Answer 3 questions to make your live events website rock

As a full-service live event technology platform, Ticketfly designs and builds websites for our venue and promoter partners. Each month, our team of talented developers and project managers works side-by-side with our clients to launch custom websites that meet their specific needs.

With more than 800 sites under our belts, we power the largest network of live event websites in the world. It goes without saying that we know a thing or two about the right approach to creating a website for a live events business. Whether you’re working with Ticketfly, an outside web developer, or even using an out of the box solution, here are three important questions to ask yourself to determine if your website is ready to take the stage.

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FlyTips: Five steps to data-driven marketing

Gone are the days of not knowing the effectiveness of your paid marketing. Gone are the days of spending budget on a dedicated email blast or display campaign on your local weekly’s site and not knowing how many eyeballs saw it, how many sales it drove, and to which events. Today, it’s all about data-driven marketing!

Here are 5 steps you should take today to start making data-based marketing decisions.

  • Tag marketing campaign links with Source and Medium UTM codes. Want to know how many ticket sales were generated as a result of your alt weekly ad or Charli XCX’s tweet? Tag your links to see this in Backstage’s Source Performance dashboard. Learn more in this Ticketfly Community Article.
  • Tag artists with genre(s) when building an event. This will associate ticket buyers with a genre list so you can email them about relevant events in the future. Do you book dubstep, comedy, or 90s rock acts? Customize genres to reflect the specific talent that frequents your business. Learn more about genre tagging in the Ticketfly Community.
  • Ask us to implement your marketing pixels to track paid ad performance. Simply generate pixel code using your advertising platform and pass it along to your Client Rep. The two most common pixel types are conversion pixels and retargeting pixels. Conversion pixels help you measure an ad’s ROI by reporting on actions people take after ads are served (i.e., buying a ticket). Retargeting pixels help you turn window-shoppers into buyers by serving ads to those who viewed an event but didn’t purchase.
  • Experiment with Facebook’s advanced advertising options like conversion tracking and custom or lookalike audiences. By placing a conversion pixel on Ticketfly’s sale confirmation pages and then adding it to your Facebook ad, you’ll know exactly which ads led to conversions (ticket sales). Custom audiences allow you to reach customers you already know with ads on Facebook. You can build audiences based on uploaded email addresses, phone numbers, or the people who visit your website. Lookalike audiences let you reach new people who are likely to be interested in your events because they are similar to your existing customers. Visit facebook.com/business to learn more.
  • Evaluate your performance using Ticketfly’s Source Performance Dashboard. What percentage of your ticket sales can you attribute to free search? How many ticket sales were generated as a result of amplifying your events to Facebook? Check out Backstage to view this at the Org or Event level. It’s critical to keep tabs on your performance to determine what’s working and what’s not so you know where to focus your budget and where to stop spending.

Forget the agony of not knowing if your marketing budget–and your time–are being spent wisely, and step into the world of data-based decisions and marketing. Reach out to your Client Rep with questions.

Email Marketing FlyTip: Design for Mobile

Do you read your email on your phone or tablet? Yeah, we do too.

Today, almost half of event-related emails are opened on mobile devices.*

And this number isn’t going down anytime soon. Here are four ways to make your email marketing campaigns more mobile-friendly.

1. Write for mobile! 

You know how it feels to scroll through a sea of unread emails. Don’t you usually delete a bunch of unopened (likely promotional) emails to clean things up before getting to the real meat? First impressions are key on mobile, so pay particular attention to your sender alias, subject, and preview. These drive the decision to open…or not to open.

44% of ticket buyers open event-related emails on their phone, and 94% of those people are using iPhones.*

Here is what’s visible on an iPhone:

iPhone Email Preview

  • The first 20 characters of your sender alias – in this case, our friends at “The Capitol Theatre”
  • The first 35 characters of your subject line, the line below the sender alias
  • The first 75 characters of your body or customized preview, the two lines below the subject line

Here is what’s happening on an Android device:

Android Email Preview

  • The first 20 characters of your sender alias – hello again to our friends at “The Capitol Theatre”
  • The first 75 or so characters of your subject line. Note that Android will wrap the subject line onto the next line if it can’t be contained on the first. If this happens, there’s no preview text.

2. Subject: Keep it short and sweet

It’s probably safe to assume that your email subject line will be viewed on a mobile device. To be sure it’s seen, include the most crucial information in the beginning, such as:

  • Discounts or special offers, e.g., “Presale today”
  • Popular artists
  • Recency messaging, e.g., “Just announced”
  • Urgency messaging, e.g., “Last chance!”

3. Mix it up

Ever get bored of seeing the same subject lines over and over? We thought so. Don’t let things get stale; keep it fresh.

Also, remember that there’s no such thing as a perfect, evergreen subject line. What works for the Drake vs. Lil’ Wayne presale may not work when announcing Weezer is coming to town. Your fans will appreciate you shaking up subjects from time to time, and you’ll learn what works best.

4. Preview it yourself

Send yourself test emails to check how they’ll appear on mobile. Is the most important information clear and defined from the inbox? How does your mobile preview look? Note that emails may render differently by device depending on which email server your customer is using.

Would you want to open the email to learn more? What you see is what your customers and future customers will see. It never hurts to double check.

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FlyTips: 4 Simple Steps to Sizzling SEO

So, what is SEO exactly? Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of actions you can take to help boost the ranking of your website in “organic search” or “free search” results.

Good SEO practices are the best (and virtually free!) way to get your brand in front of new customers.

One of the key changes in search over the last few years has been the inclusion of popularity and relevance signals in search result rankings. Popularity signals come from the quality and quantity of links to your website and the context in which they are shared. Relevance signals come from the context of keywords on your website related to your location and your business.

MAKE WEBSITE CONTENT RELEVANT

When you think of your website design, what information do you think your customers are most interested in? While it’s okay to “set it and forget it” with evergreen content like your address and hours, everything else should be updated on an ongoing basis.

Example: The Crocodile prominently features their logo, upcoming events, and other key info

SEO-content

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FlyTips: Effective Email Marketing

Season’s Greetings from Ticketfly HQ! As we near the year’s end, we are giving the gift of a new FlyTip on email marketing. I know, I know…how exciting! Back in May 2012, we shared 10 Tips for Email Success. This time, let’s narrow this down and focus on the three main goals of email marketing: opens, clicks, and sales. We’ll provide benchmarks and actions you can take today to increase effectiveness and measure your success.

Email performance data is a treasure box of insights about how to resonate effectively with your audience.

Boost Open Rates

Send emails from a personal email address. When you are Backstage and build an email campaign in Marketing > Email Campaigns, use a real person’s email address instead of an alias like “events@rockclub.com” for the “From Email Address” to help ensure higher open rates and fewer emails caught in spam filters. Continue reading

FlyTips: Instagram 101 + Measured Marketing

Instagram 101

1. Pictograms and contests work: Brooklyn Bowl (10,864 Instagram followers) uses pictograms all the time to interact with fans and give away prizes & perks. Pictograms contain a call to action; they get people commenting, but more importantly they answer the question, ‘What’s in it for me?’ Any kind of contest (be it a guessing game or whatever) on social media is genius because they’re fun for the fans and offer an incentive to participate.

Pictograms

(**The answer**= car + shake + ale… Karsh Kale!)

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FlyTips: Drill Into Site Content Using Google Analytics

Welcome to the final installment of our Google Analytics FlyTips. This time, we’re going to drill into the most useful content reports which help you improve your page content or navigation structure. In case you missed out, previous posts focused on audience reports, traffic reports, and using social media to improve your website SEO. Ready to get to work? Let’s dig in!

Content Reports

Behavior Flow 

"Google Analytics Behavior Flow"

Why It’s Important: Behavior Flow reveals the pathways your customers travel when they navigate your website. Understanding what is popular helps you identify content that needs improvement. In some cases, you may decide to remove a page from your site. After all, would a restaurant keep a dish on its menu if no one ever bought it?

Sample Insight: There is a food menu page you believe is vital to your business, yet receives very little traffic.

Next Steps: Think like a consumer. Is the intended audience not seeing the link to that page? Update your navigation or put a photo on the homepage that links to it. Are people exiting the page a few seconds after landing? Experiment with your page content layout! Make one change at a time, then re-visit the report to check for improvement. Continue reading

FlyTips: Dive Into Traffic With Google Analytics

Welcome to the next installment of our Google Analytics FlyTips. Analytics is the most valuable Google tool you may not be using. And it’s free, so what’s not to love? In this edition, we focus on traffic, which we hate on the road but love on the web! If you missed our previous post on Audience reports and how to connect Google Analytics into your Backstage Dashboard, we recommend you read it first for background. Now let’s hit the road and dive into the wonderful world of website traffic!

Acquisition Reports

The All Traffic report provides the information you need to evaluate the value of traffic sources.

Why It’s Important: This You can dig into traffic referred from links on other websites and in tagged press campaigns you may create to track impact. Key metrics to consider for insights about customer engagement from sources are visits, # of pages per visit, visit duration, and bounce rate.

Sample Insight: You may find that your site has a high bounce rate, which measures the percentage of visitors who enter your site and “bounce” (leave) rather than continue viewing other pages on your site. Don’t automatically assume that this means your site isn’t performing well.

Next Steps: Depending on the content of each page, a high bounce rate could be reflective of how easy your site makes it for the consumer to find that “Buy Tickets” button for an event and click through to your ticketing provider to make a purchase! If you see unexpected sources, do research on that source. You may have found a new site to partner with for press releases and promotions.

Acquisition: All Traffic report

"Google Analytics Traffic Overview - pie chart"

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FlyTips: Google Analytics 101 – Know Your Audience

Most of us think Google is synonymous with searching the web, serving email, and introducing us to “Gangnam Style” via YouTube. But as a business owner, Google can also help you expand the reach of your website.

Google Analytics is the most valuable tool you may not be using. The best part? It’s FREE!

The next few editions of our FlyTips will introduce you to the power of Google Analytics. In this first edition, we will help you use the Audience report to better understand your customers.

 

Why use Google Analytics?

  • Customer Insights: View the number of new vs. returning customers, device usage, and see how customers move through your website
  • Traffic Insights: Learn how people get to your site, which social media refers the most traffic, and how search terms are used to find your business
  • Content Insights: Discover which pages draw the highest traffic and keep people most engaged

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