organisation. Below are the tools we recommend you use and some accompanying articles with details of how to use them:

  • Send automated emails thanking customers for their first booking
  • Use Dynamic Content in Pre- and Post-Show emails to tailor messaging specifically to first-time customers who might be less familiar with your venue/organisation
  • Make a great first impression using Customer Groups to flag a first-time visitor to your Box Office or Front of House team
  • Use the Post Show Analysis report to identify the Events which bring in the most first-time bookers, and devise a campaign to retain them (more on this below)

System tools: Customer List Schedules, dotdigital Programs, Dynamic Content, Pre- and Post-Show Emails, Auto Tags, Customer Groups, standard reports
Support articles: Customer List Schedules, Tags and Auto Tags, Email Integration: dotdigital, Intro to Email Automation, Dynamic Content, Pre- and Post-Show EmailsCustomer Groups, A Guide to Standard Reports in Spektrix

Audience retention (returning customers)

Before you can come up with plans for how to encourage existing bookers to come back and visit again, you need to be able to identify your retention rate, i.e. the percentage of customers who make repeat purchases in following years.

How to get your stats

Assuming you're looking for data from 2016, 2017 and 2018, you're going to need the following figures:

  • Number of customers who purchased in 2016
  • Number of customers who purchased in 2016 and then again in 2017
  • Number of customers who purchased in 2016 and again in 2018

System tools: Customer Lists
Support articles: Customer List Explorer, Global and Local SegmentsCustomer List Builder

In Insights & Mailings, create a new Customer List, then create three Purchasing Segments looking for customers who bought something in the previous three years:

  • Purchased in 2016
  • Purchased in 2017
  • Purchased in 2018

You should end up with three separate Segments, looking like this:

To get the first figure – the number of customers who booked in 2016 drop the Purchased in 2016 Segment into your list and run a count, then record this number.

Next, you want to get the number for customers who also purchased in 2017, so just add the Purchased in 2017 Segment into your Customer List, making sure to use the AND metric between the two Segments. Run a count, and record this number as well.

Lastly, you want to get the number of customers who purchased three years later, so remove the Purchased in 2017 Segment and add the Purchased in 2018 Segment alongside the Purchased in 2016 Segment, once again using the AND metric, then run a count and record the number.

Once you have the number of customers for each count, you can work out the percentage retained each year as follows:

  • % retained in 2017 = (number of 2016 & 2017 customers / number of 2016 customers) x 100
  • % retained in 2018 = (number of 2016 & 2018 customers / number of 2016 customers) x 100

What you can do
Here are a couple of suggestions for how to engage with these bookers once you've identified them, along with the tools we recommend you use and some accompanying articles with details of how to use them:

  • Encourage a subsequent visit through Post-Show Emails providing Offers or other incentives
  • Run a lapsed booker campaign using targeted emails aimed at customers who haven't returned

System tools: Customer List Schedules, dotdigital Programs, Post-Show Emails, Offers, Offer Limits, Auto Tags, 
Support articles: Customer List SchedulesPre- and Post-Show EmailsIntro to Offers, Setting up Offers, Auto Tagging, Email Integration: dotdigital, Intro to Email Automation

Reattendance (frequent bookers)

How do you identify frequent bookers and find ways to encourage them to continue coming back?

How to get your stats

Here you want to take last year's bookers and find out how many of them visited multiple times. To do that, you just need the Reattendance Analysis report.

System tools: Standard reports
Support articles: A Guide to Standard Reports in Spektrix

In the Report Explorer in Insights & Mailings, you'll see the Reattendance Analysis report (with a blue toolbox next to it to show that it's a standard report):


Select By Instance Start Date as your Criteria Set and then run the report on Instances in 2018.

Once run, the report will show you a table detailing the number of visits your customers made from one through to ten or more, followed by a pie chart detailing the number of customers who visited once, twice or 3+ times:


What you can do

Here are some suggestions for ways to encourage your regular bookers to keep visiting, along with the tools we recommend you use and some accompanying articles with details of how to use them:

  • Set up Multibuy Offers to encourage customers to book multiple shows at once
  • Cross-sell at the point of sale to encourage customers to buy more or inform them of future events
  • Use Post-Show emails to advertise upcoming shows soon after customers attend

System tools: the Multibuy Cross-selling iframe, Multibuy Offers, Recommended Events, Post-Show Emails
Support articles: Intro to Offers, Styling the Multibuy Cross-Selling iframe (for web developers)Setting Up Offers, Recommended Events Cross-selling, Pre- and Post-Show Emails
Blogs/other resources: Integrations PortalA Guide to a Simple Customer Segmentation Model

Chapter Two: Asking for Donations

Chapter Two looks at the first stage of the donor pipeline and the critical base of every donor pyramid: donations under £50/€50/$50. To assess the effectiveness of your donation ask via different Sales Channels, you'll need to work out the following metrics: percentage of orders containing a donation and percentage of value gained from donations per Sales Channel.

Point of sale donations

Do you know the proportions of your donations that come from each Sales Channel?

How to get your stats

You want to measure the percentage of transactions that contain donations and tickets, as opposed to those that only contain donations.

System tools: Standard reports, Criteria Sets
Support articles: A Guide to Standard Reports in Spektrix, Criteria Sets

Information on your donation conversion rate is available in the Donation Conversion Analysis report.

Otherwise, general donation stats can be found in the Donations Analysis report, in Insights & Mailings under Reports:

The table called Transactions v Donations in the Donations Analysis report shows the percentage of all transactions containing a donation:

What you can do

Here are some suggestions for ways to improve your conversion rates for point of sale donations, along with the tools we recommend you use and some accompanying articles with details of how to use them:

  • Make the ask relevant to what each customer is buying
  • Everyone's a fundraiser, so make sure everyone in your organisation is comfortable making an ask
  • Back up the ask with marketing so that, when customers are asked, it's not a surprise

System features: Funds, Donation Ladder
Support articles: Donations and Funds
Blogs/other resources: request the Asking for Donations consultative training sessionHow to Coach Your Team to Ask for Donations, Everyone's a Fundraiser

Chapter Three: Effective Emails

Chapter Three looks at the importance of consistently evaluating and monitoring the impact of your email marketing campaigns, as well as how a considered segmentation strategy can improve return on investment (ROI).

Email open and click-through rates

To assess the success of your email marketing, we'd recommend starting with measuring the open and click-through rates of your campaigns.

NOTE: From September 2021, Apple released the latest versions of their operating systems iOS15 and MacOS12 Monterey. These updates include new privacy settings in Apple Mail, which will preload email images, including the tracking pixels used to track 'Opens’ by email providers.

This means that all emails received by Apple Mail will appear as having been opened in Spektrix and Dotdigital regardless of whether they have or have not. This only affects Apple Mail users, but they make up approximately 35% of all email recipients and, our data suggests, 50-80% of users for our client base. In short, ‘Opens’ will no longer be a reliable metric for measuring email Campaign engagement. You will want to bear this in mind when reporting on your Mailings and look into referring to click rate as a more reliable means of tracking your customers’ engagement. 

We have a guide on this update available here, and are happy to answer any questions you might have.

How to get your stats

As long as you're using our dotdigital integration, you can access the open rates for your integrated emails in dotdigital. Just log into your dotdigital account then click on Reporting > Campaign Reports.

You should see a table with a list of sent Campaigns and some stats. Depending on how you organise your mailings, you can filter by certain types of mailings here by selecting the relevant folder on the left, or after you've downloaded the data.

In this example, we'll export everything by selecting the All Campaigns folder:

The table should now display all of your Campaigns. You can filter by date range by clicking the All Time button next to You are viewing:

Add 01 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2018 into the date range and click Apply. Your table should now show you Campaigns sent last year.

Now select Export > Export All. Your report will run and be ready to collect in a few moments from Exports (you'll be directed here once it's available).

Download your report as a CSV and open it in Excel - you can now find the average open and click-through rates by selecting the relevant columns and checking the figures in the bottom right-hand corner of the page:

Depending on how your organisation users dotdigital, you might want to filter out some emails (e.g. Pre- and/or Post-Show emails, membership communications).

Don't forget, if you make any edits to this file, you'll want to save a new copy in Excel format, otherwise you might lose the changes when you next open the file.

What you can do

Here are some suggestions for ways to improve your open and click-through rates, along with the tools we recommend you use and some accompanying articles with details of how to use them:

  • Split test campaigns to test out multiple options for subject lines, content, etc.
  • Keep your mailing list up-to-date by keeping an eye on your non-openers
  • Don't forget about mobile users and make sure emails are mobile-friendly

System features: dotdigital integration, split testing
Support articles: Email Integration: dotdigital
Blogs/other resources: Email is Actually More Effective than Social Media, Stop Spamming Your Customers Before it's Too Late

Chapter Four: Optimising the Online Experience

Chapter Four looks at the need for optimising your website and online journey for all customers, based on the continued rise of the percentage of transactions made online, as well as new data on the split of customers' device usage online across the arts sector. To assess if you could do more to get more from your website, we'd recommend pulling your stats on sales channel split and wheelchair holds sold online.

Transactions by Sales Channel

Knowing the proportion (and value) of orders made using each Sales Channel helps you to make decisions around how best to use your available resources.

How to get your stats

The first thing to do is work out what those proportions are, after which you can then decide what to do with that information.

System tool: Standard reports
Support article: A Guide to Standard Reports in Spektrix

In Insights & Mailings, go to the Reports section and find the Booking Behaviour report, select the By Transaction Date criteria set, then run for orders made in 2018.

Once run, the report will give you the number of orders and the value of sales processed through each Sales Channel:

What you can do

Your web developers are usually your first port of call for making improvements to your website; often they're the experts and can support you in analysing your site and making changes where necessary. The Spektrix Support Team are always happy to work with you and your web developers to get the most out of integrating with Spektrix.

Here are a few suggestions of things you might want to try:

  • Offer as many of your booking options as possible online, including accessible seating, Memberships and donations
  • Make your website easy to navigate, using tools such as Google Tag Manager to measure how customers use your website and make changes accordingly
  • Don't penalise your customers for saving you money: if you make online the most cost-effective channel for customers, you'll end up saving money

System tools: API integration, locked seat eligibility, Transaction Commissions
Support articles: Setting Up Lock Types, Making Wheelchair Seats Available OnlineTransaction Commissions
Blogs/other resources: Integrations PortalHow to Tell Your Customers About Your Access Performances

Online Device Usage

This has been worked out in a very specific way using our aggregate Google Analytics account that has access to only our Spektrix iframes and not the rest of our clients' websites.

How to get your stats

You should be tracking your own conversion rates using Google Tag Manager but, if you would like to see your stats based on our aggregate data, please use this form to contact the Spektrix Support Team, who will be able to share this with you.  

Bear in mind that the Insights Report data set looks specifically for visitors entering iframes for purchasable items (tickets, donations, Merchandise Items, Memberships, Gift Vouchers), and visitors that then go on to make a purchase. 

What you can do

Your web developers will usually be your first port of call for making improvements to your website. We'd also recommend consulting a Google Tag Manager specialist to make sure you're tracking conversions in the way that you want to.

Here are a few suggestions of things you might want to try:

  • Consider clear calls to action in the right place on a phone screen – think big buttons and clear arrows directing customers through the booking path right under the key information about the Event or the items in the basket
  • A responsive site that goes beyond effective iframe resizing: the booking path has to work for customers using a broad spectrum of make, model, and age of devices
  • Testing your booking path on multiple devices and browsers to spot where customers might get frustrated

Support articles: Introduction to Google Tag Manager
Blogs/other resources: Integrations Portal


Chapter Five: Revenue Maximisation

Chapter Five looks at the importance of maximising income from each booking as a way of improving financial stability without substantially increasing expense. Key metrics for assessing the potential revenue you could be earning are:

  • Average number of days that customers book in advance
  • Average price in advance of an Instance
  • Your up-sell conversion rate for different Sales Channels

Advance Sales and Discounting Tickets

How far in advance are your customers booking? How can you encourage customers to book in advance, so that you can manage your ticket yield?

How to get your stats

Firstly you need the standard Customer Behaviour Analysis report and then you can get the rest of the data straight from the Spektrix Support team.

System tool: Standard reports
Support article: Reports in Spektrix

In Insights & Mailings, find the Customer Behaviour Analysis report and run it for 2018. The report will give you the number and value of tickets sold in advance:

For the percentage of the average price:

This metric can be analysed using the standard Average Price Tracker report.

What you can do

Here are some suggestions for ways to encourage customers to book in advance, along with the tools we recommend you use and some accompanying articles with details of how to use them:

  • Reward early bookers with incentives to buy in advance
  • Use dynamic pricing to guarantee early bookers the best prices
  • Don't hit the panic button – always make sure you plan ahead

System tools: Offers, Offer Limits, standard reports, Price Lists, Price Band Overlays
Support articles: Intro to Offers, Setting Up OffersCreating a Price ListAmending a Price List, Creating a Price Band Overlay
Blogs/other articles: 6 Tips for Dynamic Pricing the Smart Way

Upselling Supplementary Events and Merchandise

Personalised recommendations and prompts to purchase supplementary items are commonplace across other industries, such as retail and tourism. What more could you do to build and sell a great experience for your audience?

How to get your stats

This metric is very difficult to analyse in your system in order to compare it with the Insights Report findings so, if you'd like to know more, get in touch with the Spektrix Support Team using this form and we'll send you your stats for 2018.

What you can do

Here are some suggestions for ways to increase secondary spend, along with the tools we recommend you use and some accompanying articles with details of how to use them:

  • Upsell supplementary items in the purchase path to make sure customers are aware of your other offerings
  • Offer packages including merchandise to add value to customers' experiences
  • Train box office staff on up-selling and make targeted recommendations to particular customers using segmentation tools such as Auto Tags and Customer Groups

System tools: Supplementary Events, Recommended Merchandise, Offers, Auto Tags, Customer Groups
Support articles: Supplementary Events, Selling Merchandise, Intro to OffersAuto TaggingCustomer Groups

What next?

If you haven't already, you might want to get hold of a few of the metrics which aren't immediately accessible from your system either because you need a specific custom report or because they're not available in Customer Lists. If you would like any or all of these metrics for your organisation, get in touch with the Spektrix Support Team using this form and we'll get the information over to you.

Once you've got all of your data and compared it with the Insights Report, chances are you'll find there are some things you're doing well and some where there's room to improve.

The first thing to do next is celebrate success. Give yourself and your team a pat on the back for the things you're doing well!

Next, decide what to work on. Some metrics can be improved with a quick win, while others take much more time and thought. It's worth giving some thought to what you have the time and resources to achieve before setting out a plan.

The Spektrix Support Team is on hand to help you achieve your goals and we'd love to work with you to implement best practice use of the tools in Spektrix. If you would like to schedule a consultative call to discuss one or more or your organisation's metrics, just fill in this form and someone from the Support team will get back to you.