CuCo are the proudly appointed creative branding agency for a multitude of Arts Centres and Organisations across the South West, and we are therefore very aware of the challenges that are faced when it comes to converting the general public into audiences/members.
As marketeers and business owners we spend a great deal of our time focusing on the reasons why people do buy from us, but rarely consider why people don’t buy from us. There are actually a whole host of reasons why the frequency/volume of tickets purchased for your organisation could be falling, and understanding your buyer (and the reasons why they don’t buy!) is essential to delivering creative, captivating communications, and ultimately converting the general public.
Here are a few reasons your ticket purchase figures could be falling, and what to do about it:
#1 You’re promoting features, not benefits
You are probably familiar with the phrase “features tell, benefits sell.” Your audience isn’t interested in buying what you’re selling, they are interested in buying what it can do for them.
In order to increase the number of tickets you sell or memberships you take on, it’s really important that you offer your audience a brand promise. A really effective brand promise will allow you to clearly define the benefits of purchasing from you, in a short, compelling, benefits-driven manner, which is one of them most powerful ways to get your arts centre/organisation noticed and set apart from your competitors.
In order to create your benefits-driven message you need to put your audiences first, think about what it is they want to gain from attending your performances/classes, and then share a message based around that. Once you get this right, it’s an absolute game-changer! Your benefits should be clearly stated within your ‘about us’ page as well as promoted across your social profiles! Once you know what it is people want from you as an organisation, selling tickets becomes significantly earlier!
#2 You’re giving up too soon
When it comes to sales, persistence is key!
Here are some statistics which might shock you:
Did you know that only 2% (TWO percent!) of sales come after the first touchpoint? If you don’t make a sale the first time a customer considers buying tickets from you, and you give up on them and start over with someone else, you’re missing a HUGE opportunity!
If that didn’t shock you enough, only 20% of leads are followed up on! So what is happening to the other 80% of your prospective audience? It’s really important that you get into the business of courting your prospects. People buy from organisations that they know, like and trust. Earning this trust takes time, so you must be patient!
But how patient you might ask?
Multiple studies by different market research companies have shown that you must ‘touch’ a prospect a minimum of 5 times before you are likely to make a sale. Research shows that 44% of organisations give up after the first objection, another 22% give up after two objection’s, 14% after three objections, and a further 12% stop trying after hearing “no” four times. This means that a hefty 92% of organisations stop pursuing a sale after four “no’s.”
Want to know what the remaining 8% do? Well, it’s more about what they don’t do. They don’t give up, which rewards them with 80% of the sales!
#3 You lack social proof
Social proof. We’re all guilty of it, sometimes without even realising it. When we see or hear that a lot of people are doing something, we subconsciously start to believe that we should be doing it too.
One of the most effective types of social proof that your organisation should be taking advantage of is testimonials.
Securing testimonials should play a critical part in your marketing strategy. Whilst you can toot your own horn all day everyday, it won’t get you very far!
We recommend that you get into the habit of asking for testimonials from your audience or members as soon as they express their gratitude. No matter how simple or casual a comment may be at first, as soon as you acknowledge kind remarks, ask them right then and there if they will put it into writing. Whilst posting testimonials on your website is a fantastic use of social proof, it’s even more powerful to get testimonials off of your site. This way, people can be assured that you haven’t edited them, or chosen not to post them!
Google for example makes it really simple for people to post reviews about you, and this is one of the first things people will come across when they search for you. We really cannot recommend asking your audience for feedback enough, it really will make a HUGE difference on your ability to sell tickets!
Below is an example of the impressive Google reviews left for our fantastic client Bridport Arts Centre:
#4 You’re not giving them a sense of urgency
Last but not least, you need you need to be sure that every offer you put out there has a sense of urgency to it! Your prospective audience needs a reason to click the “Buy it now” button. We don’t want to risk the danger of any abandoned carts!
In order to introduce a sense of urgency into your offer, try to be specific with your deadlines. Tell your prospective audience that tickets are only on sale until a certain date, and enforce it. Scarcity creates sales. Advertising that there are limited seats available will also encourage sales, as people won’t want to miss their preferred showing time/ seat.