I was thinking about subscriptions today. Many of us have used the same subscription platform for decades. There has been an attempt to upgrade subscriptions, but I also wanted to throw in my two cents for adding loyalty programs that use free tickets or other freebies as a reward system. Subscriptions give certain benefits, but I am not sure they are rewarding loyalty (unless long time subscribers get better discounts), and discounts do not appeal as much to a sense of getting a reward.
There is a reason the buy-one-get-one free campaigns work well. The word FREE is part of the equation. Saving 50% off, which is the same thing, just does not ring as well. Everyone loves getting something for free. Why not build loyalty programs that reflect our love of free!
Here are a few ideas for using free to reward, and kudos to you if you are already implementing:
- Buy two tickets, get one free; buy four tickets, get two free, and so on. The free tickets can be used for the same show, a different show, or you can give as a gift to a friend!
- Get your first show free (first time buyers only). Follow up with a buy one-get-one free coupon, and then invite them to a show without the freebie. This is essentially a way to get people to dip their toes and increase their loyalty a little at a time.
- Punch card freebies – use a punch card system that after a certain amount of attended shows (yes, they would have to show up and be in their seat!), they would get a free ticket as a reward.
- Celebrating loyal patrons – in this scenario, you are rewarding annual loyalties. You can set a reward system for certain loyalty milestones. For example, after two years of being a patron at a certain level, they will get a freebie!
- Volunteer freebies – a reward system can be set up for your volunteer program. They can earn a subscription package ultimately.
- Group sales freebies – some of you are already doing this, but we can make these programs even more rewarding if we think of other reward systems for the group, perhaps a credit system that adds up over the year to equal freebies. For example, each person registered in the group, if they go to a show, the group gets credit to equal a nice reward for their group.
- Charity freebies – buy a certain amount of tickets and you will get to donate a ticket to a charity (a great way to collaborate with a social agency for awareness for both organizations).
The ideas are endless. What is your idea for using freebies to award loyalty? Do you use free drinks, merchandise, etc.? I’d love to hear from you!
Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,
Chief Audience Builder, Audience Development Specialists
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