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Tips & Best Practices for Family Entertainment Centers

Best Promotion of the Year

As I travel the country, I see lots of terrific promotions. I try to pay attention because I think it is difficult to come up with that irresistible promo that guarantees people will flood your front door. Last year, the BEST promotion I saw came at the end of the year, and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

I interviewed the proprietor and have his permission to share his contact information and will do so at the end of the article. We had the privilege of working with this center last year, but I can’t take credit for this cool promotion. This brains behind the promotion go to Parker Coddington’s wife. Parker and his brothers own and operate Shenaniganz, a beautiful bowling–based Family Entertainment Center in Rockwall, TX. They have a terrific restaurant, laser tag, a sexy boutique bar/bowling lounge, a WOW game room, and indoor go karts.

I saw the promotion because I’m a VIP card holder and email subscriber of the center. If I have my days right, I received my first in a series of 12 emails from Shenaniganz on December the 14th and it was titled “On the 1st day of Christmas Shenaniganz gave to me . . ”. It included a FREE offer! No strings attached.(Click here to our blog and read my interview with Parker, the 12 offers, and the results of the promotion.)

The Interview

Beth: How did you come up with the idea?

Parker: It was my wife’s brain child. They were doing something similar at her job and had called it the 12 days of Christmas. We thought it might be a great way to build our database and to reward our VIP Club.

Beth: How many people do you have in your database?

Parker: Only 1300. That’s one of the big reasons we wanted to try this promotion. We believed that people would forward the email to their friends. They had to be members to take advantage of the 12 offers, so when they received the email, they immediately signed up.

Beth: Was there one promotion that worked better than another?

Parker: It seemed to gain momentum. Those that live close and could take advantage were coming almost daily. We had one guy tell us that he had been here 6 of the 7 days to take advantage of the daily promotion and had spent more money than he had planned to every time he came in. In answer to the BEST promotion-unbelievably, the 7–layer cheesecake wins. The great thing about that promotion is that those that redeemed the coupon ate lunch or dinner and then cashed in their daily offer.

Beth: Of the activities, which one seemed the most well received?

Parker: Free bowling (Day 8 with free shoes-weekday). By Day 8 everyone was into it.

Beth: How difficult was it to execute the program?

Parker: Not difficult at all. We had a meeting and decided the daily giveaways and then used the same email template for each day. We use a program called Fishbowl that is a lot like your Constant Contact. We scheduled delivery of each daily email all at one time and then let the promotion work for us. I did goof on the delivery time for Day 6 and began to receive emails early in the morning looking for the 6th day of Christmas. I knew then that we had done something right for our VIPs.

From my own personal point of view, I was very motivated by the campaign. I looked forward to each day’s email and was impressed more and more each day. Below is the 10th day email, and it looks exactly like each day before and after.

I asked Parker if they had people opt-out because the frequency was daily, and he said it was no more than normal. All in all, they felt like it increased their business, grew their data base, and was a great way to give back to their VIPs. If you would like to contact Parker you may do so at

Here’s a complete list of the 12 day offers:

  • Day One: Free hour shuffle board or billiards
  • Day Two: Free cheese fry appetizer
  • Day Three: 7–layer chocolate cake
  • Day Four: Free go karts
  • Day Five: Five dollar game card
  • Day Six: Two rock wall climbs
  • Day Seven: Free kitchen sink
  • Day Eight: Free bowling game (including shoes)
  • Day Nine: Free laser tag
  • Day Ten: $10 game card
  • Day Eleven: Free burger/
  • Day Twelve: Unlimited lazer tag 5p-6p, or free 30 second dance lesson from Justin

Holding promotions brings people to your center. Email is a great, inexpensive way to target market. Join us for our webinar on Wednesday. January 13, 2010, as we discuss how to get people to volunteer to be part of your VIP club! Click Here to register today!

Do you have a “BEST PRACTICE” that you’ve had success with when it comes to getting people to give you their contact information? Please share that tactic here on the blog.

Happy New Year – Let’s make it the best one yet!



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