How to boost golf club membership retention with a post-purchase program?


By: February 9, 2022


During my time at UPC (a cable company), I was thinking about what we can do more with email marketing beyond sending company news, updates, and new offers.

I thought we can do much more for our precious customers to impress them, maintain their enthusiasm, and deliver an exceptional customer experience.

The customer journey of our golf club members does not end when they buy their annual golf club membership. We will ruin all of our efforts and investments that we made before selling the golf club membership if we do not continue to prove the benefits and the advantages of being our golf club member.

Post-purchase program in golf clubs loyalty marketing retention

Personalized post-purchase program

A personalized post-purchase program can help golf clubs to win and maintain customer loyalty. Don’t forget it costs a lot less to keep existing customers than to acquire new ones. If you stop paying attention when the customer completes the purchase, you miss out on the chance to turn them into loyal customers.

Today, to develop loyalty, golf clubs must understand what factors are driving their existing and potential customers’ purchasing decisions. Golfers are looking for highly personalized interactions.

Don’t stop after selling golf club membership

Yes, the customer journey does not stop when a golfer becomes a member of a golf club. A new phase/period is starting at that moment. It is not less challenging than the pre-sales stage. Now you have to prove your promises and experiences.

Think about the thoughts and feelings that will run through the head of the new golf club member after joining our club:

  • Excitement at having something new.
  • Hope that we have made the right decision.
  • Concern that we have overspent…etc.

If we understand the psychology behind these decisions and customer behavior, then we will find new opportunities within the customer journey.

At the same time, it gives you another opportunity to cross and -upsell services to increase the members’ customer lifetime value. Or if you have just lost a golf club member then to regain the golfer.

How many of you have a focus on golf club membership retention?

Community-participation-post -purchase program

To be able to develop a successful post-purchase program you need such golf club management softwares that are able to provide insights (CRM, Loyalty program, POS) on an individual basis. I think most of them are able to track customer spending.

According to research by Klaviyo, post-purchase emails enjoy a 217% higher open rate than traditional emails. 

9 ways to improve your post-purchase customer experience right now

  1. Membership confirmation email,
  2. Ask for reviews,
  3. ‘How-to’ guides – to help them to find everything in the club easily + to integrate quickly into the community,
  4. Product and service recommendations (aka cross-selling emails),
  5. Loyalty program (good to communicate it + explain the benefits, E.g., Troon Card): Go beyond the thank you and demonstrate that you value their custom.
  6. If you have a sale on, or some other event in the golf club then it is a good opportunity to bring them back to the club.
  7. Complementary service recommendation (e.g. golf/padel/yoga/etc. lessons),
  8. Birthday & milestones celebrations (e.g., breaking the 80, X years membership, etc.)
  9. ‘Win-back’ emails:  if you see a very inactive golf club member who very likely to give up membership or just has left your golf club to join to your competitor’s club then you can send the person a special offer.

Post-purchase emails can offer a multifunctional alternative to your classic newsletters and be highly effective for increasing retention rates. An invespcro research found that it costs 5x less to keep our existing customers.

All of this can only work well if we can effectively integrate our golf club management software with our email software.

Now let’s start to build up the actionable customer profile with behavior insights (e.g. brand, service, tee time, event type, payment format, etc. preferences) and offer deliberate and valuable marketing messages.

Facebook Messenger for post-purchase program

Post-purchase program: Facebook Messenger vs emails

As an alternative to emails, I can imagine using Facebook Messenger. Instead of emails, you are sending Facebook messages. Unlike cold email lists that can easily get spam listed by golf club members, Facebook Messenger bots are a warm and welcoming opportunity.

To be able to utilize the benefits of Facebook Messenger bots, we must ensure that are highly used among our golf club members. In most countries, WhatsApp and Facebook Messengers are the most popular messenger applications. WhatsApp is the most popular messenger app in the UK for instance.

If you wish to implement this idea or have any questions then please drop me an email or call me: [email protected] / +36 30 279 0054