Sunday, December 30, 2018

Resolution #3: Don’t Ask For My Life Story, Just Let Me Buy a Ticket

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve made the decision to buy a ticket, then I’ve gotten to the purchase page and have been overwhelmed by what they are asking me. There are only four pieces of personal information you actually need from your buyer:

  • name
  • credit card number
  • address for payment verification
  • and email to send a confirmation

Don’t ask them for anything else. Give your fan what they want - a ticket - and follow up later with an email if you want to learn more about them.

Here’s a great case study. One of the best symphonies in the world, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, makes it frustratingly hard to buy a ticket. The individual concert pages on the CSO website are good landing pages. They have video, relevant information, good photos, and a very visible “buy tickets” button. But it goes downhill from here. 

I’m a new patron, so I’m just looking for an individual ticket. From the time I click “buy tickets” on the event page, I have to go through six different pages before I am asked for my credit card info. Two of those pages are ticket selection pages, one is a donation page (why I am being asked to donate before I’ve ever purchased a ticket?), one is a login page because apparently I need an account to buy a single ticket, and another is a "create a new account" page because of course I don't have an account, I'm not even sure I'm going to want to come back yet. To make matters worse, their Facebook login integration isn’t working so I actually have to come up with yet another set of login credentials for a website I'm not sure I'll visit again. 

Is this all necessary? No. Again, all you need in order to sell a ticket is name, credit card number, address for payment verification, and email to send a confirmation. If you want your fans to create an account or donate, then you should first wow them with your product and content that adds to their life. If an organization as masterful as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra can get some of this wrong, chances are that your sales process can be improved too.

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