5 Must-Dos As Your Season Starts

Leaves falling from the trees can only mean one thing – new and returning patrons are experiencing a fresh season full of programming and giving opportunities. In our second edition dcm_dial_log, DCM’s Vice President of Client Services, Carolyn Conover, joins the conversation. Carolyn shares with us some insights into capturing the contact information for all patrons that enter into your world and to increase results.

Carolyn Conover

1. You don't get what you don't ask for!

Make sure you get the name and contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses, for all attendees. To do this, train and prepare the box office staff to ASK for the contact information for every attendee -- not just the buyer. It is perfectly appropriate to ASK purchasers for the names and contact information for all the people attending in their party. If you are offering a discount or deal, make supplying complete information a requirement to take advantage. This includes your group sales buyers. Is your box office staff too rushed right before a performance? Position a few staff members in the lobby with clipboards, pens and a special offer, "Fill out this info while you’re on line and we’ll give you $10 off of each ticket you are about to buy!"

2. Use the “Afterglow”

The best time to fundraise and upsell is immediately after a patron has seen a performance. Make sure your systems are in place to capture all single ticket buyers and attendees so that they can be mailed and phoned within a week of seeing the performance. If your telemarketing campaign is still running, have a special script prepared that asks the buyers about their experience and makes an offer to buy a peel back or CYO to remaining performances of the season. If you have a telefundraising campaign running, this is a great time to make an ask for support. DCM regularly sees a 6-12% response rate when soliciting new single ticket buyers immediately after a performance. In lieu of telemarketing/telefundraising, sending email blasts and/or direct mail can be used to lesser effect.

3. Create more buying opportunities with Table Sales

Set up a table in the lobby to attract single ticket buyers and guests for subscription sales, to get on mailing lists and to learn more about your organization. The more full-service the table can be the better. Automate the table and make it as easy as possible for the patron to purchase right then and there.

4. Get to know your Groupon users and comp redeemers

If you use Groupon or comp tickets, make sure you explore all ways to get the most complete contact information from attendees. If you don't have the contact information when you distribute the information, find ways to identify these buyers at your performance by having special notation on their tickets which can be flagged when they enter or by offering them (at the point of ticket distribution) a free drink coupon that they redeem by providing their contact details.

5. Public display of affection are encouraged!

Make sure everyone who attends the performance knows the value of subscribers by publicly acknowledging them. Put something special on subscriber seats like an insider article on the performance, a small tent sign that states "Reserved for a Subscriber" or even a flower. If there is a speaker before or after the performance, make sure that there is a “shout out” to all the subscribers. Re-record the message asking patrons to turn off cell phones and make sure that you add, "We'd like to offer a special welcome to all of our season subscribers tonight..." The more visible and acknowledged the subscribers are during the performance, the more a single -ticket purchaser will want to become one.

To learn more about DCM and our services please visit www.dcmtm.com or contact DCM’s Vice President of New Business and Marketing, Eric Nelson, at enelson@dcmtm.com or 718-488-5577 x5017.