Melbourne Racing Club

We offer the community a number of opportunities to connect and be entertained. Salesforce helps us leverage our data to promote these experiences in a more personal way.”

Nick Ristovic, Customer Engagement Manager


uplift in customer retention in the last 12 months

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Melbourne Racing Club builds member loyalty with tailored communication and event offers

Founded as an amateur turf club in 1875, the Melbourne Racing Club has evolved to become a prominent player in the city’s sporting and social life. It holds an average of 75 races annually at its premier courses, including the Caulfield Cup. The Club also owns a growing network of pubs and clubs, an apartment development and a French bakery. Its diverse portfolio makes the Club more sustainable while providing additional benefits to its members.

“We offer the community a number of opportunities to connect and be entertained. Salesforce helps us leverage our data to promote these experiences in a more personal way,” said Nick Ristovic, Customer Engagement Manager.

Converting data into loyalty

The Melbourne Racing Club’s portfolio is a huge advantage when it comes to personalisation. “Managing all of our own venues, ticketing and point-of-sale transactions gives us great insights into the preferences of our current and potential members,” explained Ristovic. “We adopted Marketing Cloud so we could use this information and run more sophisticated campaigns.”

Now one year later, the Club’s marketing activities are smarter, more personal and highly effective. It is segmenting data and tailoring campaigns based on demographics, transactions and membership status.

 These initiatives have helped educate members on what to expect and also encouraged them to make the most of their membership. Retention has risen from 31% to 60% as a result.

“Salesforce helps us look after our members and personalise their experience – even to the point of sending them offers for their favourite venue or meal,” said Ristovic. “It increases loyalty and ultimately reduces our costs as we don’t need to market for new members.”

Supercharging growth

A 300% growth in memberships over the last four seasons has actually created the need for a waiting list. So rather than attracting new members, the Club is focused on the journeys of existing ones. It wants to improve their experience and increase and reward their activity. More tailored communications across email, SMS and social media have helped drive incredible results.

One big win has been the efficiency of communicating with members and collecting data.  Previously, the Club sent direct mail to members who stopped opening emails. It was a way of keeping in contact and reminding them to update their information. Now, the Club can schedule automated SMS messages instead or run targeted social campaigns encouraging members to opt in.

These actions have helped the Club reach 6% more of its members and save close to $70,000 in direct mail costs just in one year. Using Marketing Cloud to test and refine emails and social ad campaigns has also made communications much more engaging. Open rates on member emails have increased from 32% to 42% while conversion rates on targeted social ads are as much as 10-15% higher.

The Club’s smart use of social media has been especially effective at driving ticket sales. Ashley Curnow, Digital Marketing Manager at Melbourne Racing Club, said approximately 65% of General Admission pre-purchase ticket sales for the 2017 Caulfield Cup Carnival could be attributed to social, with 25% of these attributed to custom audience targeting using Marketing Cloud Advertising Studio.

“Salesforce provides all the capabilities we need to really immerse ourselves in a campaign and make changes as we go to dial-up engagement,” said Curnow.

Ristovic agreed. “We no longer rely on a ‘one-size fits all’ approach, but can personalise everything down to the subject line and imagery. It makes a massive difference in our impact and, most importantly, drives more people down to the races.”


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