When you conduct, monitor and analyze online marketing campaigns, one of the primary benefits is ease of attribution. Marketers can directly attribute patterns in increased web traffic toward specific campaigns and efforts, but standard source attribution in Google Analytics tells only part of the story.
For marketers working with zoos, museums or other ticket-based attractions, tracking online visitors all the way from the first touch to the final ticket purchase is crucial for determining the success and ROI of campaigns and marketing initiatives.
Fortunately, this form of tracking can be set up in just a few easy steps with tools that you likely are already using. In fact, popular third-party ticketing providers like Tessitura or Blackbaud’s Altru already have these features built into the platform, but typically are not enabled by default. which means you are only a few steps away from having full visibility into your online ticket sales.
Once you have ticket tracking implemented, you will have richer data at your disposal to make better informed marketing decisions.
Just a few common reporting use cases include:
- Total revenue and ROI by marketing channel
- Performance by types or categories of ticket
- Fundraising performance for organizations accepting donations through a ticketing provider
How to Set Up Attribution for Ticket Sales
Ticket sales tracking setup requires a step-by-step process to guarantee that tracking remains accurate. Ready to set up? Let’s dig in.
Before setting up ticket sales tracking, we need to ensure that Google Analytics (GA) is installed. No tracking is possible without a proper installation of Google Analytics. If you are unsure if GA is installed on your site, contact your digital marketing or web design provider.
Since many attractions utilize external ticketing platforms on either a subdomain or separate domain, ensure that the same Google Analytics tag is placed on the main domain and the ticketing domain if your ticketing template, such as Tessitura’s TNEW7, allows for it.
By using cross-domain tracking in Google Analytics, you assure that sessions are tracked from main site entrance through the final transaction. Even with Google Analytics installed on multiple sites, you will still be able to segment data by domain with custom views or filters.
Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager offers the best solution for implementing almost any form of analytics on your attraction’s external ticketing site.
GTM accounts are free and setup only takes a few minutes. Installation does require two unique code snippets to be placed in the head and body of your page templates, so if you are not comfortable with handling code, connect with your web development team. If you want to tackle installation yourself, you can utilize the Google Tag Manager Support Guide.
Altru and Tessitura both have built-in support for Google Tag Manager, making this installation seamless. With Tessitura, our team has found that installing your own Google Tag Manager implementation onto the TNEW7 template is another viable solution.
Setting Up Ecommerce Tracking for Ticket Sales
Now that Google Analytics tags and Google Tag Manager installations are complete, we can set up tracking tags for ticket sales.
Below is a step-by-step guide to creating a comprehensive digital tracking solution for online ticket transactions:
- In your Google Analytics admin panel, navigate to Ecommerce Settings in the view column, the third column on the right hand side of the page.
- Enable both Standard Ecommerce and Enhanced Ecommerce. For additional information, visit Google Support for Enhanced Ecommerce.
- In Google Tag Manager, create a pageview trigger on your final transaction page.
- First, login to tag manager.
- Navigate to Triggers and select Add a New Trigger
- In this view, select Page View Trigger
- Under "Fire a Trigger when an Event Occurs..." select Page URL > Contains > [the URL of your platforms final confirmation page]
- Next Create the Transaction Tag. Navigate to the Tags page and Add a New Tag
- Under tag type, select Google Analytics > University Analytics
- Under Track Type, select Transaction
- Once these are set up publish your changes to the live environment. You will want to use the debug and test tool to ensure the tags are firing properly. This can be done by submitting a few test transactions.
- You may also want to view the Real Time report in Google Analytics to ensure transactions are being sent to your GA account.
If you followed these steps, tracking is complete! Of course, no two sites are set up the exact same way. If you ran into any problems with the above steps, consult with your web development team and run through the steps together.
Reporting on Ticket Sales Purchase Performance
After installation is complete and tracking starts firing, your Google Analytics account begins collecting all types of data that helps attraction marketers like you better understand the user path to purchasing tickets on your website.
If you are new to the tracking game and unsure of what statistics actually give you the information you need, we can help. Below are examples of what to monitor related to ticket purchasing.
Purchase Path Drop Rate
Each user that purchases a ticket on your website follows a journey. The user enters the site, selects relevant CTAs or pages, then eventually checks out.
That user path is trackable – and important to understand.
We encourage you to compare final conversion rates on each page of the checkout process. Is there a specific page in the path that has a much higher drop rate than the others? Is the jump from one domain to another causing lost traffic or limited conversion?
All of these questions are important to address. By doing so, you may discover a more user-friendly journey or even eliminate excessive parts of the journey.
HOT STAT: As users proceed along the ticketing checkout path, we found that the likelihood to finish the purchase increases an average of 30% after the user advances to the next step.
Performance of Marketing Campaigns by Channel
Attractions often promote events, ticket purchases, and more through a variety of channels – both traditional and digital.
If you are advertising with a digital focus, you can track the performance of your campaigns within Google Analytics.
Paid display campaigns, paid social media campaigns, organic SEO efforts, organic social media strategies – all of these campaigns are trackable with the correct setup, displaying performance on conversions, revenue and ROI.
UTM tags allow you to specify efforts by campaigns. For instance, if you run a display ad for an April event, you can create a UTM tag that reports data ONLY from the display ad for that event. Similarly, if you have a Facebook ad running about a Half-Price Thursday sale, you can track purchases specific to that deal by using a UTM tag.
HOT STAT: While organic search traffic is typically the highest revenue generating channel for attractions, targeted paid search campaigns can often result in a 40% higher conversion rate.
Ecommerce Product Performance
Ecommerce analytics allow for tracking down to the specific type of sale. For instance, if your attraction offers a single-person ticket, a family package or an add-on ticket, compare those specific offerings using Ecommerce analytics.
By monitoring product performance, you can determine what type of ticket and which efforts are resulting in the most revenue.
External Website Referrals
Many attractions have partnerships with visitor’s bureaus, companies, organizations, trip-planning websites and more. Through Google Analytics, you can track website traffic, conversions and ticket sales from all of those external sources.
As you glance at GA, check revenue from referrals to see if an external website is sending consistent sales generating traffic.
Are you using all the resources available to you to track online ticket purchasing for your attraction? Do you need additional help in setting up tracking and improving revenue from digital efforts?
Speak Creative is ready to assist. Our Digital Marketing team actively works with attraction clients in tracking online ticket sales and improving ROI through digital means. If you are interested in chatting with us, let us know by visiting the link below.
Get in Touch