sell more tickets to an event using emotion

How to Sell Tickets to an Event – Does the Use of Emotion Increase Sales?

The way we feel helps us survive and profoundly affects our attitudes. If you want to know how to sell tickets to an event, melt hearts.

Nonprofits enrich society in so many incredible ways. They foster widespread action, advocate for civil rights, help those in need, protect the environment, and empower the disadvantaged. But it takes a great deal of resources to attract more volunteers and donations.

It seems like a silly question to ask if emotions affect us. Of course they do! Read on to understand how and why sentiment strengthens the motivation for support and donations.

Your Emotional and Moral Compass –
How Does it Shape Our Behavior?

The heart is just as important as the head, even more so with nonprofits. Emotions heavily affect our decisions. There are mountains of evidence from scientific studies, literature, and real-life examples that demonstrate how our behavior is driven by emotion rather than rationale.

Right Brain vs Left Brain –
The Good, The Bad, and The Very Good

Advertisers long believed heightened states of emotion influence behavior. As far back as the 1970s, research suggests that memory is primarily a left-brain activity. If we go even further back in history, Aristotle defined pathos as the act of putting an audience in the right frame of mind. He also identified emotion as the approach to pleasure and pain.

Today, neuroscience indicates that attitudes about certain brands are out of our conscious control. The right brain is used primarily for regulating affections, while the left brain is in charge of rationale and analysis. The duo always work in tandem.

Memories are funny things. Some stick and some don’t.

  • Remember your first kiss?
  • How about the taste and smell of your favorite food when you were a child?
  • What about all the rooms in the house you grew up in?

Just thinking about moments like these triggers physical and emotional reactions. Hopefully the best kind. Decisions that tie into memories are often based on intuition, also known as the “nose of the mind.” Well-executed use of emotive content creates memorable feelings that direct our actions.

How Do You Feel About the Color Blue?

Color can have a strange effect on our desires in different ways. Every color conveys meaning that affects our mood. The response happens within milliseconds.

Our response to color is tricky. The way people feel about a certain color varies across different cultures and different personalities. Some of us prefer bright colors while others may be drawn to neutral grey or black.

Green can inspire the desire to protect the environment. The color blue is a symbol of trust. The right colors for you depend on the context.

The Power of an Effective Emotional Mission Statement

“The power of love is a curious thing
Make a one man weep, make another man sing
Change a hawk to a little white dove
More than a feeling, that’s the power of love”

– Huey Luis and the News

Rousing passion can be the deciding factor between the choice to donate, volunteer, or sponsor.

Many times an appeal to emotion gives someone the strength to take a proactive stance. It may be true that some donors or sponsors are more interested in social equity or the bottom line but there are always people on their team who are passionate about the cause.

How can you use this to sell more tickets to your nonprofit event? Well, it depends. Let’s look at a few examples of powerful mission statements from successful nonprofits.

How Nonprofits Profits Use Emotional Motivation to Encourage Action

How can we measure success? One of the strongest indicators is revenue. If you have ever worked with the administration team at a nonprofit, you are probably familiar with the dreaded 990, which discloses the financial information of a nonprofit.

Almost every 501(c)(3) organization is required to submit form 990 each year.

The IRS makes these submissions publicly available in an annual report. The most recent data shows that the two most popular causes are children & youth charities and religious causes. Close behind is healthcare.

Religious charities along with youth programs often use emotions and energy in their mission statements that draw upon euphoria that stems from pride. It’s not always about the mission statement. A good deal of successful nonprofits convey emotions with taglines, websites, events, or other types of media.

Emotions – Positive? Negative? Or Both?

Happiness, joy, friendliness, vitality, sadness, loneliness, ennui, euphoria, futility, liveliness, pride, anger, hurt, awareness, and loving—are all emotions that we may or may not experience in a typical day.

Both positive and negative feelings will help increase volunteers and donation numbers.

Below are mission statements from two profitable nonprofits. Both are full of emotionally laden content that illustrates how they sell more tickets to events.

YMCA of San Diego’s Mission Statement uses positive affirmations to remind us just how fun and beneficial it is to play sports. It also advocates the importance of community. It’s no accident teamwork is used twice.

“…Building teamwork and strength through sports. Whether it’s gaining the confidence that comes from learning to dribble a basketball or building the positive relationships that lead to good sportsmanship and teamwork…because lifelong rewards come from teamwork, friendly competition, and exercise.”

Feeding America’s mission statement uses a mix of both positive and negative emotions to trigger awareness as well as surprise. It also promotes social bonding.

“…In a country that wastes billions of pounds of food each year, it’s almost shocking that anyone in America goes hungry. Yet every day, there are millions of children and adults who do not get the meals they need to thrive…At the same time, we also seek to help the people we serve to build a path to a brighter, food-secure future…”

Emotional Words That Initiate a Response

More often than not, social causes that depend on bonding and community involvement use positive emotions to get their message across. Below are some common words that make us feel a certain way.

This is far from an exhaustive list and many of these keywords words overlap.


Arts and Culture, Education, Religious, Youth Programs, Recreation

Positive Keywords

excel, opportunities, excellent, support, inspiration, enrich, care, encourage

Negative Keywords

disadvantaged, low, needy, abuse, at risk


Arts and Culture, Education, Religious, Youth Programs, Recreation

Positive Keywords

empathy, opportunity, healthy, best, safety, power, benefit, improve, protect

Negative Keywords

poor, neglect, trauma, problem, abuse, defend

Overcome Avoidance Through Word of Mouth

Marketers define avoidance as the instinct to escape pain and seek pleasure. It’s the same survival instinct that may cause you to mistake a stick for a snake as you walk through the woods. This is a big challenge for many organizations.

Don’t worry, there’s always a way to overcome subconscious emotions based on previous notions. That’s why word of mouth is so important. It may be the most effective influence on trust and loyalty, which makes all the difference in the world.

How to Sell Tickets to An Event With Ticketstripe

Things are always better when there are pleasant feelings involved. We fully support your precious contribution which is why we specialize in helping nonprofits.

If you haven’t found an online ticketing platform, Ticketstripe is robust, easy to use and we offer discounted fees for nonprofits.

If you already have a ticketing platform but want extra special care, contact us!

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