Picture this.

You’re visiting a website to make a purchase, excited to browse and read an article.

Suddenly, a pop-up appears and takes up your entire screen (@&#^%!), distracting and turning you off from whatever it is that you were doing. 

Among all the online marketing tools, many people find pop-ups to be annoying, over-used, and even clickbait-y.

It’s hard to blame users when so many websites use them in the wrong way, wrong place, or wrong timing.

But when used strategically and timely, pop-ups can be a great tool in converting customers.

As an escape room business, you can use pop-ups to push potential visitors to move forward in your marketing funnel. How? 

  • Pop-ups are seen by everyone, unlike some advertisements that tend to be ignored by viewers (there’s a term for that called ‘banner blindness’). 
  • Pop-ups can deliver timely messages when visitors are most engaged. 
  • Pop-ups can offer value. Think discounts and exclusive content that feel more like a nice neighbor with fresh cookies than an aggressive salesman banging on your door. 

These are just a few benefits of pop-ups.

Many business-owners fall into the trap of using one type of popup for every situation

They will take a generic “get 10% discount in your email” or “sign up for our email list” and show this to all the website visitors.

Worse, on every page of the website. 

Then they’ll wonder why conversion rates are so low

In other words, they don’t understand why nobody is opting in on their offer. 

This way of using Pop-ups is so 2021. 

Over the last couple of years, there have been lots of advancements in Pop-up technology. 

Now we’ve the power to show popup to specific people, at specific times, and in specific places on our website. 

This means that we can show our pop-ups to only those people, who are likely to take the action that you want them to. 

As a result:

👉 Your conversion rates will go up.

👉 Your audience will grow

👉 and you will make more sales!

Now let’s take a look at some ways to take advantage of this “unique-marketing-mechanism” for an escape room business. 

CONVERT MORE REPEAT WEBSITE VISITORS INTO NEW SALES!

It’s hard enough to get people to visit your website, and it’s even more challenging to convert this traffic to customers.

Let’s do some math with real escape room data, and some imagination.

(This is real data, borrowed from one of our clients)

Data For Last 30 Days

Unique Visitors: 3851

Total Transactions: 373

Revenue Collected: A$60,589

Conversion Ratio: 6.88%

Average Booking Value: Revenue Collected / Total Transcation = A$162.43

The website received 3851 people last month, and out of that they were able to convert around 373 people. 

That means that 3851 people came to the website with a motive to learn more about the business (and possibly, even book). But 3,478 of the website visitors left without purchasing, or even sharing their contact details. 

This is where a pop-up can come in super-handy. 

What if you are able to show an exit-intent popup, to these 3,478 people, and even convert 0.5% of this traffic into paying customers?

What difference would it make to their bottom line?

  

 

One exit-intent popup placed correctly to show only to website visitors that are leaving could have such a massive impact on a business’ bottomline.

In the case of this business it could mean anywhere from adding an extra A$33,000 – A$200,000 to their revenue in one year.  

The pop-up type in this case would have to be a “Light-box” popup (shown below).

It would be to get “a 10% discount to their email”, followed by an “email sequence” to get a booking, or it could be a “apply 10% discount to your cart” popup.

You can take this approach even further and apply a rule like:

Show pop-up to only those people that fit the following rule set:

✔️ Visited the website at least 3 times in the last week (shows that they are in a decision making cycle)

✔️ Spent at least 3:00 minutes on the website (shows that they are really committed to the business)

✔️ And are about the leave the website (on their 3rd visit) (still have some doubts or objections, one of them could be price)

These rules should be tightened or loosened depending on the use behaviour on your website.

All the data may already be available in your Google Analytics or Booking Software reports to make this decision. 

IMPROVE THE SEO OF YOUR WEBSITE BY INCREASING THE DWELL TIME!

Like a cool hangout spot, an excellent website makes people feel like they want to spend more time on it.

Used properly in your escape room marketing strategy, pop-ups can increase the dwell time on your website, which in turn signals to Google that your website provides a great user experience. 

Dwell Time. Also known as “Time on site” is one of Google’s 200 ranking signals that it checks to rank websites in its search listings. 

For starters, you can check the Behavior > Site Content > All Pages (Report) in Google Analytics and study your user behavior. Here, you’ll see the average time users typically spend on each page.

It looks something like this. 

This strategy would best work for pages that receive a decent amount of organic traffic.

You can find all the pages/blogs on your website that get any organic traffic by checking your Google Search Console. 

✔️ Log into your Search Console

✔️ Select your website from the drop down on the Top-left

✔️ Click on Performance

✔️ Set the date range to 1 year, (if you are new, then select whatever time period is available)

✔️ Scroll down and you will be able to see a Section that has (Queries, Pages, Countries, Devices etc)

✔️ Click on Pages, and it will show you all the pages on your website along with how much true organic traffic each page receives.

✔️ For most Escape Rooms, (your Homepage, is going to be the highest visited page on your website)

✔️ But it’s good to note all the other pages as well, so you can craft a unique Dwell-time Pop-up campaign for each of the pages separately.

✔️ Export the data, or manually take a note of all the pages that get the most amount of organic traffic.

You can follow this approach for all the pages that are getting a significant amount of website visitors.

In this case, the other pages are getting very less organic traffic, so we will only work on the Homepage.

Now, that we know which pages are most important for us, we can head back over to Google Analytics. We want to know how long do organic visitors stay on the website.

Looking at Behavior > Site Content > All Pages (Report) is not enough, as it will show you the average dwell-time for all free, paid traffic as well as direct visitors.

Once you open the All Pages Report > Click on Dimensions

To see the organic traffic, click on the grey box that says “All Users,” which will lead you to the screen below. Scroll to find “Organic Traffic” in the segment list, select it, and press the Apply button. 

 

As you can see from the Screenshot Above, though the overall Time On Site (homepage) for all traffic sources combined is 1 minute and 11 seconds, however, for Organic traffic the Time On Site is 1 minute and 8 seconds.

Getting this wrong could mean the difference between a good or bad campaign.

So now that we know that people are spending 1:08 minutes on a page, we can trigger a “Smart-light Box” popup at exactly the 1:08 mark, asking for an “Email Opt-in” or asking a question, “Is This Your First Escape Room Experience?” to keep the visitors engaged, beyond the 1 minute 8 second mark.

That would not only increase the dwell time, but it would also decrease the bounce rate on the website, by directing people to an inner page. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

 

BONUS SECTION

Instead of using a normal light-box popup, you could use a gamified wheel popup. These turn your standard campaigns into a game that people can play. They are excellent at grabbing people’s attention and can easily add an extra 10-15 seconds to your dwell time. 

The only caveat is that, to really make your gamified popups effective, the prize that you are offering should be “worth” taking the action that you want them to take. 

IMAGE COURTESY: OPTIN MONSTER

PLACE POP-UPS ON KEY PLACES IN YOUR WEBSITE WITH HIGH ENGAGEMENT

Even the most avid player wouldn’t want escape room marketing campaigns shoved in their face all the time.

But what you can do is find your most high-performing pages, and take advantage of people’s interests to provide more content that converts.

Let’s say you’ve got a popular blog post on ‘10 Different Escape Room Puzzles That Will Blow Your Mind.’

 What you should not do is use an entry pop-up that will take over the full page, disrupting viewers’ reading experience and creating friction.

✔️ Instead, you can implement a Scroll Depth Report in Google Analytics (with the help of your developer), or you could trigger a pop-up at around 55% mark on a blog post.

If a visitor has scrolled till 50% of a blog post, there is a good chance that they are engaged.

This seems like an appropriate time for a small ask. 

Your pop-up could say something like, ‘Enjoying this blog? To receive more content, sign up for our email.’

Alternatively, you could also direct them to follow your escape room brand on your other social platforms and channels. 

This way, they can learn more about your company and offerings, while you get to increase your followers instantly.

You could use a normal “light box popup”, or you can use a more subtle, “scroll-in” pop-up that slides out from the bottom right or left corner.

IMPLEMENT EXIT-POPUS TO DELIVER CATCHY COUNTER OFFERS ON THE BOOKING PAGE

You should deploy as many types of exit intent popups on your website (on different scenarios), but in this case we are specifically looking at your booking page. 

Booking pages have the highest conversion ratio on the website, as people who reach the booking page are already committed to making a reservation. 

This time we will take a look at the number of unique visitors on a booking page. 

So let’s supposed people are spending an average of 1:30 minutes on the booking page. This means, that it roughly takes 1:30 minutes for an average user to make a booking. 

A quick look at our Google Analytics > Behaviour > Site Content (Booking Page) report can give us this information. 

What we want to do is trigger an exit intent pop-up for every visitor that’s leaving the page, who has spent a little over 30 seconds extra, than your average time to book. 

In this case, it would be 1:30 minutes + 30 seconds = 2:00 minutes. 

Users typically take 10-15 second extra on mobile devices, so we will split this campaign by Device Types. 

For desktops: 2:00 minute mark

For mobiles & tablets: 2:10 minute mark. 

Here you need to pull out your ace-of-spades offer. 

There are a few things that we know about this user. They are in urgent need to make a booking. So if they leave the website, there is a high chance that they will book a business with your competitor. 

You want to give a High Discount % to these bookers. Which can be close t0 20% of their booking value. 

Think of it as money spent on acquiring a new customer. 

You would anyway spend that money to get a new booking. Why not place your bets on the most probable visitors that are on the verge of a conversion. 

You can test other types of offers over time. 

The idea is to think like a visitor. 

As a visitor, what factors do you consider? Is it price? Uncertainty that you’ll enjoy the game? What’s the baseline timeframe before making a decision?

With these in mind, your pop-up could help seal the deal — whether it’s through discounts, freebies, or more. 

 Take note, what’s important is here is that your pop-up shouldn’t show up instantly for everyone.

Or else, you might accidentally give an offer to someone who is ready to pay full price. 

NOTE

Exit pop-ups don’t lower the quality of your escape room. Think of it as a guerilla marketing tactic that reveals itself to those who only really need to see it.

 BONUS STRATEGY

This strategy revolves around increaing your average order value and repeat sales. 

The customer journey doesn’t end when someone makes a purchase, so don’t make the rookie mistake of not having follow-up content.

Your most prized visitors are those that convert on the website. So why don’t we make more offers to those existing visitors on the “Order Confirmation” page. 

We can do this with the help of an “in-line” popup that appears as a part of the page (instead of actually popping up), for more direct offers like:

  • Why Play Only 1? Here’s An Extra 20%OFF On Your Next Game. (Valid for the next 10 minutes)
  • YOU’VE UNLOCKED! A Special Coupon For Your Next Game. Claim XX% Off Booking Value Valid For Next 10 Minutes
  • Send $20 To A Friend. Give The Gift Of Adventure. Enter your Name and Email Below And We Will Send You A Gift Card For A Friend.

Or you could literally turn your order-confirmation page into a Viral Sweepstake Campaign. Where people would have to do a series of things like:

  • Like Us On Facebook (1 Extra Hint)
  • Follow Up On Instagram (1 Extra Hint)
  • Comment On Facebook (2 Extra Hints) [Bonus cookies, if the post is your ad-post, so you increase engagement on your ads from actual converters, this can greatly improve your ad targeting)
  • Sign-up For Our Email List ($10 OFF Coupon)
  • Share Your Facebook / IG ($20 OFF Your Next Game)

RECOMMENDED TOOLS

Optin Monster for your Pop-up Campaigns, and they work great on Non-wordpress Websites as well, as it is a could based tool. 

Viral Sweep for your Give-away or Bonus Upgrade Options, as they are great for running contests, and work well on Non-wordpress Websites. 

That’s all folks. 

Hope you enjoyed the blog. 

What questions or comments do you have after reading this blog? Please them in the comments section below. 

If you need help in growing your business, we at SEO ORB can point you to the right approach and capture more visitors. With our fool-proof growth acceleration framework, you’ll never have to let a potential customer slip through the cracks again. 

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