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

Rob Hoffman