Golf Courses Need Proactive Marketing to
Score with their Customers

A creative marketing campaign, powered by updated techniques and technology, can be a powerful and dynamic tool to:

  • Raise your golf course’s profile 
  • Build preference for all the things your course and facilities have to offer
  • Elevate your overall brand recognition and
  • Increase on-course and greenside revenues
     

When your golf course takes advantage of proven campaign strategies and tactics to establish and nurture meaningful relationships with visiting golfers, you will be able to card a winning marketing communications score. Our experienced, success-proven team of email and online marketing experts can show you how to grow your exclusive list of subscriber/followers through online advertising, and by creating and distributing meaningful, impactful and compelling content automatically.

Conducting an educating approach and developing a relationship through email campaigns can score excellent results by attracting, informing and entertaining golfers who become – and remain – faithful subscribers to your email communications. Your new online golf publication can be designed to fit the golfer demographic like a well-broken-in glove as you deliver useful information golfers can use and enjoy.

Email communications are also:

  • One of the easiest ways to reach your customers on their mobile devices
  • The best way to stay in front of your customers and keep them informed
  • Online promotions and sales drive customers to your location
  • It’s inexpensive!

Here are some email marketing campaign tips to help your Golf Club Thrive!

Constantly grow your mailing list comprised of those you have attracted by advertising the availability of your golf newsletter on-site in your pro shop and online through your club’s website and social media outlets. Stress the specific benefits of joining your free-of-charge Golfers’ Email Club, i.e., exclusive offers, events, entertainment and local, regional and national golf news and assorted items of interest.  

Welcome and nurture new subscribers by informing them of what to expect, how they can gain access to pertinent information, and – at the outset – by providing “welcome aboard” specials. These will be key nurturing steps in building relationships and establishing your golf course management team’s value as a friend, informant, consistent communicator and trusted source for a wide variety of things in the golf world.

Create fully-automated mailings well in advance on a pre-determined distribution schedule that facilitates regular-as-clockwork data circulation to your preferred-golfer list.

Use segmenting by demographic groups, e.g., middle-aged men, youngsters, women, golfer families, “golf widows,” out-of-state visitors, etc. Sending content aimed exclusively and separately at these various key audiences will have a positive effect on your email open-rates and retention of local and out-of-state players and family-member subscribers.

Keep readers engaged with informative, meaningful, enjoyable and refreshing content that balances selling offers with plenty of pure information and news, like hours of operation, new developments and new-personnel updates. NOTE! Use your email campaign, not just to sell (which could adversely impact your reader-retention rate) – but very often purely to inform and entertain.

Where to put things is important. Content (words and pictures) that appropriately inform and entertain can be included in the main body of your email, though it may be even more effective in some cases to transmit them through well-labeled pdf attachments. Give your email readers reasons to enjoy and “turn the pages” on your mailings. Special events, as well as local, regional and national golfing news, can be content plus-factors. It also can be very effective to utilize your social media outlets to supplement and complement your emails and website content.

Keep mailings as unique as your facilities and course are. This can be done through characteristics like your online writing-style, terminology usage, accompanying images, and by creating a custom email template and headers and footers that individualize your brand identity. Place very visible information in your header and footer to lead email subscribers to links for your social posts. It is wise to induce your email subscribers to keep track of your brand through the diverse online platforms offered by social media. Supporting your email campaign through well-chosen social media outlets will add an unbeatable synergy to your marketing efforts.

Because cleanliness counts, be diligent in keeping your list “clean” by using the openings reports available to you for purging unengaged subscribers. This will be a great help in maintaining deliverability numbers and will lead directly to lower “bounce” rates. User-feedback forms are an effective way to “shape-up” your lists and understand users’ preferences for content and style. They also will help you to determine what is the most effective frequency of mailings distribution. “Taking the pulse” of your subscribers by staying updated through your readership and openings reports can pay big dividends in terms of understanding reader preferences, as well as guiding you in creating content that will keep your email audience coming back for more.

Subject lines matter because they are far and away from your email campaign’s primary “attention-grabbers.” Constantly test different types of subject lines to see which ones tend to give you better opening rates. Don’t be afraid to try new and daring things. The familiar “same-old/same-old” approach, though possibly effective at the outset, can – and most likely will – eventually drive bored, unengaged subscribers away in droves.

Viral marketing can be “infectious,” so sending out material of specific interest to your various target audiences is a great way to grow your subscriber list and increase your open rates. Keep thinking of creative methods that will create buzz, start a forwarding chain and become a great following-builder (e.g., a link to a YouTube video of breaking golf news or even just a humorous or odd golf world incident). With all the material readily available through various online news outlets (like the king of co-opted content – Google), there is absolutely no excuse for not taking advantage of the “secret weapon” of sending out perfectly good material that already exists somewhere.

Because creative offers can score very well with players, use your imagination. Don’t be content to use the internet for the purpose of merely booking online tee times. After all, everybody does that. Offers that excite and stimulate the golfer audience can increase your open rates and lead to more player-days, as well as merchandise, instruction and dining/entertainment sales. Liberally and consistently promote your special-event venues, if doing so represents a pertinent profit center for your golf course operations. Informing players of available offers, even packaging them, can help you out-pace your competitors by building diverse greenside sales. Incentivize players to purchase a diverse list of those “add-on” items from your pro shop, or the facilities that are connected to it.

Because creative offers can score very well with players, use your imagination. Don’t be content to use the internet for the purpose of merely booking online tee times. After all, everybody does that. Offers that excite and stimulate the golfer audience can increase your open rates and lead to more player-days, as well as merchandise, instruction and dining/entertainment sales. Liberally and consistently promote your special-event venues, if doing so represents a pertinent profit center for your golf course operations. Informing players of available offers, even packaging them, can help you out-pace your competitors by building diverse greenside sales. Incentivize players to purchase a diverse list of those “add-on” items from your pro shop, or the facilities that are connected to it.

Use tie-ins to create sale events that align with special golf-world happenings or well-recognized community, national or international news events. This can be anything from golf tour events, like some of the majors, famous-golfer birthdays, etc. (how about Arnold Palmer drink specials during The King’s birthday week?), national holidays, etc. Some of these offerings could be structured to include a count-down timer, with each email building anticipation about a coming event. Promote things like online contests, and use appropriate calls-to-action deadlines to induce quicker reader-response times (there’s nothing worse than offers that are allowed to simply “die on the vine!”). And, don’t forget those special email subject lines!

Send subscribers to your online store with calls-to-action for – and links to – online-only specials on gear, instruction, dining and tee-time packages, etc. Using lines like, “offer ends” (with a date) and “supply extremely limited” can induce quicker response times.

Add value, instead of merely discounting prices Build the sale by enticing subscribers to “shop the pro shop” online or in person. Bundle offers, like merchandise and meals, through emails headlining value-added offers. Merely price discounting all the time can project a negative image, and eventually become take-for-granted “yawners.”

Try contests to increase “opens” Occasionally using subject lines to offer a prize in a comment contest, a picture-caption contest, etc. can increase your open rates and serve to build reader enthusiasm. After all, golfers love to compete and test their skills in places other than the golf course – and giving them opportunities to enjoy bragging rights are always effective tactics.ers. Merely price discounting all the time can project a negative image, and eventually become take-for-granted “yawners.”

Utilize DMARC/DKIM authentication to show your audiences that your communications are trustworthy. Setting up account authentication tools can greatly enhance your reputation as an anti-spammer. This can help your mailings find their way to the inbox, rather than the spam folder.

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