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How to Use Unlock Codes to Sell Event Tickets Fast and Early

Every event organizer knows that the sooner you can generate excitement and buzz about your event and the sooner you can sell tickets and generate cash flow, the more successful your event will be. Unlock codes are a great way to do it!

What are Unlock Codes?

Unlock codes are exclusive alphanumeric codes (kind of like a coupon code) that you give to select people in order to jumpstart early ticket sales. With the exclusive code, recipients can “unlock” early access to ticket sales before they go on sale to the general public.

Unlock codes work well to evoke the fear of missing out (FOMO) emotion, so people will often use unlock codes to buy tickets to an event when they think tickets could sell out quickly. We’ve found that unlock codes work best for events that have been held in the past and ticket sales from the last event were above 90% (of course, sold out is even better).

However, that’s not a rule. Unlock codes can work for events and performers that are new to a market. Over the years, we’ve learned that it all depends on the market.

Benefits of Unlock Codes

Unlock codes create a sense of demand and a perceived need to buy tickets before they officially go on sale. That means you’ll take in cash early to pay for other aspects of the event like advertising, vendors, and more.

In addition, unlock codes get tickets into buyers’ hands early so they have more time to talk about their tickets and the event. The more people who buy, the more word-of-mouth marketing the event gets. It’s free advertising, and it builds momentum early in the promotion period. Ultimately, ticket sales should go up from all of this positive buzz about the event.

People tend to want things that everyone else wants at the same time. That’s why unlock codes work!

How to Use Unlock Codes to Sell Tickets for Your Event

Through a lot of testing and experience, we’ve come up with a few best practices to use unlock codes for event ticket sales:

1. You Need a Great Landing Page and Email Campaign

You have to promote your unlock code, and the best way to do it is by sending a great email marketing message to prior attendees that directs them to a special landing page where they can get the exclusive unlock code.

Don’t worry! If you sell tickets to your event using the AttendStar ticketing platform, we can help you create your unlock code email campaign and landing page.

2. Timing Matters – A Lot

You should send the unlock code promotional email message to people who attended the event the last time you held it, but don’t send it out until the day before tickets go on sale to the general public. This is very important because if you send it out too early, people will share the code and it won’t be exclusive anymore!

Pick the exact moment when you’ll be ready to start selling tickets through the unlock code promotion. That’s when you should tell people the exclusive unlock code ticket sales will open. We’ve found that 9:00 a.m. in the event’s local time zone works well, and we typically choose a Saturday so people aren’t as busy as they are on other days of the week.

Rest-assured, if you choose AttendStar to sell your event tickets, we’ll work with you to help you set up your unlock codes strategy, timing, and promotion so you get the best results possible.

3. A Little Preparation Goes a Long Way

Something important that you need to guard against is a sudden rush of a huge number of people buying tickets at the same time. Normally, when tickets go on sale in the traditional “soft launch” method, ticket sales will trickle in. However, the unlock code approach usually leads to a quick blast of hundreds of buyers all at once.

For example, we had an event where the event organizer didn’t take steps to guard against a sudden rush of ticket buyers, and 4,200 people tried to buy tickets using the unlock code at 9:00 a.m. when they went on sale. The server crashed under the rush! Fortunately, we fixed things quickly and ended up selling 6,000 tickets in eight hours! But we don’t recommend such a large rush of ticket buyers at the same time.

Also, if you use a ticketing company that doesn’t provide customer support, then you’ll need to have at least a couple of support agents on your staff who are available to answer the rush of phone calls that will come in when tickets go on sale for the unlock code promotion.

Keep in mind, if you use AttendStar as your ticketing company, we handle all ticket-related customer support calls with ticket buyers for you, so you don’t have to worry about answering them. In fact, we add customer service staff for these types of promotions (at no extra charge to the event organizer) since we know they generate so much traffic and sales in a very short period of time!

Your Next Steps to Sell More Tickets with Unlock Codes

Unlock codes work extremely well to boost early ticket sales and word-of-mouth marketing. Contact AttendStar using the contact form or by calling 615-223-1973, and we’ll help you with your event ticket sales and promotions, including your unlock code promotions!