Before joining Eventbrite, the San Francisco–based online ticket registration company, Tamara Mendelsohn was an analyst at Forrester Research, where she worked with online retailers to help them hone their e-commerce and technology strategies. “Data is so much more accessible than it used to be,” said Mendelsohn, Eventbrite’s vice president of marketing. “I think it almost is a requirement if we want to take our businesses and our events to the next level, we have to be looking at it.”
It’s one thing “to look at data,” she added, “and another to act on it.” Here are four things every planner should be doing with registration data.
1. Establish a baseline conversion rate
Regardless of the event, if you sell registrations or tickets online, Mendelsohn said, “in essence, you are an e-commerce vendor.” And the metric that all e-commerce companies look at is the conversion rate — the percentage of people who come to your website who actually register or buy a ticket to your
event. A variety of web-based tools, such as Google Analytics, can track that.
2. Think like an attendee
“Look at things like the event description,” Mendelsohn said. “Is it clear enough? Is all the information that you’d want to know as an attendee before you actually put in your credit-card information there? Also look at overall ‘real estate’ of your ticketing or registration page. Is it very clear how to buy tickets or register? You want to make the call to action as clear as possible. And you want to make sure … you don’t have to scroll down to get to the registration button.”
Also pay attention to how many fields you ask people to fill out. And be sure to look at your ticket site on a mobile device. Mendelsohn said Eventbrite is getting about a third of its traffic through mobile devices. “If you don’t create an experience that’s easy to use on a phone,” she said, “then those people aren’t going to register or buy a ticket at that moment — and maybe they’ll never come back.”
3. Understand your sales cycle
Whether your sales are on a six-week or a six-month cycle, understand where in the cycle you get the most tickets. If a high percentage of registrations occur late in the cycle, experiment with tactics — such as early-bird discounts or giveaways — to drive more of those transactions toward the front of the cycle. “We often find that the events that sell more tickets or registrations earlier,” Mendelsohn said, “sell more overall.” When people commit early, they’re more likely to talk about it with friends and colleagues, who then are much more likely to register themselves.
4. Know how your marketing channels perform
If your registration software allows it, tag each promotion, so you can see its effectiveness. “It’s not always obvious,” Mendelsohn said. “We once did a promotion for an event with a big industry association that had tens of thousands of subscribers and users. At the end of the day, something like 10 people had clicked on the link and maybe one person registered.”
No Average Events
For websites that sell physical products, the average conversion rate is between 3 and 4 percent. “A lot of people end up on Amazon’s electronics page and don’t convert,” said Eventbrite’s Tamara Mendelsohn.
But there is no agreed-upon average conversion rate for events. “It very much depends on how you’re driving traffic, where you’re driving traffic from, what your event is, and the price of your event,” Mendelsohn said. “Typically, event conversion should be higher than the average e-commerce rate, but you need to figure out what your own baseline is.”