Christmas is coming, and the box office tills are getting fat. But with just a sprinkle of communications magic, you could hear those sales bells ringing more merrily still.
Like it or loathe it, December’s a key time for ticket sales, donations and secondary spend, as audiences actively hunt for gifts, family activities and special treats. Across all UK Spektrix users, both ticket sales and donations rise by around 20%, on average, in the last two months of the year. Now, with fewer than 80 days until the big day, we’ve gathered together a selection of our most popular seasonal blogs and support articles from recent years. There’s still time to think creatively about Black Friday offers to fill those empty panto seats; to pre-sell drinks and merchandise, increasing the income and easing the pressure on Front of House teams during busy events; and to remind people that even as the stockings are being opened, it’s not too late to fire a gift voucher straight into a forgotten uncle’s inbox. Meanwhile, with demand growing for Christmas gifts that offer something more meaningful than a glittery jumper, it’s the perfect time for fundraising teams to promote gift memberships and boost donations around Giving Tuesday.
If you’re a Spektrix user, scroll to the end of the blog for Support Centre links to help you put these ideas into practice.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday
In 2018, Spektrix users across the UK and USA used a variety of offers and messaging to capture customers' interest around Black Friday, providing critical last-minute sales for shows still in need of a boost. Flash sales, BOGOFs and golden tickets helped to pique demand for event tickets even on the busiest day of the shopping year. If you have seats left to fill, think about bundles, discounts or upsells; if you’re already at capacity, try discounted dining, drinks, programmes or merchandise to guarantee income in advance.
Blog: Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategies for arts organisations
If only your audiences would invest their present-buying budget in the performing arts… you can encourage them to do just that by promoting Gift Vouchers as the perfect Christmas gift. In December 2016 Sheffield Theatres sold over £80k of gift vouchers in December alone, promoting them right up until Christmas Eve as a perfect, hassle free gift that can be printed out or delivered direct to the recipient’s inbox on a date of your choosing.
Blog: Seven ideas for a last-minute gift voucher campaign this Christmas
It’s the gift that keeps on giving...encourage your existing members and supporters to welcome their friends and family members into the club, with gift memberships which can be printed or delivered as an email voucher on Christmas morning. Think outside the box, with low-cost part-year memberships or luxury lifelong membership gifts, and use merchandise or invitations to January’s events to create attractive gift bundles and build those new relationships straight away. And if you're worried you'll miss out on Gift Aid, fear not - when a customer purchases a charity membership on behalf of somebody else, the recipient becomes the Gift Aider. Within Spektrix, as soon as the recipeint clicks through to redeem their gift, they'll be asked to Gift Aid it, if they don't have a declaration in your system already.
Blog: Three ways to think outside the box with memberships
Cross-selling can be a powerful tool to encourage additional purchases whilst customers are already on the point of making a payment. In the mayhem of a busy Christmas season, pre-selling programmes, ice creams, drinks or merchandise can help you to manage stock and reduce queues on the night - and a small online discount can motivate bookers to spend in advance. Or, if you know you have audience members who only ever appear for the annual pantomime or carol concert, why not offer them an incentive to book ahead for half term events or Valentine’s Day at the same time?
Blog: Three tips for successful cross-selling into your arts organisation
Spektrix’s brand new Gift Vouchers web component allows you to add flexible Gift Voucher upsells at any point in your website or booking journey. You’ll have complete control of how the web component looks and feels, so you can add different upsells to customers on different parts of your site, or style them to suit the festive season. You’ll need a bit of technical input from you web team, but we’ve designed this web component to be quickly and easily implemented across your site - so it’s not too late to make it live before Christmas.
If you’re using the Gift Vouchers web component, we’d love to know how you get on! Please do drop an email to email@example.com so we can help you along the way and celebrate your success with the wider Spektrix community. Other web components available include donations, merchandise and memberships, so why not get creative with upsells across your site?
Blog: Encouraging online giving with the donations web component
If you’re really pressed for time, then here are our favourite quick wins to take you, and your fundraising teams, right through to the new year:
1. Restyle your print at home tickets for December. Give them a festive twist and remind customers to pre-order mince pies, take advantage of special offers, or add vouchers and gift memberships to their present buying lists.
2. Use Giving Tuesday to boost your Gift Aid return. Rather than asking for more money in a stretched season, just get back in touch with anyone who didn’t Gift Aid original donations to encourage them to do it now. Thanks to CAST for this one!
3. Don’t forget about January! The New Year can be a tricky time for sales…why not thank your most loyal customers, or plan a ‘refer a friend’ offer for your membership scheme, with a £10 voucher redeemable for one month only?
4. Make new members feel special. Create a festive template for Gift Memberships and change it over before you leave the office. Every membership sent on Christmas morning will look a little bit more special, and could include an invitation to your 2020 events
5. Bundle your offers. Encourage audiences to splash out - if they can usually pre-order wine, scale it up to champagne, or package a party bag for kids containing snacks, drinks and a souvenir. We love how Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre present their dining options, even if it’s not quite the weather for a picnic.
6. Team up with local charities. Target your ask and fill seats at the same time by inviting your audience to Donate a Ticket to a child who couldn't otherwise afford to attend. By suggesting a donation of as little as £5 a head, your ask is within reach of many audience members and makes your organisation look super-generous, too.
7. Prepare for Christmas Future. A/B test your email campaigns, pricing, and the purpose or value of donations this winter, and you'll know exactly how to speak your customers' language when you're planning for 2020.
If you're a Spektrix user, log in to the Support Centre to put these ideas into practice: