I really like Jeff’s idea about “concert cash.” In my experience, people respond to concrete and significant discounts. Concrete in that they are easy to understand ($30 is easier to understand than 30% off, which must be mentally calculated). Significant in that a discount must convey deep savings or use strong language. (Most people don’t flinch until you offer at least 40% off or use strong language like “Buy One, Get One Half Off,” which sounds more significant than the 25% off it actually offers).
The “Concert Cash” offer is both. It uses strong language, is clear and is concrete. By setting a minimum, you force people to think about multiple events they may want to attend, and *any* activity that generates multiple single buyers is worth it.
We have to be really careful during these tough times to not de-value the concert experience through extreme discounting. I’ve also seen the $20 and $25 offers floating around, and Chris is right to point out that the volume needed to generate income is steep. At the VSO, we tried a $15 radio-only promotion (with in-kind spots), and the end result after the day-long sale was the sale of 44 tickets. We also tried a fixed percentage off web-only promotion during the same period, and sold over 90 tickets. Both were at no expense to us, but the web promotion did much better. It’s important to know which channels work the best for your promotions. Segment your audience, so people don’t become trained to wait, and try to know when to hold back. Sometimes, *not* offering a promotion is the best strategy.
We also use the message “Tickets Start at Only $10″ for our classics events. It works well and gets people on the phones. Upselling to the next price level when the section sells out is successful approximately 50% of the time, I’d say.