With the US cautiously on the path of returning to normal and small businesses still struggling, only those that do not require close interactions or are capable of operating outdoors are starting to see a glimmer of hope.
Escape Rooms don’t fall into either of these categories.
Escape Rooms are not top of mind as “Pandemic Safe.” Even with a mandatory mask rule, social distancing is extremely difficult in these circumstances.
If you are an owner of an Escape Games store and worried right now, fear not! Despite the gloomy picture we’ve painted, the escape rooms market is alive and profitable right now. How do we know this? We’re currently scaling an escape room business right now with an incredible return on ad spend with expectations that it will only get better as we exit the pandemic.
The following image is a screenshot from a Google Ads account for an Escape Room business from March 31st, 2021 to April 30th, 2021 that we manage. A conversion is only recorded when someone puts in their credit card and pays 100% of the escape room cost in advance. We spent $1,370.00 in ad spend for a return of $7,002.00 in revenue.
In the month of April 2021, we managed to bring in a 5x ROAS for an escape room brick-and-mortar business. The pandemic is still hampering businesses, (800 cases per day during this month), but the return on ad spend is there and getting better as time moves on.
Google search ads, a well-built/fast website, and a modern booking system.
Google ads is not for the faint of heart. This particular account we recovered from an agency that had absolutely no interest in putting the client first - so there was a lot of refactoring work to be done. When we took over this account, ads were being delivered in India! Our lead Paid Media Analyst, Jake Dieball, was able to adapt the campaigns to avoid any wasted spending through the years of experience Birch River brings to the table.
The website that the Google Ads was pointing to was also loading incredibly slowly, affecting the Google Ads auction score. We were able to bring the hosting in-house, save our client money, and improve our Google Ads performance because of how much we cut down on loading times. (Website issues started going away too when the website lives on a server that is maintained well!)
Finally, we worked with our client to migrate the booking software from Bookeo to Resova. While Bookeo does have e-commerce tracking that integrates with Google Ads – the user experience and sophistication on Bookeo were outdated and oftentimes incomplete. Not only did the switch away from Bookeo have the aforementioned benefits, but the monthly cost was also reduced!
After some Google Tag Manager magic, we are now sending the revenue of every Google Ads attributed sale back to Google Ads. Google Ads now is able to use their machine learning to optimize for the dollar amount of conversion - not only the number of conversions. This also created a picture-perfect data set for our team to optimize the campaigns manually and prove our ROI to the client.
Let's Scale Your Escape Rooms Business
While we cannot compete directly in the same market as our current client – if you own an Escape Games brick-and-mortar business, we would love to help you out with proven tactics that create an ROI. This is not guesswork anymore – we are running the strategy right now during a pandemic. Click here to reach out to us today.
Update May 11th, 2021 -
This post focused on our Google Ads campaign - but Social campaigns (even after iOS 14.5) are performing with an even better ROAS. The following results are from May 1st, 2021 to May 10th, 2021.