Win tickets. Win cash. What do you prefer?

How many of you have seen this:

“Sign up and enter to win FREE tickets to INSERT SHOW NAME HERE!”

All of you, right?

How many of you have DONE the above?

Almost all of you, right?  I know my hand is up. I’m not chucking any rocks at anyone, don’t you worry.

I’ve got news for everyone . . . giving away free tickets in a contest just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Why do we give them away?  Because they are cheap and easy to get.  Guess what?  The consumer knows.  (Oh, and by the way, if the consumer really wants tickets to your show, he or she is going to buy them!)

If you want to increase sign-up conversions, give them something else that might be a little more out of reach.  Try a weekend getaway for two, free dinners, a $100 gift certificate to FAO Schwarz, or . . . for the right show . . . cash.

Give them anything that has a higher perceived value than a voucher for a pair of tickets that won’t be available on prime nights anyway.  They know how to get tickets (and most likely at a discount).  Give them something they don’t know how to get, and they’ll give you something in return…

Their email address.

And that just might be worth a few bucks after all.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.