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8 Smart Email Marketing Strategies for Escape Rooms

February 29, 2024 5min read
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Owning an escape room business is a labor of love—but that doesn’t mean you have unlimited time and energy to devote to marketing. You need marketing strategies that are easy to implement and highly effective, leaving you free to craft mind-bending puzzles for your captives.

Enter email marketing, one of the most cost-effective and user-friendly marketing strategies available.

Industry research consistently finds that email is one of the best ways for businesses to reach customers. Why? Because email campaigns reach a targeted audience directly without finicky algorithms getting in the way. Learn to harness the power of the inbox with our guide to email marketing for escape rooms.

Benefits of Email Marketing for Escape Rooms

Have you tried social media marketing for your escape room but felt your content was getting lost in the noise? You weren’t imagining it—it’s increasingly difficult to get traction on crowded social media platforms.

Email marketing, on the other hand, continues to be a reliable way to reach potential customers. Email is still the most widely used digital communication tool. 60% of Millennials in the U.S. use email for shopping online. All in all, email marketing boasts a reach and an ROI that’s hard for other channels to compete with.

Email marketing offers a host of unique benefits:

  • Targeted and personalized communication. Email marketing can be more personalized than most other forms of marketing. You can tailor messages to specific customer segments, such as previous customers, returning site visitors, people local to your area or shoppers who didn’t complete a purchase.
  • Cost-effective marketing. Compared to traditional advertising channels, email marketing offers a higher likelihood of connecting with a receptive audience at a lower cost. In fact, some marketing firms estimate the ROI for email marketing to be as much as $36 for every $1 spent.
  • Increased bookings and revenue. People are responsive to offers sent directly to their email. In fact, up to 50% of people make purchases prompted by marketing emails at least once a month. Most marketers report that email is their biggest revenue driver, with up to a 760% revenue increase when using segmented campaigns.
  • Customer loyalty and retention. Staying in touch with your customers is one of the most effective ways to build a relationship and encourage repeat business. With email marketing, you can send special offers and messages specifically to your previous visitors, reminding them of everything your escape room has to offer.
  • Brand building. Consistent email communication lets you establish your brand voice with your subscribers and showcase all the unique features, themes and experiences your escape room has to offer.
  • Automation and efficiency. Automated email sequences allow you to craft messages tailored to every audience segment, from new website visitors to lost bookings. Email campaigns can also be scheduled in advance, letting you streamline your communication process.
  • Customer reactivation. Email campaigns let you target inactive customers with special offers or reach out to potential customers who didn’t finish booking.

Creative Email Campaigns for Escape Rooms

From interactive content to exclusive offers, email marketing is an opportunity to display your creativity and build excitement for everything your escape room has to offer.

Email campaigns can be tailored for just about any purpose. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Interactive Content and Challenges

Clearly, your ideal customer loves to solve puzzles and unlock mysteries. Gamifying your emails not only increases your open rate but can also increase the reach of your campaign. The more fun and interactive your emails are, the more likely subscribers are to forward to their own network. 

Here are a few popular gaming elements to try:

  • Interactive widgets. Roulette wheels, scratch cards, mazes or simple point-and-click games are just a few of the options. Subscribers earn a discount by playing, making them more likely to book a visit.
  • Hidden discount codes in the body of the email. Try creating an acrostic spelled out in the initial letters of each line, or hide an anagram in your email’s subheadings.
  • Trivia or quizzes. Use themes that relate to your escape room, such as a quiz for readers to find out which movie villain or famous detective they’re most like. Or include a quiz or riddle with a link to get the answer on your website for an instant traffic boost.

Exclusive VIP Offers and Events

Offering exclusive perks for VIPs is one of the best ways to build customer loyalty. Try segmenting your mailing list to identify frequent visitors, corporate customers, your biggest spenders, etc.

Next, create an email sequence just for VIPs. Show your appreciation by offering exclusive discounts, early access to new rooms or special invite-only events.

User-Generated Content Campaigns

Escape room experiences are perfect fodder for your guests to share on their social media—which also gives you the perfect source for genuine customer testimonials.

Encourage your visitors to share their experience on their socials, mark their location and tag your business. Feature the best user-generated content in your email campaigns regularly.

Special Promotions

Try creating an email campaign to announce special holiday promotions or seasonal events. This can help you attract new customers and nudge fence-sitters into finalizing that booking they’ve been considering. Consider creating a special promo to boost business during your off season. 

  • Offer a couple’s getaway. If February tends to be a dead zone, send out an email promoting a Valentine’s date night package with romantic extras. Offer a 2-for-1 ticket price with chocolates and champagne included.
  • Family fun for the holidays. Promote a family-friendly experience for Christmas, with discounted rates for kids and a festive twist on the escape room experience.
  • Host theme nights. Try an 80s retro night or a superhero night when the next Marvel blockbuster comes out. Give your email subscribers a discount or exclusive access. Encourage guests to come in costume and add thematic elements to your lobby and escape room.

Customer Feedback

Email surveys make it easy to collect input from previous customers and ask how you could improve the escape room experience. But surveys can also be sent to those who haven’t booked yet—ask what they would be interested in seeing and what’s preventing them from booking.

Pro tip: Be sure to give survey respondents a special offer or discount. This not only shows your appreciation but encourages repeat business.

Gamification With Loyalty Programs

A loyalty program is a fun way to increase engagement while incentivizing repeat visits. Encourage subscribers to enroll to earn points redeemable for discounts, free merch or other rewards. You can also award badges for actions like referring a friend, sharing on social media or leaving a review.

Awarding bonus points in an email is an effective way to entice your reader to get started in your loyalty program. Try an attention-grabbing subject line like:

“Congratulations! We’ve just added 1,000 points to your account!”

Inside the email, let your customer know how much their points are worth, and include a link to your booking page to redeem their earnings immediately.

Themed Campaigns

Themed email campaigns that include storytelling elements let you bring subscribers into the world of your rooms before they ever set foot inside. A sneak peek at the intriguing setting you’ve created can fire up your potential customer’s imagination and increase their interest in booking a visit.

Try these tips to make your emails more immersive:

  • Write an email in character as someone from your room’s storyline—show readers a glimpse of the devious brain that cooked up the adventure that awaits
  • Use images and gifs that fit the theme
  • Hint at upcoming events, new rooms or hidden secrets within your rooms

Last-Minute Deals

Got a last-minute cancellation? Need a boost during a slow week? Try sending out an email to your list with a special limited-time-only discount rate.

Highlight that this offer is available to subscribers only. A sense of exclusivity makes potential customers more likely to act.

How to Start With Email Marketing

Now that you’ve got an understanding of the benefits of email marketing and some creative campaign ideas in mind, let’s go over a step-by-step plan to bring your email marketing strategy online.

1. Choose an Email Marketing Platform

Successful email marketing hinges on choosing a platform like Resova that’s simple and reliable.

Resova integrates email, SMS and social media tools right into your booking platform for a seamless marketing experience. You’ll be able to manage and segment your mailing list, create customized email campaigns and automate your email strategy, all from one user-friendly dashboard.

2. Build Your Email List

Your email marketing plan is nothing without a healthy mailing list. Begin collecting email addresses via:

  • Your website
  • Your booking platform
  • In-person visits (have visitors sign in to a guestbook)

How do you get visitors to sign up? It’s simple: Offer discount codes, new member coupons and exclusive subscriber-only content such as sneak peeks at new rooms.

3. Create Automated Workflows

Get the most out of your email marketing platform by taking advantage of automated sequences. At a minimum, you should have:

  • Welcome emails for new subscribers
  • Thank you emails post-visit
  • Reminders for upcoming bookings
  • An abandoned cart sequence

4. Create a Campaign Plan

In addition to automated customer journey sequences, you’ll also need to plan other email messaging, such as:

  • Promotional offers
  • Newsletters
  • Event announcements

Create a campaign calendar for your emails that incorporates special events, holidays and seasonal offerings.

Next, decide how often to email your list. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here, but aim for at least a few times a month, up to a few times per week. You may find it helpful to segment your list and compare open rates and click-through rates at different frequencies.

5. Test and Send

Before you send an email to your list, always test it to see how it displays on different devices.

Check that:

  • Customizations are properly formatted
  • Images and videos are embedded and displayed at an appropriate size
  • Links are working

6. Track Performance

Your email marketing platform should provide analytics tools to track the performance of your campaigns—use them. You’ll want to monitor metrics like:

  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Unsubscribes and bounces
  • Conversion rates
  • Best days and times for sending emails

7. Optimize and Repeat

Don’t just assume your email marketing strategy will take care of itself from here on out. You’ll need to continuously optimize it based on the insights you glean from those performance metrics listed above.

Experiment with:

  • Different subject lines
  • Content formats
  • Sending times

As you gather more data, you’ll be able to refine your strategy and increase engagement by repeating what works and dropping what doesn’t.

Let Resova Take the Mystery Out of Email Marketing

Marketing an escape room is an ongoing challenge, and it can feel like a puzzle you don’t have the keys to solve. But once you learn the tricks of email marketing, you’ll open the door to a more engaged audience, more bookings and higher revenue.

Resova lets you integrate your email strategy into your online booking management platform to make marketing easier than ever before.

We provide templates and tools to create everything from booking reminders to abandoned cart sequences in a snap. When it comes to connecting with your customers online, Resova gives you all the clues.

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