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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Discount Coupons (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
744 Posts

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I am interested in hearing what experiences you guys have had using discount coupons to promote your show. I am thinking of using one as part of a promotion in one of my school shows. My idea was to offer a discount coupon with a strict time limit for a reading show to schools that already had one of my safety shows. Has anyone experience with offering these to past clients to promote a new show?
Smile
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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Ken Scott gives away magic wands with a $50.00 discount coupon. (His video talks about this briefly.)

Think about it
  • Who uses coupons? Generally, the Moms and they are the one's who hire you.
  • If given a choice of you with a coupon and the competition without, who do you think the Moms would choose?
  • Coupons work every day... Why not in magic!

Andrew, I personally believe they will work for you. Give it a try and track the results. An increase in shows and income should be apparent.
Dennis Michael
Allan
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While I know that most children's show performers offer discount coupons for early bookings, I tend to disagree with the tactic. If you are raising the price to include the discount, it will be found out. If it is a true discount, you may be losing money that could stay in your pocket.

I have seen several brochures of magicians on the web. On one line they state, "I am a very busy magician. My dates fill up quickly. I don't want you to lose the date you want, so you would be wise to book me now before your date is no longer available".

On the next line they say "but if you book now, I will give you a discount."

A savvy client would look at the two statements & say "why is he offering a discount if he is so busy & all his dates fill up?

Why not set a price, stick with it & have them book you because you are the best? They certainly want the best show they can get. This tactic will help you get the show & get the proper $$ for your show. It also sets you apart from others & gives the impression of not being desperate for a booking.

However, you do need to do the best show around to use this tactic.
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
744 Posts

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Allan, I absolutely agree with you when it comes to booking birthday parties. People that have booked me before or seen me before are not so price sensitive anyway. They know what my show is like so they also know it is good value. I was thinking about using the discount for my school shows. I wonder if schools are any different.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Allan
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Andy: if it's school shows, I admit to having no experience. But to my way of thinking, once you give out a discount coupon they will never consider that they are actually getting a discount. They will consider the price after the coupon to be the actual asking price. They will in turn try to get a discount from that lower price.

I feel that any discount should be offered as a point of earned negotiation. That way they consider it a true discount rather than one offered even before meeting or speaking with you. You must make them think that they need your services more than you need their booking.

Since most schools cannot seat every student for one show, why not offer the discount for a double show on the same day. Make them earn the discount rather than just offering it.
kenscott
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I too offer discounts for two shows. But I was lecturing at a convention and one of the lectures says that if you charge $500.00 for your show, and you give them a discount for your second show, then in their minds they ask is your show WORTH $500.00 or is it worth the discounted price? I don't know. I like giving the discount, but it does make me think about it.

Ken Scott
Ed the Magic Guy
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Whittier, Ca
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I have used coupons for school shows. They are used to make the school take action. By that I mean, the coupons have an expiration date. I usually mail out in the beginning of September and if they book my "Say No to Drugs" show before September 30 - they receive a $50.00 discount. After the 30th, it is full price. I enclose a coupon for this. It does help to get your calendar filled up quickly. I sometimes get quite a few calls on the 30th from people trying to get that discount at the last minute.

I also discount any subsequent show at the same place on the same day and explain why in my cover letter to the school. It saves me time from going to another school and setting up the sound system and stage props etc. No one has balked or asked for any other discounts.

I think the coupons make good business sense and spur some schools into action.

Ed the Magic Guy
Tim Zager
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Kansas City
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I have used coupons successfully in day care centers and schools as a way to get a NEW client or introduce a NEW show. It is a form of what marketing guru Jay Abraham calls risk-reversal... combined with my strong money-back guarantee.

For me, a new client is just the beginning of a relationship. Since I track all my marketing efforts, I can determine the average cost to get a new client and the approximate lifetime value of that customer.

For example, I know it costs me an average of $90.00 to get a new client. That customer will be worth roughly $1,900.00 over the next three years. I'll GLADLY use a $25.00-$50.00 coupon to get that customer!

Tim
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grazza
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Tim's right - discounts are an excellent way to win new clients.

I used a mailshot to nurseries and schools in my local area offering a heavily discounted show. The conditions of the offer were that the show was booked between 9am and 12 noon on Monday to Friday (typically a quiet time for me), and that the booking was made prior to the end of August. I had a huge take up on the offer.

Best thing was that all the companies that hired me through the offer booked me full price for Christmas shows and have continued to book me every year since.

Give it a try, you won't regret it.
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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Yes, I offer additional shows at a lower rate. My regular school show is priced at $250.00, plus it is an additional $100.00 for a second show. Like Ed I feel this is only fair as I am already set up and have covered my travel expenses etc from the first show. I don’t really view this as a true discount. That is just what my price is and the price is the same for everyone.

I am thinking of using the discount coupon to book in a second follow up show shortly after the first. Maybe an offer that is only valid for 3 months after the initial show. I know with a lot of schools even if they like you they will want to choose different entertainment for the sake of variety. You know the thought process; ‘We had a Magician last time, so next time we will get dancers or a band.

Tim & Grazza it is good to hear about your discount success in the day care market. I have been planning a similar strategy to keep me busy later in the year when I have a quite period. I love to perform at day care functions because I always get a lot of birthday bookings from them. I know I need to be careful to do it in such as way as to not reduce the perceived value of my show. How do you get around that issue? What % level of discount do you use for introductory day care shows? I have heard of a 100% discount being used successfully.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Andy,

David Dee discusses this Free show for Day care centers and has a nice way of presenting it where he makes sure the Day Care does not abuse his offer. He requires the administrator to be present for the show and after the show to discuss dates for other bookings. (He has four requirements) He even offers discount couponds for the number of shows booked and the next show booked. It is an interesting method.

I enjoyed his discussion on how he learned to do this. He made the mistakes which he tells you how to prevent them, by his method.

He gave away a lot of shows and used that advertisment to gain more shows. He only did the free shows in August (This is when they first go back to school) and he only did a limited number of shows, but he got a lot of good leads.
Dennis Michael
Richard Landry
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Chatham, Illinois
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I do not offer coupon discounts for b'day shows. I did try a 20% off coupon during a slack month. I included it in one of my senior citizen mailings which got a good response. I then read later that it is better to offer a specific amount off instead of a percentage.
Richard Smile
grazza
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I'd go for a 100% discount. It gives your client zero perceived risk and will definitely receive bookings.

Just see it as a free marketing opportunity. Land a show at a school or a day care centre and you have the ability to advertise your services to 20 - 30 potential clients.

Once the kids know you, they will ask for you to perform at their birthdays.

Send them all home with a "goody bag" containing your contact details and you'll be inundated with bookings.
Stuart Cumberland
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Andy,

I'm new to this forum, but old-hat with marketing shows.

Back to your original question: Coupons DO work. In fact, an actual physical coupon is psychologically powerful.

That's the general answer, yes, they are great.

Now, application?

As pointed out, you'll get wide and varied opinions on their success.

Marketing rule number one is to test. That is the only way to find out.

I do disagree with discounting having a negative effect on your regular price.

Many years ago, at the turn of the century in fact, a guy named John Kennedy coined the phrase "reason-why-copy (advertising)".

If you just give a blanket discount, you look desperate. But, if you are trying to block off your performance calendar and you want to encourage a QUICK decision, then you've given them "reason-why".

Now the client thinks "Well, his price is $350.00, but he needs to fill his calendar up NOW, and it IS only $250.00 if I call now... gee, I better call".

It's a GREAT motivator.

Tips: Reference the coupon in your masterfully crafted and benefit laden sales letter. Clip a colorful coupon to the top with a big red expiry stamp to it.

Test. If your market is big enough, do a split test to see what price/percentage works best. But test it. You'll like it, I'm sure.

Cheers!

Blair

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Stuart Cumberland
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