Online ticketing doesn’t have to be difficult – read these guidelines to uncover how to easily increase ticket sales through e-commerce
The secret to selling more tickets online – whether it’s for sports, music, theatre or other events – can be broken down into a few surprisingly simple principles.
What you’ll read below assumes that you’ve nailed the basics when it comes to online ticketing, such as:
- You’ve done the work to make sure that your site is optimized for search
- Your email marketing campaigns are set up so that they’re not only GDPR-compliant but effectively nurturing customers both pre- and post-purchase
- You have effective display and social media campaigns running to target new traffic and unconverted traffic
The basics completed, you’re ready to start thinking about how to increase ticket sales without having to resort to Fyre Festival tactics. Here’s how you can boost your e-commerce ticket sales without having to hire an army of A-list influencers…
1. Personalize from the ground up
82% of US millennials expect brands to have up-to-date information about their preferences – that gives you an indication of how much today’s consumers expect personalization in their shopping experience.
When it comes to online ticketing, personalizing your e-commerce website is critical to not only increasing ticket sales, but also cross-selling and delivering an effective post-purchase experience.
So where do you get started? While personalization is something of a buzzword, many marketers are intimidated by the amount of data, resource and skill it takes to apply it. The good news is that this is a total misconception.
The key is to start simple and build up. You don’t have to have a perfectly integrated stack of marketing tools and complex datasets at first – you can begin simply by differentiating the experiences for new and returning visitors. It’s easy to do and relies purely on in-session data, so no need for a complex set-up on the backend.
Another way to increase tickets sales through personalization is through using behavioral data. At Yieldify, we worked closely with award-winning London festival We Are FSTVL to do just that on their website. The simplest – but incredibly effective – initial executions triggered when the user was about to leave the site:
This use of exit intent technology drew the user’s attention to a key message at the most relevant part of their journey. Not only did this kind of work achieve a 65% increase in conversions, but it also drove 73% growth in their leads database.
2. Continually differentiate your offer
Selling more tickets online means taking some lessons from the retail sector: evolve your offering often in order to keep it fresh and engaging.
Tickets are often a high-consideration purchase that require a good deal of nurturing from first touch to conversion: event ticket sales tend to peak at the start and end of the sale period, with a slump occurring between these two stages.
One answer to this online ticketing challenge is in adopting ‘mini event’ techniques to continually interest your consumer. You could try some of the following:
- Early Access Events: Discounted tickets that are available for a limited time to those who have signed up for your newsletter.
- Early Bird Events: Discounted tickets that are purchased during a specific window of time.
- Lock In Your Tickets for Next Year: Sell advance tickets at a discounted rate. Make them available physically onsite, but also sell tickets online or via an event ticket sales app for maximum convenience.
Building a calendar of these offer-based events from launch through to the last-minute will give you reasons to continually engage new and returning visitors.
3. Go beyond the ticket
Where increasing ticket sales is the number one priority, it’s not the only way to drive pre-event revenue. Bundling your tickets with other value-add elements can help you secure higher sales before the event as well as create more choice for your potential customer.
Firstly, consider the types of ticket packages you have on offer. Tiered access is a staple of any event – just think about how much concert revenue is made from pre-show meet-and-greets – consider how your event tickets could be packaged with additional perks.
As anyone who runs events knows, concessions are a pivotal revenue-driver – take the opportunity to see how effective bundling can help you cross-sell these long before doors open. Drink tickets (used effectively by We Are FSTVL) or deals on travel and accommodation are some of the most common.
4. Create scarcity
There is no event more desirable than a sold-out one – the harder a ticket seems to get, the more people want it. Just ask anyone in the queue for Hamilton.
In short, if you want to sell more tickets online, you need to make it so it appears that you’re already selling lots of tickets online.
The way to do this is through using social proof – showing your visitors what other visitors are doing in order to encourage them to follow suit. It’s so popular that Viagogo uses it in not one, not two, but three different places on a single event page for BTS:
Proof if any was needed that social proof is a tried-and-tested mechanism for selling tickets. The good news is that you don’t need to be at the scale of a Viagogo in order to implement it – you can use FOMO tools like this.
5. Use referrals
One of the best ways to get more customers is to leverage your existing ones. Referral marketing is basically another form of social proof: according to a Nielsen study, recommendations from friends remain the most credible form of advertisement for consumers.
When it comes to selling more tickets online, there are a number of ways to go about this:
- Provide ticketholders with referral bonuses in the form of additional concessions such as drink tokens or preferential access
- Continually deliver interesting, engaging content for your ticketholders to share across social media (just as long as it’s not an orange tile)
Contests are also a useful way to show social proof. By making your tickets seem elusive and unattainable, you can increase their perceived value and desirability. Like the mini-events, contests are also often shared widely, helping from acquisition perspective as well as a conversion one.
When it comes to online ticketing, you have several options at hand once you’ve mastered the basics. Here’s what you need to remember:
- Personalization doesn’t have to be difficult (particularly when it looks like this) – start small
- Timing is everything – have a plan for keep each week of campaign activity new and differentiated
- Bundling is critical to the cross-sell and it helps give a better impression of choice
- FOMO tactics are much easier to deploy than you might think – and they’re heavily used for a good reason
- The ticket sale is just the beginning – use your new customer to acquire new ones
This is the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible when you can do in order to incrementally increase ticket sales – try some out and see what they can do for your event!