Five Ideas to Grow Your Email List

Email is Still King

There’s so much pressure to be involved in social media nowadays that it’s easy to forget about the only form of marketing that YOU OWN and CONTROL.

I’m talking about your Email List.

You might have the feeling from all of the hype about social media that email is a dying form of marketing.  I’m here to tell you that it’s time to wipe that feeling away.  Email continues to be a major player in the marketing world and should be an important part of your strategy.

That’s why it’s so important for you to have a solid email list. Then you write regular emails because they matter to your overall marketing scheme and drive business to your golf course.

What strategies do you have in place in order to grow your list?  If you’re depending on your snack bar staff or tee time booking agent to do all of the heavy lifting, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

For years, I depended on my staff to get the emails from our customers for my list.  This really isn’t a very smart way if you’re wanting a good list.  In my case, some staff members would leave off the .com to the email address while others had a hard time hearing on the phone while typing at the same time and would put in a B for a D in the email.  In addition, there were some staff members who simply felt uncomfortable asking for it.

You know where that got me?  A pretty junky list that didn’t grow much every year.  Until now…

My goal is to add at least 20 new golfers or prospects to my list EVERY DAY.  Here are some of the strategies that I have put in place in order to make that goal happen.

What is Content Marketing?

Today's Buzzword

Sometimes I wonder if I’m old or if I’m just so busy doing golf course stuff that I forget to notice the rest of the world.  I’ve been blogging on my golf course’s website for about three years.  Mostly, I have used it as a way to get to know my golfers better and to help them get to know me.  I give them background information of all the fun jobs we’re doing behind the scenes.

Last year, I kind of hit a brick wall when it came to my blogging.  I just felt like I was doing it all wrong, and I all but stopped blogging entirely.  Yes, we still had funny things happening at the golf course, but I just didn’t take the time to grab my camera and snap a few photos of my superintendent falling into the pond when he was trying to fix the water aerator like I once had.  That may have been because I was too busy laughing, now that I think about it.

I began searching for some ideas on what to blog about at my course to try and help me get my rhythm back.

Then, I fell down a giant rabbit hole known as the internet.

Managing Your Facebook Page

Get The App!

While attending a recent golf conference, I had several people who stopped me to ask questions about how to post on their golf course’s Facebook page.  When I went to go help them, I noticed that none of them had the Facebook Page Manager downloaded onto their phone.

Everyone that I helped was posting and monitoring their business page from the regular Facebook app that is meant for personal use.

Suddenly, a post is born.

Creating a Marketing Calendar

Let's Have a Great Year!

When I first took over managing my family’s golf course in 2004, I really wanted to provide a magnetic calendar with all of my upcoming promotions and events to all of my season pass holders.  (We’re primarily a daily fee course, but have about 175 members.  We stopped calling them members and call them season pass holders because that title gave them more authority than we were willing to allow.  Ha.)

Here it is!
The lovely magnetic calendar.

I was young and naive.  Before I knew it, I had been talked into the wonders of direct mail marketing and decided that printing 2,500 magnets would be a much better buy, so why not buy them?  Then, I was introduced to the wonder of purchasing physical addresses based on location and interests.  I didn’t know this even existed!  What will they think of next?  I could buy 2500 addresses for only $50.  Who cares that it costs thousands to send the stupid calendar, right?

Before I knew it, I was spending a significant amount of money on a beautiful magnet that I was sending out to the general public within a certain radius of my course.  My naive self thought I’d be rolling in the cash with all my great promotions that everyone was going to be banging down my door to attend.

Crickets.  That’s what I got.

When I think about it, I’d like to take my 26 year old self and sucker punch me right square between the eyes.  Then, I’d like to have all of that money back, so I could pay for my son’s college bills of today.

It’s kind of like when you stop smoking and you think about all of the thousands of dollars you wasted because you made a bad choice when you were young.

There’s nothing quite like the school of hard knocks.  My family has been so amazing at allowing me to experiment and stretch myself.  See what works and what doesn’t.  Yes.  The magnetic calendar was a one and done idea.  Thankfully, they never talk about it or hold it over my head.

Sadly, that wasn’t the last time I was talked into a good deal.

Branding Page

Simple Trick

Hey!  Today’s post is going to be short, but it’ll pack a heavy punch!

We’re talking about branding today.  It’s important for you to have an overall “look” for your golf course.  You want all of your marketing materials to look the same, font use consistent, logos, and theme of your business to be cohesive in all areas – right down to your training materials.

The trouble with keeping a consistent look is that you are probably dealing with a number of designers, staff members, and others who play a role in your marketing and worksheet/flyer creation.  They are looking for the colors you use and your font selection, but often just do what they want because you don’t have something specific in place.

Setting Up Your Facebook Page

Time to Get Fancy...

I read a study recently that said people spend an average of 40 minutes per day on Facebook.  If you’ve put your stake in the ground and refuse to participate, you might want to rethink that decision.  The advantages of having a Facebook Page are numerous.

Facebook is easily the best method of advertising on the market.  Unlike radio or tv ads, you can actually track how each ad is preforming and who sees your ad.  You’re no longer wasting money by blanketing your audience with advertising.  If you want to have an ad show up for golfers who are over 50 years of age, make more than $250,000 and live within a 5 mile radius of your golf course, then you can set those parameters.

Once you get started, it’s pretty addicting.

In case you didn’t notice, I like Facebook.  Its ability to assist your business in marketing is really unparalleled.  The best part is that is doesn’t even really matter how many fans you have on your business page in order to take advantage of the marketing efforts.  You just need to have a business page.

It’s pretty easy to get set up, but I’ll go ahead and walk you through it.  If you’re in the 40+ age group, then it’s highly likely you have an aversion to tackling social media marketing.  I’m not trying to pick on you, I fall into that category myself.  That is why I know my peers, husband, brother and my dad prefer to stay as far away from social media as possible.

All you need to do is stand in line at the grocery store to realize that all of the generations younger than 40 spend the five minutes it takes to check out your groceries scrolling on their phone.  Wouldn’t it be great if your golf course was showing its smiling face in that five minute scroll time?

Getting Your Content Organized

A Little Goes a Long Way

In the summer months, I’m rarely in my office.  I’m putting out fires, managing people, executing events, scheduling staff, visiting with golfers and mostly just juggling all the many tasks that make up the life of a General Manager Wizard of Fun.  All of those tasks are driven by my marketing and content calendar.

The marketing and content calendar is what drives my business.  It’s what provides predictable income in a business that is often unpredictable.

I’ve noticed that if I don’t get my content calendar in place by end of January, it simply doesn’t get done.  I get too busy and the planning never gets completed.  It’s not to say that it can’t be done in February or even the first of March.  It just seems like January was meant to be a planning month.

Because of that, I’m going to share my content calendar with you, so you can use it.  (FYI.  I plan to complete my marketing calendar in the next few weeks.  I’ll share it, too.  Both calendars work together.)

Let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of my Content Calendar first.

Facebook’s Tracking Pixel

The Big Brother of Business

That’s right.  Facebook is everyone’s favorite big brother.  Watching our every move.  On a positive note, at least Facebook doesn’t fart in your face every time you walk by as my brother did to me.  

That’s right folks.  My brother is ten years older than I am, so I spent a majority of my childhood being significantly shorter than he was.

For his own pre-teen and teenager humor, he literally farted in my face EVERY SINGLE TIME he passed me.  As I grew, he even mastered the Jump and Aim Fart, so the fun could extend a few more years.

It was always a proud moment for my parents.

The good news is that my brother is now in his 50’s, so he can only get about an inch of air time.  I sure do hope his daughters allow me to pick his nursing home, though.

Let’s Talk Landing Pages

Do You Even Need One?

If you’re anything like me, when someone starts talking about Landing Pages your eyes glaze over and you start thinking about the laundry you forgot to take out of the washer from three days ago or you wonder if you left the oven on.  You know.  Important stuff takes over your brain.

Seriously, though.  What in the world is a Landing Page?

They are so frequently referred to when you talk to a website person that I was kind of afraid to ask.  I felt like that kid in math class where everyone understands exactly how 4=2x solves as 2 and I was left scratching my head wondering.  Do I raise my hand to ask the question?  Am I the dumb kid in the room?

Since I have looked at hundreds of golf course websites, I can feel quite comfortable that I have found my tribe.

That’s right.

The people who know absolutely NOTHING about Landing Pages.  Thanks, Golf Course Operators.

It’s time to fix that!  I’m raising my hand and giving you a big fat explanation of why you need to have a landing page for your golf course.

I Thought It was a Pound Sign #

#oldschool #idontgetit

Let’s take a little time and talk about hashtags and why you need to designate one for your golf course.

Every now and then, I catch myself saying things that sound strikingly like something my grandma would say.  One of the biggest ones being, “I don’t understand the phenomenon of the hashtag.”  I’m sure my grandma would insert sonny somewhere into that sentence, but I think you get what I’m sayin’.

What’s that?  A gray hair??? Am I officially old?

But seriously…

What is a hashtag and why do you need to care about knowing?

The best part about a hashtag is that it serves as a method of searching things that people say about your golf course on social media platforms.  You can search even when you don’t have an account with that platform.