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Thread: How do I get the word out on a budget?

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  1. Default How do I get the word out on a budget? 
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    This was my first season I opened a Haunt (4,000sf) The haunt was great people that were there said is was much better than some area Haunts. BUT only got 700 people go through in 3 weeks that should have been a night. This year The Institute Of fear is making Saratoga Scare Fair 8,000sf. Sounds great doesn't it well flyers didnt seem to work. What can i do on a budget to get the word out?

  2. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Word of mouth works wonders. From the sounds of it, you'll already have a following for next season.

    Facebook is one of the newest and biggest ways of promoting businesses as well as the use of Twitter. Both are free and both have several advantages to help spread the word about your business as well as ways to keep in contact with your fans.

  3. Default marketing idea 
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Brookings SD
    Google Guerilla Marketing. Start there. Also work on cross promotion with other haunts and business.

    Fear Asylum Haunted House


  4. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Mesquite, TX
    Try to be open 5 weekends- by the time word of mouth started working for you- you closed. It takes time, give it a few years.

  5. Default  
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Hartford CT
    Depending where you are call the radio stations. Commercials are be quite cheap.

  6. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    St. Paul, MN
    Hi Timothy,
    Buck (Capt. Chaos) is quite right; there are tons of results when you type "guerilla marketing" into Google. Give it a shot!

    Also, I'm not sure if this helps or not, but every year we have a marketing person doing a little market research and briefly interviewing people after they have exited our show whenever possible. By an overwhelming margin, the way that people hear about us is: 1) our 8' x 16' billboard on the street outside the haunted house (we are, quite fortunately, on a very busy street), and 2) via the Internet. We have spent lots of money in the past trying TV commercials, radio ads and print ads, with only marginal return on those investments, at best. The Internet and the billboard outperform them by far.

    I don't think you can stress enough the importance of having a presence on the "Net! If you prepare a press release and send it to TV stations and newspapers, more often than not they will, at the very least, then include you in their Halloween events listings on their web sites. The more web sites, links, etc., you can get on, the better, I think.

    But, as far as how to get the TV stations and the newspapers to come to your show and do stories on you... this completely baffles us! I have no idea how some folks get the TV stations to come out, and the newspapers to do stories on them every year! Does anyone else know how to achieve this, specifically?

    Last edited by Wolfman13; 11-25-2012 at 07:37 PM.

  7. Default "YES, TEACHER! I Know, I know!" 
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    For me this is simple. (Your results may vary)
    Be Creative! Invent or re-invent yourself, your "story" (You DO have a story, don't you!?)
    Leave your story slightly under stated, mysterious in a natural way (because nobody ever really knows all the information, not really.
    How did CNN 's web site happen to feature a nice story about Ravens Grin last October?
    They called and I was home to answer their call-simple, huh?
    Of course we never leave this haunted house because it is also our home... yes, this is kind of strange, unusual.. maybe that is a partial reason the reporter girl called us?
    Maybe several other odd, unusual reasons added to this quest for many writers?
    By gosh! Maybe being odd, strange, different (or at least reguarded as such a "critter") just so happens to be what all of this is all about?
    I didn't really know what I was doing when I began my haunt, but I did have many desperate ambitions, tools, experience using those tools and knew how to succesfully experiment with the often meager resources at my disposal.
    Those incredibly long hours of concentrated effort passed quickly because I was in such a "place" of enthusiastic thinking, coordination and doing. When I became totally exhausted, I would lay down fall asleep for a few hours and begin again.
    I had nothing and no other opportunites for me except to build a successful business, the ditch with the old door spanning it was my next place I would be calling "Home" if this did not work.
    Would I have worked this long and hard if I was just trying to copy what everybody else had already done? Doubtful. This was going to be "mine" as much as possible, I was building MY IDEAS.

  8. Default Look at Jim's Facebook 
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    If you haven't already, check out Jim's Ravens Grin Facebook page. I know his set up is unique because it's his home and it's year-round, but his posts are delightful. Not too frequent, never political or religious or spammy... just frustrating little bits of story that leave you wanting more.

  9. Default Well... 
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    My Thanksgiving "Turkey" story felt like a novel writing it.(Facebook) all true, just the turkey's names have been changed for legal reasons.
    Recently a woman returned after several visits over the years with her new "man". They were delightful, fun, interested, so I indulged them and myself putting on my show for them, talking too about various things, they had a great time, not to be forgotten soon as an actual 3 hours passed by! (It never seems like it)
    She even handed me an actual cash tip at the finale. (Never expected)
    I guess I'm doing almost everything "Wrong" here by common standards and defintions of what and how a "Haunted House" is and should be, but I like it and this whole thing does financially support us, just the way that it is....no "Day Job", no inheritence of cash or stocks, but I did find that $3.00 laying where I scared some people lately!
    People have fun here, I'm having fun here too, maybe it's contagious?

  10. Default  
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Henrietta NY
    Hey Tim,
    We went the way of groupon and living social. If you want to get the word out about your haunt these two sites are great. groupon i found to reach more people. Granted they sell your tickets at 50% off and then you get 50% of that. you can reach a lot of people through them. then you can try to make up the low ticket price by getting them to buy other things while they are there.our admission is only 6 bucks so they sold two for six. I only got about 1.25 per ticket sold but we doubled our attendance over last year. we added a zombie shoot to our after haunt things to do and it went great got a lot of up sales from the groupon people. we are going to sell a vip pass on groupon next year for 10 bucks. so two for ten so i will get about 5.20 per ticket. They do not charge anything up front so no out of pocket expense. they take thier money off the back end once the ticket is sold. they do everything for you. check it out
    Good luck Joe
    In Darkness they hunt the living

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