Leveraging promo codes and discounts is a proven way to increase sales, no matter the industry.

When your show is just around the corner, and you haven’t quite reached the ticket sales goals you had planned, now is not the time to throw in the towel and accept defeat! By offering strategic promo codes, you’ll be able to pad your bottom line and welcome a packed house every night. 

On The Stage (OTS) presents a few savvy strategies as they relate to promo codes, as well as a few ways to market them successfully. 

Promotional Code Strategies 

Be Tactical 

Promo codes should not be thrown around willy-nilly in your organization. In short, you should be smart and strategic about enacting them. The right type of discount can maximize sales, prevent shoppers from abandoning their carts, and entice first-time buyers all at once. 

So, rule No. 1: ensure your promo codes and discounts will help you pack the house and make more money. You don’t want to be operating at a loss for the sake of more people in seats. 

Focus on Increasing Average Order Value

If you find that most of your ticket sales are singular or lower in value, consider promotional codes along the lines of: “buy X, get Y.” Whether that ‘Y’ means an additional ticket, a free T-shirt, or other form of merchandise, you should be incentivizing spending more money at the box office. 

This can also take the form of a minimum purchase discount. This is an offer based on the total value of a shopping cart – which is an effective upselling and cross-selling tactic that encourages customers to spend more. This, in turn, increases your average order value (AOV). 

Keep Codes Exclusive 

At your box office, promo codes should be occasional, exclusive, and within a brief window. Limit the life of a particular discount code by specifying the dates when the code is valid. This will increase urgency, motivating patrons to buy now

Additionally, the key here is to make money – so you’ll need to protect your profit margins by limiting the number of times a code can be used, the minimum spend amount before a code can be used, and who, exactly, can enact the code. The more exclusive, the more likely people will want to jump on the sale! 

Reward First-Timers and Loyal Patrons

With both of these promo code strategies, you’re reaching the same goal: building patron loyalty

For first-time patrons, you want to make your theatre approachable, affordable, and memorable to keep them coming back for more. Providing a discount code is an excellent nudge and incentive to jump in. On the flip side, you should always make it a priority to reward customer loyalty. When long-time patrons feel seen and appreciated, they’ll be even more likely to buy in the future … at larger amounts, too! 

Ways to Market Promo Codes and Ticket Sales

Promo codes work best when they’re tied to an occasion or call to action. A few ways to market promo code sales before a big show include:

Holiday/Seasonal Deals 

People are already in a ‘buying’ mood around holidays, so why not leverage that cheer? Whether it’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, or anything in between, you’ll likely see a sales spike if you enact promo codes in tandem with a holiday. 

In short, special holiday offers are well-timed to increase sales when shoppers are the most eager to do so. 

Abandoned Cart Promos 

We’ve all been there… you’re shopping, head to check out, and get sticker shock. Or maybe you just get distracted. This, in turn, causes you to abandon your cart. But what if your cart suddenly became more affordable, with no work from you? 

A magical scenario, to be sure, but one that you can make a reality with abandoned cart promo codes. These offers can be a powerful tactic to bring people back to your box office and recover lost sales.

Rewards for Subscribing 

We’ve said it once, we’ll see it a hundred times: Building a detailed patron email list is paramount to the success of your theatre. By providing a discount or promo code in exchange for a patron’s email address, you increase the chance of a sales conversion. 

By getting more email subscribers, you have more opportunities to foster customer loyalty and build more relationships within your community

Perks for Following/Sharing

Along the same lines, having a strong social media presence is another great way to help your theatre succeed. Giving patrons and followers an incentive to share your theatre/poster/most recent show with their networks can be an effective way to create word-of-mouth referrals and sell more tickets.

So, enact a promo code specifically for social media followers or those who share your posts. You’ll get more ticket sales and more social media clout in no time. 


We’re all more likely to visit a theatre if those in our social circles recommend it. You can use this concept to your advantage by leveraging offers to encourage referrals. You can also give the deal to the person referring, the person being referred, or both.

Flash Sales

As we’ve said, creating exclusivity and urgency are key components to a sale really working. Announcing a super-quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sale is a great way to incentive ticket sales as quickly as possible. This is an excellent strategy for anyone, but especially those whose shows are coming up fast

On The Stage’s Promotional Codes and Box Office

Now you may be wondering… this sounds great and all, but my box office isn’t sophisticated enough to handle online sales, let alone promotional discounts. 

That’s where On The Stage (OTS) can help. With OTS’ Box Office Management tools, you’ll be able to empower your front-of-house and box office team members with an all-in-one solution.

After all, establishing box office best practices is essential for your organization’s success. With the OTS platform, you’ll be able to: 

  • Simplify ticket sales with flexible ticket types, promo codes, subscriptions/flex passes, printed and/or digital tickets, and more
  • Utilize multiple options to pay online with a credit card and in person with cash, check, or credit car
  • Elevate your patron experience with accurate and customizable seating charts, ticket scanning, mobile-friendly e-tickets, and expedited entry times
  • Streamline your processes by managing all your box office needs in one consolidated portal

So, what are you waiting for? Partner with OTS and get your promo codes rolling! To get started, book a personalized demo today.

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