accesso Webinar Series: Best Practices for Marketing with accesso ShoWare
Most venues have one common goal: to increase revenue. Whether your focus is to attract new visitors, encourage repeat visits or turn single-ticket buyers into season subscribers, your marketing campaigns can play a major role in fulfilling this goal. With limited budgets and time, reaching the right audience at the right time with a perfectly-crafted message can be challenging, and marketers are often reluctant to deviate from “tried and trusted” strategies. Luckily, there are simple ways you can optimize your campaigns using the data and tools within your ticketing system to reach new audiences and drive growth. In a recent webinar, accesso ShoWare Vice President of Client Services Joe Wettstead and Client Services Manager Mikala Thompson shared their best practices and helpful tips for marketing.
Creating more awareness of events and your brand
If you operate in a local market that is saturated with entertainment and activities, you know just how challenging it can be to convert potential customers into audience members. There is more and more competition for fan dollars, which causes an abundance of noise in the advertising ecosystem. If your strategy and content can separate you from this noise, your brand can rise up to the challenge of matching a buyer to every ticket.
Advertising research done by Psychology Today reveals that a consumer's emotional response to an ad has a far greater influence on their reported intent to buy a product than does the ad’s content. Creating an emotional response can sometimes be a bit difficult with just words. Spice things up by adding embedded videos or imagery to accompany your performance and event descriptions. You can even consider things like adding imagery for upcoming events on physical tickets to similar events held at your venue. Doing this also helps cross-promote and entice patrons to spend more during their visit or come back to your venue. The more a message can be tailored, whether it is an email, a blog, or a social media post, the more it can benefit your venue.
According to a recent study conducted by Postcron.com, 90% of consumers and potential consumers are not interested at all in being marketed to. What they care about is what a brand promises, how the brand message makes them feel and how the world around them will react to them consuming a brand. The accesso ShoWare box office ticketing system allows for the creation of tailored messaging. This tailored messaging can be used to solidify a brand's voice, by having the messages look similar to current ads or to include promotions for upcoming events.
Gain insights into buyers and transactions
In order to maximize staff time and budget dollars, it is imperative that venues know where to direct their marketing efforts, and reporting is a crucial part of this. Which returning guests would enjoy certain upcoming events? Where are potential guests looking for new entertainment options? With the accesso ShoWare ticketing platform, you own your data – which isn’t always the case with all event ticketing software programs. The possibilities for how you can use this data in your marketing efforts are endless. Anything that would help you in the future can be asked to your guests. Your venue knows who your buyers are, where they are located, how they heard about the event they attended, how much they spent, etc. The longer data is collected into your system, the more valuable this patron information becomes. Be sure to consider what data you already have on hand before leasing a mailing list or using a third party. Your current customers are most likely to become return customers – if you play your marketing cards right.
For example, if a venue is adding a monster truck show to their event line-up this summer, they could send out an email to every customer they’ve ever had. Of course, this makes the assumption that all of their contemporary dance, classical music, and ice-skating fans are really going to be excited about this engine-revving mud-fest. A better option would be for this venue to reach back into the past 3 years of data in the accesso ShoWare box office system, looking for fans that went to similar high-adrenaline events like arena football games or motocross matches - and definitely the fans who came to see the monster trucks the last time they were in town. Pulling a report from past data to speak to guests who have shown interest in this type of event in the past will result in far higher engagement. Just because you have a diverse, mixed pot of patron data, doesn’t mean you should use all of it, all of the time. Be intentional about your communications with your current patrons and they’ll be more likely to stick around in that coveted email database.
Tips for increasing revenue with marketing
Take the opportunity to sell more at checkout whenever you can! Upselling and cross-selling are cost-effective ways to generate more revenue for your venue while providing valuable experiences for your guests. According to a study by contextsmith.com, "It’s 68% more expensive to acquire $1 from a new customer than it is to upsell current customers." Our accesso ShoWare box office ticketing system has many settings and features that make it easy for venues to cross-promote other events and upsell added fan experiences. These include callout messages in the shopping basket, suggested Items and custom image opportunities. Of course, you can also utilize patron ticket data to convert single performance purchasers to season ticket holders by retargeting single ticket buyers after the performance. Harvest those single purchasers from the list, then send out an exclusive link for these fans to purchase the balance of the package at a reduced rate.
Training your audience to buy early in the sales cycle can save your venue ad dollars and staff time. One of the most impactful techniques used by our clients is dynamic pricing by inventory percentage, which allows you to set automated rules that increase prices as inventory begins to dwindle. Create the expectation of price increases, not decreases, for late or walkup sales. Discounting tickets later in the sales cycle essentially penalizes your early buyers and teaches them to wait as long as possible, which costs the organization more in advertising for low advance sales. In fact, adding a flat amount to walkup sales the day of the event could be enough to push fans toward buying in advance. Also, consider a “fee-free” on-sale day for your events. A strong opening day will create more buzz and opportunity for organic referrals while incenting those who jump on the earliest sales possible.
Secondly, don’t miss the opportunity to increase revenue with location-based qualifiers! As you might remember from our previous deminar video, location-based qualifiers can help with things such as discounted offers. There will be a limited number of seats available at X price – for a limited time only using this exclusive code. Qualifiers also give you the ability to test pricing strategies on a limited number of tickets: you can quickly and easily understand what the market potential is and expand or retract pricing models appropriately. Qualifiers in the accesso ShoWare ticketing system make discounting, special VIP offers and exclusive pricing easier while reducing the risk of overselling at a particular pricing level.
Expand your marketing through distribution
Don't forget that your venue does not have to reach new audiences all on their own. Ticket distribution is the future! Distribution systems help facilitate getting your events in front of a diverse new group of potential patrons, allowing your venue to sell more tickets than ever before. Some of the key benefits to distribution include increasing ticket sales, connecting with new distribution networks, readily available sales data, and the ability to streamline reseller relationships (even ones you may already have!). The most important benefit is the money your venue will save in having a partner handle your distribution. When you connect with new distribution networks, you can leverage their marketing budgets and efforts.
The Ingresso distribution system helps venues and attractions digitize the voucher process and increase revenue effortlessly, connecting visitors, venues and distributors from all across the world with one simple API connection. Two years ago, accesso acquired Ingresso to complement our current suite of ticketing products by introducing an API integration and distribution platform. Ingresso had its start in London West End theatre by writing directly into those ticketing systems and distributing through their own white label through various partners like Ticketmaster.co.uk, Amazon, and Lastminute.com. As the numbers of ticketing systems, suppliers and distributors increased, the opportunity to create a true Global Distribution System (GDS) for tickets became a reality through Ingresso technology.
There are many outlets that can create more revenue for a venue. It is all about knowing how to uncover and utilize those outlets. Taking charge of diverse marketing initiatives can help open up new sales and revenue channels that you never knew were available! From putting more upsell options in front of already loyal patrons, to having your tickets live on big name sites through distribution, marketing is the ticket to reaching new audiences and increasing revenue. Whether you are a theatre, fair or arena, our accesso ShoWare ticketing solution provides a multitude of marketing features to help your venue sell more tickets to more diverse customers!