Case Study: Golf Club Brings Back Deal Buyers With Rewards Program

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SouthernPMerchant: Southern Pines Golf Club
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Platforms: Firefly Rewards, WagJag, TeamBuy, Facebook, Twitter
Results: 302 loyalty program members, 629 rewards sent to date
Bottom Line: By encouraging daily deal buyers to sign up for a rewards program, businesses can continue marketing to those customers after their deals have been redeemed.

In her role as manager at Southern Pines Golf Club, Elaine Millar is responsible for more than just the day-to-day operations of an 18-hole course. She’s also responsible for handling 100% of the business’ digital marketing strategy—a task that takes an average of 26 to 28 hours each week.

“Managing this stuff, I would say, is fairly close to a full-time job,” Millar says.

In addition to managing Southern Pines Golf Club’s presence on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, along with its website, Millar handles the club’s customer loyalty program through Firefly Rewards. She also sends weekly promotions as part of an email marketing campaign and occasionally runs deal promotions with sites like TeamBuy and WagJag.

“I always find it really does help if you send some type of information or coupon or entertainment. [We send emails] once a week. I found that if we do it anymore than that, people will say ‘Stop sending me so much.’ I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end. Some places send stuff every single day, and I find when that happens, I just delete,” Millar says.

Unsubscribe requests are just one metric that Millar keeps an eye on to measure the success of her hyperlocal marketing initiatives. She also watches how many of the digital rewards she sends out through Firefly Rewards are cashed in, and says she’s currently at a 95% cash-in rate.

Customers who’ve joined Southern Pines Golf Club’s loyalty program earn points based on every dollar they spend at the club. When they reach 200 points, they earn gift certificates that Millar sends via email. To date, 629 rewards have gone out to the club’s 302 loyalty program members.

“I don’t have to think about it … If you set it up properly to start with, when a person gets, let’s say 20 points away from getting their next gift certificate, it will automatically send them an email,” Millar says

Millar also uses her rewards program as a promotional tool to keep the customers she gains through local deal sites like WagJag and TeamBuy coming back for future visits after their promotions have been redeemed.

“When the customer comes in, we ask them for their email and ask them if they’d like to be part of our loyalty program,” she says. “Most people say yes, and then they go into the system and we just try to keep them. We try to give them every reason to only come here.”

The Takeaway
Millar handles every aspect of digital marketing on her own. Vendors should understand when they approach businesses with unsolicited sales pitches that the small business owners they’re cold-calling are incredibly busy and may not have time to sit through long presentations.

Vendors would also be smart to consider the synergy that Millar has created between daily deal promotions and her business’ digital rewards program. By onboarding as many deal customers to her rewards program as possible, she can continue marketing to those guests through follow up emails long after their deals have been redeemed.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

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Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.