Promotion & E-marketing
Once you website is developed sufficiently, you can now start to drive visitors and potential business to it. There are 3 main ways to drive people to your website:
This is when people remember your web address (url). Make yours as possible and make sure it is included on ALL of your printed materials such as letters, posters, competition sign-up sheets etc.
Few web users look past the second page of results on a search engine so it is vital to ensure your golf clubs is as high up the rankings as possible. There are 3 key things you can do to help your site achieve a high ranking:
a. Update your site regularly
Make sure you have a flexible content management system.
b. Include the right keywords
These are words that people will use to search for you when using Google etc. Put yourself in the shoes of potential visitor and think of the words that you would use to search for a golf club in your area. Geographical locations are key and remember to includes all of the possible derivatives e.g. Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, Bucks. Your website developer will be able to help you include the key phrases in the Meta data which lies behind a site but make sure you also use them in the content on your site.
c. Have as many inbound links as possible
Register with online golf directories - there are a growing number of online course directories which offer a free basic entry e.g. www.egugolfcentral.com. To find out the key ones in your areas, do a search as though you were a golfer looking for a golf club. See which appear at the top. Make sure your entry is up-to-date and there is a link to your own website.
Reciprocal links... think of all of the websites which may drive visitors to your site. For example local hotels, tourist boards, the chamber of commerce, your local council. Ask for a link to be included and offer one in return. Make sure you test them periodically.
Sponsored links...these are the search results which appear on the right hand site or top of the page in search results. To become a sponsored link you need to bid for particular keywords or phrases and you pay each time your link is clicked. You can set your own daily budget to control costs and once it is spent your ad is turned off. Find out about sponsored links on the Google website.
Banner advertising is paid for and generally works on the following payment options:
•Fixed cost per month
•Number of page impressions the site receives per month
•Pay per click through to your site - working within your given budget
TIP: If you are paying a fixed cost per month, make your advert sell as many things as possible e.g. tee times, open competitions, society days. If you are paying on a pay per click basis, make sure your message is very targetted so you only pay for people who are genuinely interested and send them directly to the relevent page on your site, bypassing the home page.
E-marketing has opened up marketing possibilities and has many advantages over traditional mail:
•Cost effective - its is cheap to send email newsletters compared with traditional mail
•Flexible - you can send them in all sorts of formats from plain texts to graphics depending on your audience
•Responsive - they are quick to send and you can respond to business needs such as last minute tee times to sell, or available places in your Open days
•Call to action - you can ask people to respond by doing something such as clicking on a link to go to your website, downloading an e-coupon for a free game.
•Measurable and trackable - every action can be tracked whether it’s just opening the email or whether it was even delivered.
•Instant - you know within minutes if the email has arrived (unlike traditional mail)
•People change their email addresses on a regular basis so you need to make sure you are regularly sorting and cleaning your data.
•Unsolicited email known as spam can be annoying. Try and ensure that your marketing is as permission based as possible e.g. people register on your site for information
•Don’t overdo it - if your email communications are well targeted and of interest to the recipients then great. If not and you are sending an email for the sake of it then think again.
Email marketing rules
When embarking on using email for marketing campaigns, it is important to act within the law. The Privacy and Electronic Communications regulations are very clear about the consent procedures (opt-in). Go to www.ico.gov.uk for the legal requirements you must follow.
As well as being used to provide information to your customers (members and visitors), emails can also be use to provoke a response or a call to action. Promotions can take various forms:
1. Competitions/prize draws
Run a competition to win a fourball at your golf club if people go to your website and answer a simple question or register for your newsletter. This is a great method of data collection and building your database.
These are excellent in encouraging repeat business with your existing database. Send them a coupon to get money off a round, or food and beverage when they next visit. Also send them a special offer coupon they can email to their friends. Subscriber-only offers will also encourage them to sign up for your newsletter. E-coupons can also be used in conjunction with your advertising. Use your advert to send people to your website to download the coupon.