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What really drives audiences to buy tickets: your purchase page or someone else’s site?

03.05.10 | 4 Comments


CATEGORIES audiences, marketing

David Loehr caught a little tweet of mine today and @’d me asking if I’d join 2amtheatre and write a 140+ character post about my observation. Note how quickly that communication turned into an action. Here is my inaugural post:

This morning I was putting together a training guide for the patron service representatives who work at the TKTS booth in Times Square. They are a rad bunch who need to know almost everything about every show running on Broadway (and off…). (Think of them as ambassadors for NYC theatre.) While making this guide I cross-reference multiple websites to make sure the team has all the accurate information they need.

While researching the upcoming Broadway play Red (which I have heard little about), I started my search at Playbill.com and was less than impressed with the show description on the site. Then I crossed-referenced the information at Telecharge.com, the site from which one would purchase tickets to the show. The Telecharge show blurb was enormously more exciting and helpful, which led to this question (and double Tweet):

“Show info on Telecharge is much more useful than show blurbs on Playbill. More useful, info site or point of purchase sites? #opinionFriday”

“Playbill blurb on Red is totes boring but the info on Telecharge made me want to buy a ticket right away. Do ppl browse Telecharge? #doubtit”

I’d be curious to know the actual stats, but I would bet more people go to Playbill.com to seek general show information than going to Telecharge.com to browse show info. (A large reason for my assumption is that Telecharge is very difficult to browse… more on that later.)

So – which is more important: making sure all show info and listing sites have enough pizzazz to drive people to the site from which they actually buy tickets, or spending the time on the ticket purchase page to tip the customer into buying?

Today I’d like to argue that the sites that drive people to your purchasing page might just be more important than the purchase page itself. Yes, of course, ideally we want everything to be the best and most awesome ever, but what do you think?

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  • TrishaMead

    Oh! Such a good point… and of course the challenge is that you often don't have that much influence over what gets said at those feeder sites and it can be easy to forget to check up on them.

    But I totally agree that they will get more and more important as more ticket sales happen through google searches rather than print media endorsements. What's a concientious copywriter to do?

  • Related to this is the question of what matters more: how a company describes its work, or how anyone not copying the press release (a critic, a Yelper) describes the work.

    A PR person once told me that advertising is telling people that you're good in bed, and PR is other people saying that you're good in bed.

    The info sites — whether it's Telecharge or a newspaper listing — put the work up against other events running in town on the same night, and also act as a third party. Both of these are an extra incentive for them to sell the show without it sounding like you selling the show.

  • Certainly another tangent, but I’ve always been impressed (ie: quite pleased with myself) how my director’s notes can affect the way a reviewer either a) sees a show or b) writes about the show (possibly needing help in finding their angle?). 

    I’m always happy to oblige 😉

  • Certainly another tangent, but I’ve always been impressed (ie: quite pleased with myself) how my director’s notes can affect the way a reviewer either a) sees a show or b) writes about the show (possibly needing help in finding their angle?). 

    I’m always happy to oblige 😉


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