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For escape room fans, much of the excitement comes from solving complex puzzles within captivating mysteries. But for escape room owners, the challenge isn’t about solving mysteries—it’s about making a profit in a rapidly growing industry.
The good news is that effective escape room marketing can make this pursuit less perplexing.
In this guide, we’ll lead you through proven marketing techniques using SMS, email, and social media to help your escape room attract more customers and achieve financial success.
The Importance of Marketing for Escape Room Businesses
The escape room industry is unique in the world of experiential businesses. Being such an unusual business, however, presents a variety of specific challenges. Some of the key issues facing escape rooms include:
- Managing hurdles unique to escape rooms. Surprisingly, many people still don’t know what an escape room is. In addition, escape room missions are designed for a one-time playthrough, adding unique difficulties to attracting repeat business.
- Handling customer communications effectively. Communicating with customers about bookings and payment options can be troublesome for escape rooms, especially if users book through an online portal. Failure to follow up, however, can result in customer no-shows.
- Coordinating corporate or group events. Big groups are the bread and butter of pay-per-person experiential businesses. Learning to manage large numbers can mean guaranteed nights of impressive revenue for birthday parties and holidays. However, escape room employees may not have the skills or know-how to deal with so many people, leading to lost conversion opportunities.
- Offering discount codes. Discount codes often give consumers the extra push they need to make a booking. However, if they can’t easily find or use such offers, you’ll likely miss out on new (and potentially repeat) customers.
Luckily, you can effectively address these problems with savvy marketing practices. Channels such as email and SMS make it simple to contact customers about their bookings and payments so they’re not left in the dark (until they’re locked inside your escape room, that is).
Likewise, your website and social media accounts are powerful platforms for sharing information about your group deals or discount codes.
Learning to optimize these channels to advertise your escape room business can create a more consistent flow of customers and reap more revenue. Let’s walk through some of the best practices of each marketing platform.
There’s No Escaping Email’s Efficiency
Email boasts one of the broadest and most impactful reaches among marketing platforms. Over 4.25 billion people regularly use email as a primary means of communication. Furthermore, most consumers list it as their preferred business-to-consumer (B2C) communication method.
Email is a very effective way for escape room businesses to communicate with customers. You can use it to remind customers about upcoming reservations or confer about corporate party details. Email is a particularly effective line of communication for businesses as it’s easily searchable and reviewable, and it saves a handy (digital) paper trail of your conversations.
Escape rooms, in particular, should consider using email marketing campaigns to:
Alongside booking confirmations or reservation reminders, include a short blurb about drink deals, party options or other offerings your escape room has. 88% of marketers practice upselling in one way or another, so it’s a tried-and-true tactic across many industries.
Announce New Promotions
Promotions can be the determining factor in whether or not potential customers book a timeslot. Offering a small discount or free merchandise through promotional emails can pull in more escapees and drive up interest in your business:
When structuring promos, consider that:
- 34% of customers prefer an immediate percentage-based discount, such as 10% off a room
- 28% favor a quick cashback offer, such as $10 off their booking
- 16% would rather have a free item, such as a branded t-shirt or mug
- 14% want percentage-based discounts on their next visit
Send Customers Discounts for Their Next Visit
As mentioned, many American consumers’ favorite offer is a discount on their next visit. Rewarding paying customers with future discounts increases their chances of revisiting and can turn them into regular customers who will be first in line for your next new adventure or offer.
Optimize SMS to Reach Your Escapees Immediately
While email’s audience is massive, there’s no wider-reaching communication channel than SMS. Over 5.1 billion people worldwide currently have cell phones, meaning they can receive text messages anywhere, anytime.
Furthermore, SMS messages have a 98% open rate, so consumers will likely see nearly every text you send.
Escape rooms can leverage this quick access to customers by broadcasting availability, offering discounts and filling customers in about upcoming events. Consider using SMS to:
Alert Your Customers to Last Minute Openings
Have a sudden cancellation or unbooked opening in an upcoming timeslot? Don’t let it go to waste! Message your customers to let them know it’s available, and offer it at a discounted rate.
You’ll make revenue you wouldn’t otherwise get, and you may also hook someone on the art of escape, creating a repeat customer for future, full-priced timeslots.
Hey [Customer’s Name]! Exciting news! Due to a sudden opening, we’ve got a prime escape room slot available just for you. 🕵️♂️ Snag it now at a special discounted rate! Limited spots. Book ASAP and dive into the mystery! 🚀 [Insert Link]
[Escape Room Business Name] Team
Like email, SMS is an efficient way to spread the word about upcoming promotions. Just make sure to include these essentials for SMS marketing campaigns.
- The date, time and description of your event or offer
- A call-to-action encouraging customers to book slots
- A link that allows users to access more information and RSVP
Hi [Customer’s Name]! Don’t miss out on our special event! 🎉 Join us on [Date] at [Preferred Time Slot] for an immersive escape room experience. Use code ADVENTURE15 to save 15% on your booking. Limited spots are available, so book now! 🕵️♀️ RSVP and find more details here: [Insert Link]
[Escape Room Business Name] Team
Send Personalized Messages
Everyone likes to feel special—especially when that means getting a deal or discount. Address customers by name and extend offers for events like birthdays to show them how important they are to your business.
SMS personalization is vital to leveraging customers’ emotions for increased revenue. In fact, over 80% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase after receiving a customized message.
Happy birthday [Customer’s Name]! Celebrate your special day with adventure! 🕵️♂️ Enjoy a FREE escape room experience on us! 🎁 Use code: BDAYFUN at checkout. Gather your friends and make it a birthday to remember. Book now, and let the games begin! [Insert Link]
[Escape Room Business Name] Team
Recover Abandoned Carts
Crafting an immersive escape experience and allocating dedicated time slots make each reservation valuable. Abandoned carts mean missed opportunities, not just in terms of revenue but also in the potential to provide customers with unforgettable experiences.
Overcoming this challenge involves strategically re-engaging customers, reminding them of the excitement awaiting them, and addressing any potential barriers that led to the abandoned reservation.
Hey [Customer’s Name]! Your escape adventure is almost ready, but your reservation needs that final touch. Complete it now with code RESCUE10 for an exclusive 10% off. Don’t miss the thrill—click to secure your spot! [Insert Link]
[Your Business Name]”
Locking Customers in with Your Social Media Presence
Most consumers believe in the validity of what brands post on social media, making it a trustworthy, reliable way to communicate important information to your target audience. Consumers can be (reasonably) wary of visiting any venue missing from Facebook, X, or Instagram.
Not having social media means missing crucial opportunities to engage with your audience and promote your business. Instead of being digitally absent, try using the web’s most popular social media platforms to:
Share Content and Encourage the Same From Your Guests
While you don’t want to give away any key details, sharing photos of your rooms or the atmosphere of your venue can show people what you’re all about and entice them to plan a visit.
Pro tip: Install visually captivating elements or provide themed props in your lobby that not only enhance the escape adventure but also entice visitors to share memorable snapshots.
Leverage User Generated Content (UGC)
Embracing user-generated content further amplifies your escape room’s appeal.
UGC is any picture, video, or post created by your customers rather than your business. UGC inspires high trust on social media, with most users finding it more influential than any other kind of content.
After visitors experience your venue, encourage them to share pictures on their social channels in exchange for exclusive discounts. This enhances your online presence and creates a community of engaged customers eager to showcase their escape room adventures.
Pro tip: Like with pictures, you’ll want to be careful about what your customers post to avoid spoiling surprises for future guests. However, if they upload something engaging and worthwhile, you can reshare it on your page with a quick Thank You to the original poster.
Engage with Your Audience
Consumers are bound to have questions about your venue’s specifics. They’ll often turn to social media to ask questions—and when they do, they expect you to respond.
84% of users who reach out to businesses on social media with questions have their issues addressed—meaning it’s an effective means of delivering customer service. Make sure to monitor your messages and reply to any customer concerns before they move on to the next escape room that does.
Positive testimonials on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google not only enhance credibility but also draw in new participants. These reviews serve as digital word-of-mouth, building trust and transforming satisfied customers into enthusiastic brand advocates.
The strategic use of social media for reviews amplifies visibility and reinforces your escape room’s reputation, playing a pivotal role in attracting a broader audience.
Excellent Websites Complement Exceptional Experiences
Unlike your most challenging rooms, your website shouldn’t be difficult to navigate.
Firstly, your website should exist—a point that almost one-third of small businesses seem to have overlooked. Secondly, it should be well-organized and visually appealing.Nearly 40% of internet users will quickly click away from confusing or unattractive sites.
Websites allow experiential businesses to show their personalities while communicating helpful information. Escape rooms can be dark, goofy, charming or present any persona, as long as their sites are:
User- and Mobile-Friendly
A well-designed website puts all the most essential links upfront without hiding them behind sidebar menus, unblockable ads or other annoying distractions. When crafting your escape room’s webpage, make sure the following are easily accessible to users visiting for the first time:
- Your booking platform
- Information about rooms, rates, locations and other relevant aspects of your business
- Links to social media
- Anything else you believe your customers came to your website to find
Ensuring your website is also mobile-friendly is not just a convenience but a strategic necessity. A mobile-friendly site ensures that customers can seamlessly access your escape room information, make reservations, and engage with your brand on their smartphones or tablets.
A responsive website enhances user experience and broadens your reach, capturing the attention of potential customers wherever they are. Whether potential guests are impulsively planning their next escape or researching on the go, a mobile-friendly website guarantees a smooth and enjoyable interaction, driving bookings and fostering customer loyalty.
When customers use Google searches (where 70% of all internet traffic starts) for escape rooms near me, you want to be the first result that pops up on their feed. However, this coveted position requires a solid understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices.
Pro tip: To stay on top, keep tabs on the latest trending keywords in the escape room sphere and continually update yourself on the latest SEO marketing techniques.
While some users may be interested in your backstory and other company history, most just want to make their bookings and move on with their day. That’s why you should use Resova to build a clear, easy-to-use and free booking website.
Resova simplifies booking and boils it down to the core questions of who, what, when, where and how much. It even offers functional widgets to integrate into social media, allowing you to catch those impulse bookers who feel compelled to try your rooms the second they discover them.
With Resova, you can more quickly convert curious browsers into future escapees—without writing a single line of code!
With Resova, There’s No Escape from Efficient, Effective Marketing
Optimizing your email, SMS, social media and web marketing practices can draw more guests into your escape room and turn them into repeat customers. To maximize your marketing efforts, it’s essential to ensure that your booking software is optimized and user-friendly.
To enhance your reservation page and ensure customer bookings time and time again, trust Resova. Resova is an all-in-one booking solution that reserves time slots, facilitates payments, and keeps customers updated on their booking status.
Resova even offers a variety of unique, highly effective marketing tools, such as discount codes for social media shares and automated email sequences.
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