Can you believe it? The Holiday Season is just around the corner! For many clubs and golf courses, that means you’re in the heart of the off-season with no relief in sight.
While you may not be packing them in on the front nine for a few months, you can still capitalize on the holiday rush and use the boost to push sales all the way through the shoulder season.
Read on to see how you can use “use them later” strategies to drive off-season revenue for your course or club.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday = The Perfect Opportunity
Although most businesses that capitalize on Black Friday / Cyber Monday don’t suffer from the same seasonality that your course does, it does not mean you can’t enjoy a significant bump on November 29th (Black Friday) and December 2nd (Cyber Monday).
Below are some ideas to get you started. Before we do that, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Remember your profit margin. Whenever possible, incentivize customers with something that won’t cost you a lot.
- Offer gift cards the guest can buy for themselves, as well as cards they would buy for someone else.
- Sell them on your website. If you’re trying to get people to come IN on Black Friday, you’ll be in for a sad surprise.
ONE DAY ONLY: $75 for $65!
It’s a very simple strategy that often rakes in huge amounts of money for businesses that people frequent during the year; give them a gift certificate for slightly more than they pay. For example, a barber who offers $50 gift certificates for only $40 can result in people paying hundreds up front to supply their haircut needs for all of the next season.
*A tip for this is to give them slightly more than they would need to get whatever they might want. For example, giving them a $50 card for $40 is a great idea if the average cost of a tee time is $45. This gives them a great reason to get something in the Pro Shop or Grill to use up that last $5.
A Bucket of Balls
Offer gift cards for a free bucket of balls any time someone visits the course. If you know you’ll be golfing all season, it’s worth $20 to know you get a bucket of range balls to warm up with every time.
- 10 Rounds for the Price of 9
- Never Ending Drinks
- Cart for a Season
- Free Drink Every 9 Holes
Gift Cards vs Passes
There are a few reasons we suggest pushing Passes instead of Gift Cards, though that isn’t to say you can’t do both. The big difference between passes and gift cards is that passes offer your guests benefits: come in during this time, get this discounted rate on tee times, etc... Gift cards, on the other hand, are really just money to be spent at your club.
Passes are More Flexible
Benefits can be "earned" and are more fun than a simple gift card. More importantly, your club can utilize these benefits to direct business. For example:
- Come in 10 times, get the 11th free.
- Come in during certain hours or days, get a pass holder discount on regular rates.
- Get special access to premium tee times or booking privileges online. "Pass holders get priority booking and can book 10 days in advance instead of the usual 7."
Passes Can be Set to Expire
In most states, gift cards cannot legally have expiration dates. This leaves you with a liability that must be tracked, and revenue that will be lost if you fail to account for it.
Passes, on the other hand, can be set to expire whenever you want them to. Expiration dates are important, too, because it encourages the pass-holder to visit within time constraints (the off-season) that you dictate.
Passes Can be Limited
Where gift cards can be used anywhere on the course that money exchanges hands, passes can be sold with restrictions. For example, you could sell a gift pass to be used in the club café, but not in the pro shop, where your margins are lower.
Gift Cards Cost Money
It may be just a few cents here and there but buying plastic cards is an additional inventory item to purchase and track.
Passes can be managed in your CRM
When you’re using foreUP, you can very easily add passes to your players’ accounts that are simple to monitor and update. Then, when they expire, you don’t have to do anything.
Passes work with family accounts
Want to give $20 to each of your kids? Or give your wife four free rounds, to get her to join you? In foreUP, those things are stored on each family member’s account, allowing you to link the family without linking the benefits they each receive.
Whether you sell passes, gift cards, or both, it’s important to bring customers through the door during the winter any way you can. We recommend simple deals, such as percentage discounts, buy-ten-get-two-free, or discounts all year with a particular pass. The best deals are the ones that keep your customer coming back.
There are lots of ways to use gift cards and passes to bring customers through the door during the winter months. Be creative and have fun with it, and if you'd like help with more ideas or if you'd like to talk about the many other ways a foreUP Club Management Software system can help your business, contact us today. Happy holidays!