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The Anatomy of the Perfect Party Booking Campaign

Yosuke Carter
May 17, 2019 2:39 PM

As we mentioned last week, Summer is Coming. If you're running an outdoor attraction, you're probably preparing the troops for the onslaught of guests coming through your doors.

army-guests

If you're an indoor facility hoping to survive until fall, you have two choices:

  1. Continue doing the same thing you've been doing and expect different results.
  2. Align coordinated and strategic efforts to promote and book birthday parties.

If you chose the latter, let's look at the anatomy of the perfect party booking campaign.

anatomy-party-booking-campaign

A Clear Goal 

"Our goal is to book more parties!" That's a great goal and all, but how do you and your staff know what if you're winning or losing?

Without clearly defined goals, you'll have people going in different directions. What you want is to get everyone going in the same direction.

One way to do this is to look at historical performance on the number of parties you booked the past two summers. If you're able to separate what you booked online versus in-house, you'll have a better benchmark for the methods used.

Let's say you average 20 parties in June and 30 parties in July over the past two years.

You may set an attainable goal of a 20% increase, which will make your target to book 60 birthday parties by July 31, 2019. Write it on the wall or in another place where everyone can see it.

Success Measures

Keeping score on the progress, you're making towards the goal allows you to know whether you're winning or losing. Here are some of the ways you can measure momentum weekly:

  • The number of website visitors to your party booking page.
  • The number of parties booked online.
  • The number of interested guests whose contact information you captured at your facility.
  • The number of interested prospects whose contact information you captured from inbound calls.

If you have weekly meetings with your staff, you'll be able to share where you're at towards the goals and the success measures. While anyone knows how to keep the score, you need to execute a game plan to change the score.

A Game Plan

Now that you have the goal and ways to track progress, we'll get into the strategy and tactics to influence the score. That's knowing what specific actions affect the success measures.

The game plan consists of the following:

  • Who you are targeting. Any campaign can flop if you don't have an idea of who your audience is. One helpful exercise is to segment your contact database into past birthday party customers, leads interested in parties (if you've captured their information), and guests. Capturing data whenever you can or in exchange for exclusive offers should be an ongoing effort that allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the demographics, interests, and preferences of your audience.

  • The right message. Now that you have identified who you're targeting, it's time to figure out what you're going to say. To hit the mark, you have to know where your prospective customers are in the buying process. For example, someone who has called to check availability and prices is different than someone who is visiting your website for the first time to see if you offer parties. Therefore, the information you provide is different, as well.

  • The right channel. When you look at the current communication channels you use to promote your business; the obvious ones are your website, Facebook, and email. Now let's think about other channels your target customers might use at different stages of awareness. For example, a mom who has never heard about your facility may respond to a targeted Facebook ad that offers a special gift for first-time party customers. Your emails to past party customers may incentivize them to book again. The critical takeaway is to think about the channels most effective to where your prospects are at in the buying process.

  • The right timing. You can get the right message to the right people, but if the timing is off, you may miss the mark. Timing your words can not only give you a stronger ROI for your ads; it can influence buying decisions. In our 2018 Online Party Booking Study, we've identified the days of the week and times of the day when customers book parties online. Check it out here.
Scalability

The ability to scale means your system can handle a growing amount of work that's added to the system. After all, you don't want to put your coordinated efforts to booking more parties if you are getting party inquiries from forms on your website or by phone.

These activities are not able to handle a growing amount of volume since they are manual processes. By automating your party bookings, you can let your prospective customers check availability and pay deposits online.

The ability to scale is especially important for outdoor facilities since you want to minimize the missed opportunities when a prospective customer calls and gets the voicemail during a busy Saturday. Instead, your voice message can let them know they can check availability and book their party online.

Charge!

The actions you take today will help you book more parties in the summer months. By strategically aligning your efforts to reach your campaign goals, you'll be on your way to making welcome changes in your results.

Perfect party booking campaigns are only the ones that are continually improving and adapting to your customer behavior. Keep learning and trying new things based on new insights from your audience. While you may not win every battle, you'll eventually win the war.

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