How to sell presale tickets: Metallica’s Orion Music + More

How to sell presale tickets: Metallica's Orion Music + More

Pre-sale tickets for the Orion Music+More festival, hosted by heavy metal legends Metallica, go on-sale tomorrow. One need not be a fan of the genre to admire the sophistication and creativity of the pre-sale being conducted. This quick 'How to sell presale tickets' looks at how Orion Music+More uses "exclusivity marketing."

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 25 years, you already know Metallica is the most successful heavy metal band of all-time, in both album sales and tour tickets sold. The rockers did not achieve their success by happenstance - Metallica are very savvy at marketing and self-promotion.

An indicator of just how savvy they are is the Orion Music+More festival that Metallica is both the host and the headline performer. Described as a gigantic "thank you" to heavy metal fans everywhere, the festival, as its name implies, is more than music.

Bands from a wide variety of genres, ranging from thrash metal and black metal, even to punk, indie, and experimental rock, played throughout the weekend. Members of Metallica introduced some of the bands performing, including Suicidal Tendencies, where Robert Trujillo was their bassist from 1989 to their breakup in 1995. Metallica headlined the festival on both days.

Tickets for Orion Music+More will be available to the general public soon, but not before a series of exclusive presales are conducted first. The presales are offered through Metallica's official website, within the members only confines of the band's fan club portal, called the "Met Club". The Met Club requires annual paid membership dues and offers multiple-tiers, each with hierarchical benefits. Orion presale ticket prices range from $75 for general admission, to a $750 "Ultra Pass", topping out at $2,150.00 for all-inclusive back stage access and a meet-and-greet with the band . From Metallica's website:

The Met Club presale begins tomorrow, Tuesday, February 26 at 7:00 AM PST, ending February 28 at 7:00 PM PST. Clubbers should log in for more details on how to purchase special packages and discounted tickets early. Orion Music + More E-list members may purchase $150 2-Day Passes before they go on-sale to the public. This presale starts February 27 at 7:00 AM PST and runs through February 28 at 7:00 PM PST.

Music industry buzz surrounding the presale announcement is an expectation of an instantaneous sell out, partly attributable to the exclusive nature of the presale. Of course Metallica is not the only big name act making use of so-called "exclusivity marketing", nor is the practice restricted to large events like Orion Music+More. Any event manager or venue owner can use "exclusivity marketing" as the basis for a presale, it is simply a matter of following some basic guidelines.

Respected marketing company HubSpot has written extensively on how to use "exclusivity marketing" correctly.

Limited time offer! For Platinum members only! Upgrade for VIP benefits! First 100 sign-ups get a free flamingo! That kind of marketing lingo seems kind of tired, doesn't it? Well, regardless of how it may seem, there appears to be some evidence that the "exclusivity" approach is still alive and well.

Of note, as it pertains to how to sell presale tickets, is making established customers feel they are in a more privileged position than other ticket buyers.

This is something your sales team can definitely leverage. If you're going to launch a pricing change, the first thing to do is grandfather current customers into it at their old rate. I mean, they joined the club in the beginning, so they should be rewarded for it.

But there's more "club joining" to be had with a pricing change. You could turn this into a creative exclusive marketing campaign by inviting your customers to invite their friends, family, or colleagues to become a customer at your old rate. You know, get it while the gettin's good. This calls on the feeling of exclusivity that comes from referrals that we talked about in tip #3. You could also give your sales team the green light to invite leads that are on the fence about purchasing to come on at the old rate, helping close some deals that might otherwise be lost (or at the very least be pushed off for weeks or months into the future).

Each of the best practices on HubSpot's list an be scaled down to work for events of any size, but only if the ticketing software being used has the right feature set.

All ThunderTix plans include the tools to create and manage sophisticated presales just like Orion Music+More. Tiered prices, custom nomenclature and attention getting calls to action during the purchase process are just the start. Once your presale is live and tickets are sold, you can send custom email confirmations that reinforce the "exclusive nature" of the presale.

What do you think? Can any event make use of  "exclusivity marketing" for ticket presales? Let us know in the comments below!