Hey friends, and welcome to our latest escape room marketing blog! Hope you and your loved ones are well wherever you are in the world.
The “second wave” of the Coronavirus is in full force across many countries, leading to their second lockdown of the year and the forced closure of escape rooms based there.
If you run or work in an escape room that has been forced to temporarily closed, you may be wondering what to do next? Whilst you may be more prepared and experienced for it than earlier in the year, the impact of closure can hit hard. You may feel out of control, paralysed and unable to take control of a situation that is seemingly out of your hands.
Your Escape Rooms are not just your passion project or nest egg, they’re the financial future of your loved ones and a key part of your local community. And that my friends must be protected as much as possible.
So on todays blog I wanted to share 5 actions that I feel ALL escape rooms in locked down countries MUST take in order to ensure they come out of it the best as possible — and that goes for you too!
If your country is currently not locked down, I’d still recommend you give my blog a read through. The worldwide coronavirus situation is everchanging, and it’s best for you to be prepared in case your country has to lockdown too.
Let’s dive in!
Action 1: Selling Xmas Gift Cards
If your escape room already sells gift cards around the year, you’re probably already selling a lot of them as Christmas presents in the coming weeks. But if not, make sure you do!
Just because your escape room is closed, it doesn’t mean you can’t generate some cash flow and income. And a campaign that specifically promotes that people can buy gift cards for their loved ones so they can enjoy your escape room next year when the world is back to normal is an idea that will do well.
What I will say however is ensure buyers are permitted to receive a full 100% refund if needed. 2021 should see the world returning to normal, but when that will happen is still very much in the air. Give your customers some flexibility and security in this very inseucre world, and you’ll be more likely to sell. And of course permit usage of the gift card throughout 2021, for exactly the same reasons.
If you don’t already sell gift cards for your escape room, it’s not too late to get this in place for Christmas. And what better a time to start introducing gift cards than when you’re not able to run your business as usual and have some spare time to work on some new marketing!
Action 2: Sell Online Experiences
When the coronavirus first hit early in the year, the escape room industry was hit as hard as many other industries. But the amazing people that make up the industry (yes, you!) didn’t just take the situation lying down. Oh no! Many invested in running online escape room experiences that can be done from customers homes, thus creating a much needed income with their doors closed.
If you were one of the escape rooms who did the same, hopefully you still run them and are easily able to up your marketing game towards getting more of these bookings. If not, I strongly suggest you do. That being said, I understand some escape room owners may be unwilling to make such a financial investment in uncertain times. And honestly, who can blame them?
However the implementation of online escape experiences not only allow the creation of an income during lockdown — it makes an ideal expansion of services that the escape room can use for years to come — even in the world after corona.
And it’s that planning and investing in the future of your escape room that is a key takeaway I want you all to take from this blog. Not only are you trying to survive 2020, you’re taking decisive action that will not only allow your survival in 2021 and beyond — but the sheer and utter success of your business for many, many years to come!
Action 3: Learn, Implement, Action!
Having worked with many escape rooms on their marketing, one of the key things that stops them from doing more marketing or trying new things is time — they don’t have enough when running their escape room day to day. Understandable.
But if you’re closed for a period of time, you suddenly have spare time. It’s up to you how you can spend it, but I would strongly suggest investing some of that time in learning new marketing strategies and techniques.
There are many sources of escape room specific marketing help available. There’s of course my blog with nearly 1 years worth of blogs on now. There’s plenty of other resources out there for free too.
You can take this one step forward by implementing what you’ve learned. If you know how to improve your websites SEO, get it done! If you’ve always meant to get your escape room on some free directories but never got round to it, get it done.
This is a perfect time to ready yourself for the future, use it!
Action 4: Engage!
Whether you’re still creating some income from action 1 and/or 2 or not creating any income at all, you still need to be engaging with your followers and your community. Those who like you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Linkedin (P.S. if you don’t have a Linkedin use this time to set one up — it’s great for getting corporate team-building bookings!).
Lockdowns are hard for everybody, not just businesses. People will be looking to social media more and more for interaction and love. As a business it’s your responsibility to help, and be there for your audience.
I’m not going to go into depth on the many ways you can engage via social media, as I have a few blogs already on this that you can read.
However if you only choose to do one thing a week to engage with your social media audiences, do this:
Share weekly puzzles and brain teasers for your followers to play. There is no better way of engaging with your followers — people who love escape rooms, love challenges and love winning!
If you’re struggling with the time or inspiration to come up with engaging puzzles and brain teasers, you can sign up for free weekly and branded puzzles that I myself create and send out to around 100 escape rooms worldwide: https://bit.ly/2GsiI2G
Here’s some of the different puzzles I send out:
Action 5: Everything Else
So what other actions should you take? Well the good news is, there’s so many things! But here’s my personal picks:
- Work on systemising your marketing with your team so everybody works towards the same strategies and delivers the marketing consistently (consistency is so important)
- Get your family involved in your escape room business. They can help you generate new ideas, look after the building and help you get ready for the re-opening.
- Plan for the future! This is just a temporarily glitch in your plans and future of your escape room business. Think about all the new things you want to achieve with it in the future. The new rooms you want to introduce. The new customer service tweaks you want to make. Etc.
- And above all, make sure you’re armed and ready for D-Day: The day when you can re-open your escape room to the general public. And this is the biggest takeaway I really want you to take from todays blog. Use this time wisely, learn, develop, and get ready for the re-opening so you can get back on your feet and get many new customers as soon as possible!
Before I sign off for this week, I want to cover one last thing that you all need to do:
- Look after yourself, and your family, both mentally and physically, in the days to come. Do all you can to support others around you and in your local neighbour and businesses networks, as long as you do not endanger yourself.
That is of course the most important thing right now. Helping others, and yourself. But when you find yourself with a bit of time on your hands in the coming days and weeks, be sure to do all of the things I’ve suggested today.
That’s all for now. I really hope you’ve found todays blog post informative and useful.
Before I go, on a personal note I wish you all and your loved ones all the best in the coming days and weeks.