There’s currently so much focus on social media that it’s easy to forget about the only form of marketing that you own and control: your email list.
Perhaps you’re under the impression, from all of the hype about social media, that email is the dinosaur of marketing (as in, it’s dead). You need to bury that feeling in the La Brea Tar Pits. Email continues to be a major player in the marketing world and should be an important part of your overall marketing strategy.
Teesnap is designed with growing your email list in mind, so establish a culture at your club to get golfer info for Guest 2, Guest 3 & Guest 4.
Writing regular emails is important. By simply being consistent in your email marketing, you will help to drive business to your course. The Teesnap MMS Team sees this frequently. When our Managed Marketing Services takes over the marketing at a club, we see an immediate impact on writing consistent emails. Recently, we had a club who had previously only sent out an email on the day of the event promoting their special pizza. The MMS team sent out multiple emails over a two week period leading up to the event and the results were astounding. The golf course operator had a line of guests waiting for Crab Rangoon Pizza! Simply from using the power of email marketing.
Now that I’ve convinced you to dust off that email list, you need to examine the strategies you have in place in order to grow it. If you’re depending on your snack bar staff or tee time booking agents to do all of the heavy lifting, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. First, you need to picture the position most staff members are in at the moment they ask for an email. The phone rang right when everyone came to the counter for a lunch rush, the employee can’t hear properly because the phone connection is imperfect, someone left off the .com when recording the address, or, worse, the staff member simply didn’t feel comfortable asking for it.
That will get you a pretty junky list that doesn’t grow much every year. Until now…
It’s important that you create an environment where every staff member understands the value of getting a customer’s email. Set the expectation for them to ask and update that information every time a golfer plays.
PUT YOUR STARTER/PLAYER ASSISTANT TO WORK
The starter is the last opportunity that you have to make sure you have all of the information for every Guest who was rung up on the iPad. Golfers are anxious until they have paid their fees and their bags are loaded on the carts. Although you can try your best to make sure your counter staff is getting accurate info, sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Put training in place to make sure that your starter gets every golfer in your database! When there is time, it is perfectly logical for the starter to talk up the many advantages to joining your list.
There are advantages to joining your list, right? We’ll cover that in a minute.
If you’re using Teesnap, then our Point of Sale Software is integrated with Teesnap Campaigns (our email service). As long as they’re in the Teesnap database, then they’re on your email list. Starters can see in real time people who is scheduled on the tee sheet and anyone who has checked in as Guest. Establish the culture for starters to follow up with those golfers who show up as Guest on the tee sheet.
For non-Teesnap users, check with your email service to see if they have an app that can be downloaded on a tablet. Many offer simple apps that allow golfers to enter their information, so they are uploaded to your list.
Best Practice for Teesnap Users:
If the counter staff doesn’t change Guest to the player’s actual name, then the starter should click on Customer and hand that iPad over to the golfer. He can fill in his first/last name and email address. The golfer types it out in the tablet and kapow! They’re on the list! When we hand that iPad over, it’s more likely that we’ll get accurate spelling and information for the list.
This method works like a charm! More personal attention is given to the golfer with information about the list, and the starter is able to explain in greater detail why joining is advantageous.
USE A KIOSK or PRINTABLE FORM
Set up an area in your clubhouse that is dedicated to signing up people for your email list. iPads or tablets are pretty inexpensive these days. Grab one, plus a stand. Now, you’re set up to start adding emails to add to your list.
These will be quality leads because your golfers are the ones typing in their emails. To be on the safe side, you can even set it up to have them write in the email twice as a confirmation. When you have a confirmed email address on your list, it’s more likely to be delivered directly to your golfer’s inbox rather than showing up in the spam folder – or worse – the promotions tab in gmail.
For many years at my golf course, we used a printable form without a kiosk, and it worked great (assuming we could read the golfer’s handwriting). Golfers would provide their information and staff would update the customer info in the database. Last year, we switched to a table top kiosk and golfers enter their own information. Teesnap Campaigns has an app that can be downloaded on to an iPad. It’s called Enlist. This app can be found on the iPads or you can search for it in the app store.
Place the iPad or printable form near a sign that explains what you’re giving away. At my club, I am inviting people to sign up for a Birthday Club.
Remember: nobody asks to be a part of an email newsletter. Who wants more junk? No one. When you are asking for an email address, you need to give them something in return. An email is valuable ($20-30 with proper marketing). You are paying for that through whatever promotions you offer.
That leads me to the next idea to attract people to your list.
GIVE SOMETHING AWAY!
I keep referring to using this to gain more golfers to your list, but there are many other types of people who want to get information from my golf course. We have wedding couples, new golfers looking for lessons, parents who want a birthday party at the mini course, businesses who want a team building seminar, and so many more!
I’m sure if you give it some thought, you have many customers who would like your marketing information, too. Perhaps you have a restaurant or a high end practice facility. Every single one of your services has people who would like to know about the promotions you’re holding. Don’t leave them off your list! You have more customers than people who are just golfers.
A kiosk allows you to attract every potential customer to your email list.
When you’re creating an offer that entices someone to join your email list, make sure it appeals to many people and not just golfers. This will help you attract more types of leads. The best option is to have multiple offers available that your customers can select before providing their emails.
Here are some ideas to include when someone signs up for your list:
- Restaurant patron – a coupon or a buy one get one half off deal
- Lesson participant – a 3-part video series on how to select the perfect set of clubs or a free 30-minute lesson when they sign up for your XYZ package
- Wedding couple – a complimentary wedding planner book, a sheet with ideas on the top ten ways to host a wedding on a tight budget, or a sheet with tips on which questions to ask when looking for a venue
- Beginning golfer – an email series for 7 days with daily golf tips or a sheet with unusual golf terminology (what the heck is an albatross?)
- Golf outing coordinator – a sheet with tips on how to raise more money or one with time saving tips for planning an outing
When your customers select which offers they want when they sign up, you are segmenting your list.
On the printable form, you create checkboxes that they select. In the kiosk method, you create lists inside of Teesnap Campaigns. When the person signs up on the iPad, they join that specialized list.
Teesnap Campaigns allows you to automatically send out information when someone joins your list! What a great customer service practice to immediately follow up with valuable information.
USE A STAFF INCENTIVE PROGRAM and THERMOMETER DRAWING
Humans tend to be competitive, especially if there is an incentive to win. If you want to get buy-in from your entire staff, what’s the harm in making it a game?
At my course, we set a goal. Then I created a drawing of a thermometer where I marked off benchmarks as the season progressed – you can have both the numbers and little sayings like “the temperature is rising,” “looks like it’s gonna be a hot one,” “it’s not the heat; it’s the humidity” (that last one is for Midwesterners). It’s fun to see the results instead of just talking about them at staff meetings. And because they are working toward a common goal – a pizza party or something else that is fun – they can celebrate together.
In addition, each staff member can be working toward cash prizes, or you can give away golf or lessons.
Most of your staff will look at this as a bonus payment for their hard work. It isn’t just the competition, but the recognition that kicks them into gear.
Include a popup on your website that drives people to the Facebook Messenger app. I know, you’re saying, “But popups are ANNOYING!” That’s only if you don’t want what it is in the popup. So it’s up to you to make the popup something truly enticing. The person just took the time to visit your website. Make the visit mutually rewarding by offering them an incentive to stay.
Perhaps the pop-up invites them to join your birthday club or offers a free bucket of range balls. There’s plenty of things you can give away as payment for their information.
If you do this through Facebook Messenger, you can tie it directly to your email system. Then you can communicate through email sent out in Teesnap Campaigns as well as through Facebook Messenger.
For a good visual, here’s how Teesnap Messenger Marketing works.
Everyone likes to celebrate their birthday, and they should never do it alone. They could celebrate ANYWHERE, but your goal should be to get them to do so at your golf course.
Design this to attract golfers. Offer a free round if the birthday guest brings three others, or they receive a free round and the guests also get a discount.
Track this in your iPad using a spreadsheet of your database. Set up a promotion for Birthday Club, so you can run a report on that specific promotion to determine how many have been redeemed.
Make sure you have staff mark off who has redeemed this birthday round on the spreadsheet of your database. Put everyone on a Google spreadsheet. When they come in and redeem their round, the staff goes to the spreadsheet and puts an x for redemption. This keeps people from redeeming multiple times.
For Teesnap Users: Set up a promotion called Birthday Round. When a green fee is rung up, select the Birthday Round option from the Promotions drop down. This allows you to run a promotion report to tell you how many birthday rounds were redeemed.
If all five ideas are too many, pick one and implement it. No matter what, make it a goal to get new emails on your list every day. Develop a strategy because you OWN your email list. It’s worth the extra effort.
Which strategy are you going to use? How many emails do you think you can get a day? Let’s set some goals and ACHIEVE them!