Compared to the latest social media platforms, email is an old-school form of digital marketing. But it’s still highly valuable if you leverage it wisely
BY: NICK ONDRAKO, PGA, AND ERICK ARBE, PGA
Email marketing can be a valuable and cost effective marketing tool, if it’s done right. For golf pros and teaching facilities it’s a great way to stay engaged with clients by offering them information that’s tailored to their collective interest – golf. However, how it’s delivered and the specific content it contains, can make or break a campaign.
The Opt-in Process: Useless, irrelevant and downright annoying emails fill our inbox everyday. Think of how many times you’ve marked an email as spam or deleted it all together, and then thought, “Why am I getting this?” Most likely, you never even subscribed or opted in to receive these emails. The first step in a successful email marketing campaign is the recipient trusting how they got your email in the first place, and that begins with the opt-in.
Provide your customers with a clear opt-in method by giving them the opportunity to sign up for emails on your website. This way, customers are opting in at their own free will. In the opt-in process, explain exactly what types of content you’ll be sending: Let your customers know they might receive emails on general updates, lesson deals, clubhouse coupons, swing tips or holiday specials.
If possible, give your subscribers the chance to choose, by offering them the ability to sign up for certain updates versus others. A new golfer might only want swing tips and lesson deals while someone else might just want to get an email when it pertains to merchandise or teaching facility specials.
Be sure that when you do send out your emails, the content is relevant to what that user signed up to receive. This may require smaller, more segmented and frequent emails, but research shows that sending smaller content, to smaller groups, leads to higher engagement.
Subject Line: If possible, use incentives to increase the open rate. Using an incentive in your subject line can increase open rates as much as 50 percent. “Free Golf Lesson When You Buy A Package of 5” or “1/2 Off in The Pro Shop When You Sign Up for a Summer Clinic” are good examples. If incentives aren’t available to be used, then be sure to write concise, compelling subject lines. Subject lines should be no more than 30 – 50 characters and should give readers some indication of what to expect from the email. For example, “All Day Clinic and Putter Fitting this Monday” will be better received than “Don’s July Update”
About 25 percent of recipients unsubscribe from emails – emails that they opted in to receive – because of irrelevant content. Keep it short, sweet and to the point. Don’t cram lesson rates, tournament updates, schedule changes, announcements, lesson deals, holiday specials and a random article into one email. Keep your content concise and, once again, relevant. Packing what can most likely already be found on your site into one email is distracting and ineffective marketing. What you can and should do for secondary and tertiary subjects is include some key highlights on a subject, which links back to your site for more details.
Hierarchy: Have a main point or call to action and make it front and center. Secondary and tertiary content can be there, just make it less bold using variations in color, language or button size. For example, if you’re offering a lesson discount for Father’s Day, make that announcement the first part, biggest and boldest. Let it take up the top two-thirds of the page, with three smaller boxes of info at the bottom of the email for secondary information you’d like to share.
Typefaces: Don’t get crazy with typefaces – stick to fewer than 3. Keep it clean and junk free for a higher conversion rate and a better experience for the reader. You can read more on better business practices in the digital space by reading articles at www.golfwebdesign.com/blog.