Case Study

From Manual to Marvelous: how automating data flows and streamlining processes helped The Stage achieve a 200% increase in engagement


Founded in 1880, The Stage has long been a must-read for all those involved in the performing arts industry. Now available in print, digital and online, The Stage also provides a jobs platform, a castings service and a dating site.


  • Streamline processes and save time
  • Improve relevancy and personalization
  • Ensure secure transfer of data in a GDPR-compliant way
  • Improve agility to respond quickly to breaking news

The Challenge

The Stage was manually processing data from multiple data sources. With a small team, a growing database and multiple brands this was becoming untenable. Furthermore, this was hindering them strategically (there was no time to plan, or advance their email marketing through better personalization and targeting) and the database’s lack of security meant it was not GDPR-compliant.

The Solution

The Stage worked with Adestra’s Technical Solutions team to look at where their data was housed, which elements needed  bringing into Adestra’s platform, and the best way to achieve this. They were able to set up fully automated imports from each of their different systems and external providers giving them a single customer view within Adestra’s platform.

They also worked with Adestra’s Digital Design team to develop a modular template solution. They did this by reviewing all the different campaigns they were sending and designing a suite of content modules to look great and meet all of their content requirements, allowing them quickly to build email campaigns that were responsive across all popular devices and browsers.

They also decided to create a preference center giving subscribers the option to select which communications they wanted to receive – giving them a greater degree of control over subscriber preferences rather than losing contacts to a blanket unsubscribe.


Finally, The Stage used Adestra’s Automation Program Builder to create a welcome journey for new subscribers as well as a prospect nurture journey for users who had hit their article limit, but were yet to convert.


The automation of the data processes and the new modular template have helped The Stage save over five hours per week.

The Stage have used the time saved to work on their strategy, introduce new campaigns, and target and segment more effectively. This strategy encompasses not only their own campaigns, but also sponsored campaigns for their advertisers – increasing commercial revenue.

Since the adoption of the new template, The Stage newsletter has seen a 200% increase in engagement.

Their new preference center and secure automated data processes have also helped them support GDPR compliance.

What’s next?

The Stage plan to automate their renewal journey in Adestra’s platform, giving them more control to review, test and optimize it.

Download Case Study

View All Resources »