Golf App Features

Gallus News - Gallus Golf CEO To Speak On Loyalty Rewards Technology At Golf Business Techcon 2018

Featured in The Golf Wire on September 5th, 2018

 

Las Vegas, NV –

Gallus Golf, the industry leader in course branded mobile app software, will be a sponsor and exhibitor at this year’s Golf Business TechCon, held in Las Vegas October 11th-12th. This event is unique to the golf industry as it is focused on technology tools and innovations transforming golf course operations. TechCon is a two-day gathering for golf course owners, operators, and industry professionals to learn about best-in-class products and services in golf and discover the what technology advancements are on the horizon.

Gallus Golf’s’ Founder & CEO, Jason Wilson, will participate in a panel discussion around Loyalty Rewards Programs, and the important role technology plays in their success or failure. “We have seen Loyalty Rewards Programs be extremely successful for many of our course clients, and mobile plays a key role in maximizing their effectiveness with today’s savvy consumer,” said Jason. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to connect with course operators in an environment centered around education on the latest and greatest tech for their business.”

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. 

A “Best-in-Class” Future for Your Business

Highlighting the Importance of Integrations, a Sneak-Peek into our thoughts on the future, and what you can do to help make it happen.

 

What is an integration when it comes to technology?  The way we see it, an integration will bring information (data), objectives, goals, and your overall strategy into alignment.  More importantly, the integration will include the ability to not just have these pieces aligned, but also working directly with your customers.

 

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Let’s begin with some reasons (and explanations) of why we feel integrations from Best-in-Class providers are important.

 

Improving Quality & Reliability

Let’s face some facts, not every provider is the best solution for every need for your business.  We at Gallus Golf feel we build a Best-in-Class solution with our custom apps for golf courses, but don’t expect us to be able to provide you with a Best-in-Class solution for a tee sheet and booking engine.  That is why we have positioned ourselves to be able to work with any of the many great providers out there in this realm. However, please continue reading below to learn why a full integration with your provider would be huge for you!

 

Raising Your Game with Your Clients

Data collection has been quite the buzz over the last couple years.  No offense, but each time I hear it spoken about and take a look at the audience watching the speaker, at least half of the people in the crowd are very engaged, but also very confused, and rightly so.  Speakers can go on until they’re blue in the face about collecting info from your clients, but without some method to put this knowledge gained to practical use, what’s the point in doing the extra work?  This is where integrations, and Artificial Intelligence, can begin to play a significant role for your success. If you can create a bridge between data collection and smart usage of that data, well then you’re cooking with gas!  Keep reading…

 

More Efficient and Cost Effective Use of Personnel

A good team can be your most valuable asset, however it is daily becoming more and more expensive to build that team.  As wage rates increase and needs to provide benefits become more expensive, it is key that you are able to get the most out of your investment in that team.  Integrations can provide methods to get your team having conversations about programs your course offers, showing clients merchandise, and able to get out from behind the counter from checking people in. All of these things can provide not just a higher level of service, but also more loyal customers spending more money with you, raising that return on the investment in your team to compensate for rising labor costs.  Again, keep reading for that peek into the future below for what we see integrations can provide you.

 

Okay, so you’ve kept reading as I begged you to!  Thanks!

I could have continued with more reasons why integrations are so important, but I assumed if I kept asking you to read on, eventually you would have given up on me!  Let’s get to the meat of the discussion - the future.

 

This is where I am going to lean on our collective imagination…

Scenario:

  1. Joe Golfer arrives at your golf course.  He has your mobile app installed on his phone and he has a tee time in 45 minutes from now.

  2. His phone triggers a geofence because he has arrived that sets a chain of events into motion.

  3. All of your systems are integrated and working in concert with one another and the following steps ensue:

  4. Joe gets this message on his phone “Welcome Back Joe! We are happy you’re here and see you have a 10:30 tee time. Tap “Yes” below to check in for your tee time now.”

  5. Joe taps “Yes”, and gets a confirmation message - “Thanks Joe, you’re all set. Your cart number is 32. Would you like to hit some balls on the practice range to warm up - Tap “Yes” if you do”

  6. Joe taps “Yes”, and gets this confirmation message - “Time to get your swing in the groove - your code for range balls Joe is 4356. Hit them long and straight!”

  7. Then 10 minutes before he is to tee off Joe could also get this message, “Joe, we know you usually play a ProV1x ball and enjoy a Bloody Mary at the start of your round.  Would you like us to deliver either of those to your cart before you tee off?” He is given a couple buttons to choose from for this then and makes his selection and your staff fulfills that order.

  8. Finally, 6 hours after he tees off Joe gets this message - “Thanks so much for playing the course today Joe. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please tap the button below to complete a quick 3 question survey and receive 10% off your next round for doing so!”

 

I am sure you can see where I am heading with this.  Do you have to send that many messages? No. But I wanted to highlight how the integration would come into play for you, especially with Artificial Intelligence in the mix to interpret all of the data on each customer’s behavior and preferences and then ask smart questions to them.  Without an integration of your systems, none of this is possible. However, this is not some far off capability. We are not talking about the year 2045 here. This technology exists now and we have begun to implement some of it, and we are even working on the beginning of some integration capabilities now with providers you may already employ.


 

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What do we see happening while all of this technology is at work?

 

  • Your staff is able to interact with your customers in ways that don’t include the heft of having to process a lineup of transactions and then move on to the next customer.  They are out from behind the counter and talking with customers about upcoming events at the club, membership opportunities, general conversations about the customer’s kids or golf game right now - bottom line creating a more personal experience for your customer and making them feel as though they are at home when they come to your course.  Can you imagine how that will affect loyalty among your clients?

  • Your course goes viral!  This kind of experience, if you are among the first in your market to provide it, will launch a viral quality for you, having golfers talking among themselves about how cool it is to play your course and driving more traffic to you through the all important marketing tool - WORD-OF-MOUTH!

  • Relying on setting the technology to do the work for you will eliminate the lack of reliability in staff members remembering to ask the age old “do you want fries with that?” types of questions.  No stone will be left unturned, and it will happen with the language and timing you specifically choose because you have set it up that way. The pain of this not being done every time, or just not being done exactly how you want will be over.

What do you have to do to get the ball rolling with implementing these types of integrations?

 

Great question, glad you asked!  If you’re reading this blog post, in all likelihood you are either already a customer of ours, or you are seriously interested in becoming one.  We have started the process in the last 12 months to make these things happen for you with our technology and we feel the app because it is on your customer’s phone should be set up as the communication hub.  So, we have the ability for your other tech providers, where so much of your data resides and is collecting dust, to integrate with us. It is there, and we have forged a partnership with a Best-In-Class Artificial Intelligence provider to facilitate all of this.  We have been in some discussions with your other tech providers to highlight the importance we feel these integrations hold, and some have begun working on them.

 

You can help by simply keeping the conversation moving along with them.  When you speak with your other reps, or when you talk with us, ask about this.  Ask your booking engine, tee sheet, POS provider(s) if they are working on this type of integration with us to implement this for you.  We are open to working with all of them. Your success is always our goal.

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.

PGA Show Recap: New Golf GPS, Mobile Food Orders, Marketing Help & More

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The 2018 PGA Merchandise Show is in the books and, per usual, with over 1,000 golf companies showing off their latest equipment, technology, and fashion - it did not disappoint!  Leading up to the Show, we had been fine-tuning and updating many new features and solutions to be released at the PGA Show. For those of you, who were not able to attend this year, here is a recap of what you missed!

 

New Golf GPS

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Our biggest announcement at the Show was the unveiling of our new app.  Now, when your players are using GPS, they can view each hole from an aerial view. At a quick glance, they know the front, center, and back of the green distance and when they select any location of the hole, they will get yardage. Each hole is beautifully customized and accurately mapped to ensure that if a player needs to avoid that tricky fairway bunker, they will have the tools to do so with your app.

 

Scorecard

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Other enhancements to the app include vertical scorecard, which opened up space to track players’ scores, as well as upload profile images for an interactive feel. Game formats are still available at the top right of the screen and players can share their scores with our social sharing feature at the bottom of the screen.

 

Add Visual Content

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A new general theme of the app is to incorporate more visual content to capture the attention of your audience. It’s no surprise that in this day and age of Instagram and Snapchat, that customers are compelled more by images than text. In fact, articles with images get 94% more views than those without. Another recent study found that posts with video receive nearly 300% more inbound calls. You may be asking yourself, how can I apply this to my Club App? Here is how: Now, with every Club Event, Pro-Tip, or News Item, you can add images and video. By adding visual content, your customers will value your app as a resourceful place of Club information they can easily find on their smartphone.  Do you have Spring and Summer Golf Clinics around the corner? Add videos of your Golf Professionals providing quick instructional tips! Let them show off their skill and experience to convert your customers to Golf Lessons, Clinics, etc.

 

BOOST | Golf Marketing Solution

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Given the success of BOOST in 2017, we brought on additional team members to represent their latest marketing solution at The PGA Show. This proved to be a smart call, as much of the three days at the show were filled with new and current clients interested to learn more. A common theme our BOOST Team heard at the Show from golf operators is difficulty in managing their daily marketing tasks. Also, when marketing is outsourced, often times it is handled by a team who may have a marketing background but is unfamiliar with the game of golf.  The BOOST Team is made up of marketing professionals specialized in the golf industry, who have refined a system to save time and money for their golf club clients.  BOOST manages weekly email campaigns, social media, in-app messaging, content, and graphic design for any marketing collateral. Based on the positive response at the Show, we anticipate significant growth for BOOST this year!

 

onTAP | Mobile Food Ordering & Delivery

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Some of our most exciting feedback at the PGA Show came from discussions about onTAP - click-to-order food and beverage app solution. This app enhancement allows for a seamless ordering and payment experience for customers. Gallus Partners were excited to hear they now have the ability to essentially offer the same mobile order and delivery option as national brands like Dominos, CVS, and Postmates.  

The Gallus Team had an amazing and productive week at the PGA Show. Thank you to all who were able to stop by and visit us! It’s always a pleasure getting to connect and visit with our partners. We can’t tell you how excited we are to implement the new app in the coming months!

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If you were not able to attend the show, but would like to learn more about the new app and Gallus Golf solutions, please contact support@gallusgolf.com.

Learn more about Gallus Golf Solutions at www.gallusgolf.com.

Growing User Engagement

Do your users know all they have with your app?

This week we are going to share some ideas to increase your users' engagement with your app.

 

Located on the "Promote" page of all of your dashboards is a link to a video that begins with a slide that says "So what can you do with our app?"  Having your users view this video will greatly increase their engagement.  So, our recommendation is to take that link and put it into a custom button in your app, feature this video on our Facebook page and Twitter feed, put the video on your website, and push users to it in any other marketing you might be doing.  Here is the video for you to see (the link to the video is, https://youtu.be/XQZAToP_GVQ ):  

This idea we are borrowing from a very forward-thinking and bright course operator, Ryan Mulvey from Bay Point Golf and Tennis Club in Panama City Florida:  Host a tutorial event at your club:

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If your user base or client base is too large to host the event at your club, make this tutorial a webinar where your users are in the comfort of their homes with app in hand while watching the webinar on their computers.

Reach out to me with any ideas or questions, rob@gallusgolf.com or 858.437.9262

 

How Are You Using Your App?

This week from our National Sales Director, Brandon Clark....

I’ve spoken to thousands of golf course operators around the world about mobile apps. The one unifying factor is everyone realizes they need an app. In fact, there are very few operators that don’t think they need a branded mobile app. Those operators are akin to unicorns, you know they are out there, but they are very rare and difficult to spot in person!

All kidding aside, courses are unified in understanding they need a branded presence on their customers smartphones. The question becomes when do I take the leap and what am I looking for  in my course app? Every operation is different and has unique needs and goals.

 

In my experience, there are 5 dominant reasons for courses wanting apps. These 5 reasons are usually a direct of result of those courses’ individual needs and goals.

 

Communication:

Your Gallus App should be your primary method of communication. When I speak to courses before they take the leap to mobile their primary channels of communication are email, bulletin boards, word of mouth, Facebook, newspaper ads, and on occassion TV. In today's economy you need reliable, efficient, cost effective, and instantaneous communication. The only way to do this is through a branded presence right on your golfers smartphone where you can send segmented push notifications and set up location based messaging (Geofencing). Our most successful courses are active communicators on a weekly basis.

 

I need to compliment my website:

A common quote I hear from future partners, “I’m not sure what the possibilities are with Gallus, I just know we need an app because my website isn’t getting the traffic it used to.” This very common sentiment strikes at the very nature of mobile. Industry data suggests the vast majority of smartphone users do most of their internet surfing on their phone. Gallus Apps are specifically designed to work seamlessly with your golfers smartphones. Then when you need more “detailed” content we can simply “point” to a specific URL within your website. Most app users will still “feel” like they are within the app when in fact they are on your mobile enabled website. This is what I mean by complimenting your website. Do you have enough or the right content on your app?

 

I fear becoming stale as an operation and I want to offer my golfers and/or members a new amenity:

It is important for businesses of any type to remain relevant and continue to add value to their product. Your Gallus mobile app will add value to being your customer. Value can be articulated as GPS, easy tee time booking, live leaderboards, built in loyalty programs, stats and data tracking, course tips, F&B ordering, GHIN score posting. These are the types of improvements that your golfers will notice and appreciate. Are you offering enough value to your customers?

 

Live scoring and tournament management software:

As a former course operator I ran over 100 tournaments annually. Financially speaking, I fully understand how important tournaments are to most courses. I also realize that winning tournaments and keeping them at your courses year after year is very important and a constant challenge. Our tournament software kills two birds with one stone. First, your golfers will get that “PGA Experience” with our live leaderboards. Secondly, each participant must download your app to in order to keep or observe the leaderboard. The Gallus App separates itself from other tournament software providers because you will own real estate on players smartphones and “go home” with them long after the tournament ends.

 

Tee Time Booking:

I would have a really large piggy bank if I had a nickel for every time a course operator told me he or she was tired of their golfers booking rounds with 3rd party tee time providers. Course operators know golfers want to book through their mobile devices. Operators also want their golfers loyal to their own branded booking links. Gallus solves both problems, you just need to use our other tools and services to drive them to your apps’ booking link. Make your branded app your primary booking channel.


So how are you using your Gallus App? If you feel like there's room to improve app utilization, I encourage you to reach out to your Account Manager. We would love to set up a strategy session on ways to improve and realize the potential of YOUR Gallus App!

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

Making Your App Your Primary Marketing Channel

This week's post from Brandon Clark, National Sales Director
 

Your Branded Mobile App Will Be Your Primary Marketing Channel In 2017 And Beyond!!

Sure you’ve heard it all before.

  • “Mobile technology is revolutionizing how businesses (including golf courses) communicate with their customers.”
  • “In the 2017 business environment it is critical your facility has a branded presence on all of your customers’ phones.”
     

Well, the data is in, it’s all true!

In 2017 it is imperative for your facility to not only get onboard with mobile technology but your staff, top to bottom, must embrace your app. With you and your staff working together to actively promote your Gallus app the sky's the limit for generating new revenue and providing a better customer experience at a fraction of the time and cost of other marketing and advertising channels.

 

  • In 2015 40,402 business apps were created
  • Smartphone users now spend only 14% of their time in web browsers while they spend 86% of their time on mobile apps.
  • In 2016 62% of businesses surveyed either have an app or are planning on building one. Of those surveyed 20% use their apps for branding, 30% for generating revenue, and 50% to engage their customers.
  • We spend 174 minutes on our mobile devices every day.
  • $74 Billion in sales were made through mobile apps in 2015. That is up 32% from 2014. We expect a similar jump when the 2016 numbers come in.
  • For mobile shoppers there a fewer transaction on mobile websites and more transactions on mobile apps. Today's consumers prefer mobile apps for purchasing because it’s a smoother checkout process, an app is easier to navigate, and an app is easier to read.
  • 30% of baby boomers download retailer apps, 50% of Gen X’ers, and 60% of Millennials. For those in the golfing demographics, the numbers are much higher.

 

The lesson to be learned...

Driving downloads is absolutely essential. If you are not, your competitors are. We promise you that. The math is obvious - the more downloads you have, the larger your audience - the larger your audience, the greater your effect.

Here are some great previous tips to click on to learn some unique ways to drive more downloads to your app. (click on each to read them)

  1. Mapping Your Practice Range
  2. Flash Tournaments
  3. Drive Downloads through a Facebook Call to Action Button
  4. Video to Promote your App
  5. Automated Smart Banners on your mobile website
  6. The Gallus Tournament Wizard
  7. Overcoming Download Objections

 

Entering the Off Season with Relevance!

A little bit of a re-tread here, but just as valuable this year as it was last!


For so many of our courses, entering Autumn means entering the stretch-run for the year, knowing winter and closed golf courses are right around the corner.  For those of you out there who experience the opposite season and are just coming into the prime time of the year, pay attention anyway because May is not that far away for you!
 

Believe it or not, your off-season is when your app can really shine.  While GPS, live scoring, playing tips and all of the other great things the app provides are truly wonderful---the best thing your Gallus app may provide is a link to your clients when they are not coming to see you on a weekly basis.  With that in mind, here are EIGHT KEYS TO DIMINISHING YOUR SEASONALITY:


Grow Your Database While the Season's Still Hot
You've got some time left before you prep to shut down for the winter.  The weather is still great and golfers are still flocking to the course.  NOW is the time to begin a season ending full-court press to get your app downloaded to their phones.  Make sure every golfer checking in to play knows about the app, have promotional materials posted everywhere, run events like a skins game or any tournament that will drive downloads in bulk by featuring live scoring within the app, run some kind of season end giveaway where the entry form resides only in the app forcing a download to register, and of course feel free to reach out to us for more ideas.

The more users you enter the off-season with, the stronger your off-season will be.


Gather Customer Reviews
Positioning your course to be prepped to hit the ground running when the next season begins should be a huge priority all of the time, but more often than not during busy times we get caught up in being so busy we forget to be doing everything we should be, all of the time.  Don't let the season escape you without gathering a bunch of Golfer reviews of your course to be able to use as you begin marketing for the next season.  In fact, if you know the golfer would be writing a great review, ask him/her to post it on Yelp, Google+, greenskeeper.org, etc.  Any time is the right time to be working on your reputation, so don't let the season get by without making significant effort.


Continue Creating Remarkable Content ... With an Off-Season Twist
You work hard all season long to compel golfers to come to your course.  Your content runs the gambit from praising your course conditions, to talking about the great events you are hosting, to sharing about holes in one, and so much more.  Don't stop in the off-season because golf has stopped.  Share a golf joke via push notification.  Read about our last tip here of offering sales and discounts during the off-season and create content to share surrounding those. Share golf vacation info from your members---"Congrats to John Doe on his 76 at Florida Golf Course during his golf vacay, bring that game back here in May JD!"


Basically, use the app to keep your audience engaged this off-season. After all, their love of the game hasn't waned, the weather just stinks!


Stay Social All Year
Your golfers don’t vaporize during the off-season. It’s important to stay in contact with leads and customers throughout the entire year. Consider social media and push notifications your virtual, year-round storefront -- because even if your audience isn't hangin' in the clubhouse, they are certainly phone-in-hand perusing their social media feeds! That means leveraging Push Notifications, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, the whole shebang to stay top of mind year-round. You should be using this real estate to offer special discounts for next year, gather (and publish) reviews and testimonials, run contests and polls, and generate hype for the next season.



Stay In Touch Via Email, Too
So, you think I am only going to talk about Push Notifications and a little social media to push out your message during the off-season, huh?  Not so!  You have a big email database.  Use it.  You should look to ensure your spot as the #1 golf course that comes to mind when the next season rolls around, and to be in that #1 spot the frequency and reach with which you communicate with your golfers can be increased by branching out to email too.  

If you don't have one, this would also be a good off-season to begin your E-Newsletter to share with golfers as well.

Generate Off-Season Hype
The off-season will be a good time to reflect on all of the fun this season has been, and start to build the hype about next year!  Share photos and results from the club championship---start some trash talking about who will put a game together to win next year.  Talk about improvements planned for the course for next year.  Get freaking excited, would you already?!?!


Differentiate Yourself Within a Super-Niche Market
Make this off-season your time to target that one demographic you've been longing to add to your list of clients, or more than one group.  Host off-season parties for them at the club getting them excited about the place they have at your club and how you will cater to them next season.  

Imagine how much better business will be next year if you tackle this group, get the app on their phones this off-season, and begin communicating with them regularly.  In fact, if you land one new group like this, build a league or some kind of event for them, they have 100 golfers, and each one plays 10 times at your course next year at $40 each, your efforts just landed you $40,000 in revenue next year that you didn't have this year.


Offer Sales and Discounts to Locals During Slow Times
So...you thought those shirts and hats would sell out before the end of the season.  It's okay, the holidays and birthdays and all kinds of reasons to still buy gifts for golfers are still upon you, even with your greens and fairways covered in snow.  Two push notifications a month about sales you are running to close out merchandise at the club will land you more business.  Be social about these sales too and put them all over your social media feeds.  Start next season with fresh merchandise, after ending this one by making some money!  Undoubtedly Rickie Fowler will be wearing something newer and cooler next year, so this winter is the time to get rid of what he's still sporting!

Plus, if your website is set up right, you can push these sales to your site and not even have to open your pro shop to sell things, and even make a little money on the shipping to compensate for the discounts if you do it just right.

 

Anyway---hopefully you see what we are driving toward here.  Use the app, which is on their phones, in their pockets, all year round, to keep your golfers engaged and excited about your club 365 days a year.  Reach out any time for more help with these and other ideas, 858.437.9262, rob@gallusgolf.com

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.

Using The Gallus Tour To Generate Repeat Play

Gallus Golf Monthly Tournament Series

Doing Our Part to Generate Repeat Play for You!

There aren't too many things more important at your course than getting golfers there to play, and getting them back over and over again.  Of course we recognize this---it's not Rocket Science.  However, creating initiatives and reasons for them to be back often can be difficult, especially in markets where there are many choices of courses to play at.

 

We have your answer!  You continue to do what you do.  Keep the greens rolling fast and true, fairways green, food and drinks fresh and cold, carts charged and clean, and golfers happy.  We will provide a monthly competition that pits your golfers against others around the world and their scores will continue to improve the more they play, increasing their odds of winning.  The only way to win is to play your course more!

In your App Dashboard, at the bottom of the home page is a banner for the Monthly Tournament Series.  At the bottom of that banner are three buttons.  One is to "View" the worldwide tournament standings as they are currently.  The second is to "Promote" the MTS to your golfers through a variety of materials our graphic design team has made for you to use.  The third button is to see "My Top Golfers" and know who from your course is competing.  All they have to do to compete is keep score for 18 holes in your app!

Then, at the end of each month Gallus Golf awards the top 100 golfers worldwide with a gift card to GolfBalls.com to purchase all types of golf merchandise.  The more they play, the better chance they can win, and you win by having them there more often.

Feel free to reach out to me with questions on how to promote this at your course and what some clever push notifications would be to get your golfers more engaged with this competition.  rob@gallusgolf.com or 858.437.9262.

 

Flyer.jpg

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.

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