Well how about direct mail? (GASP! NOT SNAIL MAIL!)
Basically for .32/per, you can get a letter size post card handed to your customer.... 32 cents...
Why I'm considering it-
2. to the right demographic with the right offering I think the duration of the impression would outlast any other media $ for $
Amen Larry! Lol.
I'm still staying 110% behind the text message marketing I mentioned MUCH earlier.
Snail mail is interesting....but....wouldn't parents just throw it out before their kids get a chance to see it? My family was notorious for throwing out junk mail the second they opened the mail box...I like the idea but how do you guarantee making sure the kids see it?
Well, I'd think that the sticking power of the snail mail is all about the message and the offer you present.
Totally understandable, I get snail mail all the time from businesses advertising (aka junk mail), with $100 rebate offers, FREE offers, half off this twenty percent off that, buy one get one, the list is endless......and these companies spend millions to promote and advertise and send ALL of us their crap....but 9 times out of ten you see it, realize it's an advertisement, rip it in half, and then throw it away.
And by no means is this an attack or anything against you or your idea, I'm just saying that I, nor any of my family members, have ever kept or gave serious consideration into anything we've ever received unwarranted from a business in the mail.
That and $0.32/person.....if you're limiting yourself to $1/person for marketing, hell even $2/person for marketing, and you need to send out 10,000 of these to homes in your target market that's $3,200 for someone to throw it away.
Trust me, I put a lot of thought into snail mail once and really considered it....but although we may think it's cool to be able to do that because we're a bunch of small business owners, the rest of the world views it like every other commercial mail they receive and discard it as "junk mail".
That's the main reason I am pushing texting this year.....who gets a text and doesn't read it? And we've reached a point where it doesn't hurt to just leave a message in your phone inbox, as anyone with an iphone or android (most of our target market) can just search for words they remember seeing (if it gets lost in their phone) and can pull the message right back up and view it or display it to your cashier to get a discount, either way, the point is, not only are you almost guaranteed it will be read, it is less like to be thrown away, (aka deleted).
Not that texting is the end all be all....but even the cost of it is so significantly smaller than sending out just one piece of mail. That's all I'm sayin. :)
As usually this is all dependent on your location, demographics and target audience. If you're metropolitan your advertizing strategy is total different then a rural haunt.
One thing we are adding to our ad campaign this year is a physical presence in the Mall of Louisiana. We will have our hearse and a couple actors passing out coupons at the entrance to the mall every weekend in October. The mall claims to have 950,000 customers a month. Not sure this is true or not, but I know for a fact it's FULL of kids every weekend.
Additionally, we have really concentrated on growing our sponsorship programs over the last couple years. This has enabled us to have POS displays, coupons, and signage in hundreds of locations throughout our area.
This all just blows
.. me away!
I guess I should stop sending those hand written messages in those empty bottles now? It's So Easy though, the creek is at my backdoor, just tossem!
The little Waukarusa does run into the Mighty Mississippi River.. eventually.
Almost daily I post about what happened at Ravens Grin the night before ..on Facebook. For some reason we have been getting mostly "First-Time" Visitors here over the last 6 months?
Maybe I know how to tell it in an interesting fashion? Maybe I'm smart enough(with my Wife's help) to Not be negative at all when posting stories of the Ravens Grin experience? (We all do have "Them", don't we? Azzwhole people who make you wish you had graduated from 8th grade instead of joining the Carnival!) But the Freak Show Paid So Well!
I just try to create a show that peaks people's intrest and treat them very nicely when they arrive, especially if they bring those small humans, because "They ARE the Future!"
I see many customers here who have been coming back to see us again since they were 8 years old! And NOW they are... 12!
We change up the show we offer along the way because in 26 years of being open every night, there is SO MUCH I can talk about, (And a fair amount of entertaininfg house to take them through!)
Okay I got MORE PROOF!!! Today I got an email from Interactive Ticket who told me they have added all sorts of new features to their system that provide you valuable data about people who order tickets from your website. Very interesting comment that IT made about Facebook. This is what they typed to me see below... now let me just say this any idiots out there who really believe this is going to help sell tickets for you, and sit there day in and day out posting on facebook realize you are wasting your time! Sure I'm all for growing my page but it does very little and I'm only saying this to you guys so you don't put a whole lot of stock in it... because you are wasting your time!!!!!!!
Believe me or believe a ticketing company doesn't matter... don't believe in facebook!
I do have some interesting reports from last year, see attached.
Out of your 6,195 orders, 461 (6.7%) where made from a smartphone.
As for that Facebook share windows that pops up immediately following the order, only 6 people clicked on that button to share out of your 6,195 orders...
We are finding Facebook to NOT be a significant driver of ticket sales across the thousands of shows we produce each year, this is across multiple market segments for consumer shows, State Fairs, and Haunts. I.E. all of markets segments, these percentages are fairly common.
I REST MY CASE!
My $1.50 view (again)
I'll say it again. Demographics. Know your audience and how they socialize. FB is a medium that many continue to use for some aspects of socialization. FB stocks took a hit recently because they were not addressing mobility, but they have re-energized by putting more focus in their mobile apps and are now seeing more "traffic." Does this mean they make a great marketing resource? No.
However, they are a good vehicle for reaching communities of people and getting them to talk about you. Again, this does not mean they are going to run out and buy tickets, but it is an important aspect of branding (that other marketing exercise that is so hard to monetize). If you want to get people talking, give them something to talk about that isn't a commercial for your haunt (some commercialization is expected, but not 100%).
A lot of the FB pages I look at are nothing more than commercials about the attraction offering discounts and looking for actors. People look for haunted attractions and discounts in the fall (there are exceptions of course). Provide interesting facts and topics that interest your audience, and you are likely to see your traffic increase. Forget the "Likes" by the way. FB does provide stats on how many people see your postings, etc. That will give you an idea of how many people you are reaching.
All this talk about FB though is missing the point. There is not one solution that meets all your needs. Its a combination of tools likeFB that gets your brand out there, and gets your message out there. Twitter, WhatsApps, Instagram; these are all social media outlets that your audience uses to communicate with their community of friends.
But they also read the paper (in some areas). In our rural community, the local paper is still a major advertising consideration because everyone reads it and looks for local events in the paper. We dont put a lot of advertising dollars into the newsprint, but we spend some.
Likewise for the local radio station. At $10 per 60/sec spot, it doesnt hurt to spend a little here too, during the right programming time.
And appearing at local events, doing the physical appearance thing. It brought a lot more people to us last year, so we will definitely be planning on doing more this year. To sum it up,
1. Dont rely on one medium alone, like FB, and know that you are not going to sell tickets through these vehicles. You are branding.
2. Know your audience. Every area is different. You need to understand how the people in the areas you are marketing socialize, and hit them there.
3. Make it a year long effort. Branding throughout the year to build the hype, and then advertise through whatever channels work for your community of interest when it gets closer to time to sell tickets.
I think this is the longest post I have ever made on here, so sorry guys. Marketing is what I do for one of the largest companies in the world (sorry, not going to say who). Even though I have experience I still have the same challenge as everyone else, getting the word out there!
Yup, agree with Mr T. (lol, got a mohawk?)
For us- I feel our priority right now is exposure.
I think selling tickets to those who know about you is different from trying to make people aware that you exist.
I really feel that going to a haunt is like a viral experience- word travels and spreads on its own power after a certain point. But you have to infect the populace first.
We're so young that the majority of our target market still doesn't know much, if anything about us. So we're focused primarily on putting on a good show AND spreading the word. Is that different than a sales pitch or special deal to get repeat customers? Yes, I think so.
So I'm allocating a percentage of our ad budget to different tactics- this year we are going to do direct mail as part of it. It's a small, campaign, which probably hurts the results, but our budget is small and it is different AND it is a physical thing that could sit around "infecting" their minds with our name- much different that radio or billboards. Will we do it again? I don't know- we'll see what the redemption rate is. Again- I think the potential is tied to what your offering through the piece.
Funny side note- So this is my first venture into direct mail, so I'm talking to a USPS specialist to make sure we're all designed up correctly to meet requirements. After a few exchanges we're ready to go and here's his last email- Now I know he's biased because he works for the USPS but still...
"...so if the ad piece is standing longest side top to bottom as it would be placed in the mail box's- the indicia does not appear upside down right? sideways is cool, just cant be upside down. Then yea.. ecrwss indicia is good, lpc is good. If you want to play with the design more. .. not needed, I think yall killed it on this piece. Not just saying that, I do this 8 hours a day and mostly for retail sales promos and real estate and non profit awareness programs etc. This mail out is more than perfect for eddm! The address label doesn't require a border if that helps free up some graphic space. I would keep it just as is, but for future if you want to just type LOCAL POSTAL CUSTOMER right underneath the indicia without a boarder just to maximize the real estate on the ad piece itself I could approve that. Not necessary just lil tricks and loop holes you can get away with, but I like the layout the layout .. the call to action .. the eye popping color.. this is my favorite ad piece Ever since EDDM existed ."
Aw, shucks.... ;)