custom mobile app

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

The Geofence Message, And it’s Competitive Advantages

This week's app tip from Denny Hathaway, National Account Manager, Gallus Golf

A Geofence is an area that you can designate, that will initiate an automatic push notification (marketing or informative message), to APP users that have allowed for notification services.

All of our mobile APPs have the ability to set up to 20 Geofences.  These Geofences can be set anywhere on Earth, all you would need is an address.

A Geofence message is similar to a Push Notification, in that it is a text style message, limited to 120 characters or less.  The big difference between the type messages is that a geofence notification is a message you create, and then bury in the sand, like  a trip-wire, for your downloaders to receive when, and only when they cross that specific geofence area, versus the push notification you are actively crafting and sending at a designated time.

 

A specific, strategically placed message like this, allows for golf courses to get very aggressive with the type of marketing message they wish to impart because they know that the only people who are going to see that message, are the people that have downloaded their APP, and have crossed into that specific location.

 

Let’s talk about some ideas for strategic Geofence placement

We know that every facility is different, and every market is different.  That said, these practices have been proven to be successful ways to augment your marketing efforts, and communicate with your audience in an intelligent way.

 

Other Daily Fee or Semi-Private golf facilities in your market

If you have 2 3,4, or more golf courses in your market that you compete with, go ahead and place a Geofence message in their driveway and around their clubhouse.  A well-executed and placed message here can literally result in you pulling business out of the parking lots of your competitors.  Ex:  “Head on over to Broken Elbow Golf club where our rewards programs give you free golf with every 6 rounds you play."

 

Big Box Retail

If you have a Golf Galaxy, PGA SuperStore, or Dick’s Sporting Goods in your market, you might be well served by setting a geofence in their parking lots and around their stores. If selling some equipment this year is a goal for you, or maybe achieving a 10 or 15% uptick in equipment sales, this would be a great place to start.  Ex: “If you’re looking to purchase some golf equipment this summer, head on over to Broken Elbow GC, for a free club fitting."  Let’s remind our audiences to bring this business back to the green grass pro-shops, and patronize your local club.  

You can get everything you need at a full-service pro shop, get fit correctly, and maybe even earn some loyalty program points as to boot.

 

Strategic Locations in town, or on Major Highways 

You are experts in your markets.  We suggest everybody pick some areas in town where your downloaders are apt to travel and congregate and set a geofence in those locations.  Ex:  “Afternoon traffic got you down?  Head over to Broken Elbow GC for Happy Hour!"

 

Free-Standing or competing Driving Ranges in your Market

Looking to boost golf lesson revenue this summer?  How about advertising to YOUR APP audience, by setting a geofence in the parking lot of the local driving range? Ex: “ Having swing troubles?  Head on over to Broken Elbow, mention this message and receive $10 off your next lesson.”

Another great feature of these Geofences? Once you have some set, you can see how they are performing.  In the Geofence tile of your dashboard, you will have access to review all of your geofence performances over the previous month or other timeframes you designate.  You will be shown how many people have crossed your Geofence and viewed your message.  Don’t like how a Geofence is performing for you?  Delete it, and make a new one.  You will quickly find the sweet spots in your market, where your audience is most susceptible to your efforts.


As always, if you have any questions on this or any other feature in your APP, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! support@gallusgolf.com

Growing Downloads As The Season Ends, Or Is About To Begin

From where we sit right now with our 600+ golf courses we work with, it is an interesting time of year.  So many of you are looking into your last 6-8 weeks of your season, while the rest of you are prepping for your season to begin.  Either way, downloads are key, and NOW is the best time to have as many as you can get.  If you are heading out of season, it keeps you connected to your golfers during your down time.  If you are heading into season, it helps you build a stronger year.

Here are some simple methods to grow your downloads in bunches:

  1.  In the dashboard of your app, there is a button labeled "Promote".  There are numerous resources and suggestions on that page, including graphics you can download to print or use online, a link to a video commercial for your app you can share, links that go directly to the app stores for you to link to, an email template, and more
  2. Visit this previous post about FLASH Tournaments at your course to drive downloads in bulk: CLICK HERE
  3. Set up Loyalty/Rewards Programs in your app, and then promote the program.  Watch this video to learn more:  CLICK HERE 
  4. Promote the Monthly Tournament Series as a way to increase repeat play and provide your golfers with a month-long competition with prizes provided by us: CLICK HERE

 

Any other creative ideas, and any help you need, reach out any time: rob@gallusgolf.com or 858.437.9262

Featured App/Operator Of The Month, Northlands Golf Course

Starting this month, we are replacing one of our Weekly App Tip's each month to share with you a Featured Course App and that course's operator to highlight what has been working for them.  In our first month ever, we have Gary Nedergard from Northlands Golf Course, a municipal course in Vancouver, BC.

4th Hole.jpg

 

  • Published the app in March 2012
  • To date, 9,567 downloads
  • Approximately one-third of all rounds played are booked through their app
  • From inception of the app, $2.75 million in green fees booked through the app at an average rate of $56 per round 
  • Average of about 48,000 rounds per year played at the course

 

 

Gary.jpg

Gary Nedergard, Northlands Golf Course

The success Northlands has had with the app can be directly attributed to their team, and their leader Gary Nedergard.  Their recognition of the capabilities to drive revenue they have with the tools of the app has driven this.  Upon launching the app they immediately had their entire team embrace the app, and from there getting their customers to do the same became easy.  Just like any investment a club makes in its future, Northlands has treated the app as a key piece of its long term success.

I sat down and had a great conversation with Gary recently about the role of their app for Northlands.  Further below you can listen to our conversation, but here it is in text for you:

Rob @ Gallus Golf:  "Tell me a little about your experience with the app, how customers have embraced it, and what role it plays day to day for Northlands."

Gary @ Northlands:  "We embraced it right off the bat, as soon as we got wind there was an app available that people can book tee times right on their phone, we jumped all over the opportunity.  We like to think of ourselves as being on the forefront of trying new technology and trying to do things differently from what other golf courses are doing, and as soon as we saw the app and how well it worked with our booking engine, we immediately saw opportunity.  It's so hard today to communicate with your core golfers, and as a municipal, public golf course with no membership base, and when people tend not to read emails as much any more, and print advertising is just not effective enough, so we immediately thought when we saw the app, 'you know what, let's give it a try.'  

We knew it was going to be successful, but our customer base here embraced it right off the bat.  We had our staff, along with the promotional materials from Gallus, begin talking about the app right away.  We would show our customers 'it's so simple and it's free, just download it right to your phone.'  We put the QR codes everywhere, our starter was telling people to download it for the GPS, and right from day one it has been just outstanding."

 

Rob @ Gallus Golf:  "Do you think that's been a key for you then, getting your staff to 'buy-in' and make sure you're increasing customer awareness of the app?"

Gary @ Northlands:  "Exactly it has.  To this day, I think we are in year 4 with the app, even though our power carts have GPS screens on them, which are pretty slick, we still promote the app to everyone to download.  We are about a 60% ratio of riding to walking course.  We are constantly letting people know, this is not just for GPS, this is for specials, access to last minute discounts, traffic notifications, again, just communicating with our golfers in general, we let them know the app is the best way for all of that.

 

It is not intrusive, it's not an email with people not opening them as much any more, considering them pretty much junk mail.  So our staff to this day, even with a good core, loyal base here, we are still getting faces we have never seen before each day.  I hear our staff saying all of the time, 'oh, by the way, if you don't have our mobile app and you plan to play here, it takes just a few seconds to download', and they do it right there at the counter.

 

So, the staff does have to buy in, but I know I have been talking over the years with other operators interested in the Gallus app, and one of the first questions they ask me is, 'how did you get your staff to buy in?'  I would reply, 'There really is no buy-in.  That's part of their job, telling people about this great tool we have.'  So at every access point, the counter, the starter, the marshall, on our website, just so many avenues, you have opportunities to drive it home to the customer to get the app."

 

Rob @ Gallus Golf:  "Tell me, Northlands, typical calendar year, how many rounds of golf?"

Gary @ Northlands:  "We budget for 48,000.  Our high mark was 52,000 back before the crash, or before Tiger crashed his vehicle into a tree!  With weather being such a factor, we have averaged about 46,000 over the last 5 years."

 


Rob @ Gallus Golf:  "So it looks like based on the numbers I know, about one-third of your rounds are being booked through the app then?"

Gary @ Northlands:  "That's right.  I would say about 80-85% of all rounds booked are done online or through the app.  We do still take phone calls, but our online booking rate has been that high.  Even before the app we may have been a bit high compared to other courses, but since we got the app up and running, BOOM, it took off big time, and this just proves that simple technology works.  Once you put your information it, it is a quick three step booking process, and that is with a booking engine we consider 'clunky' as it is right now, although we are looking to change it."

 

Here is a screenshot of the push notifications and the dates they have sent them over the last two months (click on it for a larger view):

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 1.26.55 PM.png

 

PLAY THE VIDEO BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW WITH GARY IN ITS ENTIRETY

 

 

 

Use Your News, As Your Club Events/Offerings Calendar

Usually our tips are 100% app centered.  This week, I am sharing something you can use in any of your writing, app included.

 

www.hemingwayapp.com

 

If you visit this site you will find one of the most dynamic writing tools I have ever used.  I wish I had been made aware of it years ago.  It will help you take something you have written, from as short as a push notification to as long as a thesis, and make it more concise, check your grammar and spelling, and point out ways you can improve it.

 

Here is an old blog post of mine as a screenshot being run through this site:

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 8.55.31 AM.png



I would recommend using this app for newsletters, blog posts, emails, news items in your app, social media posts, push notifications, communications with your spouse...

Anyway, we have found it to be very helpful, and hopefully you will too!

Reach out any time, rob@gallusgolf.com or 858.437.9262.

The Metrics Of Giving

As a bit of a follow up to last week's tip, this week is some food for thought on what you are giving away and what it can net you.  A lot of you may be living in fear of giving away golf, and if last week's tip showed you anything, it is that you don't have to give golf away for your loyalty program to be effective.  That said, let's follow along with the numbers below based on giving golf away as rewards in your loyalty program.

 

The following numbers are an example of what could be with a successful loyalty program.

 

  1. In June 2015 you had 10,000 rounds played and gave away ZERO of them because there was no Loyalty program involved.
  2. In June of 2016 you have 12,500 rounds played, and with those additional 2,500 rounds played you can attribute 70% of them to growth because of the Loyalty program, or 1,750.
  3. If you had 25% of your Loyalty participants earn a free round for the month, and you have 400 participants, that would mean 100 Free rounds would be owed.
  4. If the COGS on a round is $25, then this program for the month cost you $2,500
  5. The additional 1,750 rounds if you averaged only $45 in green fees on each of them would get you a gross increase in revenue of $78,750
  6. If you take the COGS for those 1,750 rounds out of that $78,750 and also take out the $2,500 COGS on the free rounds, you are still left with a gross profit on the rounds gained of $29,500, meaning you are basically spending $2,500 to grow gross profit by $29,500
  7. Further, there are intangibles that will only show over time with this kind of program---for example, developed behavior patterns of golfers ONLY choosing your courses to play at, extra revenue driven from 1,750 rounds of additional golf plus the 100 Free rounds where they will spend money while at the course also---this equates to 1,850 more opportunities to sell merchandise, food, lessons, range balls, cart fees, etc., and don't discount the amount of Goodwill this will create among your clients
  8. Another thing to consider with the 25% benchmark for rewards earned is the 75% or higher failure rate.  Is it okay with your customer base as a whole to make efforts to win something if the feeling about the program becomes that it is something unattainable?  I am not sure what the benchmark for that feeling would be, but if it was 10%, meaning 90% failed, then you potentially have 360 of 400 participants who are walking around a little discouraged with your golf course and considering your competition more than they should be.

Make $$ on Your Loyalty Program, and Give NOTHING Away!

 

The new Loyalty/Rewards program is great.  Having spoken with many of you, we are aware that choosing the program and what to give away has been a struggle for some.   So, what if you were PAID to have the program, and didn't have to give away anything from the Golf Club??

HERE'S THE PLAN and the thought behind it:

Small businesses constantly make efforts to acquire new customers.  They are willing to spend their advertising dollars to do it.  Advertising can't guarantee that someone will actually come and patronize your business.  However, with this plan, your customers will have a reason to become a customer of a business local to your area.

 

What we are proposing is to have a local business purchase from you the naming rights to your Loyalty program.  Follow these steps to make it happen:

 

1.  Partner with a local business for your Loyalty program providing them the Naming Rights for the program.  The investment you require from your partner is up to you, but for this blog post's sake, let's call it $500.

 

2.  Come to terms with this business on what you will be offering as a reward and how your golf course customers will earn the reward.  For example, "With every 7 rounds of golf played, receive $15 credit at Joe's Tacos!", or "With every 5 rounds played, receive a complete Platinum upgrade with your next Car Wash at Stars and Stripes Auto Detail".

 

3.  Name your program accordingly to help your partner, for example, the "Golfing for Tacos" or similar for any other business partner, and now your partner has a button on the homepage of your app for the Loyalty Program

 

4.  Include in the package for this business a pop up that appears during the round of golf 

 

5.  Set up a GeoFence Notification around Joe's Tacos advertising the program

 

6.  Start promoting it to your clients

 

The net results are this:

  • Your customers earn rewards that drive loyalty to your club, but cost you nothing to provide to them
  • You actually get PAID to provide this service to your customers
  • The sponsoring business for a low cost is reaching out to and acquiring many new customers in a very targeted market, and is also creating a top of mind awareness among your golf course clients without necessarily having to give up any rewards.  For example, I am craving tacos or my car is filthy, just played your course, haven't earned any rewards yet, but where do you think I am going to go to get my Taco fix or car washed?

NOW FROM GALLUS -- Included in Your Apps....Loyalty/Rewards !!!

Reach out to help get this set up in your apps now!

 

rob@gallusgolf.com or 858.437.9262

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 11.17.48 AM.png

Driving Engagement with In-App Contests

Any of you who have been following me know, user engagement is a hot topic with me.  I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about ways to increase your users' activity with your apps.  This week I am sharing one of those middle of the night ideas.  Please let me know if you need any help setting this up in your app.

 

THE CONCEPT:   My example is a Trivia game, but you could do this, or a Scavenger Hunt, or really any kind of game that requires a response from your users.

 

 

THE PATH:  First, build a Google Form for Each question/clue you want to put forth.

 

 

(Click on any of the images below to get a larger view)

 

                        Next, connect that form to your app with a Custom Button:

 

Next, Send a Push Notification announcing your contest and deep linking to the button in your app connected to the question/clue form:

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 12.39.50 PM.png

 

Finally, Review your responses and notify your winners!

 

 

HERE is what your golfers will see in their apps:

 

 

What's to gain by doing this?

  • Increased engagement and excitement about your app overall
  • With increased engagement, when you send other push notifications, your users are now paying closer attention
  • Users that are tuning into you more than they are your competitors,which means more rounds, happier customers, and higher revenues
  • FUN---you gain some fun!

 

WE WANT TO HELP YOU SET THIS UP IN YOUR APP, SO PLEASE REACH OUT FOR HELP IN GETTING THIS DONE WITH YOUR CONTEST IDEAS.  858.437.9262 or rob@gallusgolf.com

 

 

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

 

 

 

Prepping for a season of Push Notifications

For our clients a change of seasons is occurring right now.  Many of you are entering your busy time of the year, and many are exiting.  Either way, now is a great time to refine or add segments for your audience for push notifications.

 

The experience for your users will be one of the following:

 

  1. If they already have your app, the next time it is opened it will prompt them to answer your new segment set up in a couple easy steps.
  2. If they are downloading your app for the first time, the app will take them through these steps upon their first open.

 

Here are some suggested Custom ID segments:

  1. Birth Month, with each of the 12 months as an option.  Wish these customers of yours a Happy Birthday during their month.  Possibly even offer a corresponding special offer to them.
  2. Local Region, if your clients are coming from a range of areas and it would benefit you to be able to target those regions in messages
  3. When You Play, with your options being Weekday, Weekend, Morning, Afternoon, etc.
  4. Skill Level, with options of Beginner, Improving, Advanced, etc

Custom ID's like these will allow you to target your audience, matching it to specific offers.  When building a Custom ID, this is exactly what you should have in mind.

 

As always, if you need any help, please don't hesitate to reach out.  rob@gallusgolf.com or 858.437.9262

A Report Card, and Continuing to Improve

Sometimes to move forward it is important to take a moment to reflect on where we have been and the trends we have been following.  One of the biggest Key Performance Indicators that I keep pointing to is user engagement.  When I refer to user engagement, I am talking about how much time and how active the people who have downloaded your app are with it.  The stronger the engagement is, the stronger your marketing messages and relationship with your users become.

 

There are a few key components to driving a high level of user engagement:

 

  • Content -- I have said before that "Content is King", and you've listened.  The stats I will show below will demonstrate how well you did in 2015, and our goal with you is to continue that huge growth we have experienced with your apps.  That said, a consistent level of attention to the content of your app, content that will give your users reasons to be paying close attention often, is the most important thing you can do
  • Communication -- Push notifications are an absolute must.  We have found that our apps with the highest level of user engagement are also the ones that are sending on average at least 4-6 push notifications per month.
  • Growth -- Continuing to grow your user base is a never ending task.  Resting at a certain number of downloads is a huge mistake.  It should be a goal of yours to see a consistent level of growth in your download number, and continuing to keep that top of mind for your staff when communicating with your clients, keeping your download collateral visible online and in social media, and promoting the app at least once a month in some format are all keys to growth.

 

Here is a year over year engagement comparison for apps in general:

 

This report is based on apps in general around the world.  It details a comparison between 2014 and 2015 for user engagement.  Notice that the number of times the app was launched increased in 2015 over 2014, but also that the average amount of time spent in the app increased from 5.7 minutes to 6.02 minutes.  This is telling us that, in general, people are using and engaged with apps much more now than they have been previously.

 

So, I wanted to see how you are all doing with your apps by comparison to apps in general worldwide.  We made a big push in 2015 to work with you to raise the level of engagement, and while I am sorry to say in 2014 we were behind general app averages for engagement, I am thrilled to say we SMASHED these general numbers in 2015.

 

Here is our year over year engagement comparison with 2014 shown above 2015:

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 7.42.36 AM.png

So, while apps in general in 2014 were seeing an average session time of 5.7 minutes and were ahead of us, YOUR hard work and dedication to growing your apps in 2015 paid huge dividends and we are over 67% ahead of apps in general in engagement for 2015 with a 10 minutes and 20 seconds average session versus 6.02 minutes for apps as a whole.  NICE WORK!!!

 

So, what do I want you all to take from this?  We operate here from a level of positive dissatisfaction, meaning we can be happy about this current success, but never content with where we are currently at, always wanting to improve.  My challenge to you for the balance of 2016 is to continue the phenomenal growth.  Increase your engagement because the efforts you made last year are showing benefits.  It is time to ride that wave.

 

How do you do it???  See the points above:  Content, Communication, and Growth.  AND, continue to lean on us even more.  We are thrilled with these numbers and want to do all we can to continue to help you.  If you haven't lately, REACH OUT TO US NOW, to help you with a strategy and action plan for this year, and let's get to work.

 

My office direct, 858.437.9262 or rob@gallusgolf.com