Venue owners: How do you make your mark on Music City? Nashville, home to the Grand Ole Opry and country music at large, is the sort of place where chords ring out on every block. Yet Mercy Lounge, Cannery Ballroom, and The High Watt — the trio of venues housed in a one-time flour mill on Cannery Row — have become live-music musts in just fifteen years.

According to Rachel Adams, Director of Marketing, the current owners "take a lot of pride in building relationships with artists and artists camps and being a venue to bring breaking artists to Nashville to really help launch and build on their careers."

Adams, who also handles marketing for a nationwide promoter based in Nashville, understands the importance of relationships in her business. Today, she draws on those skills at Mercy Lounge, where she "[works] with artists camps for shows that we're self-promoting to get marketing plans built and executed, with third-party promoters to help them with their marketing aspects, and with local and national media outlets to promote shows and [look] for ways to promote the venues themselves and build their standing in the industry."

How does she make time to connect her venues to promoters? ToneDen.

"A Lifesaver"

The bands playing Mercy Lounge range from up-and-comers to Katy Perry. "We’ve got Lizzo right now who’s on fire," Adams tells us. "If somebody's just on the cusp, [Mercy Lounge] is an awesome place for them to play and get into a big major market."

Part of what makes Adams so valuable in a major market like Nashville is her versatility. The former Head of Marketing for Emporium Presents, a national promoter, also did marketing for the BOK Center in Tulsa. "I’ve gone from venue to promoter back to venue and promoter," she says. Along the way, she's worked with ToneDen.

"I used it before coming to Mercy Lounge, so it was a really quick transition and an easy on-boarding for me."

Adams was happy to find ToneDen already integrated into the Cannery Row clubs' marketing plan. "Their previous marketing director had left in the summer and their onsite staff was kind of keeping it all together until they found the right person. When I jumped in, I realized [they were using] ToneDen, and it was like, 'I can do this!' With three venues, the volume is really high. So having ToneDen to help with the Facebook ads was a lifesaver."

The Cannery Ballroom, Nashville, TN

Steven Wilson Wins Big ROAS

Building a conversion campaign in ToneDen can take Adams a mere five minutes. Given how much one of those campaigns can yield, those are minutes well spent, especially for a person like Adams who's programming three venues.

The very first ad Adams ran at The Cannery Ballroom was for British prog-rocker Steven Wilson. This conversion campaign ran in the week leading up to the Wilson's show; Adams spent $150 — about $21 a day.

The results? A 59.4x return on ad spend, which amounts to a revenue gain of nearly $9K. With ToneDen, Adams was able to target not only her venues' website visitors, but people who'd like the pages for Mercy Lounge, Cannery Ballroom, and Steven Wilson — a total of 12,959 fans. The 96 people who clicked placed 200 orders. The cost per order stayed under a dollar: $0.75 per ticket.

Benefits for Venues and Promoters

Before Adams was using ToneDen, she found herself pressed for time. "I honestly was blocking out probably half of my day doing and scheduling Facebook ads, going back and forth between Spotify, Amazon and FM and seeing who the similar artists are, playing with numbers, hoping that my ad was working, doing A/B testing." All of that is a thing of the past.

With ToneDen, Adams saves time by duplicating campaigns and being smart about targeting, using the venues' MailChimp database and the Spotify audiences she can pull from. "It’s definitely an awesome tool for venues," she says. "I’d be surprised if more artists camps don’t come onboard now that a lot of them are doing Facebook ads themselves as well."

But those artists camps will be coming to a world venues and promoters already know and love. "From the promoter's side, I like the venues using it because I know the dollars are being spent efficiently," Adams says. "From a venue side, I like it because I can confirm that my ads are moving tickets." Either way, she says, "it just helps me be more efficient with my time and get more done."