Recruiting Outside the Box

December 13, 2017 | 3 min to read

A strong business is always looking for ways to acquire new customers and convert them into regular customers.

Dreamers Vault in Minneapolis, MN is one of the top WPN retailers for new player growth. Store manager Melissa Fourness uses all the tools provided by Wizards to achieve that—but she doesn't stop there.

Let's take a brief look at the creative ways Melissa acquires new customers and the strategies she uses to turn them into regulars.

Reach Outside the Box

To reach potential new customers, Melissa makes an effort to promote her business beyond the walls of her store.

She goes out into the community and participates in local events such as the local Renaissance festival. There she runs Magic: The Gathering Booster Draft events as well as Dungeons & Dragons events.

The Renaissance festival is a smart community event to take part in thanks to the overlapping fantasy theme in the games and the festival. A more unlikely venue that works well for Melissa is the Warped Tour.

With a booth loaded with games and other hobby merchandise, she draws interested concert-goers taking a break from the music.

Melissa also works with local schools and libraries that run clubs, providing them with Magic Welcome Decks and learn-to-play events to build a mutually beneficial relationship.

Whether Melissa is pushing a sale or an experience at these community venues, what's important is that she's exposing her store to potential new customers—creating many opportunities for attendees to jump into the hobby gaming lifestyle.

Provide Many Entry Points

In addition to reaching out beyond her store, Melissa runs the full gamut of player acquisition tools, activities, products, and events in-store:

  • Cursory 3-minute demos meant to spark interest and leave new players excited to learn more
  • Full learn-to-play sessions designed to engross players into the game
  • Experienced mentors picked from staff or friendly players to help guide new players
  • Consistent stock of Welcome Decks and Planeswalker Decks
  • Magic League as the relaxed entry into weekly play
  • Magic Open House as the official learn-to-play event that leads new players into the season of play
Magic Open House is a fantastic entry point for any new player. I start advertising immediately following-up the last one. —Melissa Fourness

The goal is to cover all the different avenues in which potential players engage the most with so they're more likely to come back for more fun.

Convert Using Amazing Experiences

The final key ingredient to acquiring new customers is to provide amazing experiences. Simply put, the more fun new players have, the more likely they are to return.

Melissa goes all out for her Magic Prerelease events. Rather than merely running a few Prerelease tournaments throughout the weekend, Melissa turns the weekend into a full-on party complete with fun side events and activities.

The key is having the right attitude. If you have the mindset that this is a great place and a fun place then our customers have fun as well. —Melissa Fourness

If you're having trouble recruiting new customers, take a page from Melissa. Reach out to your local community, utilize all the resources provided by the WPN, and providing amazing experiences that leave players wanting to come back for more.

Rivals of Ixalan Open House is coming up on January 6-7 and is the perfect time to use these strategies!

Store Stats: Dreamers Vault Games

  • Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota (400,000)
  • WPN Level: Advanced Plus
  • Age: 2.5 years
  • Size: 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Website: www.dreamersvault.com/

By Jordan Comar