golf money making ideas

7 Ways The App Is A Lifesaver

 

“Running a business is all smooth sailing.”

- Said no one ever.

 

As much as we plan and prepare to make business operations seamless week to week, we are bound to occasionally hit a snag. In the golf industry, this can look like employee turnover, unpredictable weather, or last minute cancellations, among many other potential hiccups. When blindsided by these challenges, it can often lead to quick reactionary marketing decisions that may not be the best message to deliver to your customers.

In this blog, I’ve outlined a series of “trouble scenarios” and ways to get your golf club out of a bind using your app. By learning more about these slightly out of the box best practices, hopefully, you’ll feel more proactive communicating to your customer and maybe even find marketing opportunities when faced with similar challenges.


 

1. Last Minute Outing Cancelation - How To Fill Your Tee Sheet

Have you planned on having a packed course due to a scheduled outing and then the day before this planned event, the tournament organizer has to cancel? This can be a headache, especially because you probably spent that week turning golfers away, who wanted to play at your course. If in this position, sending a push notification to your app audience is a fast and effective way to fill your tee sheet. The message should direct users right to your booking engine to view and make tee times in the app within a couple clicks.

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2. Sunshine In February? Get More Out Of Your Golfers!

Ever been in the middle of your winter or off-season and out of nowhere you have a few days of clear skies and sunshine? This is typically great news, but it can involve scrambling to get the word out to fill an open tee sheet for the next day. Again, this is where in-app messaging is a reliable channel in immediately delivering that message to your audience. You can even set up an in-app deal featuring a golf package for up-sell opportunities since most likely your golfers are ill-equipped to play golf this time of year.

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3. Course Renovation or Update

Whether you are experiencing unpredictable weather or planned course renovation, it’s always a good idea to keep your golfers in the loop with any on-course updates for the day. When these scenarios come up abruptly it can be difficult to notify golfers of an update or to kindly abide to on-course change in play, such as cart path only due to heavy rains. This is when a geofence message over the course becomes a quick and seamless solution to notifying your golfers about course updates for the day. You may be thinking sending out an email to your whole database is just as easy and will be received by a larger audience. That is correct, however, broadcasting a message about your course being in a less desirable condition can have a lingering effect of keeping customers away from your course. By placing a location-based message over your clubhouse or parking lot, only golfers on site will be notified of the course update or instructions. Another useful messaging tool in this scenario is an on-course pop-up message. Using pop-ups allows you to add an image to the message, making your golfers aware of what to prepare for on a particular hole.

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4. On-Course Engagement

Engage with your golfers while they are on your course! Using pop-up notifications you can trigger messages based on which holes they are located at. This function can be applied in a number of ways to benefit your golf club. On hole 8, send a reminder to make an order at the turn or after their round, encourage them to “head to the clubhouse to enjoy a cold one”. Also, you can use pop-ups as a way to promote “digital hole sponsorships” during tournament play. Your club or tournament organizers can present a fee to local businesses for in-app advertising during the tournament day, making your course tournament experience stand out against your competition.

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5. Connect With New Tournament Players

Your course will be packed with players for an upcoming outing. Some of these players may frequent your course often, but others it’s their first time. You may think having manicured fairways and pristine greens will keep them coming back, but it’s not always that easy to keep your club top of mind. Take advantage of tournament days by promoting your app for live scoring, golf GPS, and tournament specific offers. This in-app deal can be anything from “Get $10 off a $50 spend” to “$1 off a sleeve of balls”. The key components are to make this deal exclusive and available for only one day to drive app downloads. This will not only provide a positive course experience but also the opportunity for you to market to these new customers post-tournament.

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6. Direct Foot Traffic To Your Operations Needing Help

When it comes to email marketing, we know promoting greens fee specials will get your golfers to your course, but often times, food & beverage or merchandise specials are not as strong of an appeal. You could send an email out on Thursday about daily happy hour specials and merchandise sales and by the time it’s Saturday and those golfers are at your club, they have already forgotten what deals are available to them. With geofence technology, you can create a custom message for your golfers as they arrive at your club with all new specials and offerings available. 90% of US mobile users keep their location services turned on, and because your customers will be in the vicinity of these offerings, the likelihood of purchase is much stronger.

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7. Driving Range Golf GPS

This spring we launched our Golf GPS feature for driving range facilities. This feature is easy to set up and allows for your golfers to have accurate yardage to range targets no matter what their location is on the driving range. No longer will your staff need to post grass tee yardages on a daily or weekly basis.

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Why Mobile Loyalty Works

After nearly two years of incorporating some form of loyalty programs into apps we offer, we are seeing some astounding results.  I wanted to share some statistics of not just our app, but the mobile loyalty world, in general, to help you draw some of your own conclusions about these types of programs, and as always, my team and I are at the ready to help you set your own program up, or refine the one you have.

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Before I dig into how our apps are doing, let me share some about mobile loyalty programs in general.  

Customers have choices.  Whether it is where they get their coffee each morning, what they are doing for dinner, which hotel or airline they will travel with, or which golf course they will play regularly - loyalty can be a make or break proposition for a business of any size, but in particular a small to medium size business like a golf course.  When a company with a brand as strong as a Starbucks, Jersey Mike’s, or Marriott International that can live on its brand alone is recognizing the importance of rewarding loyalty, if you are not doing the same in your golf course, you are likely missing out daily.

Further, when a low margin business like a Starbucks (maybe making $1 per purchase per customer at times) is willing to provide a discount or freebie for loyalty - you have to stop and take notice of that when you are reeling in sometimes dozens of dollars in profit per customer per purchase.  

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But it’s not just the fact that brands are winning with rewards programs now - it is the fact that consumers are becoming accustomed to them and traffic to the businesses offering them is following.  In 2017, 64% of businesses that offered a loyalty program reported an increase in memberships over 2016. The majority of those cited the fact that mobile components of their loyalty programs were the largest contributors to that growth.  

Getting the program onto the device that is attached to their hand constantly works!

In a study recently, customers reported they would be further engaged in loyalty programs if they were simple to join and easy to access.  Having the program on their phone is the easiest path to satisfying that requirement.

Our statistics reinforce this:

  • In one year of offering points programs for loyalty within our apps we have had 74 clubs employ them.  These 74 clubs have accounted for over $5.3 million in spending within the programs, an average of over $71 thousand per club.

  • Further, the number of users in those programs averaged $483 each in their spending within the loyalty program

  • In addition to this, within our punch programs, 159 clubs have added one of these programs or more and they have accounted for an average of 98 participants each with nearly 33,000 punches recorded.

  • In the punch programs, 22% of the programs have been completed, meaning 1 in 5 people have been engaged enough to earn a reward, and that is early in the season that I am writing this - you can imagine what that number will be by the end of this golf season!

I could continue to ramble on about this and share more and more stats, but the bottom line is this - add a program if you don’t have one.  Promote the ones you do have if you do. Consumers are looking for them, and they are producing significant results - plus you already have the best tool to deliver it to them with your app!

Let us know how we can help!  support@gallusgolf.com

5 Ways To Use The Offer Locker This Season To Drive Additional Spend!

The 2018 Season is upon us... The days are longer, the weather warmer, and the golfers are flooding to courses after what many experienced as a painfully cold and wet spring in much of North America. Now that the weather has turned, you may be asking how you can get the most of the 2018 Season and stand out against the competition? How can my golf club attract more golfers without heavily discounting tee times via online booking services?

 

We Have Good News For You…

The beauty of having your branded golf app is that you now have an engaged golf audience, who are interested in your club, and strong potential to be a loyal customer. Of course, putting in the time and marketing efforts is essential to keeping the customer relationship alive.  Fortunately, the messaging and loyalty tools you have available with your app will help drive additional spend and increase the lifetime value of your customers!

The Offer Locker is a rewards tool with the flexibility to bring in-app deals to your customers to encourage engagement and drive loyalty. Since the inception of the Offer Locker in Fall 2017, 580 offers have been created by our partnered clubs. These offers have produced over 10,000 viewers during that short time and produced over 3,100 direct revenue driving redemptions. This equates to a conversion rate of 31%, during a time that is slower part of the season! Considering, the average conversion rate for digital marketing methods is anywhere from 2.35 - 5.31%, it's safe to say mobile marketing will drive more revenue to your club! Plus, unlike advertising on Facebook or Google, it's included with your app!

31% > 2.35% - Lets Take A Second To Think About That...

 

If you need more persuading, below are a list of more reasons why you should use the Offer Locker this season:

  • Generate More App Downloads

  • Attract Quality Customers

  • Keep App Content Fresh And Fun For Your Audience

  • Market To An Engaged Audience

  • Increase Positive Word Of Mouth

  • Promote Value-Added Packages, Not Discounts

 

This article will break down 5 ways you can use the Offer Locker tool to create value-added bundles to generate additional customer spend, and best ways to market those offers via in-app messaging.

 


1. Tournament Specific Offer

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Often times when golf clubs are booked for a tournament, they host players for the day on their course, hope any new golfers enjoy their experience and cross their fingers that they return. Now with the Offer Locker, you can proactively retain new customers by providing a Tournament Specific Offer. Depending on the golfer type, you can create something that is a deal on Food & Beverage or special on something at your golf shop.  By creating a same-day and exclusive deal to players, you will generate more downloads, customer spend, and ongoing communication post tournament. When using the Gallus Tournament Software, include these details in the tournament description and rules. Even if players are not redeeming the offer, they still have your app on their phone and now you have the opportunity to market to them!

 

 


2. Golf Packages

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When golf is top of mind, promote an investment - not a discount! By having a golf package, for example Buy 4 Rounds for $150, you are providing the golfer with an ongoing value they can use throughout the season. This in turn, lays the foundation for stronger customer connection and opportunities to upsell in their return visits via food & beverage and merchandise spending. Having an offer like this involves some discount, of course, but it’s well worth the price for ensuring return visits by new customers and opportunities for additional spend.

 

 

 


3. Summer Golf Bundles

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Use your course offerings as a way to package up the perfect Summer Bundle or Experience for your customers. This will depend on what inventory is available and what profit margins are for specific items when bundling together, but you can get creative with this!  Create a summer bundle for a hat, sleeve of balls, and sunscreen for $35. Or promote a golf package of polo shirt and $50 range card for $75. Capitalize off the season and create a sense of urgency that these deals will not last long, so your customers jump on the opportunity to redeem.

 

 

 


4. Big Ticket Items

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Often times courses feel the only way to drive spending to their club through heavily discounted offers on tee times and/or merchandise.  Although the Offer Locker has the flexibility to promote discounts on lower priced items in your golf shop, we want to suggest ways to increase spend. Get your golfers to think big picture in their investment to play this season by creating Unlimited Range Special Pass or Mid-Season Membership Special. With a higher price tag attached, there is no denying the redemptions may be lower in numbers, however, you are providing golf deals to your customers without diminishing the value of your brand.

 

 

 


5. High Season & Busy Holidays

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Use the busy season and Holiday weekends, to promote new offerings at your club. With the flexibility of the Offer Locker you can market new menu items, golf instruction clinics, Summer merchandise, and more. Want to drive more spend to your golf shop? Have an offer that is spend $100 get $10 off. With the proper in-app messaging (we will dive into that later..) you can direct your golfer foot traffic right to operations of your business that need extra attention.
 

 

 

 

 


Promote Your Offer. Here’s How:

Now that you have your offers activated in the Offer Locker, let’s go through the best methods of promoting them using our in-app messaging tools. Some of the benefits of having a branded mobile app with Gallus Golf is that you have an engaged following of customers, who you can market to - FOR FREE! Following the recommended steps below will only help in increasing the conversion rate from offer view to redemption, and more importantly, average customer to loyal customer.

 

1. Promote Via Push Notification

It goes without saying, but the first thing you should do when your offer is live, is send a push notification to your audience. This will get instant views, and if any customers receive the message at your course, it may even result in immediate redemptions. Keywords with strong call-to-action conversions are “Learn More”, “Shop Now”, “Get X% Off”, “Buy Now”, “Last Chance”, “Today Only”, among others, according to recent report by Sprout Social. If your offer is available for a month, continue to push the message every 1-2 weeks.

 

2. Welcome Geofence Message Over Your Course

In your Gallus Golf dashboard, you can create up to 20 geofence messages. These are typically placed over competing course, golf megastores, and shopping centers with heavy foot traffic. However, the most important location to put a geofence is over your own course. We call this a “Welcome Geofence” and in most cases, this will deliver the most messages to your golfers than the other 19 geofences combined. When you have the opportunity to deliver a message to hundreds of golfers arriving to your course over a weekend, strike while the iron’s hot and send them a message about your Offer Locker deals. They could receive the message while being 50 yards away from the Clubhouse, where you are promoting a food & beverage special, so the conversion can be much more effective.

 

3) App News Item

You always want to keep your app content fresh and fun, and who doesn’t like a deal?! Creating a news item is fast and simple, as well as has the effect of capturing the attention of users opening the app, as a featured banner. Be sure to guide users to “find more information in the Offer Locker” so they can review and redeem when at your golf club.

 

If you have any questions about the Offer Locker and/or need assistance in setting up a deal, please reach out to your account manager or contact us at support@gallusgolf.com.

Gallus News - Gallus Golf's New Mobile Commerce Tool Produces An Astonishing 31% Conversion Rate!

Released in The Golf Wire June 14th, 2018

 

San Diego, CA - Gallus Golf introduced the Offer Locker in the Fall of 2017. This powerful piece of their mobile app solution allows for their partnered golf clubs to create exclusive in-app deals for their customers. Unlike a loyalty program, the Offer Locker provides flexibility beyond normal points and punch programs. For example, clubs can create and promote a one day special on a Food & Beverage item, or a month long Golf Package including a variety of course offerings. Since its inception, there have been 580 offers created by Gallus Golf partnered clubs. These offers have produced over 10,000 viewers during that short time and produced over 3,100 direct revenue driving transactions. This equates to a conversion rate of 31%, during a time that was a slower part of the season. Considering, the average conversion rate for digital marketing methods is anywhere from 2.35 - 5.31%, the Offer Locker and proper messaging reflect the value of mobile marketing in the golf industry. In addition to customer loyalty, Gallus partnered clubs who have implemented the Offer Locker have seen an additional customer spend and an increase in app downloads. 

"Part of the reason our conversion rate is so strong is because our clubs have an engaged golf audience within their branded app. Although this audience size may be smaller than a golf network database, it shows quality over quantity performs better and ultimately increases the lifetime value of the customer. Additionally, clubs utilizing the Offer Locker during their high season, when golf is top of mind, can use this tool to promote a golf investment - not a discount, which like any hot deals out there can have the lingering effect of diminishing the value of a brand", says Molly Jasco, Marketing Manager of Gallus Golf. 

Rob Hoffman, VP of Operations says, "At Gallus Golf we are fully engrossed in finding ways to help golf courses, country clubs, and resorts reach the right person, at the right time, in the right place, with the right message. Their mobile app on the customers' phones is proving through conversion rates like this to be the right delivery tool, and the Offer Locker the right venue within the apps. Because of this high rate of success, we are excited to be working with clients on the importance of pointing more of their customers to the app and the Offer Locker through their email, social media, and other outlets. At nearly a 1 in 3 conversion rate, the math becomes easy - refer 3 people through marketing efforts, get one sale."

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

Better Managing Your Time

Did any of you really get into the golf business to have to spend your days navigating social media marketing, click through rates, and blog posting?!?!  

I didn't think so.

I would like to introduce BOOST, a complete online marketing solution from our team of highly skilled marketing professionals. You can click on the flyer below to get a larger view.

Recent BOOST customer Key Performance Indicator metrics:

  • Social Media Followers, up 800%
  • Social Media reach, up 8,846%
  • Social Media Engagement, up 296%
  • Players Card Sales, up 45%
  • iOS Downloads of their app, up 400%
  • Android Downloads of their app, up 2,000%
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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.