Why selling tickets may not be what you want to push first on your website.

Simple web marketing will tell you to make your “Buy Now” button big and easy to find so a consumer feels drawn to clicking it and making that purchase.

The right button should be a magnet for the eye . . . and the mouse.

But here’s the problem. Buying tickets for a Broadway show is a high priced purchase. We’re talking several hundred dollars for the average order, I’m sure.

And I’m just not convinced that the visitor who checks out the site is going to be converted to a sale on one visit.  No, no.  They are going to want to find out what the show is about, see who’s in it, etc.  Then they’re going to close their computer, pitch the show to their husbands, talk to their friends about it, look it up on DidHeLikeIt.com (shameless plug), and then, then, maybe come back and get a ticket.

So by pushing our first time or casual visitor towards BUY BUY BUY we might be losing a chance of getting the potential buyer further on the hook.

Perhaps we should be pushing them to gather more info on the show that we know will get them much closer to buying a ticket.

Maybe there’s a video we want them to see.

Maybe we want to get their email.

Maybe if they click on who’s in the cast they’ll be a little more convinced.

Sometimes selling too hard can scare your customer away from learning more.

So let me refine that opening statement . . .

Simple web marketing will tell you to first figure out what you want your customer to do when visiting your site.  And then make that action the biggest and easiest to find so a consumer feels drawn to clicking.

(Oh, and if you can’t figure out what that one thing that you want your customer to do is, always go with getting that email address.  Because once you’ve got that, you can tell them to BUY NOW several times over.)


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  • Tom Hartman says:

    Ken, you bring up a very good point, As a Chicagoan, I’ve looked at Broadway show sites and been struck by the rapacious air…worse I ran across one that had a pop up for ticket purchases that preceded viewing the home page. I’ve always chalked this up to the New York hustle attitude. People in the Midwest and other areas of the country aren’t as used to the hard sell most show sites convey and, it is something of a turnoff.

    • Tom Hartman says:

      Of course, the majority of local show sites outside of NYC aren’t as interested or needful of individual ticket sales. Here in Chicago the rapaciousness comes out about this time of year. I got three season ticket brochures in the mail today and a couple yesterday and I haven’t bought season tickets to any theater since I’ve been single the past 12 years.

  • You’re so right. When people find a web page for a show what they want more than anything else is the “flavor” or the “aroma” – they want to see confirmation of why it’s a good idea…and then more reasons why the experience will be great…unmissable…intriguing…spectacular….
    The website therefore has to GIVE visitors something – entertainment, a backstage view, gossip, a personal message from one of the stars, back story to the show, clips, drawings from the designer, links to educational materials – all in all the sense that this is a rich, deep, meaningful world to which anyone would want to gain entry.
    I’d advocate having a panel/button for booking tickets of course, but how about also a message showing which shows are sold out or where there are fewer than, say, 10% of tickets available (a number may be better than a %, depending on the size of the theater) – or a simple ‘click here to check availability’. With good tracking, you can even make an offer x pages into a visit, for a stay longer than a certain time or, perhaps best, on a return visit.

  • Greg says:

    Can be very true. It’s all about the question: ‘What various points of the purchasing process are people at when they Google and find the website of my show?”

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