Subscription schemes are used by major American institutions to sell theatre tickets in bulk. These schemes often act as a starting point for increasing customer loyalty – by encouraging customers to attend more frequently, it is hoped that they will eventually become a friend or a donor. Consultant Debbie Richards explains the benefits of this approach and how ticket bundles have boosted sales at Bolton Octagon, one leading regional venue.
Subscription or season ticket schemes aim to maximise sales by increasing frequency of attendance. Subscription schemes also enable an organisation to programme more esoteric work. If customers are signing up to a full package of plays or concerts, you can include a more difficult work, which they might not otherwise have attended, because it is part of their package.
On top of this, marketing cost-effectiveness is increased. It is often said that gaining a new customer is five times more expensive than keeping an existing one. So, if you can sell an existing customer tickets to ten performances, it is 50 times more cost-effective than selling the same number of tickets to new customers.