When you choose to invest in ticketing software, be sure to pick a program that works for you in more ways than one. There are many important uses for your box office’s technology, beyond the literal sale of your show’s tickets. Can you store donor information in ticket-buyer’s profiles? Can you identify your guests’ purchasing patterns? What can you do with this information? Before you commit to a new program, make sure you know what you need that software to do for your company (and if you need any ideas, we have 10 blog posts about the best ticketing systems).
Once you’ve gone through the process of selling a few seasons’ worth of tickets, you’ll start to notice patterns in your guests’ purchasing habits. The right ticketing software can pull up a patron’s purchase history easily, giving you the opportunity to examine details. Do certain kinds of shows bring in families? What seems to grab the attention of young adults? Are musicals more popular for group sales? Other things to consider might be: are guests returning to your theatre and if so why and when? Is there a seasonal change (do you get tourists in the summer and members in the winter)? How often are people returning to your theatre with new friends? Studying the purchasing practices of your guests is a great way to tailor your marketing and find out where there’s room for your community reach to improve.
Third-Party Sales and Promotion codes
Lots of theatres list portions of their inventory on third-party ticket-sale websites. You’ve probably heard of them: Goldstar, Hot Tix, Today Tix, etc. Using these sites to sell your tickets at a discounted price can be a great way to pad undersold audiences or spread the word about a new show. However, you want to be wary of these sites dominating your ticket sales. If you’re constantly releasing more inventory and selling out on Goldstar, but no one is purchasing full price, consider why that might be. Are your prices too high? Are there enough tools in place to guide buyers to you directly, rather than surfing the web and finding your show on another site? The same thing goes for promotion codes. Promotion codes (special codes entered at check-out that result in a lower price) are great for marketing, but they can be tricky to manage. You may not want all of your promotion codes printed across your website. Only send those codes to specific audience members, so you don’t risk people abusing the marketing strategy. Be strategic when you use one of these practices – don’t give away your hard work at a discounted price!
Donations, or contributed income, are essential to the survival of a non-profit theatre company. Ticketing software can be a great way to track existing donors or reach out to potential donors. Consider what kind of theatre seems to inspire people to give to your organization – do your donors all share an affiliation with a certain show? If you want to get a detailed look, see how many of your donors attended the same shows and check the date of their donations – did they give money on the same night they saw an especially moving play? Are they writing checks after the debut of a children’s show? How can you produce theatre that captivates your community and inspires generosity to help keep your doors open?
The bottom line here is – ask questions before you commit to a ticketing software program! Make sure your system will work as hard for you as needed. Get the most out of your investment and use your software as a tool to continue increasing ticket sales and contact with donors, patrons, and the general community.