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Frightguy1
11-16-2008, 10:07 AM
Anyone trying any new forms of advertising this year? What was your most effective means last year? What drove the most people to your haunts?

J.

Jim Warfield
11-16-2008, 10:48 AM
usually cars at least ten years old, or so it seemed?

I don't know?
I quit spending money on advertising years ago. It is hard to define what goes on here so I just let my patrons define it for me when they are trying to convince their friends to come here with them.
A have some small ads in the summer at local campgrounds....(I'm open all year)
We were on a TV show from Chicago this October but most calls generated from it were people hanging up when they realised I was not located just down the street from them.
They have it on the TV web site 190north.com I was pleased with their filming, they didn't give too much away.
Word of Mouth advertising is still and will always be the best way to build up your business, but of course this takes years to accomplish and is a momentary on-going thing requiring effort with each and every customer because they all have friends and relatives that they can influence either for you or against you.

Boni
11-17-2008, 10:25 PM
In 2008, our theme was a haunted hospital, so like most hospitals, we had people fill out some paperwork before entering. It was a survey about how they found out about us.

The majority of the people heard our ticket give-away's done on the local radio station. We ran a month long campaign on the radio, but then gave away 100 tickets 2 at a time. That added 50 spots to our paid ads. What was even better, the DJ talked about the haunt, and then the 13th caller did too. To do the give-aways though, we had to do the 50 paid radio ads.

But I live in a small town with only one local rock station and one local country station. If I were in a city, radio may not be the way to go.

Our billboards were the second biggest vote getter. Mainly the sign in front of our Haunt which was on a busy 4 lane highway.

We also had 1500 hits on our you tube video and received several mentions of this.

in 2007 we had 250 guests per night, in 2008 we had 600 per night, so I think we did somethings right.

Jim Warfield
11-22-2008, 06:21 AM
It seems like most haunts see a yearly increase in the number of customers for the first three or four years then it kind of levels off.
There will be limiting factors for most of us beyond our influence, like some customers only return once every three years.
You will fighting that ,"Been there, done that" attitude no matter what you do.
The first couple of seasons people are still "discovering you"and determining what style you are (they like?) and if your show is deemed a value for the dollars paid.
A really popular experience does have it's dollar limits to most customers.
Would you rather see 600 people coming through @ $6.00 each or 150 @ $12.00?
Giving yourself and your efforts "away" doesn't feel good the morning after when the inventory of the damages and theft and the clean up begins.

monsterwax
12-01-2008, 09:18 PM
We've always done radio before but I'm not doing it any more. I ask everyone who comes in where they heard about us and hardly anyone says radio. We have a lot of stations in town though so even if you advertise big on one, that doesn't effect the other five rock stations.

Internet is cheap and very effective (include your own web video ad). Flyers and posters are too.

We have a great location for drive by traffic, so we paint big signs for the cars and put out props on the roof to draw their attention.

But as stated by others, your best advertising is from your patrons. Make them leave out of breath and panting, and they'll promote you continously --once they get their breath back. Over 60% of our patrons are return customers, and a big share of the remaining 40% are people they've dragged with them. The rest are what we call "drive buys" (not "bys" but "buys"). They saw the sign and got interested. The newspaper ads and other expensive forms of advertising sometimes pay for themselves, and sometimes don't, but the free advertising ALWAYS pays for itself. (Funny how that works...)