“Hibernation is a covert preparation for a more overt action”
-Ralph Ellison, Author
While many clubs choose to hibernate and put business on hold for the winter, it is actually the best time of the year for marketing. People spend more time inside during the winter, which is more time spent on the computer. This can directly equate to more leads, sales, and overall engagement this winter. With that in mind here are some things you can do to grow your business in the winter and set yourself up for a great 2018!
Build your database with contests
Partnering with a club or resort in a warmer climate and giving away a stay and play package can greatly increase the database of both clubs, provided it is executed well.
If you are still sending newsletters to your databases through the winter (which you should), holding a contest for benefits that kick in come spring is a good way to grow your database. A contest for free lessons is a great way to generate leads and future sales from golfers whose New Years resolution may be to become a better golfer this coming year. Likewise, giving away a free membership can lead to a dramatic influx of new emails provided you have a hover ad on your website to take new customers to the entry page.
Build your social media following
Unfortunately, no matter how fantastic your contests and website are, nothing will compare to the amount of time your customers spend on Facebook and other social media platforms. More and more people are getting a considerable amount of their information from Facebook. Don’t let your page collect dust, if nothing else, it may be the only thing reminding your customers that you exist this winter!
If you run contests as discussed above, share them on your Facebook page but don’t rely solely on these to spark engagement. Post a mixture of funny, educational, and engaging content to gain new fans and keep them interested.
A great way to keep fans engaged is to run a weekly caption contest on your Facebook page. Post a funny picture with a prize being awarded to the person who posts the most clever caption. We do these with our clients and regularly achieve a fantastic number of likes, comments, and best of all – shares. If the content is good, people will share it on their page, marketing your club for free!
Redo your website to make it more effective
We all know the golf industry is slow to adapt to the ever-changing world of technology. I’ve seen many course websites that appeared to have been untouched since the advent of the internet. Just because your site may be simple and easy to navigate does not mean it is effective.
Does your site have multiple ways to opt-in to emails and contests? A simple hover ad can make a huge difference in the number of new leads you accumulate each month.
As a golf course, your core business is tee times. Does your site have a tee sheet for customers to book online or does it just list a phone number to call and book? An online tee sheet could increase your bottom line dramatically come spring.
Don’t have an online booking engine? Click here
Train your people how to sell
Take advantage of the slow season by training your staff to dramatically increase your sales in 2018.
Did you know that up-selling can add at least $20,000 a year in sales? All up-selling requires is a single question.
“Do you want a bucket of range balls each or two buckets split between the group to warm up?”
This makes it clear you assume they want some rather than a yes/no question.
“If you’d like to choose a second shirt today, your third is 70% off “
You get two sales and give him a third at cost — win, win, win as few people ever buy more than a couple at once!
For more information on adding at least $20k in sales each year, click here
For more information on training your staff to sell, click here
Start selling your outings now
If you want to come out ahead of your competitors this spring, you must start selling before them. Outings must be planned in advance, if your club is the only in the area booking outings for the beginning of spring, you win. Outings are big business and selling them now are a great way to increase sales and leads before your club even opens!
Get your marketing plan together
Take a second look at your copy… and then a third
- They don’t want to look hokey or desperate.
- They don’t really understand the lifetime value of a member and therefore are scared to build a high-value package.
- They are worried that their existing members will want the same deal
Let’s take a look at these 3 reasons…
- Everyone, rich or poor, wants a great deal. While you may think an insane offer looks desperate, you will change your mind when the deal starts generating figures higher than you had imagined.
- Most clubs have no idea what the lifetime value of a player or member is and therefore don’t want to give away $2,000 worth of value even though a typical player may be worth ten times that amount over their lifetime.
- The way to insure that existing members don’t want the deal is simple: Make sure the monthly dues are higher on the new offer than the existing members are paying, or put a qualifier in some other way like distance from club, age or length of commitment. If existing members meet the requirements, by all means let them have the offer… again think lifetime value not this year’s value!
So now that you understand the importance of a call to action, make sure your site has one for each aspect of your club – memberships, lessons, pro shop, etc.
Use all of the above tips in any fashion or order and you will dramatically increase your business in 2018 as a whole. Take advantage of the time your competitors are taking off and get a head start on growing your databases and increasing your sales before your club even opens back up this spring!
All The Best,