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Ever wanted to solve million dollar heists, decode secret service missions, or navigate through prison passageways? Turns out, you can! But here’s the catch: You only have an hour to complete your mission.

The “escape room” phenomenon is only about 10 years old, but it’s taken off in a big way as a new frontier for gaming. Here’s the basic premise: Players are locked in an elaborately constructed room, and they have to solve a series of puzzles to free themselves before time runs out. It’s interactive and team-building (not to mention a ton of fun), which has led to many different versions popping up around the world. However, one of the first American takes – The Escape Game – continues to dominate the industry, with six locations in cities across the U.S.

Such rapid growth means having to scale their business in many ways – and that extends to their email marketing efforts. Here’s how working with Emma has helped The Escape Game get smarter and more strategic about using email to compel first-time visitors to make their escape again and again.


A few years after the brand was first conceived, The Escape Game team realized the time had come to find a new email marketing provider.

“We had outgrown our old platform,” said Max Magura, marketing coordinator at The Escape Game. “I wanted to find a provider that would offer some sort of consultation on better ways to reach our audience, teach us how to improve our design, and help us implement automation – basically, help us move beyond what we were already doing and get smarter about email.”

After shopping around, Max landed on Emma.

“We were looking for an upgraded experience,” he said. “And one of the things that drew me to Emma was that ability to have those face-to-face, personal interactions.”


Soon after getting started, Max began to work one-on-one with Elizabeth Duffey, Senior Email Specialist at Emma, to fine-tune The Escape Game’s email strategy. A couple of their first projects?

New templates

Elizabeth connected Max with David Saunders, a member of Emma’s Design Services Team, to begin conceptualizing new templates for each of The Escape Game’s cities. Then, David got to work. Not only do the final templates look amazing – they help create a more cohesive through-line from their brick-and-mortar locations to the inbox.

“Each template has hard-coded information about that city: Links to our social channels, paths to the proper pages on our website, booking information, phone numbers – you name it,” said Elizabeth.

“It’s really helped make our individual subscriber’s experience more targeted and relevant,” said Max.

New subscribers who sign up via their website receive these personalized emails, and they’ve generated a staggering 68% open rate on average!


Before implementing automation, The Escape Game would only reach out to subscribers when they added a new game or had a special offer to promote. But since one of their primary business objectives is to drive repeat bookings, Elizabeth had an idea to help Max do just that.

“We automated a follow-up email that reaches new visitors within five days of them playing their last game. The header includes an image of the location they visited, and the email offers them a discount code to play again and shows off a few of our other games. That way, we’re able to capture them and convince them to come back in when the excitement of their experience is still fresh in their mind.”

Escape Game Email

The automated email is already producing some seriously impressive results: Since activating the workflow, they’ve had 78 rebooks in Berry Hill (their flagship location) alone. Across the board, they’ve seen almost 150 rebooks!

A/B Content Testing

Another way The Escape Game entices people to come back and play again? A/B Content Testing. Recently, their team has been using testing to see what types of calls to action work best in their follow-up emails.

Escape Game A/B Test

Their more straightforward “Book Now” (13.89% click rate) tested better than the witty “Blast off!” (8.33% click rate). Their takeaway? “I guess the call to action button isn’t the place to get cute,” said Max.


Working with Elizabeth and the rest of Emma’s Services Team has been one of Max’s favorite parts of his Emma experience.

“Anytime I want to implement a new strategy, I’m able to sit down one-on-one with Elizabeth, who then has an entire team of designers and coders to help. On the flip side, if I have a more basic question about my account, I can get in touch with your Support team on Chat. Every time I’ve used it, someone has answered my question within 5-10 minutes, they’re extremely friendly, and my problem always has a clear resolution,” he said.

“It’s that dual experience of being able to immediately resolve the small issues and also have a full team of strategists, designers, coders behind me help make our bigger dreams a reality.”

Elizabeth was quick to note that working with Max has been a true partnership.

“The Escape Game is a super savvy brand, and working with Max is very much a back-and-forth, 50/50 relationship. It’s so cool to get to help such a smart team get even smarter about their email marketing,” she said.


Max already has big plans for amping up The Escape Game’s email marketing in 2017.

“Right now, we’re setting up a new automated workflow that includes dynamic content: When someone plays one of our games, they’ll get an email about how that specific game was conceptualized, designed, and created.”

Escape Game

“When people are in our escape rooms, they get so taken aback,” he said. “It really feels like stepping into another world, whether it’s a forest in our Gold Rush game or a spaceship in Mission: Mars. That’s one of the things that impresses people most about their experience, so we’re working on incorporating that feeling and the magic behind it into our content marketing.”

That emphasis on providing value and catering to subscriber interests shows just how savvy The Escape Game’s team has become, and we can’t wait to see how these emails perform!

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