The Fastest Path to Devaluing Your Tickets

Photo credit: “Full theater,” © 2009 Wikimania2009, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

Want a sold-out crowd? This isn’t the way to go. Photo credit: “Full theater,” © 2009 Wikimania2009, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

It’s simple, really. Build a good email list for your venue/show/organization and send them discounts to your own show.

If you want to Turbo-devalue your tickets, always follow the same or a similar cadence in how you do this. I know of a major organization (that I’m not even going to name or say the genre but trust me when I say that everyone who will ever possibly read this is familiar with them) that at one point had a regular “best practice” of doing this:

  1. Send an email to announce an event is on sale. (See. I’m not even telling you what kind of ‘event’ this is.)
  2. Wait a certain amount of time to see how sales go.
  3. If sales are below a certain threshold, send a 25% discount offer to the same email list.
  4. Wait a certain amount of time again to see what happens at that price point.
  5. If sales are below a certain threshold, send a 50% discount offer to the mailing list.

I’m not sure if there was a “best practice” that followed those steps. Maybe “dance like a funky chicken to distract everyone from our disastrous event.” I couldn’t say.

Here’s the thing: the people on your painstakingly built and maintained house list should be the ones willing to pay the most for your tickets. If you’re not clear on that, review this.

When you price promote to your house list, it’s not a discount.

It’s the new price.

Because of all the people who are making judgments about your “discount” price and comparing what it means about the “value” of your show, it’s the people who care the most, like you the most, buy from you the most.

The millions of people who could or might one day buy from you don’t evaluate the value of your ticket based on the discount because they never think about that. They never think about you at all, which is the real issue.

So why discount to a house list? Only if it’s the only option left to you besides financial failure.

And if you happen to be a spy secretly working in marketing for your rival organization, skip channel partnerships (like Goldstar, your local newspaper website, affiliates, etc.) and just “e-blast” those “names” ’til the cows come home with discounts. For good measure, always do it on a predictable timetable.

You’ll be a hero to your real organization in no time.

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