Every new client is something to get excited about, but I literally jumped at the chance to create some marketing for a trampoline park called Sky Zone.
Each park is franchise-owned, and in this case, TK Herman and Carrie Snyder are proud owners of three Sky Zone parks (Fort Wayne, Mishawaka, and Toledo). Initially, they had some goals in mind for the parks, but needed some collaboration to help in reaching those goals. In January, they signed up for Hubspot and we (Aptera) got to work on growing their birthday party portion of the business.
TK and Carrie wanted to improve their birthday party sales in each park. In particular, they wanted to increase the Fort Wayne park birthday sales by 23%. Sales had been slowly declining year over year in the Fort Wayne park and this year they wanted to stop the habit.
The second goal that they had was to start a fundraising campaign over the summer that would provide them with the information they would need to start targeting PTA/PTO committees, sports teams, and other groups for the 2016-2017 school year. This was a new concept for them, so they wanted to be sure that they were tracking the growth of the program through marketing automation.
The third goal was to grow their social media accounts, promote content through social media, and to optimize the accounts they already had.
Our first step in starting inbound marketing was to research and create buyer personas for Sky Zone, which we would target throughout the year within particular campaigns. One example of our buyer personas, is "Mom Tina." She is a busy mom, who wants to find ways to spend time with her family. Tina is always looking for healthy ways to keep her kids active. Each year, she plans parties and celebrations for her kids. Within our research, we found that kids 8-12 years old were the largest group of birthday parties that had been booked in the past. With that in mind, we then created lists of parents who had children within those age groups and began to target them with email offers.
TK and Carrie then agreed it was in their best interest to purchase a Hubspot account to track the performance of these campaigns. With the use of this platform, we were able to track email, blogs, social media, and landing page performance and make adjustments along the way to improve numbers and sales.
Before partnering with Sky Zone, their marketing consisted of large billboards, television commercials, and a monthly email newsletter. They were not creating any blogs and the only form of social media they had was Facebook and Instagram, which mostly consisted of sharing photos. They had about 16,400 followers on Facebook already (on the Fort Wayne page) and about 2600 Instagram followers (Fort Wayne also). Sky Zone was not producing any lead generating content, so they were limited to marketing to the customers who were coming in through their doors, on Facebook or Instagram, and in the newsletter. They were not collecting any new customers through forms, but because each customer was required to fill out an online waiver form to jump in the park, they were able to build an email customer base this way.
To get started, we first set up Google+ and Twitter into Hubspot. Google+ quickly became the second source of social traffic back to their website. A month later, we added Pinterest into the mix, which has since climbed over Google+ at second. Facebook has been a steady at first place. It became clear that social media was the perfect avenue to reach more customers.
In February, our next step was to begin to build the birthday campaign. We wanted to tell the story of a mom who was busy, but wanted to throw a really great birthday party for her kids. This mom realized that it was ok to let someone else help plan the party and in return she got to spend more time with her kids. We created the eBook "Why I won't do home birthday parties anymore." So far, it is still our top downloaded piece of birthday content at 111 downloads currently with 1,337 views. We segmented a list to send the emails in this campaign by the customer's first child's birthday. The first email went to a list of birthdays from February-March (as an option for those who were late at planning their child's party in February). Later, we implemented an email to send to customers who may or may not have booked a party this year, but want to plan their second birthday party at Sky Zone for another child.
The first birthday email was sent to a list of 23,287 on February 19th. It was largely successful, with a 21.5% open rate and a 1.84% click rate. We sent the email 6 weeks in advance going forward, so that those who liked to plan early could get a jump start of working their way through the birthday workflow. The next email they received would be an eBook called "Stress-Free Guide to Planning a Birthday Party," and finally an infographic on what really goes into planning a Sky Zone birthday party named "Sky Zone's Guide to Easy Birthday Parties." The infographic explained the simple process in which planning a birthday party truly is at Sky Zone. Here are some examples of CTAs and the infographic:
Our next step was to begin growing the blog, named "The Air Up There." Looking through the sources report in Hubspot, I came across a blog written by a mom who lived in Toledo, Ohio. She was writing about all of the places she takes her kids, among other things, and had happened to mention Sky Zone in one of her blogs. I contacted her and she was very eager to begin writing for Sky Zone. She quickly became a huge asset to us and her blogs are what any mom would love to read. Here are just a few of her blogs:
Ultimate Dodgeball Tournament: Opportunity of a Lifetime, Cash Prizes, & VEGAS! - currently at 309 views and published in June.
How Sky Zone is Rewarding Readers - currently at 564 views and published in May.
The only problem we were having with the blog was getting more subscribers. To fix the issue, we added the option to subscribe to the blog to every form on landing pages. In February we had 1 subscriber (it was probably me) and in March we jumped to 1,247 subscribers. It was a very successful decision! Today, Sky Zone currently has 1,415 subscribers.
We began to calculate the birthday parties that were booked throughout these months to be sure we were hitting our target. Any parent who purchased a birthday party was matched up to contacts we had in Hubspot to determine if our marketing had been seen previous to booking the party. The birthday party booking at Sky Zone is mostly done over the phone or ordered directly on their website and is then called by a team member. So, in this way, it was easier for us to determine the amount of parties booked from our efforts by matching them into contacts in Hubspot and looking at their history vs. when they actually booked the party. We discovered that from February to April, 27% of birthday party sales in Fort Wayne had first been touched by our marketing and 29% of sales in Toledo had been booked after they received our first birthday email. Overall, we were happy with the growth numbers since they exceeded the customer's goal of 23%.
Another goal that TK and Carrie had was to begin a fundraising program for each of the parks. This hadn't been done before, but was at the top of the list for 2016 initiatives. They wanted to grow a list of fundraising opportunities, create content around Sky Zone fundraising, and increase awareness in local schools.
We began to build the awareness in a few blogs first. It really started to take off. To name a few, here are the views we got from just a few of the fundraiser-focused blog articles:
Sky Zone Fundraising, a Parents Dream Come True! - 348 views, published on April 4, 2016.
Sky Zone Has the Cure for the Fundraising Blues - 85 views, published on May 16. 2016.
All 3 Sky Zone locations held an event inside the park called "Sky Zone Partnership Night" and invited a list of teachers by email to sign up. They were then able to use this landing page to get further interest by targeted social media ads on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Next up, we created content to nurture those contacts and to also attract more interest into the fundraising workflow. First, we wanted people to know more about the program, so we set up an initial landing page that laid out every piece of information they would receive by entering the workflow. We labeled this landing page "I'm interested in fundraising."
The information we provided on the landing page let those who were filling out the form know exactly what type of content they would be receiving by email. This also told these new customers that we were only going to send them this information and not target them for anything else. This content included:
We launched the landing page throughout social media ad campaigns on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to increase the amount of traffic to the landing page and create more visibility to potential customers. Since the landing page publish date of May 1st, we have had 90 customers fill out the form, 64 of those were new customers. The sources of the customers showed that our ads were paying off on social media.
The content we created for the fundraising campaign was based on nurturing our persona "Activity Coordinator Alex" and "Mom Tina." The first piece of downloadable content was an infographic on "15 ways to make volunteering worth it," the second was an eBook titled "Creative ways to promote your fundraiser," the third is the "Definitive guide to a Sky Zone fundraiser," and if they fill out that form, they automatically get an email containing the "Sky Zone fundraiser checklist." The form located on the landing page for the checklist asks for the school name and the fundraiser date, which then gets automatically emailed to a Sky Zone call zone team member as a lead. Here is a look at some of the content:
Having just launched the fundraising campaign in May, we already have a significant amount of people in our campaign workflow. The initial landing page has been viewed 1,349 times and 120 people have filled out the form as a show of interest. We are excited to see what the future brings for this campaign, already showing some substancial growth.
The next step in Sky Zone's growth was to expand their presence on social media. Together, we created 4 new accounts for each park, including Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
Using these platforms, we were able to significantly increase the number of people looking at Sky Zone's content and engagement went up between customers and the park. These Sky Zone social media accounts gained:
Since we wanted to target a younger audience, we began to use Snapchat to reach them. This included creating fun and interactive filters for customers to use while they are at Sky Zone. The filter allows you to "brand" the photos that they take while inside of the park. These photos are then seen by those that follow the customer currently in the park, creating more brand awareness. The parks then began to add photos and videos on the Sky Zone account "stories" within Snapchat.
Here are some of the filters we created for park events:
The partnership between Aptera and Sky Zone has been able to increase visits to their website, increase the number of NEW contacts, and increase the amount of focused content on blogs, social media, and within campaigns. These things were all contributing factors to the success of both the birthday and fundraising campaigns.