If at first you don’t buy, we should try, try again.
Sometimes I think that Producers and Marketers forget that theater tickets are expensive.
We talk about ticket prices so much, and we talk about discount ticket prices so much, that we just get numb to it. (We also tend to think of ticket prices in terms of 1 ticket at a time – from as low as $99 or $149.50 for an orchestra ticket – forgetting that very few people buy just 1 ticket and most incur service fees.)
So what may seem like an everyday purchase to us, just ain’t that for the modern consumer. We’re not a pack of gum, or a song download, or even that shirt you’ve seen in the window as you walk by J. Crew.
Dropping several hundreds of dollars requires more thought, more research, more checking with friends and loved ones . . . and more time.
That means if you visit a show’s ticket page, or a show’s website, you’re probably not going to make a purchase right away. You’re still in the gathering information phase (this is why I don’t encourage the hard sell on someone’s first visit to a show’s site).
And that also means . . . well, it means that we need to figure out better ways to F.U.
Whenever I’m raising money for a show (as I am now with Spring Awakening, and I’m just about done), I’m reminded of how important it is to F.U. – or “Follow Up.” It’s why I dedicated a whole chapter to how to do it in Raise It.
Any salesperson (especially those for luxury or “non-pack-of-gum” goods) will tell you that the key to making the sale is in the follow up, since most purchasers don’t walk out with the item they’re looking at on the first day. Closing requires a perfectly timed email, a phone call, maybe a direct mail, who knows. But what I do know is that the traditional business world follows up like a mofo, and we should too.
– Our ticket companies should have abandoned cart emails, that send messages to people who select tickets but then don’t click buy. (Ticketmaster does – but not sure about Telecharge – does your ticket company?)
– Could we go beyond that and email anyone that visits a show’s ticketing page but didn’t even click buy? (This would require them to be signed in to the site so we have their email address.)
– Without emails, do we use retargeting but with special messages on the banners that say something like, “Hey – you didn’t buy – here’s another try?”
– I know we don’t get as many phone calls as we used to, but anyone not converting over the phone could get a return call in a few days, or a follow up email.
– Box offices could collect emails from people that walk away to get tossed into a follow up campaign.
And I’m sure you’ve got some ideas, right?
I’d love to hear ’em. And I’m workin’ on a few more myself.
Because we’re leaving thousands and thousands of dollars on the table, all because we’re not able to employ some of the tried-and-true classic sales techniques proven to close sales loops.
I’ve got to go now, because I’ve got to follow up on a few things.
And just remember, if you want to sell anything. F.U.
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