Eventbrite Growth Strategy – Launch and Growth Marketing Case Study
The online ticketing service Eventbrite was founded in 2006 and has become the platform of choice for organizing small to medium events. Within 3 years they were handling $100 million plus – But how? What was the Eventbrite growth strategy?
It allows for promotion and registration, as well as ticket sales to track and monetize attendance. This all-in-one approach is both effective and well-designed, appealing to users on both ends of the process.
By 2009, the site was handling $100 million in gross ticket sales, but then it was used widely as a venue to book events held in conjunction with President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
The exposure created by these events created an awareness of Eventbrite among an important population of event organizers. By 2010, the number of gross ticket sales processed through the service more than doubled, and in 2012 Eventbrite boasted 20 million users.
Event organizers have free access to the site, and send invitations to their guests, which inherently spreads more awareness of the service. Simple user familiarity then leads to additional bookings, meaning Eventbrite has a kind of inherent viral factor that is a particular sweet spot for growth.
Eventbrite also benefited enormously from spontaneous word of mouth on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter where people were simply telling colleagues and friends about scheduled events. In growth hacking circles, this is referred to as social commerce.
The principle is simple. People act in relation to what their friends are doing. Initially that kind of social sharing was a cut-and-paste proposition for organizers and attendees. As soon as Facebook became one of its top 10 traffic sources, however, Eventbrite integrated with Facebook Connect, and was, in fact, one of the first services to make the link.
Event sharing became a one-button process and Facebook shot up to become Eventbrite’s number one traffic driver. This proves that tracking data and being responsive to customer behavior is an important aspect of growth hacking.
Eventbrite constantly collects, observes, experiments, and tests its user data to find trends like the Facebook sharing behavior. Once in possession of the data/insight, the proper response is to then use the material to further optimize the user experience.
In the best case scenario, however, optimization is never done at the expense of simplicity and functionality, however. Unlike previous online ticket systems, Eventbrite keeps everything simple and straightforward.
Publishing an event is intuitive and highly focused on the self-serve principle. The learning curve is very, very shallow. Additionally, organizers gain access to useful and fairly complex analytics.
Eventbrite allows organizers to see who is attending their event, which of their marketing channels are most effective, and which events are selling. For professional organizers, this is crucial data that can completely alter how they handle their next event.
The site makes money by charging 2.5% of the ticket price plus $0.99 per ticket, capping the fee at $9.95 per ticket. With more than 80% of its business centered in the United States, Eventbrite is now focused on growing its presence internationally