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Gallus News - 69 Golf Courses Have Launched Their Mobile Apps With Gallus Golf In The Last 90 Days!

Released on The Golf Wire June 8th, 2018

 

 

San Diego, CA -

From March 1st to May 31st, sixty-nine golf courses have launched their apps with Gallus Golf. When comparing numbers of apps added by Gallus in years past during this same time period, this is a 150% increase from 2017 and 330% from 2016. These statistics reflect the value of mobile technology and it's vast penetration into market. This summer of 2018 marks the 10 year mark of mobile applications inception, and in that short time there are over 2.2 million apps available in Apple App Store with over 197 billion mobile app downloads worldwide. When comparing the time people spend on technology devices, on average, 57% is spent on mobile devices.

Given the market's dependency on mobile applications, it's no surprise we are seeing golf clubs adopting this technology more and more each year. Golf clubs understand the value mobile brings to their customers in a variety of areas such as online bookings, tournament scoring, on course golf GPS, messaging, direct food & beverage ordering, as well as utilizing their branded app as a hub for marketing initiatives. 

Mobile apps connect courses and golfers directly, enhancing the customer experience on and off the course. Among the 69 new courses added, 14 are private country clubs. Adding to the member experience and expected customer service a club should provide its members, the apps are a perfect fit.

Included in the private clubs and resorts added are The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Club, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club, Falmouth Country Club, Legacy Pines Golf and Country Club, and Cherry Creek Golf Club.

In the short time these clubs have been promoting their app they are experiencing a strong customer demand with their engaged users. For example, Cherry Creek Golf Club began promoting their app in the beginning of April 2018, and within a two month time period they have nearly 1,000 app downloads and have produced 147 direct revenue generated activities. 

Because of this enormous growth, Gallus is investing considerable efforts and funds into deepening the connection between course and customer/member. Short and long-term future plans include integrations with Point-of-Sale systems with Artificial Intelligence for smart messaging, manufacturers for direct E-Commerce opportunities, and other software providers to include a suite of best-in-class services all from the mobile app as a hub.

 

Read Article at The Golf Wire

9 Reasons Why Golf Courses Win With A Mobile App

One the biggest trends we are seeing in the golf industry right now is the growing popularity of mobile golf apps. Hundreds of golf courses are using them to streamline online booking, shopping, score tracking, and social communities within their member and customer bases.

So, why is it so useful for golf courses to make use of a mobile app? The main reason is that mobile apps represent an incredibly powerful marketing platform for selling tee times, pro shop items, and even food & beverage.

While it's great that so many golf courses are adopting this new technology, it’s important that golf operators understand how to get maximum value out of the wide range of marketing benefits that apps provide. Mobile apps are proven to have a high rate engagement rate because Americans spend 89% of their time in an app while using their phones. So, if golf courses want to benefit from the mobile revolution they need to have an app. These days, almost no one will use a mobile browser to book their tee time or engage with their club.

Golf course apps include two powerful marketing tools, push notifications and in-app messages. Push notifications are the little banners an app will send to the front screen of your phone when a news story breaks or you get a text message. In-app messages are messages that are sent to a user directly within an app. Both have a wide variety of uses and will dramatically increase engagement.

 

For this article we collaborated with Alex Lavoie from Chronogolf, the industry leader in cloud-based club management software.

- Molly Jasco, Marketing Manager of Gallus Golf

 

What are push notifications and in-app messages useful for?

1. Promotion announcements

Users of your app who have enabled push notifications represent a captive audience. Whenever your course has a new discount or promotion, you now have access to marketing real estate directly on the front page of your customers’ phones.

Best of all, if the promotion is appealing to the app user they can purchase whatever tee time, pro shop item, or restaurant deal you are promoting directly from their phone.

A fast and effective way to utilize push notifications, is when you want to get the word out about last minute offers and deals. For example, if a tee sheet is wide open for the following day after 2 pm, send your audience a special twilight rate. The true power of this, versus email for example, is the immediate impact you can have. This message delivery, similar to a text message, grabs the user’s attention, unlike email which often receives a delayed response.

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2. Event Invitations

Email used to be the most effective channel for promoting an event, today it’s the mobile app. Whenever your course announces a new tournament or event, a well timed push notification can encourage players to RSVP to the event directly from their phones. If desired, mobile apps can also display who is attending, provide menu options, start times, an itinerary and any other event related details.

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3. Sending Reminders

Reduce no shows and late starts by reminding players about their tee times. If the player is going to be late they can reschedule their tee time directly from the app. As well, reminders are helpful for ensuring that attendance at tournaments and events is maximized.

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4. Keeping Golfers Updated

Sometimes the weather just won’t cooperate and you have to notify players that their tee time is delayed or that the course is closed. Your customers really appreciate being kept in the loop especially if they get a notification directly to their phone regarding changes in weather, start times, or tee time availability. Providing real time course notifications to your audience will increase the value of your app from the golfer perspective, and make it clear you are not only sending promotional messaging.

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5. Thank You’s and Congratulations

After a tournament send a quick thank you note to all who participated or congratulate player for getting a hole in one or improving their handicap. Occasionally sending these kind of notifications helps personalize your app and will ultimately drive more engagement. In addition, this can be a great opportunity to increase customer retention by adding a discount or offer off their next visit at your club.

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6. Geofenced Notifications

Perhaps the most powerful aspect of mobile golf apps is their ability to send notifications based on geographic location. Timing is key for reaching users in a meaningful way. It’s impactful when a customer receives a notification showcasing deals in the pro shop and restaurant when they arrive in the parking lot. Research from a recent study shows 36% of people who shop using apps said a mobile location-based push notification influenced an in-store purchase they made.

Promote merchandise specials, new food menu items, or events to sign up for in the golf shop. By promoting these offerings to customers who are physically at your location, your chances of closing that sale are much greater.

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7. Sparking a Conversation

Encourage your customers to raise their voices about their experience at your course. Push notifications are capable of directly asking a customer how they felt about their experience after a round at your golf course. Ask for feedback, pro shop item requests, or restaurant menu ideas.

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8. Recurring Push Notifications

Having a regular check in message is a great way to connect with your customers and build your push notification open rates. Having a weekly or monthly campaign that features “Pro Tip Tuesday”, “Golfer of the Month” or even a link to your regular newsletter will allow you to get greater leverage out of those campaigns that may typically be sent only via email. These can be used for promotional purposes or educational, we suggest making sure there is consistency in the time and day you send these messages out.

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9. Promoting Your Loyalty Program

Many mobile golf apps have built in loyalty features for customer rewards and redemption. Because golfers are typically downloading your app for core features like booking tee times, scorecard and golf gps, they are unaware that in-app deals or your loyalty program even exists. Including loyalty program-related push notifications is another way to balance out your content messaging and highlight additional value your app provides. Introduce your loyalty program to your golfers and use this channel to push a “double points day” or “your rewards will expire soon” to create a sense of urgency. If yourloyalty program is built into your app, you can guide your users directly to that page in your app when they open the message.

Best Practices & Tips For Creating Your Push Notifications

We’ve filled you in on a number of ways to use push notifications to connect with your customers and promote your business, now learn how to get the most out of your messaging.

 

 

 

  • Message Length: Short and sweet is the way to go. Users are flooded with messages all day long between news notifications, emails, and more, that having a short and concise message with a clear call to action will result in the best open rates.

 

  • Keywords: Engagement is highest when your message creates a sense of urgency or exclusivity. If a user sees they only have 24 hours to take advantage of a sale or they have early access to an event, they will be more likely to learn more. 

 

  • Segmentation: Use your app to segment your audience by user profile or interests. Now, you can send targeted messaging based specific customer criteria. Users will appreciate the relevant content, which will be reflected in higher open and conversion rates. 

Get Your App Ready For The Season

It’s getting that time of the year when golf season is about to begin and clubs are gearing up to open. You may be asking yourself, what can I do this year to get more value out of my golf club app? How can I grow downloads and provide a better app experience for my golfers? We are going to break down a few of our features and what content makes for an engaging and valuable app to your customers!

 

Monthly Deals

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A great way to engage your audience is to provide a special or promotion. Our offer locker tool makes it easy to create and track one-time deals you want to offer to your customers. For example, you could offer a Free Bucket Of Balls for downloading our app, Spend $75 in our Pro Shop and get $10 on next purchase, or buy four rounds of golf for $150. We suggest updating these deals each month to provide fresh and valuable content in your app! Test different offers to see what is having a positive response and feel free to reuse the following month. Having these deals exclusively in the app will drive downloads and word-of-mouth about your app.

 

Push Notifications

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What is going on at your Club this season? Events? Leagues? New monthly deals in the offer locker? 

Keep your users in the know about upcoming events and specials that are being offered. This connection to your customers will keep your Club top of mind to your customers and help you stand out when offering great deals and specials. 

You can also add a fun element by using emojis, too! In a recent study with over 2.6 push notifications, data showed that emojis drive push notification opens by 85% and conversion by 9% 😃. You can easily copy and paste emojis using the Emoji Keyboard Online. Of course, push notifications don’t have to always be used for promotional purposes. This is a fast and effective tool to get the word out on any course conditions and delays.

Tips:

  1. The frequency of Push Notifications: one push notification a week is expected and not perceived as an interruption.

  2. When to send: this can depend on the message, but research from Localytics states, Thursdays from 10 am - 1pm generate the best click-rates.

  3. If attempting to gain sign up participation for an event, send the push notification one month prior, then two weeks, and one week until the date of the event.

  4. Emojis will help increase conversion - use them! 

 

Food & Beverage Mobile Orders

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Gallus onTAP is our latest click-to-order food & beverage solution. onTAP allows customers to make orders in your app for pick up and/or delivery. This seamless ordering experience aligns with growing trends in mobile food ordering and delivery. Although food & beverage is the main operation featured in this solution, it’s functionality can be applied to other areas of your business. Now Pro Shop merchandise can be accessible for purchase in the app for golfers looking to grab new gear. If a sleeve of balls or hat is needed mid-round, golfers can initiate that order on their app and either have their order delivered to them on the course or available for pick up at the turn.

 

Add Videos To Your App

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In the age of the iPhone, it’s never been easier to create great looking videos that showcase your Clubs offerings. Simply, use your smartphone to capture images and video of club events, instruction clinics and camps, and leagues. Import these videos into iMovie or Windows Movie Maker to put any finishing touches on, such as an Introduction title and closing fade out (don’t worry, these video editing applications are free and user-friendly!). Once ready, import to Youtube and place the YouTube URL in your app. These videos should be short, up to about 2 minutes, for optimal engagement.  75% of viewers will tune in for a 1-2 minute video, anything longer you will see that number drop significantly.

 

Interactive Leaderboards

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Whether you are operating an Annual Club Championship or casual weekly league, your golfers can use the app to track their score, as well as see where their competitors are placed. This makes for a fun and interactive experience for players. Using the URL links in the dashboard, you can easily stream these live leaderboards to any TV or monitor at your facility.

In summary, there are a number of features and tools that can enhance the golfer experience and provide a connection to your customers. First, make sure all app content is up to date and use visual content to highlight your club’s amenities. Second, consider exclusive deals in your app via the offer locker or loyalty program tool. Communicate these deals and any other Club events with push notifications and geofence notifications in areas your clients frequent. Third, enhance the golf experience and grow your revenue by utilizing our tournament software and onTAP food & beverage solution.

If you have questions or need assistance in setting up any of these features - or anything custom you would like to include from great ideas of your own, please reach out to your account manager or support@gallusgolf.com.

Featured App/Operator of the Month

Out of the norm for our App of the Month interview, I actually got to spend some time with this month's app operator from the Golf Wichita app, their super dynamic Assistant Manager of Golf, Shana Appelhanz.  We were both attending the Golf Inc. Strategies Summit in Austin, Texas last week, and I was fortunate enough to capture a quick conversation in video with Shana about their app.

ENJOY!

Featured App/Operator Of The Month, The Evergreen Club

This month we are very excited to feature a relatively new client of ours, The Evergreen Club in Palm City, Florida, and its very dynamic operator, Alix Dannewitz.  The Evergreen Club has had their app since May of this year, and they are off to a flying start in their off season, getting ready to really kick some butt with the app as they head into the 2016-17 winter season, their high time of the year.

 

I recently was fortunate to sit down and talk with Alix about their operation as it relates to their mobile app.

 

Rob @Gallus:  As a new mobile app operator, can you tell us a bit about what your initial goals and strategies were for your first year with the app at The Evergreen Club?

Alix:  Our first-year goals are to obtain the 33-55-year-old demographic market here in Palm City, and to do that we figure that our online marketing and smartphone marketing are where golfers are today. Not so much print ads or newspapers - people who are younger just aren't there.  So our strategy is trying to get them hooked on the app by having the loyalty program, the ability to book through the app, course flyovers and more.  It all has to do with the innovative ways to have fun at the club.

 

Rob @Gallus:  You and your team have done a really great job so far, especially considering you launched the app out of season and you continue daily to grow your downloads -- I mean you're well into the hundreds and you're still very new at this.  For other new app clients, like yourself, looking to dedicate or rededicate themselves to an effective way of managing the app, where would you recommend they begin or start in managing their app's?

Alix:  I would definitely start with the educational materials Gallus provides- the links, the videos, the marketing materials, are all fantastic tools to educate yourself and your staff, not only to benefit our staff but to get them to go out and use the app.  Once they know first hand how to use it they help our members and customers with exactly what to do because some older people, that aren't so savvy, having a staff member show or actually going out golfing with them and using the app makes them excited to go out and use it the next time for themselves, and to suggest it to their friends. 

 

The dashboard is super easy to use, and definitely take advantage of the webinars that you guys provide. One big thing we did was have those marketing cards, the scorecard inserts you provide, put on every golf cart. Every customer or member who comes out to play sees them for 4-5 hours each time they play.  Those alone provide great exposure for the app.

 

Rob @Gallus:  It's definitely working for you, just to add some perspective for those reading this, at The Evergreen Club, in a typical calendar year, about how many rounds of golf are played on your course?

 

Alix:  Typically we hit about 32,000 but we are now transitioning from a private club to a semi private club-this season, so  there will be a large chunk of new players, and our goal is to hit around 40,000 this year.

 

Rob @Gallus:  Just a couple more questions for you, how do you feel the app is already affecting revenue at the club, and how do you feel it will continue to in the future?

Alix:  So far the revenue driven by the loyalty program in the app has really helped us with members that come in frequently.  They want their punches.  They want to come in and  spend more to pick out that free item, so that has definitely helped.  The increased online booking through the app, that younger customers and members who don't want to talk anybody utilize by going right through the app and booking their tee times is definitely improving our goals of hitting the younger demographic here and increasing revenue along the way.

 

Rob @Gallus:  Again you're still relatively new at this and I imagine your goals are changing as you adapt and grow with the app.  As you continue to grow, being one of the more savvy business people we deal with, what are some of  your long term goals for the app?  What can Gallus do for you to help you reach this growth and what would you like to see happen as we move forward?

Alix:  Honestly, I'm very happy with everything you guys are offering.  I looked into the app before, periodically I would get an email from you guys, saying oh we have this now, oh we have that now, watch our webinar, and so forth.  I'm often surprised by something new, which is fantastic and you do often - it keeps it fresh.  Maybe the only thing that i can think of which could be a bad thing but could be a really good thing is to have a feedback area -- if anyone wants to write a review and they can post about it on there -- maybe write a little review and other app users could read those reviews.

 

Gallus is always coming out with something new and different, it relieves me from having to think! 

 

Rob @Gallus:  Actually, there are ways already we can include something just like this to provide feedback for you.  My experience has been, when it comes to bad feedback, a bad review can be one the best things to happen to your business.  It all depends how you react to it and how you handle it, and if you are viewing it as an opportunity in its constructive criticism.

Alix:  This originally happened on our facebook page on Memorial Day with some veterans who thought they were mistreated.  I went through this whole thing right through the Facebook page and gave them a free foursome and  they came back grateful for us making it right. So, yes I understand what you're saying. 

 

Rob @Gallus:  we are always working with the Gallus Think Tank here, and I'm certain we will have a big announcement of something new at the PGA show this January.

Ideas & Tips for Loyalty/Rewards Programs

 

A couple weeks into the availability of a Loyalty/Rewards program, and with some very solid feedback from some of you, we would love to share some ideas and suggestions based on what we have seen and heard.

 

Tip #1:  Set Attainable Goals.  Launching any program that requires your customers to be engaged should compel you to position them to succeed.  Your customers enroll in your new Loyalty program, get excited about it, begin to participate, and then quickly realize they won't ever earn the rewards, they will quickly become disillusioned and the desired effect of increased Loyalty will actually result in exactly the opposite.

 

Tip #2:  Match Your Loyalty Programs to Internal Business Goals.  Use your new Loyalty capabilities to drive traffic to areas of need within your business.  For example, the restaurant at your club has introduced a fantastic new menu for this season and you're excited to debut it and increase revenue.  Launch a program that earns your patrons punches for levels of dollars spent -- "For every $5 spent in the restaurant, receive a star, and when you reach $100 total spent you will be rewarded with $20 on your next dine-in experience."  Some courses are also using the Loyalty program to drive traffic to their driving ranges, pro shops for merchandise sales, and of course to increase rounds of golf played.  Get outside of the typical golf operator box if you want with these programs because you have complete autonomy in what you set up.

 

Tip #3:  If You Don't Want to Give Away Golf, But Want to Build Around Rounds Played, Find Another Reason to Keep Them Coming Back.  Just because you build a Loyalty program based around a certain number of rounds of golf played does NOT mean you have to reward your golfers with a round of golf to build their loyalty to your club.  If a golfer is choosing where he/she would like to play on any particular day and the opportunity is there to earn some reward, any reward, by playing your course, the likelihood they will choose to play your course increases.  A program could be as simple as this: "Play 5 rounds of golf in the month of June, and with every round played after that until the end of July receive a complimentary hot dog and soda."  This drives frequent play for the month of June, and then when given the choice of where to continue to play over the course of the next month, the golfer is motivated to come back to your course, AND you still get to charge him for golf, only giving away about $1 for the hot dog and fountain soda.

 

Tip #4:  Promote Your Program.  Now that you have it, talk about it.  Put it in your monthly emails you send, post all about it on Facebook, have some fun and make a video about it and share it all over the internet, send push notifications out about it, and most importantly, make it a mandate that your staff talks with every customer about it.  It's not any good if you keep it to yourself!

 

FINALLY, it doesn't have to be perfect.  Don't be afraid to follow these tips and launch something just to get it out there and get your customers participating.  For so many of you who are at the beginning of your seasons, your clients are building their patterns for the year right now, take advantage of this and get them engaged and Loyal now.

 

As always, reach out to our team for help if you need it.  You can call my office direct at 858.437.9262 or email our team at support@gallusgolf.com

Setting up your Loyalty/Rewards Programs

 

It's new.  It's LIVE on your dashboard.  It's Simple.  It's going to be huge for you!

 

Introducing YOUR OWN, Custom, Branded Loyalty/Rewards Program.

 

Check out how one of our clients is branding and promoting it:

 

Here is a little more about the program:

 

PLEASE, give us a call to help you set these up in your app.  You can reach out to me directly at rob@gallusgolf.com or 858.437.9262.  Also, here is a link to watch a tutorial video for setting up your loyalty programs:  https://vimeo.com/16563422

 

Continuing to Improve Your Apps

NOW LIVE -- Multi-Round Tournament Capability!

 

Great News -- For those of you who have chosen to enable our fully integrated tournament software, multi-round capabilities are now featured in it.  This includes the ability to host tournaments that are more than one round in length, to make cuts after rounds, to flight tournaments after a round has been played, and fantastic live leaderboard coverage that details each round and total scores.  It's just like watching Johnny Miller on TV, only better because you don't have to actually listen to the guy!

 

If you're using the Tournament Wizard software and want our team to run you through the changes, by all means reach out and let's schedule some time to talk.

 

If you're NOT using the Tournament Wizard and want to learn more, especially how it gains you dozens of downloads at a time, reach out and let's talk about getting it turned on in your app!

 

ALSO -- Within the month of May, be ready for our NEXT FREE IMPROVEMENT!

 

A hint as to what it is.... Loyal Users can receive Rewards!

 

Contact us here for a sneak preview or to help with the Tournament Wizard software, rob@gallusgolf.com or 858.437.9262