Hey, and welcome to part 2 of 4 Ways To Ensure You’re Never Short Of Bookings Ever Again. In part 1 I covered how you can use both Email and Text messages to get customers to come back again, and again. If you’ve not checked that out, make sure you click here to read that first.
The concept of repeat business – where you get customers to come back for more, is essential to the success of any escape room. Ultimately, there are only so many people in this world who you can market to and get to book one of your rooms.
But by marketing to old customers, you’re able to get consistent repeat bookings. Escape rooms with only a single room are hesitant to market to old customers because they feel they have no new experiences to offer. But the truth is many happy customers would be happy to come back again and play the same room!
And if you have multiple rooms, old customers would love to be challenged to play a different one from last time. The opportunities are in abundance; you just have to reach out, grab them and…
That’s right. As is common in every blog post, I’m here not just to educate you, but I’m here to arm you and get you started right away. There’s no use learning a new marketing strategy if you don’t put it into action.
So, make the commitment now that you will put into action at least 1 of the strategies I’m about to share to get repeat bookings. Agreed?
Before We Get Started
Before we get started and dive into the 3rd and 4th strategies, there are a few things you need that are essential to success. Personalization is critical to any marketing, but especially to getting return bookings.
At the very least, you need to know their First Name which you should have, and an Email or Phone Number. These are the absolute minimum requirements. However, to open yourselves up to even greater results, you’ll need as much of these requirements as possible:
-The date the customer played
-The name of the escape room they played (if you have multiple rooms)
-Whether they won or lost
-And an address
You see, the strategies are targeting specific people: people who have booked before. So by having as much information on their previous booking, the more you can remind them of the great experience they had!
It’s not enough to simply market to previous customers as you would somebody who has never heard of your escape room before – never mind visited and played a room!
The strategies use methods of marketing that you probably already do on a general capacity. But by adding that personalization, and by having that history with the customer, you will experience a greater conversion (booking) rate than nearly any other type of marketing.
And better yet, your marketing costs are cheaper because you’ve already captured these people’s details before and already paid to turn them into a customer. Now you’re simply going to get them to come back again and again.
Speaking of which, how will you do that? Here are the 4 strategies;
- Emails (Covered in part 1)
- Texts (Covered in part 1)
- Direct Mail
- Facebook Ads
Whether you do any of these methods generally already or not, I’ll be going into enough detail that you can start these in no time at all. Anyway, without further ado, let’s dive into strategy 3… Direct Mail!
Strategy 3 is a bit different, but good-different! Direct Mail is perceived as an old fashioned, out-dated method of marketing. Old fashioned, sure – but out-dated? Definitely not!
In fact, direct mail is making a comeback! In the last decade or so, digital advertising and marketing has dominated – and it always will. But people like a change and something a bit different, so when they receive a bit of direct mail through their letterbox it makes a more lasting impression.
There’s room for both digital and traditional marketing and the most successful escape rooms which utilize both 😊
Now there’s one major barrier to escape rooms doing this, and that’s having the customers address! Whilst it’s often required to submit an address at the point of purchase online, you may be unable to access them. But if you can – you have a great opportunity!
Direct mail can take many different forms, but the one I’m going to cover is a two-parter:
Firstly, you send a PERSONALIZED letter to the customer
AND attached to the letter is… a discount coupon!
People love receiving gifts, and direct mail not only allows you to get your past customer’s attention; you can also give them a physical discount coupon. And it works wonders!
Sure, you have the cost of printing and specific mailing, which means this option can be more expensive than email and text. But you’ll get great results!
Let’s look more into the letter and the coupon.
If you don’t have coupons already, you’ll have to get some designed and printed. In that case, here’s a few things your coupon MUST include:
-CLEAR instructions on how to claim the discount – usually a short URL people can go to
-CLEAR value and terms and conditions – for example, 10% when you book X room or make a booking with X people
-It should be well branded and be clearly part of the rest of your escape room branding
-It should say THANK YOU on it!
-It needs to look great – ensure you use a professional designer.
-The quality of the printed coupon needs to be decent and ideally, two sided.
-And they don’t need to be personalized – that’s where the letter comes in! Speaking of which…
Letters have a reputation of being long, full of words, and awful to read. But not yours! In fact, your letter should essentially be a copy of your email. For example:
Can you believe it’s been over 3 months since you last visited [The Best Escape Room Ever]?! Crazy, right? If you recall, you and your friends played the [Baker Street Room] on [31st August 2019], and you managed to escape.
Way to go!
We wanted to invite you to come back to [The Best Escape Room Ever] and play one of our other rooms;
Or you can see if you can beat [Baker Street] a second time!
As a further thank you for your last visit, we wanted to offer you a 10% discount on your next booking when you bring 5 or more friends with you!
Visit http://www.thebestescaperoomever.com/discountcoupon to get your discount and make your next booking, and we look forward to seeing you very soon!
The Team at [The Best Escape Room Ever]
Your letters should be printed on branded good quality paper and look really great!
Finally, before I come to strategy 4 lets talk frequency. With Email & Text, I suggest weekly sends. But this is not the case for Direct Mail. In fact, a single letter & coupon should suffice every 6 months. By doing this strategy in conjunction with some of the others, you’ll get a good conversion rate.
But when you take into consideration the cost of direct mail, the environmental impacts, and the fact people don’t want to be spammed with physical marketing – you want to do this rarely. But as the impact will be far greater, you don’t need to send direct mail too often!
Welcome to the 4th and final repeat bookings strategy! Whether you’ve run Facebook Ads before or not, I’m going to show you how you can get repeat bookings using them very simply. Before we dive in, there are a few things you’re going to need:
-At least 1,200 past customer email addresses
-A Facebook Ad account connected to a payment method and a page
-A budget of at least $5/day
Facebook Ads are a fantastic tool for running targeted ads to the people most likely to buy what you’re selling. But they have another feature which you may not know of. Facebook allows you to upload a database of Emails and advertise to every person on that list who’s email is linked to a Facebook account.
The only limit to this is your email list must be at least 1,000 long. But I recommend a list of 1,200 at least because not every email will be linked to an active Facebook profile.
The Facebook Strategy is also the least personalized of them all as you’re advertising to a group. So the most personalization you can do in your ads is mentioning that the person viewing the ad has played a room in the past. Anyway, I’ll cover that more when I go over the actual ads.
First things first, you need a CSV file with a single column of data. The first cell must have “Email” in it, and then you can enter every email address of past customers you have. Again, this must be at least 1,200 to ensure your ads will even run!
With your spreadsheet ready, go to the Facebook Ads menu and click Audiences. Then click Create Audience -> Custom Audience. Select the Customer List option, and then click Use a file that doesn’t include LTV. Click upload file to upload your CSV, and name it something appropriate like “2019 customers). Save. Facebook will then automatically try to pair each email with a profile and create an audience that you can advertise to.
With that done, there is just one last thing to do before we put your ads together…
It’s important to measure the actual bookings created from your ads. Not only does this give you a good indication of how well this strategy is working for you, your ROI, etc. it also allows Facebook to optimize your ads, so you get maximum results.
In order to set your ads up to record your results and conversions, you first need the rough URL that people will arrive on AFTER they’ve made a booking. The URL must be the one that shows in the address bar after the page has loaded. Once you have that, go to your ads menu and select Events Manager.
Click Custom Conversions, Create Custom Conversion, and paste the URL in the box provided. Name the conversion “Repeat Customer Booking” or something similar, and click create.
Now we can FINALLY get to the ad campaign itself 😊
- Go to your Facebook Ads manager, and click New Campaign
- You need to choose an objective for your campaign. Ensure you pick Conversions
- Set the daily budget to $5/day
- When picking an audience, ensure you pick the custom audience you created
- Under conversions select the one you just created too
Now for the best bit, the actual ads!
As a starter, I would suggest using single image ads – choose images that show your rooms and people playing them. You can also use short videos, which are teasers/trailers of your rooms.
As for the text in your ads, there are a total of 4 text areas you need to fill out. Here’s what I would recommend for each:
Main Text Box
As a THANK YOU for playing one of our escape rooms this year, we wanted to give you something special….
A 10% discount off of your next booking!
You can use this discount on a booking of 5 or more people in any of our rooms:
Just click our link below to get your discount and book your next visit. We look forward to seeing and locking you back up, very soon 😊
Headline Get 10% off your next booking!
News Feed Description Try your hands at one of our other escape rooms
Call To Action Button: Book Now
By having the conversion set up, you can easily measure your performance. That’s why you should test different ads, with different images, videos, and text, to maximixe your results.
But by targeting specifically previous customers, you’ll generate a vastly superior conversion rate and ROI on any general ads you’d ever run.
P.S. here’s a little bonus strategy. You can create a lookalike list of your customer list. This is where Facebook will analyze the profiles and demographics of your list and create an audience of people most similar. These are people similar to your customers, making them ideal for targeting with general ads! 😉
Before I sign off, It’s important I cover one last thing. The goal of these strategies is to get repeat bookings, right? And you will! But you need to cross-reference your bookings daily or as often as possible, and stop these strategies for any customer who has made a repeat booking. For example, you need to stop emailing a past customer if they just booked.
There’s nothing more annoying being marketed a product or service that we’ve recently purchased by the company we’ve just purchased it from! Keep your records and list up to date. This doesn’t need to take long and can save a lot of hassle.
On your marks… get set… go!
You’ve made it to the end of 4 different strategies to get repeat bookings and ensuring you never, ever run out of bookings! Before you finish reading, click away and get on with your busy day running your escape room, remember what I said at the start?
I want you to go and pick at least 1 of the 4 strategies that you’re going to start putting into action! Whether your escape room is 3 months old, or 3 years old, you’ll have hundreds, if not thousands, of old customers you can start marketing to getting them to make another booking.
Your results will be even greater when you combine several of these strategies at the same time, and they will always work for you. The more new customers you get, the more opportunity you have for repeat customers. There’s no reason why your escape room should ever not be fully booked!
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.
Click here to sign up now.