One of the most common goals for theatremakers around the world is to have as many ticket sales as possible for each production. And in a fast-paced, highly competitive digital media landscape where you need to stand out to get noticed, promotional and discount codes can be a game-changer for your sales.

This marketing strategy is simple yet effective, and one you should have in your toolbelt from day one. It may seem counterintuitive to think enacting discounts will help make you money, but how often do you find yourself more amenable to buying something if you know it’s on sale? On The Stage (OTS) presents a few benefits of promo codes, plus some best practices and ways to enact them.

Benefits of Promo Codes for Ticket Sales

They capture attention

Nothing is more exciting to a consumer than a great sale. (That one’s hard to deny, right?) No matter the discount amount, promo codes are bound to get you more attention from patrons … and future patrons. 

They drive ticket sales

Like we said, it may seem nonsensical, but statistics say that events that use promo codes get twice the views and increase sell-through rates by up to 15%. Bottom line: discounts increase sales.  

They foster patron loyalty

Your patrons want to feel appreciated and rewarded for their loyalty to your theatre, which is where promo codes can contribute to some excellent patron outreach. By offering discounts to your already loyal patrons, you’ll cement those relationships and make others realize that brand loyalty gets rewarded. 

Promo Code Best Practices 

So now that we know promo codes are excellent for business, let’s explore a few best practices before you start this marketing journey. 

Establish your goals early

You’ll need a bar to measure success, so remember to set goals in advance surrounding how you’d like your promo codes to help your theatre. How many registrations or ticket sales do you want to gain from discount codes? Start the conversation with this question and move forward from there.

Market codes around holidays

Whether it’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday, or another holiday you’d like to capitalize on, people are typically more open to spending money if they feel others are, too. So, market your sales around other events when people are already in the spirit to buy. 

Create redemption limits

Promo codes are an excellent way to make money, but if people want to find a loophole in your discount, they will. Creating solutions like redemption limits can help patrons who genuinely want to see your show get the best tickets at the best possible price.

Create urgency 

A great way to ensure you are maximizing the performances of your promo codes is through enacting short durations of availability. Everyone knows the stressful feeling of seeing the pop-up in your cart: “Your items are going fast!” This urges shoppers to check out ASAP. The same idea can be used as it relates to tickets – create a sense of urgency through a small discount duration window, and more people will buy now

Make registration seamless

Make sure your show and ticketing websites are up-to-date, optimized for mobile, and have a streamlined back end. Registration and input of promo codes should only take a few seconds. The more hoops you make ticket buyers go through, the less likely you’ll be able to retain attention. 

Track success

Along with the first best practice mentioned – making goals early – you also need to be diligent about tracking the success of your promo codes. Data, no matter how minimal, goes a long way in tracking the ROI of any given marketing strategy. So make sure you have the right tools to track your success

Ways to Use Promo Codes

No matter how you do it, promo codes are an exciting marketing strategy for any industry. A few ideas to enact successful promo codes include:

Early bird discounts

Early bird promo codes are the perfect way to incentivize and reward being on top of things. Consider offering a discount to the first fifty people who purchase tickets, or creating a code that will only work on the first day tickets become available. This again creates a sense of urgency – while making sure your ticket sales start off with a bang.

Bulk discounts

Encourage your patrons to buy a larger amount of tickets at one time with a bulk discount. Not only will this (obviously) increase your sales, but will likely encourage your patrons to share your theatre and work with others. The people they bring to your show (with that bulk discount) may become loyal patrons themselves. 

Flash ticket sales 

It’s no secret – lulls in sales happen to even the biggest brands. Use flash sale promo codes to boost sales during a slow period; this will bring back your momentum in no time and keep your theatre and brand top of mind. 

Discount less popular times 

Much like flash sales bring back momentum, discounting your slower show times – like a matinee or a weekday – will bring more people to your show. Those who were on the fence about attending your production will likely be swayed by seeing that they’re saving money. 

Make it exclusive 

Everyone wants to feel important, which is why promo codes can jumpstart a VIP experience. Market promo codes only to “VIPs” or influencers, making them feel special. Once the code is used, they can also be directed to other upsells like exclusive merch packages or other deals. 

P.S. In addition to your area’s influencers, make sure you’re also offering VIP experiences to your loyal patrons

On The Stage Ticketing

Now that you understand the effectiveness of a well-designed promo code marketing strategy, OTS can help you take true control of your ticket sales.

It’s no secret that growing your ticket sales will take time and hard work, but with OTS, the ticket sales experience is truly optimized. From theatre productions, concerts, and dance recitals to galas, sporting events, camps, classes, and conferences, give your patrons a world-class experience starting with their first interaction – finding and purchasing tickets.

We offer a suite of marketing and promotional tools for both digital and print that help generate awareness of your organization and spread the word about your upcoming shows. OTS makes increasing your ticket sales simple with built-in best practices and turnkey technology.

OTS’ ticketing suite offers:

  • Online and in-person sales
  • Fully digital ticketing with options for print
  • Comp tickets
  • Flexible, customizable, and dynamic promo codes
  • Tiered pricing
  • Subscriptions and flex passes
  • Add-ons and cart upsells
  • Gated pre-sale events
  • Secure payment processing
  • And more

So the answer is simple: team up with OTS to get the most out of your ticketing experience – promo codes and all. If you’re ready to elevate your theatre experience, book a personalized demo today.

Related products and solutions