The 2014 CRM Elite

Article Featured Image

SEATGEEK: Driving Repeat Traffic to Boost Ticket Sales
Ad retargeter URX helps SeatGeek's ad click-through rate rise to triple the industry average.


SeatGeek, a New York–based firm founded in 2009, offers a free online search engine for tickets to sports events, concerts, and shows. The app scans dozens of the biggest ticket sites and presents the results all in one place via a simple interface. Its Deal Score feature and detailed ticket metrics help fans find the best prices on trusted secondary ticket markets.

As events and venues were added, dynamically generating relevant advertisements had been a challenge. A geographic component further complicated things—users in one city weren't interested in ads for an event happening in another.

The company places a high value on return customers and features a robust recommendation engine that can suggest events based on personal tastes and past purchases. Registered users can enter their favorite artists and teams and SeatGeek will send alerts when it comes across a related event.

To drive return customers to its app and site, SeatGeek's marketing team knew the company needed a sophisticated retargeting solution.


In November, SeatGeek turned to URX, a provider of deep linking and retargeting solutions for mobile apps.

"Prior to the...implementation, we weren't really doing much in the way of mobile retargeting," says Russ D'Souza, SeatGeek cofounder and manager of business development and customer acquisition.

"In SeatGeek's case, deep linking was essential because of the products that they sell," John Milinovich, CEO of URX, explains. "An advertisement that sends a user to the SeatGeek app home page is a shot in the dark. What are the chances that a customer is going to spend time browsing through events, aimlessly searching? When the link takes customers to the buy page for a specific event they've shown interest in, they're much more likely to convert."

URX appealed to SeatGeek because of its ability to not only retarget ad content, but also the way it's displayed. "SeatGeek is continually looking to apply new technologies to move our business forward. When learning about URX's ability to dynamically render creative for each of our ticket offerings and match them to users who have the highest likelihood of converting, it was clear there was a good opportunity to work with each other," D'Souza says.

URX's Dynamic Creative Engine solution uses customers' past behavior to determine what events they might be interested in and optimizes the ad format and size based on past ad performance. To build the ad, URX pulls data from SeatGeek's catalog into its own native templates to create the design. Once completed and launched, the ad appears on screen as users interact with other apps on their mobile devices, and rotates through ticket offers so that they see advertisements for different events.

Since it began working with URX, SeatGeek has seen an 11 percent increase in revenue per targeted user. With an average purchase of $200, that means the new ads are leading to a revenue increase of about $22 on average over typical purchases.

The company has also seen a 9 percent increase in app open rate, which occurs when a URX ad leads a user to open the SeatGeek app from another app. URX advertises to consumers who have already downloaded the SeatGeek app by serving up ads in other mobile applications.

What most impressed D'Souza, however, was that with URX, SeatGeek's click-through rate hit 1.2 percent, roughly three times the industry average. Milinovich attributes this to putting products and events directly in front of users through the deep links, as opposed to more generic ads. "It just gives users a much more clear incentive to engage," Milinovich says.

In addition to improvements in app engagement, SeatGeek noticed a correlation between the campaign and increased purchases on the Web. As the company continues to use URX's solution, it plans to keep an eye on how its mobile advertising campaign is affecting Web purchases.

Real results

  • An 11 percent increase in revenue per targeted user.
  • A 9 percent increase in app open rate.
  • A 1.2 percent click-through rate, three times the mobile display industry average.

CRM Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues