Using Discount Codes to Sell More Places


Why should I use discount codes?

People love a good deal — especially when it’s on a unique experience like a live event. So it’s no surprise that discount codes are a powerful way to incentivize ticket purchases among your potential attendees. They can also be a good marketing channel to increase awareness of your race! 

But if you’re not using discounts correctly, you run the risk of creating extra work — not to mention losing revenue. So how can you structure your discount campaigns strategically to boost your ticket sales or registrations?

By offering them to the right groups, clubs and organisations, for the amount you are sacrificing in % or £ discount, you will encourage bigger teams to enter which will ultimately lift your entry numbers.

Create Codes in your Eventrac Platform

Using the Eventrac platform to create and distribute discount codes is simple, quick, easy to track and is a free feature for any Race Organiser on the platform. Make full use of this great addition to the platform and start spreading the word about your next event. To learn how to create codes, see our platform user guide on ‘Creating Discount Codes’.

When thinking about how to use your discount codes make sure you think about the details, who will be receiving them? Why are they getting a discount? What do you want to achieve from giving them a discount? and How can you measure the performance? There are several top tips you can use below to make the most of the discounts you provide.

Who to target with discount codes

Discount codes are a good way of attracting large groups of people. Here are some groups which you could attract by creating personalized discount codes: 

  1. Running clubs
  2. Corporate teams
  3. Academic/University groups

Once you open your race for entries it is worth putting together a contact list of everyone that holds a high position within these organizations so that you can get in touch with a proposal. Social media is also a great place to find out which local groups are the most active as you know these will perform well for you. A good way of using social media to reach out to these groups is via twitter or facebook, and commenting on posts to ask them if they’ be interested in your event. Examples of discounts for teams are for example:

  • 10% off for groups of 5
  • 15% off for groups of 10 and more 

You can choose to use monetary versions of these instead if you would prefer, eg. £5 off if you book for 5 or more. Make sure to limit the number of uses of your code, easily done via your Eventrac platform.

Creating Seasonal Codes

Holidays such as Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Balck Friday and more have a huge amount of buying power attached to them. People are in the mindset of buying something for a loved one, making the most of a big sale or generally happy because of a public holiday! Sending a ‘flash’ discount code which is only valid for a few days can inspire an influx of tickets and make sure people don’t forget about your brand amongst all the noise. The best way to promote these discount codes is to send them out via email, to a list of people who haven’t signed up to your event yet but have registered their interest. 

Engage with your Local Community

You may want to target a local sports club and challenge them and say if they get over 30 entrants from their club you will provide everyone a discount off your event. It may be you are smarter and introduce tier discounts for 10, 25, 50, 100 entrants to encourage even more to enter. Sports clubs love getting their members together to enter local events and if they are local to your race then giving back to them in the form of a discount allows you to grow more entries and helps you support a local community organisation.

If you are speaking to schools, you may give them a discount code and suggest you will match the discount as a donation back to their school. If you reduce the discount amount this won’t be giving too much away and it is a great message for the school to give to students and parents that want to do your event but also see a benefit in giving back to the school they support.

Maybe you have targeted local corporate businesses, in which case you can sell your race as a team-building event and offer them discounts off things such as merchandise, food and drink or give them an exclusive VIP package. Companies are always looking for events to bring their offices together and often they don’t have time to organise their own so a discount or incentive is a great way to encourage them to become regulars at your events.

Make them personal and exclusive

When creating your code or batches of unique codes why not tailor make them for each group or person you are giving them to? Rather than giving everyone the same code to use which often feels like a marketing ploy you can personalise the codes to each club, team, school so that they feel they have something special to share. This is also crucial so that you can track redemptions on the code to see which is performing the best. Be sure to make your codes simple and readable and avoid characters that can be confused as other characters such as ‘O’ and ‘0’ and ‘I’ and ‘1’ so as an example you could use ‘RUNNINGCLUBNAMETEN’ this includes the name of the club and a reminder of the ‘TEN’ % discount.

Monitoring the use of your code(s)

Because you have now named all your codes uniquely you can use the Eventrac platform to see how they are performing. You can see the most/least used codes, who has used them, from which clubs and how many uses are left. This is useful information for you to determine which places you have contacted are working the best and which discount amounts are proving the most popular. If you have left any codes open without a limit it is always good to check daily to make sure that your code hasn’t been leaked to a deal site or is being abused by other people who would usually enter at full price. If you want to make this easier to keep on top of, instead of giving out one code you can use our software to generate batches of unique single use codes that can only be used once.

Chase but don’t get desperate

Make sure you communicate with everyone and the groups you have targeted to ask them how entries are going. Usually people are aware, but it takes someone to prompt everyone else to sign up. Give them a chase once every few weeks but don’t come across too hard or pressuring as these are locals in the community that you will rely on in future. Make sure you give them a final push before you close for entries to avoid any disappointment!

Use codes within your Ads

There is no reason why you shouldn’t target your database or social following with something such as an early entry discount or why you can’t set up a Facebook ad targeting a brand new area or set of people with an exclusive discount code. Be careful when targeting large groups that you don’t mess with the price to much during collecting entries as you may anger people that have already entered at a higher price. Blanket discount codes such as a 10% off to your database or on a sponsored social media ad are good ways to encourage prompt entries as long as you push a deadline message alongside this such as ‘ENTER before Saturday and get 10% off your entry, use code EARLYTEN’ you can use the codes to measure who directly entered your event from the ad or campaign you ran which is useful to know how effective these marketing techniques are for your race.

Adapt and Improve

After your race has taken place, take some time out to look at how your codes performed, and which worked best or worst. You will then know which groups have given you the most entries, which need a push or are best not to spend time on and which you can give them a code and leave them to it. Don’t forget to write thank you emails to your largest groups and ask them how their experience was, there is no point in gathering all those extra entries if you can’t build and grow on this in future. If your event was a success, there is no reason why you can’t get everyone (and more!) back again.

On Hand To Help

The team at Eventrac are on hand to assist with all components of your event. From advice on promoting your event through low cost channels such as social media, to a guided tutorial on a specific feature of Eventrac. We are here to help.

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