A club’s website is its most valuable customer service and marketing tool. An ultra effective website: Has calls to action Offers a virtual tour of all holes OR at least some quality photography associated with each hole Online reservations or purchasing opportunities Affordable with a known, fixed cost for hosting and maintenance Attracts at least 50 unique visitors a day Is updated regularly (at least once a month) Links to other golf related websites Allows you to view your web statistics (number of visitors etc) Gets you new customers, services current ones and makes you money Is visually appealing and easy to navigate Accurately reflects the image / branding of the club Provide all the information about the club the visitor or member is seeking Loads quickly on all Internet connections Places high in search engines for search phrases related to your club Captures visitors emails offering an ongoing opportunity to stay in touch
Email database marketing is easily the most effective, affordable way to communicate with potential members and existing members. Use email and online marketing to improve response rates, reduce costs and improve employee / volunteer productivity An effective bulk email system should do the following: Supplement your website branding / design in look and feel Allow analysis of your email campaigns (emails being opened, clicks to links, opt outs etc) Manage remove and change email requests (Opt out button as required by law)Allow the club to create templates for various activities (results, press releases, members updates etc) Links to your Social Media sites
A simple and effective Internet Marketing Plan consists of: Assigning a budget for Internet related expenses such as website hosting, maintenance and updatesDedicate time to establish ‘cross-links’ with other websites including vendors, local businesses, other golf related web sites Paying for placement of advertising banners on other websites Budgeting for income generated by advertising banners on your website Establishing a regular schedule for updating website and sending out email updates
All clubs stand to benefit from offering customer loyalty programs as they get regular customers to use the facilities more often and turn occasional, nomadic players into loyal, frequent patrons. The more frequent the patron, the more opportunity the club has to turn that player into a fully-fledged club member.
Golf clubs can play a proactive role in establishing or strengthening relationships with business clients, especially those that are existing club members. Courses and golf facilities that cater to business clients are positioning themselves to generate additional rounds and revenue.
Take opportunities to generate publicity in local papers and websites. Utilise your bulk email programs to send Press Releases / announcements to local media. Refer to tips on creating simple and effective Press Releases
More than 200 million people worldwide utilize the Internet as a source of information, products and services, and as a communication tool. A well designed and programmed website that places high in search engines will save you money on your annual advertising spend. Consider how much you have to spend to promote your course to thousands of people a month via traditional media (newspaper, direct mail, radio, TV).
Advertising is a key part of any clubs’ Marketing arsenal, yet often money is wasted in untargeted membership advertising efforts. Remember that only 7% of the national population over 15 years play golf more than once a year and around 50% of this 7% will already be a member at a club. Run those numbers over your catchment area and you’ll quickly find your golfer market is likely very small. Message content and its potential effectiveness is vital. By sheer weight of audience, you’ll have better success with “a learn to play, golf is fun, golf is social, golf is healthy – and do it at my club” type message as it would be relevant to 93 out of 100 readers, compared to the “join our club” (implying current skill) message which would be relevant to less than 5 out of every 100 readers. Jeff Blunden Advisory Services “Back of the Cup – Marketing: The Golf Industry's #1 Weakness” Feb 2011
A quick makeover of your club’s image will always be money well spent. Nothing will turn potential customers off visiting your club quicker than any of the unfortunately common scenarios: A club logo that is decades old Unattractive website with out of date content and worst of all, poor quality pictures of your golf courseFaded signage – around the club entrance, clubhouse or on course Presenting a clean, modern and consistent image across all communications and marketing platforms should be implemented over time as part of your club’s ongoing marketing and promotions strategy.
Marketing Basics for Golf Clubs
Marketing BasicsA Quick 9-Holes Golf SA Club Forum April 2011
Hole 1 – Tips Trust your website development, hosting and maintenance to specialists Install Google Analytics to monitor your traffic Take the search engine test – type in “Your Name Golf Club” or a golf related search phrase like “golf courses in my town” and make sure your site is listed at the top List your website on all club printed materials, including your scorecards List your website on course signage and on the front door
Hole 2 – Tips If you currently keep your email database in a traditional address book like Outlook, Hotmail etc, switch to an automated system that automatically handles remove and change email requests. Manually managing a traditional email system is a time consuming job. Dip your toes in the water with an online program like MAIL CHIMP (www.mailchimp.com) which offers up to 12000 emails a month free of charge
Hole 4 - Tips Offer the benefits and discounts to your loyal, regular players in appreciation of their regular patronage. Check out the big online database selling „stores‟ such as Scoopon (www.scoopon.com.au) and Cudo (www.cudo.com.au) but make sure you are able to utilize the customer database for future correspondence and ongoing loyalty offers
Hole 5 - Tips Offer business related services (on course tabs, wi-fi, meeting rooms) Specifically advertise „Business Groups Welcome‟ Business card draws – build your contact database Utilise your business group database to market your „Come & Try‟ golf clinics or create special events especially for business groups
Hole 7 - Tips Try the optimisation search for yourself: Go to Google (www.google.com.au) and type in the name of your course (ABC Golf Club). Make sure your website appears at the top of the list or at the very least on the first page. Now type in a common search phrase for your course (e.g. golf courses in my town). Again make sure that your site is displayed prominently in the search results. If you are not seeing the results you expect – contact your website administrator
Hole 8 - Tips Make sure advertising has a call to action Make sure staff monitor responses Give priority to your member retention strategies over external advertising Build your database under all circumstances Ask for editorial to supplement advertising