Avoid “e-blasting” your customers and try these tips for targeted success!

If you’re into your second or third decade as a golf professional, you can remember when the term “e-blast” was new and fresh. After more than a decade, it’s now old and tired. The brutal facts of the email game are obvious: “Too many, too often, too often not relevant”… This is how we feel about our own in-boxes –  how can we expect it to be any different for our customers?

At my old facility, we thought we had it figured out when we moved our database from 6k to 16k. It was good, well-segmented, well-qualified list and the response rate was solid (at between 6-10% depending on the promotion.) But that was 2010 and 2011. There’s now a better way! It starts with four simple premises:

  • We all appreciate personalization, including our customers!
  • Personalization is becoming more priceless every day, and it doesn’t take long to remind a customer of your relationship.
  • Rapport, relationship and reciprocity builds loyalty and a desire to support.
  • 100 key “rapport-rich” relationships are worth exponentially more than 10,000 “like-relationships” (as in Facebook likes).

Leveraging the Value of Your Relationships: The “Pro-Active Touch”

What is a “Pro-Active Touch” you ask? It’s a four-step process to make a personalized “digital touch” of your customers based on your personal knowledge of them. This should go well beyond an acquaintance, and should include knowledge of their golf game, their favorite teams, preferences in equipment and their family life. Yes, it does require you to have an interest in their lives – but that’s what we’re all here for. Real relationships make for a better life.

As a side note: While you and your facility staff/colleagues are developing your 2015 plan for offerings, including instruction, playing opportunities and social events, that is the time to start thinking of who you’re going to “Pro-Active Touch” for each offering. (If there’s not enough people that you can list as targets fairly easily, maybe you need to rethink your offering?)

 Four key steps for a successful “Pro-Active Touch”:

  1. Target your customers based on your offering (it doesn’t have to that many)
    • Make sure your offering/concept is relevant to them/their family
    • Spending time creating a list of “relevance/interests” based on your top 80-160 relationships before the season could extremely valuable
    • Relevance/Interest topics could include focus areas such as:
      • Junior or Family Golf instruction/playing opportunities
      • Social/Recreational instruction/playing opportunities
        • Gender-focus, age and/or stage of life focused
      • Themed playing opportunities based on their favorite teams or leagues
      • Equipment and/or apparel preferences
  1. Create collateral (pdf printing of your Word or Publisher document will work fine) defining your offering; be sure to detail the WHY for your offering first!)
  2. Write your “template email” (the body of your email)
    • Tie your WHY for offering the program, event or instruction to the target customer and how you’ve handpicked them for the offering; and how you need their support
  3. Emailing it:
    • Combine the parts you’ve created including the “template email body,” the pdf collateral and relevant hyperlinks for them to click (to go to your website, a specific page is better or to email you to sign up/register)
    • Write a simple greeting (one or two sentences to build rapport and remind them of how you have a real, personal relationship with them) that is “one-off” and impossible to read as canned
    • Finish it with a brief close, asking once more for their support and then tell them you plan to follow up
    • Create a scheduled reminder for you to follow up within 2-4 days in your Outlook or similar

If you’re planning to launch a PGA Junior League Golf team in 2015, or a Drive, Chip & Putt Prep Clinic this Spring (I highly recommend it – please check out this specially prepared DCP Prep document), you don’t need to send it to 1000 people. Literally, 2-6 key moms who you know well could deliver the attendance, support and revenue you’re looking for. If you’ve got the relationships, and your program fits their why for their kids, a few of these moms could be your greatest ambassadors within their networks. The same can be said for a “Guys n’ Gals Social Learning Club.” Success and support is going to be found when you identify (through your personal knowledge) the primary motivation (or their WHY) for participating in your program or offering.

In 2015, when you’re making your list of resolutions, let me suggest you resolve to avoid e-blasts that fill your customer’s inbox and focus on creating targeted, personalized and focused emails. You don’t need to be a social media expert either. You just need to be willing to follow the processes I’ve detailed above. As you do so, be sure to track the effectiveness of your “Pro-Active Touch” efforts and the revenue, rounds and new business you generate. Once you’ve been successfully in connecting, you’ll be able to ladder them up and build more value for both you and your customer in your relationship. Be sure to tell the story of why, how and what your effort was worth to the bottom line of your facility, as it can only help to show your value to your owners, board of directors or employer.

If you’d like a personalized training on how to maximize your “Pro-Active Touch” efforts in 2015, I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you or at least connect on the phone. Thanks for the opportunity to serve our great PNWPGA Section and its members/apprentices in 2014. I look forward to doing more in 2015.
Monte Koch, Certified PGA Professional/Player Development
Player Development Regional Mgr/Mentor** – Greater Seattle
PGA of America (PacNW PGA Section)
Email: Mkoch@pgahq.com
Cell: 206-335-5260