Are you spending too much money trying to draw new people to your event page? There’s a better way to advertise your event: retargeting. Instead of marketing to people who may or may not be interested, you can remind people who’ve already shown interest to buy tickets or register when they’re ready.

Sound too good to be true? Believe it. Here’s how you can start motivating serious ROI with retargeting.

What’s the ROI of retargeting?

With retargeting, you can turn more event page visits into ticket sales — to the tune of 6x average ROI. One California music festival even reached 14x ROI on their ad spend.

Retargeting works by showing Facebook and Twitter ads to targeted audiences of your choice: previous visitors to your site, your email list, or lookalike audiences. This enables you to capture sales you might have lost from interested individuals who just weren’t ready to purchase before, and previous attendees who didn’t realize this year’s event was coming up. If you grab a potential attendee’s attention when they’re on social media, it’s easier for them to coordinate with friends in the moment and take action.

Need an immediate boost in ticket sales? Across Eventbrite’s retargeting program, 78% of conversions happened within one day of clicking on an ad.

Is retargeting right for my event?

Retargeting is highly effective with great ROI — but it’s not necessarily cheap. With a cost-per-click of just under a dollar, organizers whose tickets cost more than $50 are the most likely to see positive returns.

Music festival organizers especially saw stellar results. A 3-day music festival in the southern United States and a 3-day music and wine festival in California both saw over 10x ROI. They focused on retargeting page views and advertising to lookalike audiences similar to their fans on social media. While both these festivals both attract over 40K fans, your event doesn’t have to be huge or expensive for retargeting to be effective.

Organizers of smaller, repeating events also generated revenue through retargeting. Their events were as varied as shows at a music venue, skillshare classes, 5K races, college planning workshops, financial seminars and association gatherings. Two race directors saw results above and beyond their expectations, including a marathon that started selling tickets in January for a November event. They used retargeting ads each time prices were about to go up, and saw 6x ROI.

How can I get started?

To get the best ROI on your event advertising, you need to start by figuring who to target and what to show them.

Who to target: Overall, retargeting people who previously looked at their event page was most successful, with an average ROI over 10x. Advertising to “lookalike” audiences on Facebook and Twitter (users with similar interests, location, and demographics of your followers) also performed well across the board. The lowest ROI was retargeting an organizer’s previous attendees using their email address, though even that delivered 3x ROI on average.

  • If you’re seeing high pageviews without purchases, target people who have viewed your web page.
  • If you have big customer lists and past purchase history, target your previous clients. This is a great way for venues and classes to attract repeat customers and drive loyalty.

What to show them: It’s easy to customize the ads for your audience. When you’re choosing your creative, make sure you answer the question: Why should this person buy your ticket now, when they didn’t before?

  • Time-based ads are best: Retargeting campaigns are most effective when there’s a driver of urgency. Remember, you don’t have to retarget someone with ads right after they view your page — you can choose the time that makes the most sense for your event.
  • Take advantage of any time ticket prices go up to put more money into retargeting. Use captions like “Tickets go up at the end of month, so buy now!” and you’ll reap the rewards.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. As with all Facebook and Twitter ads, the most successful ads are image-intensive. Facebook’s algorithm displays posts with images more often, and tweets that include an image are 35% more likely to be retweeted than those with other types of content.

Now that you know the tips and the strategies, it’s time to put retargeting to work for your event. Getting started is easier than ever with Eventbrite’s Boostable extension, which you can find in Eventbrite Spectrum.

Want to find out more on the what and how of retargeting first? Check out our Q&A with AdRoll on retargeting for events.

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