By David Gould, Staff Editor
Golf instructors have an advantage over other small businesses that send out marketing emails to customers and prospects. When a golf coach’s email shows up in an inbox, it hits the recipient in a sweet spot of enjoyment and challenge. News or offers or some interesting information about one of their favorite activities has just arrived. Savings banks, pet groomers and auto dealerships can’t match that built-in enthusiasm factor.
It’s likely the experienced golf instructor knows this, but it’s always worth a reminder. Especially when you’re about to go into planning sessions for your upcoming email campaigns. It’s a presents-under-the-tree moment, when you’ll want to craft ideas relating to everything golfers enjoy about the game, about improvement, and about golf’s social element. You’re looking for “hooks” that will get the emails opened and get as many responses as possible to your calls to action.
Think in terms of categories, almost like a magazine or newspaper would. You’ll be sending out serious, factual information for sure. But there’s also good reason to include stories, interesting lists, opinions about trends in golf, all of it backed by interesting photos and videos. Here are some of the appropriate categories and how you might think about them.
News and information: Keep subscribers in the know about your programs, events, recent milestones, awards and good press. This category also includes business changes that impact customers, newly hired employees and changes at the facility. The basic format of a newsletter is text, but there’s room for plenty of photos, diagrams and relevant videos.
Tips and Advice: This topic area is one that teaching professionals come by naturally. The trick is to make what you present in tip format reflect your brand. If you have a large junior academy that’s based on camaraderie, use this type of content to remind your audience about that. Same thing if you’re a very active clubfitting center, or you have a strong offering in the fitness area.
Make room for something fun and educational: Does your audience know about Bryson DeChambeau’s single-length set of clubs, and the logic behind them? Do they understand how often tour pros change their wedges, and what worn-out score lines cause? Are they aware how seldom it’s wise to tee up in the middle spot between the markers, and why that is? These are topics your audience will soak up, without then having to go perform a drill or commit to more practice. Other ideas in this category are quotes, top-10 lists, trivia quizzes and surveys or polls.
Miscellaneous content ideas that send a desired message:
- Brief interviews with your fellow teachers and team members
- In-depth bios of new hires
- An “Ask the Coach” advice column
- Photos your students have shared
- Positive feedback from customers
- A thank-you message to event attendees
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs) with answers
- Before and after stories
- New training opportunities
- Community service initiatives
Your email marketing might feel like a burden if you leave planning and content-gathering to the last minute. Not so if you plan well in advance, so use the “content category system” to make that happen.