Love it when People Opt-Out and Unsubscribe. So Should You.

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Golf courses pride themselves on building large customer databases.  The average course has over 3,500 email addresses.

But all that glitters is not gold.

The size of one’s email database is irrelevant.   Like most things, it is quality, not quantity that counts.

Segmenting your database by gender, age, the frequency of purchase and their annual customer spending are key components.

For a golf course management team, data capture at the time of online reservations is the best opportunity to register the golfer.  Kiosks, point-of-sale terminals, and programming opportunities offer similar but less effective chances to establish a relationship with the customer.

Once the profile is established correctly, the customer relationship can be expanded based on effective targeted email marketing.

There is another important reason that quality, not quantity matters.  The monthly fees of third party email firms, i.e., Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Vertical Response are based on the number of your email addresses.  See example below of Mail Chimp’s rates


Let me illustrate; my database had grown to over 25,000 contacts with a monthly fee of $155 ($1,860).  The open and click through rates were comparable to industry norms.

I undertook an analysis of everyone who had not opened our newsletter in the past twelve months.  The result was I deleted 16,000 contacts reducing savings $960 in marketing fees.  As would be expected from the smaller database, my open and click through rates have soared.

You might ask why so many deletions.  We used other methods of establishing a customer database including having Linked-In will export all of your contacts detailed information and using Outlook email extractor, thus, we have captured mail surplus emails, i.e, reservation confirmations from car rental companies, hotels and airlines.

Our next step will be to delete from the database all those that haven’t clicked through and read one of our blogs in the past year.  OUr logic is why educate those who have no desire to be a client?  It is a hassle for them to get our newsletters and it costs us monies that are largely wasted.  Thus, small maybe better.

What are your thoughts?  Comments below.

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1 comment

  1.    Reply

    You are on to something here. The endless message beamed at operators is that a large database is essential for success. Your point about quality over quantity is something that we may have forgotten as we continually try to expand our databases.
    Maybe more thought should be put into the acquisition efforts along with a regular culling of the list which would likely serve to produce better results.