When considering what to write for ‘F’ in our A-Z digital green fee golf blog, I came across this great infographic depicting the digital marketing funnel. For me, this concisely explains the journey a customer takes when buying a green fee online.
So, what do the stages mean in relation to selling a green fee online?
Exposure – all marketing funnels start with awareness/exposure as without it golfers wouldn't know about your course! Digital adds another option to your marketing arsenal and can be particularly effective when selling a product/service such as a green fee. We covered the various types of this in our ‘D is for Digital’ blog if you want a refresher.
Discovery – this is all about the customers first few visits to your website. Consider if they are finding the right content for them and on what device they are viewing your website. For example, someone looking to book a green fee does not want to make 4 or 5 clicks, before they see the availability or pricing. It’s also worth considering whether you should display your pricing before the customer views the availability, particularly if you are using revenue management to price your tee times, meaning price will change from hour to hour! (Of course that only works if you have a visitor booking engine – and I’m guessing you do if you are reading this blog).
Consideration – this is where the customer is deciding whether to buy a green fee or not. This may involve getting in touch with other people to check availability etc.
Conversion – this refers to whether or not somebody buys the green fee and is possibly the most important statistic of all. Price and therefore revenue management will play a large part in whether a golfer 'converts' into a customer, weather and other factors will also have an influence. All of these factors should affect the price of your green fees. Conversion is usually displayed as a percentage. Remember if the conversion rate is high then it will be important to understand why, and it is likely you should increase your green fee rate at the times where most of the green fees are being booked.
Retention – make sure you are capturing as much information about the customers who book and play. The idea is to feed them back into the top of the funnel, so make sure you capture their email address. Once you've got it you can then use bounce back vouchers/codes to get them back in the funnel.
Finally, monitoring is key to optimising your digital marketing funnel. This means assessing your success and understanding the metrics that highlight any problems in your digital funnel, then rectifying them. For example, are you getting enough traffic to your green fee booking engine. If the answer is no, then you could improve your SEO or look at paid advertising through social media or Google AdWords. As always if you want to learn a little more about how to effectively sell your green fees online then please do get in touch.