Starting and running an escape room can be a daunting task. Not only do you need to design puzzles and devise a theme, but you also need to make sure that you are consistently attracting new customers to keep your rooms booked up.
That's where a solid escape room marketing plan comes in.
The right marketing strategy will help you reach your target audience and ensure that your escape room is profitable and consistent!
Lately, we have been finding a lot of success in the escape room niche - so much so that we have been able to create a systemized escape room marketing plan that guarantees bookings. (We offer our clients a 5x guarantee on ROAS and we have never had to refund anyone)
We launched this marketing plan for an escape room located in a city with as few as 70,000 people with success. And while PPC is only a portion of this plan our clients send us emails like this when we implement this escape room marketing plan for them.
We even brought the system to the 2022 Transworld Escape Room Conference!
Let's get into our escape Room marketing plan! We have broken down the system into its more basic pieces, resulting in what we call “The Loyalty Loop.”
We understand that escape rooms can have a potentially limited amount of replay value once a customer has gone through every room in your shop. That’s why it’s so important to gain fresh new bookings, then leverage those bookings into new customers.
Let’s break it down.
Step 1: Get New Customers
New customers are the lifeblood of escape rooms. When you have a guaranteed source of new bookings, you have enough to start building your Loyalty Loop.
The best place to find this guaranteed source of new customers is to step in front of a person when they are doing things on the internet that tell us they want to play an escape room.
Every time someone searches on Google for a search term with high intent of booking an escape room, we want to have your booking page readily available to them. We can do this using Google Ads.
Google Ads has a "simple" mode that will walk you through creating some ads - but we would highly recommend taking a class if you are going to be feeding Google Ads your own money.
What really sets Google Ads from more traditional marketing is that we can measure how much money is earned for every dollar spent. On the Google Ads dashboard, we can literally see how much money has been earned compared to how much money has been spent.
Having a steady flow of new escape room bookings is absolutely key to a strong escape room marketing plan. Here at Birch River Design Group, we have perfected our Google Ads strategy over multiple Escape Room locations across the country.
The following image shows the results of a Google Ads campaign in California. We spent $3,630 to obtain 315 bookings($41,600 Revenue). That's an 11x ROAS.
Update July 2022 with even more of our Google Ads results:
10x ROAS... $1,680 spent -> $16,800 revenue earned (113 bookings)
7.4x ROAS... $1,310 spent -> $9,700 revenue earned (87 bookings)
11x ROAS... $2,130 spent -> $24,000 revenue earned (149 bookings)
8x ROAS... $1,980 spent -> $17,400 revenue earned (116 bookings)
Step 2: Follow Up Immediately for the 5 Star Review to Improve Google Business Rankings
Now that you have in place a system that will consistently generate new bookings, it’s time to start leveraging those bookings into better SEO with an immediate post-experience follow-up system.
Google Business reviews are absolutely huge for SEO and recommendation engine results. The more 5-star reviews you have on Google Business the more often your escape room will show up. The best way to get more reviews is to ask every single person who completes an escape room experience to review you.
Once the group escapes a system should be in place to text message or email the group with a picture, leaderboard, and easy links to review platforms like Google Business.
The follow-up makes your experience more well-rounded and more memorable and most importantly makes it easy for the group to review you.
Since your Google Business profile will show up on mobile/desktop searches AND Google Maps it's important to feed the system the most important metric of them all - 5 star reviews. When you are consistently getting 5-star reviews, numbers like this are fairly consistent:
We suggest using an escape Room-focused system like EscapeKit.co to automate your follow-ups.
Step 3: Stay Top of Mind With Email Marketing
We have discussed getting new customers and then immediately asking for 5-star reviews on Google Business to boost your SEO. The next step in this marketing plan is to implement a system that keeps your escape room top of mind indefinitely.
That system is weekly email marketing.
When email marketing comes up there are some common, immediate reactions we see all the time.
“We don’t want to annoy our list”
“We don’t want to seem spammy”
“They have already done all of our rooms, so we shouldn’t bother them”
Well, I am here to tell you that email marketing not only works but creates new business like crazy! A DMA study shows that for every $1 spent on email marketing you can expect a return of $42 (source).
We can personally attest that email marketing makes a large difference for escape rooms.
Stay top of mind with your customer list. Even if they are not planning on booking this weekend, your past clients are your biggest source of referrals. Don't let them forget about you!
Share ongoing specials and deals to urge repeat business.
Here are some of our escape room marketing emails and how they performed
Step 4: Enjoy the Referrals
When you stay in touch with your customer database and provide an incredible post-experience follow-up system, people will start talking about you. After they talk about you, they will Google you and do some investigations.
Lucky for you, you have been accumulating 5-star reviews and excellent Google Placements. All of that reinforcement will have that referral booking a room in no time, and now they are part of your Loyalty Loop!
Here are some statistics from the ORGANIC side of Google Business.
This System Works
We are so confident in our system that if you let us implement it and we don’t achieve a return of 5x on your ad by the end of the second month - we’ll refund you not only our fee but the ad money too!
Seriously - just on the Google Ads side if you don't get back $5 in revenue for every $1 you put into your ad spend we refund everything.
If you feel like you could be doing more for your escape room marketing, we would love to connect with you!
Growing escape rooms is not only our passion - but our expertise!
P.S. If you are interested in seeing some more information about the complete escape room marketing package we offer - check out this video where Connor Bearse goes into more detail!