Hey friends, and welcome to the latest in our special series of escape room marketing blogs centred around the ongoing worldwide pandemic, where an end may finally be in sight!
Before I get started, I sincerely hope you and your loved ones are healthy.
Last week I shared 3 ways to get your former customers to book your new live escape experiences. I’ve been focussing a lot on virtual and online escape experienced because that has been the only way for escape rooms like yours to generate money in the last few months.
However, this week, I’m heading in a different direction: the near future. Although it’s still uncertain, and will vary country by country, many escape rooms will be able to start reopening in the coming weeks. Again, there’s no set date but it’s really important for escape rooms to start getting ready.
This is incredibly important because it’s not going to be a case of opening back up one day, and business will be usual. That won’t happen. The world has changed, people have changed. Your escape room and your marketing needs to change and adapt too.
What I’ve done is gone over dozens, if not hundreds, of different actions (both marketing and otherwise) that escape rooms need to take, and I’ve listed the top 15 – these are those that are most critical.
I’m going to challenge you, by the time you reopen, to have checked off 10 or more from the list. I hope you’re up for that! Now is the time for action, to get ready for D-Day when you can finally reopen.
Let’s dive in…
1. Consider offering a discount when you first reopen
This situation has not just impacted everybody medically and mentally, but also financially. But I know I don’t need to tell you that, because you too have suffered. That said, it’s important that you start to make some money again and attract customers, but balance it in such a way that you don’t put people off from booking a room because you’re too expensive. Plus, it’s just generally nice to help people as much as possible by offering a discount for say – the first 6 weeks after reopening. We’re all in this together.
2. Adapt and accommodate for peoples changed needs (and in many cases, legal requirements!)
When your escape room is able to reopen the world has still changed. People are and will continue to treat hygiene, social distancing and various medical precautions are absolute critical priority for weeks and months to come. To help accommodate people, and thus not put them off from booking with you, consider implementing extensive hygiene and social distancing measures. For example, give additional space between groups so you can thoroughly clean each room and minimise contact between groups.
3. Prepare yourself for a slow start
It’s really important to understand that getting back to normal levels of customers and revenue will take time. But by slowly getting trickles of customers in, you can start to balance your cash flow and get back to normality over time. Don’t be disheartened by this, it will take time but you’ll get there!
4. Show off your reviews!
I know your escape room is awesome. Your customers know too. But you need to ensure everybody else knows too! To do this, compile your best reviews from different audiences – friends, family and corporate teams, and market them before you even reopen. You got it, flaunt it! On social media, on your website, on your booking page.
5. Create trailers and launch them
This is a two partner really.
If you haven’t got video trailers you can use to advertise your escape rooms before and after reopening, you need to create some! You don’t need to be Steven Spielberg, you don’t need thousands of pounds/dollars worth of recording equipment. Use your mobile phone, and find a great video editor on www.fiverr.com to transform your raw footage into an irresistible trailer.
With trailers ready, get them out there! Again on social media, your website, everywhere your traffic usually comes from. Trailers, alongside reviews covered in 4. Are among some of the best ways to get bookings any time, anywhere!
6. Build hype
It’s coming. A slow return to normality for millions, and the reopening of your escape room. This is an exciting time. Don’t leave it to the day you re-open to celebrate and announce you’re open for business! Start promoting on social media TODAY. Remind people what you can offer them when you reopen. Get them excited, and get excited yourself 😊
7. Run competitions
I’m a firm believer that competitions are a fantastic way of marketing escape rooms, and I would encourage every one of you to run competitions often – weekly or monthly! And reopening is a great opportunity to run some competitions now and award winners free escape experiences for them and their friends/family.
Combine a competition with a great mini puzzle or game, to really get people engaging with you and joining your hype-train.
8. Target past customers
As I covered in last weeks blog, past customers are a great group to target your experiences too. They already know you, they already love you, they want more – so give them it!
And they’ll be over the moon to hear from you and your team that you’re reopening soon, and I bet many of them would be really keen to book an experience with you soon. So advertise to your past customers specifically – email them, text them, send them mail (when it’s safer to do so).
9. Join forces with local businesses
This pandemic has impacted businesses of all shapes, sizes and industries – not just escape rooms and entertainment businesses. A great way of marketing yourself is to join forces with other local businesses, but this is especially important right now.
There are many ways to join forces with local businesses. A great example is teaming up with a restaurant nearby. Agree to promote each others business – after all, groups of friends, or family, or colleagues, would love a meal and an escape room – or an escape room and a meal! Help each other recover, and maintain those relationships for years to come.
10. Readjust your messaging
As I said at the start of this blog, you can’t just do the same marketing you used to do before the world went mad. People have changed, and what your escape room can offer people has changed too. Sure, people will always love a challenge and an opportunity to work with a team to overcome challenges.
But you know what else people will love? Hanging out with friends, family, colleagues – people they haven’t been able to see in person for months. And what better way of catching up than going to an escape room together?!
So my point is, your marketing and your messaging must include all of these other additional and extra benefits of visiting. Doing so and you’ll get many more bookings, because you’re providing what people really need.
11. Target local businesses
In addition to targeting past customers (8), another great audience to go after are local businesses who operate multiple teams. Many of these have been unable to work recently, others will have been working their socks off.
In both cases, both teams need escape rooms! If they’ve been unable to work, they will no longer be used to working as a team. If they have been working but remotely, again they’re not accustomed to working together and directly in person. And those who have been working AND in person – those who are essential workers for example, deserve a reward.
And escape rooms provide what each of these groups need. Use Linkedin to advertise to local businesses and you’ll get bookings of large numbers, and multiple bookings per business!
12. Engage your social media audience
As part of all of these points, you need to be consistently engaging with your social media audience. The BEST way of doing this, is by sharing puzzles and brain teasers. People will then try to solve them, comment on them, like them, share them with friends. They’re the best way to build engagement – and engaged followers are significantly more likely to book your room than unengaged followers. Start this now, and never, ever stop!
If you struggle for small puzzle or brain teaser ideas, or are just so busy doing all of these other points, I can help! For the last few months I’ve been creating and sending 80+ escape rooms weekly puzzles with their logo on, that they share on their social media.
It takes me time, but saves you time, and I want to get the number to 100. So if you’d like to sign up, click here.
13. Engage your website audience
As with your social media audience, your website audience also need engaging. Achieving this makes them so more likely to book with you. And to help, I have a way that you can generate 15% more bookings from your website visitors. If you’d like to get 15% more bookings, CLICK HERE to learn how you can achieve that!
14. Show off!
In addition to sharing past reviews, you need to show off every booking you get after you reopen. I’m serious! Share their team photos, their reviews. Show your audience that people are getting back to normal, and they’re coming to your escape room.
15. Learn, implement, action!
The fact you’re reading this blog shows you’re into learning – you want to get better at marketing your escape room, and that’s great! But you need to be consistent with that, and never stop getting better and trying new things – because marketing is always changing, as are people.
That being said, for further ideas, strategies and inspiration I invite you to read all of my other blogs.
And to ensure you never miss future ones (I publish them weekly), subscribe below:
That’s all for this week friends, I’ll see you again same time next week!
On a personal note I wish you all and your loved ones all the best in the coming days and weeks
Thank You 😊