There are many ticketing and related software systems out there marketing themselves as FREE. The truth is they are not, and the reality is that their pricing model may drive your customers away.
We all know that nothing is free. We are also smart enough to know that a claim of being free is merely a tactic to try to entice you in. This is a hook that unfortunately too often successfully manages to ensnare some people who don’t consider the ramifications of a pricing model where the service is free… to THEMSELVES only.
When a ticketing system claims to be free, it simply means that their fees are not charged to you, as the client organization. Instead, fees are added on top of the ticket costs to your patrons during their purchase, and all too often these fees are exorbitantly high, provide no options to you for amount charged to the patron, or are some sliding amount that makes it impossible to publish a fixed price. Try explaining why a $20 published ticket price is actually $21.47 to a patron. In these cases you typically are without options, and these fees jeopardize the relationships and loyalty of your patrons that you work so hard to build, all before they ever set foot in your door.
Another ramification of this model is that a) patron disapproval of the added fee costs may drive them and you to try to sell more tickets via your box office where you may not charge fees. This leads to b) having data in multiple places that complicates your marketing communications, patron analysis and more, and c) means you lose the powerful benefit of having more patrons buy online, self serve, taking a load off your staff and providing better customer service. Also, what kind of support is offered by company that is claiming to be free to use? When you need assistance quickly, help or advice from experts, where will you turn? Over time, these issues become more and more detrimental and unsustainable.
Arts People instead not only offers you a variety of fee options to best suit your business model, but also gives you complete control over how much of the fees you might want to pass to your patrons, how much you pay yourself as a planned business expense, or how much you embed into your ticket prices. For example, if the fee is $.95, you could simply increase your ticket price by $1 and not show any added fees on your patron’s purchase. Or perhaps you add $.50 per ticket, and the rest you simply absorb. You can even put a cap on fees to the patron, such as $.50 for the first 4 tickets, after that no additional fees to them. With our unique pricing controls there are infinite options for you to tailor the pricing application to ensure that your patrons take top priority. Unhappy patrons, before they ever attend your performance, is NOT a good business model… and we know how patrons really don’t like added fees.
It is important to note that many of our clients report increased ticket sales and donations after they come on board with Arts People. The added revenue may completely cover your costs of using the system. This, along with some simple additional offerings such as selling ad space on your print at home tickets, or sponsorship of your online shopping cart, etc.. and you can more than pay for the system that actually helps you to build your audience and develop lasting relationships with your patrons and donors.
More and more we see clients electing to not charge fees to their patrons at all. Anything that jeopardizes those relationships is not a good idea. Try looking at other performing arts groups in your area. Are they adding fees on top? If so, do you want to do the same? Charge less in fees? Or would you rather be able to communicate proudly to your patrons that you don’t add any fees? With Arts People, you get to make all those decisions, and we’re here ready to assist you at any time.