Ideas for how to compel people to buy tickets or donate...


Commentary: Get them to pre-commit

Katya Andresen,, 10/13/11

If you get people to do something small to confirm their intention to do something, they are far more likely to take action later. A "pre-commit" is a powerful thing! I recently covered a study that showed just asking people about their intentions to do something increases the probability they will take action later. Now there's another study showing a variation on that theme -- an approach that combines pre-commitment with social proof. In the National Health Service in the UK, there's a bad problem with people not showing up for their appointments. To call attention to the problem and try to change people's behavior, many offices had signs showing the rate at which people miss appointments. This is a terrible idea, by the way, because it creates the social norm that people don't show up. The folks at Influence at Work sponsored a study that took a different approach. They got rid of those signs and highlighted the people who showed up. The changed sign read that 95% of patients turn up for their appointments or call if they have to cancel. This strategy (using social proof correctly) combined with another approach produced a 31.4% reduction in no-shows.  So what were the other actions? When people made their appointments, they were asked to either repeat or write down their appointment times. When making the patient's next appointment in person, instead of filling out the small white appointment card for them, [nurses] asked the patient to fill out this card themselves. So how does this apply to you? If you're trying to get people to take action (give, volunteer, attend a concert, etc.), first ask them to pledge to do it -- and emphasize how many other people do it. It's a nifty -- and effective -- approach.


Commentary: Keep what you're selling a secret to the last possible moment

Lucy Farmer, The Economist's More Intelligent Life blog, 5/17/11

The directions have led me to a military checkpoint underneath Waterloo station. Officials scrutinise my census paper, and I'm nodded through. A soldier reaches around his machinegun into his pocket, slips me a token and whispers "Free drinks for the French". I'm not French, but I have come dressed as a smart European from the late 1950s to experience the latest event from Secret Cinema. I was first tipped-off about Secret Cinema by a friend who had heard about it from a colleague; most attendees discover it through the grapevine. True to its name, it doesn't advertise overtly, but has an understated website where you can register for information about forthcoming events and purchase tickets. Ever since a few hundred people gathered to watch "Paradise Park" in December 2007, Secret Cinema has snowballed. During a three-week run of screenings this spring, 12,000 attendees (including me) ended up descending on the Old Vic Tunnels for a mysterious cinematic adventure. In the past year Secret Cinema has held events in Berlin and New York, and organisers are scouting for locations in Rome. Tickets are released about a month before the event, and sometimes sell out within hours. We buy them without knowing which film will be shown, or where, but they promise a unique experience: a screening (probably a cult classic) in a lively atmosphere that includes characters re-enacting scenes, thematic installations, related food and drink and some audience interaction. Events take place every couple of months, and each one is held in a different unknown location in London -- a derelict theatre, a disused hospital, underground tunnels -- revealed to ticket-buyers only days before. The company's website is deliberately oblique, but it is the gateway to a lively presence across social-networking sites, where organisers plant clues and fans try to guess the next film.


Commentary: To attract teens, integrate ticket-selling and social media

Alfred Branch Jr.,, 10/11/11

Ticketmaster has made social ticketing on Facebook an important company initiative, and it appears those efforts may be paying off with teenagers, according to a new survey by research firm Mr Youth.

Out of 2,000 teens recently surveyed, 21% were using Ticketmaster's new Facebook application. It ranked third behind apps from Twitter and Yahoo, but ahead of Netflix and Spotify . The new Ticketmaster app offers its users the ability to tag their seat location on one of Ticketmaster's 9,000-plus interactive seat maps. Users also can see where their friends are sitting and then buy tickets for adjacent or nearby seats through the app. Privacy settings allow users to decide who can see their seat locations.  "Apps provide an additional way for brands to gain awareness, with 42% of teens noticing a brand through a friend's app usage," wrote the report's author, Nick Fuller. "Do this correctly, and you are likely to win new users (70% of teens are 'likely' to try an app that they see a friend using)." Teenagers spend more than 90 minutes a day on Facebook, Fuller said, where they are interested in checking out each other's profiles. The Ticketmaster app includes updates on users' new timelines and walls, which gives teens constant information on what their friends are doing. "There's a fine line with oversharing. Teens want quality endorsements, otherwise a company can risk destroying its brand. Ticketmaster appears to be helping teens get on their friend's Facebook walls in a meaningful way," Fuller said.


Commentary: Amateurs try to convince. Professionals sort.

Brian Rooney, 9/25/11

When it comes to online marketing, there is a big difference between the pros and the amateurs. To put it simply: Professionals sort. Amateurs try to convince. I'm often asked questions like, "How can I convince someone to join my system or purchase my products?" The answer: You can't. Don't even try.  Don't try to figure out how you can convince someone to join. Instead... set your mindset on this simple fact: There are people out there, right now, that are looking for you and what you offer. It's a big world out there and there are people in it... right this minute... that are actually seeking out what you have to offer.  They are using search engines, viewing classified ads, reading discussion forums, viewing articles, and more just to find something they want or need. This is why I constantly focus my marketing and advertising on as many relevant areas as I can. And I direct all of my responses to my AutoResponder. Why?  It's simple. People that are putting in effort to seek out information make great prospects. They are looking for what I have to offer and my AutoResponder gives them a convenient way to request more information. When they fill out my AutoResponder subscription form, they are ASKING for the information because they want to know more. Sometimes they like what they see but can't make a decision right away so they set it aside. So my Autoresponder follows up with them... sending more of the information they requested. I don't worry about the people that don't want my information. I don't worry about the people that request it and then decide that it isn't for them. I know that the life blood of my business is to continually get new prospects for my offer. I do this by advertising anywhere and everywhere that I can. And all of my ads are linked directly to my AutoResponder capture page. I don't worry about people saying "no". I don't worry about trying to convince anyone. I just continually promote, advertise, and follow up. I'm looking for those that are looking for me. 

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