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 incentivise ticket purchases among your potential attendees.

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?

Here’s when — and how — to use discount and promotion codes to drive attendance.

What to know before you use promo codes and discounts

It’s counterintuitive but true: price discounts can increase your revenue. But there are many ways to use discount codes as part of your promotional plan, and not all strategies are created equal. Get the best results by mapping out a clear strategy before you dive in.

First: Establish your goals

How many registrations or ticket sales do you want your discount codes to earn you? Starting with this question can help you then plan for how much time you want your discounts to be available for, how many uses the codes are good for, as well as what times in your sales cycle you want to use them.

Second: Pick your discount type(s)

Next, you want to choose the right type of discounts to help promote your event. Depending on your goals, you might just use the one type (say early bird discounts, for example), or a few discounts throughout your sales cycle.

Here are just a few examples of common promotion and discount code types:

    • Early bird discount: Use this promo discount to incentivise people to buy their tickets early with. For example, a $20 off code for the first 50 people to register or purchase, once your tickets go live.
    • Flash sale: Use this discount code to boost ticket sales or registrations during typically low buying times for your event. Flash sales timed with holidays are especially popular, since holiday gifts are yet another reason to click the “buy” button.
    • Increase sales for off-nights: Use this discount to bring more attendees to quieter workshops or classes in a series, such as a weeknight class vs. a weekend one. For example, you could offer $10 off General Admission to your next two Tuesday nights.
    • Jumpstart your VIP experience: Use this promo code to win over VIPs or influencers by creating hidden offers they only they can access. Simply give them a special code that unlocks an invisible VIP ticket type on your checkout page.

Now that you’re ready to use your discount strategy, it’s time to create your event’s promo codes.

How to set up promo codes for one or multiple events

Now that you know how different promo codes can encourage attendees to register early and increase your revenue, your next task is setting them up.

Set up a promo or discount code for one event

If you’re an Eventbrite user, creating a code for your event is simple. Go to your “Manage” page and under “Invite & Promote,” choose “Discounts & Access Codes.” From there:

  1. Click “New Code”
  2. Choose “This event only”
  3. Select “Coded Discounts”
  4. Choose the tickets the code should discount
  5. Configure your code (choose the Code Type, Discount Amount, and Start/End dates)
  6. Give your discount code a ticket group name (optional)
  7. Click “Finish & Save”

Set up a promo or discount code for multiple events

Have more than one event coming up? Need to create and manage discount codes for all of them? Your ticketing partner should make it easy for you to do that all in advance in your dashboard.

If you use Eventbrite, sign in and go into your event’s Manage page to get started. Select “Discount & Access Codes,” select “New Code,” and choose “Use across multiple events” to get started. From there:

  1. Select “Coded Discounts”
  2. Choose the ticket(s) the code should discount
  3. Configure your discount code (see above)
  4. Give your discount code a ticket group name (optional)
  5. Add or remove a ticket from a ticket code group (optional)
  6. Manage codes and track your progress

Set up group discount ticket types

One type of discount that hasn’t been mentioned so far is the bundle discount, which incentivises buyers to purchase multiple tickets or registrations at once. This type of discount is useful for encouraging people to buy for group outings, such as for organisations or clubs.

If you use Eventbrite, you can create a group discount in minutes by going into your “Edit” page and creating a new ticket type to accommodate your group discount. From there:

  • Enter the Ticket Name, Ticket Quantity, and Ticket Price
  • Set the maximum and minimum number of tickets per order to support your discount
  • Save your changes

Ramp up your ticket sales today

Now that you have a promo code strategy in place, you can use your ticketing partner to take control of your sales. Sign in or sign up on Eventbrite to start using discount and promo codes today.