“It’s stasis that kills you off in the end, not ambition,” Bono said. The U2 frontman wasn’t talking about event promotion, but his words are applicable in light of a trend we’ve noticed.
Ticket sales follow a predictable arc. If you’re a promoter, you know it well.
During the on-sale and close-out periods, sales are massive. In-between then? Not so much. This period after announcement and before the show is known as the “maintenance period” — and that’s when purchasing skids to a halt.
There’s not even stasis. It’s less than stasis.
Not pretty — but it’s probably not news to you, either. Most promoters rely on a couple practices to mitigate the ugliness:
- Devoting their entire marketing budget to on-sale and close-out periods to maximize sales, and;
- Favoring organic promotion during the maintenance period to raise awareness and preserve budget.
There’s good rationale in these tactics (i.e., spend budget when fans buy, don’t spend when fans don’t), and they come with an unexpected perk: the Maintenance Period lets promoters regroup: send email blasts, promote press and media about the event, and run organic social posts.
At ToneDen we’ve thought of the maintenance period problem as one endemic to the ticket cycle, and we’ve helped event marketers tackle it with the foot on the gas. We split-test audiences, optimize budgets, A/B-test creatives to ensure on-sale and close-out campaigns sell as many tickets as possible.
Recently, there’s been a significant change in how your fans behave during the maintenance period. Press, boosted Facebook posts, and even email are less effective than they once were. Fans aren’t reading. They’re not even Liking.
Wisely, promoters are searching for a new and novel channel of communication to help counteract the maintenance period dry spell.
We’ve discovered one surefire solution: Facebook Messenger.
Facebook Messenger is free. It’s built into a platform essential to promoters’ current marketing strategies. Plus, Messenger’s open and click-through rates radically outperform email.
But as great as Messenger is, we didn’t want promoters to have to alter their existing workflow just to use it. We wanted growing their Messenger list to be seamless, invisibly stitched to their current Facebook marketing strategy.
Introducing the Event Announce Playbook
The event announce period in the event marketing lifecycle is an amazing time to generate excitement for your event.
Our Event Announce Playbook is a perfect strategy to turn your event announces into real revenue. This strategy lets you snowball all of that hype and excitement right through the maintenance period and into actual ticket sales when tickets go on sale.
Here’s how the strategy works:
1. Announce your event event, with a promoted Facebook post that fans can comment on.
2. After fans comment, they automatically receive initial reply from your page asking if they would like to receive link to on-sale.
3. When the on-sale goes live, the fan automatically gets a message with a link to buy tickets.
Not a major departure from event promoters’ current strategies, but the longterm benefits of incorporating Messenger are huge: If a fan isn’t ready to buy when that on-sale message arrives, Messenger lets the promoter reach out during slow periods — like the dreaded Maintenance Period — in a casual, conversational way to share updates about the show (i.e., supporting acts that’ve been announced, set times, meet & greet opportunities, etc.).
In just a few campaigns, Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas have built a Messenger list that stands to top 10,000+ users. More importantly, they’ve been able to turn those exciting event announcement campaigns into thousands of dollars worth of ticket sales using this playbook.