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Grow arts and culture revenue

Ask Me Anything: Second Visit Discount

Ask Me Anything Question

"Is offering new patrons a discount for their second visit the right strategy?"

Steven Roth’s Answer

In a previous AMA we discussed how you can expect a significant number of first-time attendees to never return. Their retention rates are typically very low. But if you want to grow as an organization, it is critical to ensure an increasing number of first-timers become multi-buyers and eventually loyal patrons.

Unfortunately, there isn't a yes or no answer to this question, but rather a case-by-case basis depending on how they behaved during that first visit.

You might want to offer a discount if:

  • They attended via a third-party deal site or app (Goldstar, TodayTix, Living Social, etc).
  • They bought through you, but used a discount offer or bought very close to the performance date.
  • They attended a popular performance, and you'd like them to try something more risky their second time around.
  • It's been a long time since their first visit and you want to reactivate the engagement.

However, you might not want to offer a discount when you ask them to return if:

  • They paid premium ticket prices.
  • You have something incredibly similar to what they saw coming up soon.
  • They bought a full price ticket several weeks before the performance.

Our advice is to think through what their first visit was like, and if the need for a discount is what will seal the deal to ensuring attending for a second time.

Do you have a question for the team at JCA Arts Marketing? Submit it here. It could be featured in an upcoming Ask Me Anything post.

JCA Arts Marketing collaborates with cultural organizations to increase revenue, boost attendance and membership, and grow patron loyalty. We provide consulting and software services to hundreds of cultural institutions across multiple genres, including dance, museums, opera, performing arts centers, symphony, and theatre. We can help you achieve your marketing goals.

Steven Roth
Steven Roth, President, JCA Arts Marketing

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