Can a single-ticket buyer be converted into a member or donor simply through effective communication? The answer is a resounding yes, but you may have a difficult time doing so if you don’t have all the information you need. In order to cultivate a loyal patron, you need a clear understanding of their history with your organization- this can include past events attended, types of tickets or packages purchased, and discounts or promotions they may have used. Even the most basic pieces of info can be crucial, especially when you’re trying to build a long lasting relationship with your visitors.
Certain bits of info such as the patron’s full name and even street address can be necessary for processing payments, but your data collection should go a step further. Make a point to ask for your patron’s name and address as well as their email address, phone number, how they heard about your organization, and even their preferred method of contact. Tix features a built in system for gathering this type of data during phone and box office sales, but sometimes it can be difficult to obtain this information in person, especially if you don’t ask. In fact, many organizations operate under the assumption that most patrons will say “no” when prompted for their personal details (and we all know what they say about those who assume).
Take a risk- try to gather as much info as you can about each visitor! If they refuse, make sure to thank them for their patronage and encourage them to continue a relationship with your organization. Even something as simple as “we hope you’ll come back again” or “we look forward to seeing you at our next production” can convert a single-ticket buyer into a repeat attendee. Just remember, the scent of desperation can be pungent. Instead of trying to convert first time single-ticket buyers into subscribers or donors, encourage them to attend another single performance. The more interaction the patron has with your organization, the better chance you stand of retaining them as a member or donor in the future.
Why is this type of data collection so important? In the era of multi-channel marketing, it’s crucial to have multiple points of contact for each of your patrons. It isn’t necessarily about the pure volume of data collection, but rather what you can do with it. Having the ability to contact particular demographics or types of patrons through physical mail, email, online re-targeting, and telemarketing allows you to refine your marketing and outreach strategies. It also helps you keep in contact with a patron when they change their information.
The best part about data collection is that it doesn’t have to feel forced and can even help refine your ticket purchasing process. For example, you can encourage your patrons to order online rather than in person through various incentives (raffles, discounts, whatever fits your organization). Our system gives you the option of requiring your patrons to fill out multiple information fields and surveys in order to purchase their tickets, which is a win-win. Your customers won’t be bothered when prompted for information during an online purchase because it’s built into ticket buying process, and your organization gets to gather all the information it needs!
Keeping in touch with your customer base is crucial to the longevity of your organization. Many wonder why their marketing strategies tend to be ineffective or why many of their attendees never return. Sometimes it truly can be as simple as lack of relevant information. After all, why spend time and effort on an outreach strategy if it won’t reach enough of your target audience to make a palpable difference? See what creative ways your organization can gather info on your patrons and remember- once you have their info, use it!