Quick Guide to Member Communication Strategies
Andres Prieto
/ Categories: All, All, Opinion, Blog

Quick Guide to Member Communication Strategies

Every year, as we begin to get closer to the golf season, our clients look to us to provide inspiration and improvements in the way our business management system can be a better point of leverage.   That places an emphasis on our ability to adapt, improve, and stay relevant and connected to their needs every year.  Your club is no different, as your members are looking for ways to find out what you have in store for them that might be similar to 2020, but perhaps more importantly, what your plan is to improve their experience for the upcoming year.

You’ve undoubtedly met with your departmental managers and leadership team, all in the hopes of uncovering a few areas that you believe will lead you to improved member satisfaction, retention, and member referral growth.  We thought now would be a great time to put together a short list of some best practices, assisting our network of industry professionals, as they look toward the 2021 season.


Golf SurveyListening is the Source of Innovation

We have long believed that innovation rarely comes from within the four walls of a business, as we are often too busy running our businesses to reflect and remain objective about how we are performing and where we need attention to details.  In nearly every business, our customers provide the innovation with their ideas, suggestions, requests for improvements, and regrettably, their complaints about experiences that failed to meet their expectations.

Do you survey?  One of the easiest ways to tap into the collective membership and their primary motivations is the standard survey of memberships.  Yet, year after year, we are surprised by how many of our clients don’t actually do the survey, or don’t do the survey in a meaningful way.  For example, we see a heavy dose of Likert-type scales (1-Very satisfied 2- Satisfied 3- Neutral 4- Unsatisfied 5-Very unsatisfied) and limiting these scales is helpful in avoiding the bias toward central tendency.  Most respondents will provide a response range of answers 2,3,4 in these questions, limiting the quality and actionable data you receive. When done correctly, your survey should give you valuable and specific information about many areas of your club.  The questions you prepare should be purposeful and structured in a way that provides you and your team actionable feedback.


Golf Course Communication Patforms

Create Communication Platforms

Your members are looking for information from the club, and have a strong desire to learn what is part of the strategic plan for the upcoming year.  After sitting in many private club board meetings, we can’t tell you the number of times we have heard advisory board members express their disappointment that they were asked a question about a significant club project or decision by a member, didn’t know the answer, and felt uninformed.  If your board members, or members that are highly engaged in your success don’t know the answer, or if they do know the answer but aren’t equipped with a solid understanding of WHY you are doing what you are doing, it’s an immediate opportunity for improvement.  We see pretty good distribution of information, we see inconsistent distribution of the WHY behind the information.


Golf Events

You’ve got a plan, members want to know the plan, but do you have the right strategy for communicating it to them?

Virtual or In-Person Open House events can be a good way to begin the process of open forum dialogue with your members.  If you are able to have in-person events, they should still be streamed online via social media, or recorded and made available via a link on the member website.  Minimally, we believe you should have them in the beginning of the season, and again at the end of the season to stay connected and share your holiday calendar and end of year strategies.  At these meetings you can introduce new employees, announce new members in attendance, present any member survey results or actionable items from the survey, share upcoming capital projects on the golf course or at the clubhouse or amenities, and of course share success stories that allow your team to receive recognition for their long hours, hard work, and commitment to the club.


Digital Marketing- Quick Hits

Golf Website

The Role of Email Marketing

Do you send out one email a week?  One bi-weekly email? Or just random emails when you think you have something important to say?  You should have a defined communication plan that is email specific, and prepare your content calendar at least a few weeks in advance.

Do you have ONE large member list or do you have several member lists, each with a piece of curated content that is specific and relevant to them in an appropriate way.  For example, do you send the same email messages to your social members that you do to your full golf members?  Sure there are times that they both need the same information, but there are also countless times that the information you share may not be ideally suited to their past behaviors. 

Creating segmented email marketing lists that reflect information relevant to their interests is the best way to increase open rates, clicks, and engagement in events.  If you need some ideas, we’d be happy to share the countless ways that smart strategy in this area can translate into immediate revenue return on investment.


All Social Media is not Equal

You don’t have to be on every social media platform, but you do have to pick the ones you believe can be a good distribution partner and commit to a strategic plan and execute. Do you know much about the different platforms?

Today, Facebook has evolved and is no longer reliably reaching younger Americans.  The ability for Facebook to reach seniors has never been stronger and seniors represent the fastest growing demographic on Facebook in the last 12 months.  Additionally, 74% of high income earners (over $75,000) and an equally high number of college graduates use Facebook.  These data trends make Facebook the best demographic fit for our target audience of educated, affluent, avid golfers with the discretionary income to travel and spend money on golf getaways.  This data supports our belief that Facebook advertising represents the largest opportunity for us to proactively reach potential new members.  

Instagram (IG) is a platform that has also gone through rapid expansion and is now the second most popular social media platform with 112 Million users in the United States alone.  The critical difference from Facebook remains the demographics of the IG user.  Overwhelmingly, IG users are under the age of 50 years old, with a larger majority under the 30. Today, Instagram is the most efficient way to reach the millennial consumer with content.

If you need help crafting a plan, let us know, we would be happy to sit down (on a Zoom call of course!) and talk about your needs and provide some free advice!


For more information, please contact:

Total e Integrated

Total e Integrated is a leading provider of end-to-end business management solutions for recreation, retail, hospitality and community organizations. For over 20 years Total e Integrated has helped organizations to integrate departments, automate marketing, streamline operations and boost revenues with our innovative solutions and expert consulting services team.


Lance Merrihew




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