Gamification Marketing – The Future Of Escape Room Marketing

Hey, and welcome to the latest Escape Room Marketing blog! Can you believe we’re more than halfway through January already? It only seems like yesterday it was Christmas!

Last week I shared 10 ways to engage with potential customers on social media AND win new bookings. Click here to read that now.

Time flies (especially when running an escape room!), which is why it’s so important to not let neglect your marketing. It’s also why it’s critical not to waste time (and money) on marketing that just doesn’t work.

That being said, today I’m going to share an amazing strategy that can be used across so many marketing and advertising platforms, and that I strongly believe to be the future of escape room marketing.

And that is: Gamification Marketing. More on that shortly…

But first, a quick word. Whether you’re new to my blogs or not, you should know I’m big on two things:

  1. Growing escape rooms using effective marketing
  2. And ACTION

You’ve come this far and started reading this blog – but if you don’t put what you learn into action, you’re just wasting your time! So if you’re truly committed to growing your escape room in 2020, make a commitment to put the strategy I’m going to share into action.

And when you do, I’d love to hear personally how it went for you – so email me at dan@virallybot.com to let me know!

Gamification Marketing?

Now I’m sure a question you’re asking is what exactly is Gamification Marketing? It’s a marketing strategy specific to the escape room industry, and on that, you’ll be hearing more of in 2020 and beyond. It truly is the way forward.

It involves Marketing not your escape room, but a puzzle or a brain teaser.

You might be thinking, “hang on, why would I do marketing that is not about my escape room?”.

There are four main reasons why gamification marketing is the way forward, and the first reason is a truth that stems from marketing and selling any business in any industry – not just escape rooms.

And that truth is people have changed. They no longer want to be sold to. They want to be engaged, they want to be educated, and only then will they make a decision to purchase a product, a service, or book an escape room!

Sure, marketing that directly markets your escape room still works to certain audiences, but not for all. More and more people are responding less to direct marketing. They prefer to be engaged.

Which brings me on to the second reason gamification marketing works well – it engages people. People who are engaged in your marketing are more likely to take action from it, whether that is clicking to your website, learning more about your escape room, and even booking one.

Reason three is another universal marketing truth that impacts all industries: Targeting. It hurts me to say it, but the truth is that not everybody will be interested in your escape room and will want to play it.

So, your marketing needs to do a great job of segmenting and reaching out to those that would be interested – your target audience. And what better target audience can you think of for your escape room than people who want to play a puzzle or brain teaser?!

The fourth and last reason why gamification marketing works so well and is its virability. Any piece of marketing that can go viral and be shared across multiple platforms and between friends, etc. will always do well.

And marketing that includes a puzzle or a brain teaser has huge potential to become viral – friends love to share puzzles with their friends and see if they get the same answer as them, or if they answered it faster, etc.

I could go on, and on, and on, about how good gamification marketing it and why it’s so good. But let’s move on to some precise ways you can start doing gamification marketing for your escape room!

Whilst gamification marketing can be done in so many different ways; you don’t have the time nor marketing budget to do and test them all. So, here’s the 5 most effective strategies that have and continue to work for escape rooms with some examples and proven templates.

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1. Facebook

Social media, in particular, Facebook, is fantastic for gamification marketing. Other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin work too, just to a lesser extent. So let’s focus on Facebook for today.

There are 2 different ways of doing gamification marketing on Facebook:

-Free, organic postings

-Paid, advertised postings

If you have more than 1,000 likes on Facebook, your organic postings should perform well, but if you have spare budget ($5/day will suffice), you can also do paid ads.

Whichever you choose, they both work more or less the same way. Firstly, to grab attention, you need a great picture, which also doubles as your game or puzzle. Then in your post, you want to set the challenge. Lastly, you then want to briefly mention your escape room at the end.

Here’s an example:

Who can work out who the killer is? Comment your answer below & share with your friends, can you beat them?

For more challenges like this, visit www.thebestescaperoomever.com to book a room!

You can build on this simple template and try different variations with different puzzles and call to actions. Here are a few other options:

-Run a poll on Facebook where people select their answer

-When asking them to comment their answer, take the time to reply to each either saying they got it right or didn’t – and linking them to your website

-You can even get them to message you privately with their answer, for the chance to win 10% off a future booking

2. Website

Another great strategy is to utilize your website. Your website will already have a number of standard pages and content, such as booking info, a booking page, information on different rooms, testimonials/reviews, etc.

Ultimately, however, the only real action visitors to your website can take is to book or leave. And because many people will not be engaged, they will leave without booking!

But by adding some gamification on your homepage, you can get them engaged!

Here’s a great example;

On your homepage, simply have a great puzzle image like this

The image can then be linked to a unique page that shares the answer, challenges them to other puzzles by inviting them to book an escape room with you – and to sweeten the deal, offer a discount code for playing!

3. Emails

The thing about email marketing is you obviously need people’s emails to email to – and the only ones you’ll have is past customers. But gamification marketing is a great way of re-engaging with past customers with emails and getting them to come back and book with you again.

Before you can engage with your past customers via email, you need to overcome one critical barrier: Getting them to open your email!

We all get thousands of emails and only open a percentage of them which catch our fancy. The subject of an email is the key to getting people to open your email. There are two elements your subjects MUST contain in order to get them opened (for gamification marketing purposes only).

Firstly, it must be personalized. It must have the first name of the person you’re emailing. This will stand out and have much more of a chance to be opened.

Secondly, the subject must challenge them – it must scream out, “open me up and give me a shot!”.

Here’s a few examples:

Can you crack the code, Tom?

Rebecca, are you up to the challenge?

Have you got what it takes, Robin?

So, you’ve got your past customer to open up your gamification email. How exactly do you then use gamification inside of it? Here’s an example;

Hey Tom!

Only 9% of people can answer this correctly – are you one of them?

Read to the bottom of the email to find out if you got it right!

Whilst you’re here Tom, it’s been a while since we last saw you at The Best Escape Room Ever.

As a past customer you qualify for 10% of your next visit, so for more information and to book today visit us at www.thebestescaperoomever.com

See you soon!

P.S. The answer is 87! If you got it right, hit REPLY and let us know!

You can take that example and create different templates to test out for yourself!

4. Printed Puzzles

The 3 strategies covered so far are digital methods – but gamification marketing isn’t limited to just digital! In fact, there’s a great direct mail strategy that incorporates gamification.

Firstly, it’s important to note that direct mail is making a come back – not just in the escape room industry, but everywhere! Because there is so much digital marketing these days (rightfully so), direct mail stands out more and has a great impact. I’m not sure saying digital marketing’s days are numbered, simply you need to do a combination of both.

That said, just how can gamification be combined with direct mail marketing?

It could be something as simple as a printed A5 crossword or sudoku puzzle! On one side is the puzzle, and the other side is an invitation to book a room with you and even a discount code. This will keep costs low, allowing you to market to thousands of local homes and families.

A simple letter template:

Dear Challenger,

Have you got what it takes to complete the puzzle?

If (like us!) you love things like this, you will LOVE to visit one of our escape rooms with your friends. Visit www.thebestescaperoomever.com and enter discount code #bestever2020 to get a 10% discount today!

You could also do a more targeted campaign to past customers, getting their attention with a great puzzle, and challenging them to come back for more!

Dear Tom,

It’s been a while since you last visited, so we thought we’d send you a quick brain teaser to get the old brain cells working again!

If you’re up for the challenge, you should come back and try our brand new escape room. Bring 4 or more friends with you, and get 20% off!

Visit www.thebestescaperoomever.com for more info!

It doesn’t need to be complicated – the key is the engagement created with a puzzle!

5. Mini-Game Bots

Lastly, and yes, this is a shameless plug! You could invest in your very own Mini-Game Bot with VirallyBot – the sponsors of this blog.

VirallyBot works with over 50 escape rooms around the world, providing bespoke and automated Mini-Game Bots for Facebook Messenger. The bots deliver weekly games (like those I’ve shared) and engage with people on the escape rooms social media, website, etc.

Players get hooked on the games, win discount codes for completing them, and book rooms for themselves and their families. On average 30 bookings a month are made from the Mini-Game Bots alone!

For more info on having your very own Mini-Game Bot and to try an exclusive demo, visit www.virallybot.com

Plug ends. 😊

Are You Up For It?

Today I’ve shared the 5 best ways of running gamification marketing for your escape room. The question is, are you up for the challenge of putting these ideas into action?

Comment below to share which ideas you’re going to start, and let me know how they go!

Make sure you don’t miss out on future weekly escape room marketing blogs by subscribing

Thank You 😊

Free Weekly Branded Puzzles:

No matter how many followers you have on social media, very few of they will actually book your rooms if they’re not engaged. A fantastic way of engaging with your followers is posting weekly puzzles that they can try to figure out, post answers to and share with their friends.

As a thank you for visiting our blog, we’d like to offer you free weekly puzzles you can post on your social media. Each puzzle will be branded with your logo too.

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