If you’re reading this, your golf resort is probably pretty awesome. I’ll bet you have a fantastic course (or courses). I’m sure you also have an excellent 19th hole where everyone can relax, settle their bets, and even talk about how they can’t believe their buddy holed that bunker shot back on the 15th.
In fact, I bet you have most of the amenities that golfers look for when booking a vacation package with their friends or family.
But that doesn’t mean you aren’t frustrated.
If you’re the owner, operator, CEO, marketing director, etc. of a golf resort, and you aren’t selling as many vacation packages and getting as many customers as you would like from the internet, it can be a difficult pill to swallow.
I mean, why aren’t people finding you? If they are finding you, why aren’t you selling them more vacation packages to your resort?
In this article, I’m going to pull back the curtain and give you a few simple, straight-forward tips on how to:
A) Attract more golfers to your resort website who are looking to book a golf vacation.
B) Convert those website visitors into leads.
C) Nurture those leads and convert them into sales with a low-pressure, high-value, scalable process.
Attracting Your Target Audience to the Resort Website
1. Your Website is About More than Just Design & Pretty Pictures
Many golf resorts spend a small fortune on creating a website with a sleek design that features nice pictures and videos of their resort, and understandably so. That being said, at times the actual website content is overlooked.
We’ll talk later about how great copy can increase your conversion rates and help you sell more vacation packages, but for now we are going to focus on getting more traffic to your resort website.
If you want to increase the amount of website traffic that you receive from organic search, then your content needs to be informative, well-written, and correctly optimized for search.
Just because you’ve hired an SEO company to optimize your website, doesn’t mean your content is correctly optimized to get more traffic from search engines. SEO companies often take care of the technical aspects, but they often overlook optimizing the content, which is extremely important if you want to increase your traffic and win more customers.
Ideally, every page of your website that you want to attract traffic from organic search needs to be at least 400 words. By opting for pages with more text, you are giving yourself more opportunity to rank for highly-targeted, long-tail keyword phrases (which is where most traffic comes from).
The bottom line: A golf resort needs to invest in an SEO copywriter who understands the golf industry, and can write the kind of copy you need to attract your target audience.
2. Build a Marketing Campaign that Doesn’t Rely on 3rd Party Vacation or Tee Booking Sites
Booking sites can bring you business, but these customers often times aren’t loyal, and may not bring a substantial amount of profit to your resort.
It’s kind of like selling a product on eBay or Amazon; sure you have a built in buyers marketplace, but you also have to sell products at razor-thin margins and have no control over the TOS of sites where you are selling.
By focusing on increasing traffic and visibility to your own website, you are able to protect your pricing, and focus on value-based selling as opposed to trying to compete on price. Another important factor is that by building up the value of your resort website, you are creating a business asset that no one can take away from you.
Is price a factor for people booking a golf resort vacation? Sure. But it isn’t the final decision maker for most golfers (golfers taking resort vacations have descretionary income, after all).
3. Produce Helpful Content Like a Madman
One area where your golf resort can really separate itself from the competition is by creating helpful website content. By educating your target audience and solving problems (or potential problems they don’t yet forsee), you can provide value to potential customers that your competition is not providing them with.
For instance, if your resort wrote an article “13 Things to do on Your Myrtle Beach Golf Vacation” and provided a massive amount of value, you are helping prospects make the most out of their golf trip, and have the best time possible.
Always remember that it isn’t about you or your resort. It’s about making sure that your content is focused on your customers; providing them with trustworthy, expert information and helping them solve their problems.
Converting Your Website Traffic into Leads for Your Golf Resort
1. Dedicated Landing Pages for each Destination/Service/Package (With Specific Calls to Action)
It’s critical that you give your potential customers the information they need to make a decision. This includes providing detailed information about each vacation package or option offered at your golf resort.
So often, you see vacation packages offered, but they lack content. A comparision chart, as well as the “nitty gritty” details each package offers can help you separate yourself from the competition.
In addition, each page needs a very specific call to action. Here are examples of a bad, better, and great calls to action.
Bad: “Call us for Details”
Better: “Call us for More Information on the Package that is Right for You!”
Great: “Call us Now to Get an Additional 10% off of our 36 Hole Weekend Warrior Package Today!”
As you can see having a dedicated, customized call to action for each vacation package on your website is one of the easy to implement, “big wins” that can have a significant impact on your conversion rates and the amount of vacation bookings your golf resort receives.
2. Free Download “7 Tips on Getting the Most Out of Your XYZ Golf Vaction”
Not everyone is ready to buy when they first visit your resort website, and it’s important to know and embrace that as part of your golf resort marketing strategy.
In order to capture revenue from website visitors that aren’t quite ready to make a purchasing decision, it’s important to build an email list. Unfortunately, list building gets put on the back burner because let’s face it, the payoff can take a little while.
In order to build an email list of targeted prospects, you must offer your website visitors something of value in exchange for their information (a lead magnet). For instance, you could offer them a free report titled “7 Tips on Getting the Most Out of Your XYZ Golf Vaction.”
If your golf resort is not building an email list from your website traffic start today! If you are already implementing it, that’s great. In the next section further down this page I’m going to discuss how to book more vacation packages and pull more revenue from your email list.
3. Off-site things to do
Sometimes, getting a group of golfers (or family of golfers that are bringing spouses, children, etc.) requires more than just a nice resort facility. You also have to sell families on the off-site attractions near the resort.
Make sure that you have a page on your website that is dedicated to surrounding attractions that offer entertainment off the golf course for the entire family. This could including dining, museums, beaches, children’s attractions, and more.
Email Marketing & Closing the Deal
1. Lead Nurturing with Marketing Automation
As I mentioned before, your resort may already be building a list, which is great. However, are you getting everything out of your list? That’s an entirely different question.
In order to get the most out of your list of prospects, you have to structure your email marketing strategy to incorporate valuable information, as well as direct-response sales offers.
Doing one without the other simply won’t work. You need a balanced combination of helpful tips and advice combined with promos, special offers, etc.
Rule of thumb: 2 helpful tips/advice related emails for every 1 sales email.
Here’s a rough example of how you could structure an automated email marketing campaign for leads that come in via your website and download your lead magnet in exchange for their name/email.
This email series below is setup to cover the first 30 days after someone downloads your material. In reality, you could stretch it out over 90 days, 6 months, or even a year or more. You always want to stay at the forefront of your prospect’s mind without overwhelming them.
2. 30 Day Email Marketing Strategy
Day 1: Send lead to thank you page where they can download offer…send welcome email. Include an OTO (one-time offer) where if customer books a package they get something of value for free (example: A free dozen premium golf balls…$48 retail value absolutely free!)
Day 3: Helpful email: “How to Make the Most out of Your Visit to XYZ Resort”
Day 7: Direct-response promo (Make time-sensitive offer with discount)
Day 10: Helpful email: “Bringing the Family? 13 Things You Should See When Visiting XYZ City”
Day 14: Helpful email: “5 Restaurant Bars You Have to Visit in XYZ City”
Day 17: Direct-response promo (Value added offer…upgrade your room for free, etc.)
Day 21: Helpful email: “7 Essential Items for the Perfect Guy’s Golf Weekend”
Day 24: Helpful email: “Signature Florida Golf Holes that Should be on Your Bucket List”
Day 27: Helpful email: “Why You Should Choose XYZ Resort” (This is a soft sell, but still focused on value…giving golfers a great golf resort vacation experience).
Day 30: Direct-response promo “Final Offer: 20% Off Your Vacation Package Ends in 48 hours” (make an aggressive offer…either a discount or value added offer that provokes the lead to make a decision).
These messages may or may not be a fit for your particular resort, but the structure is what is really important. Make sure that you provide a balance between helping your prospects, and selling to them directly.
If you’d like to learn more about how I can help you structure your email campaigns and create copy for them, visit my email marketing page here.
By now, you should have a better understanding of how to get more traffic, leads, and ultimately vacation bookings for your golf resort.
If you want to increase the amount of golf vacation packages you sell, then you need an outstanding resort, and outstanding marketing for your resort.
I can help with the latter.
If you’d like to learn more about how I can help take your golf resort marketing to the next level with content marketing and copywriting services, let’s talk. Just fill out the contact form here, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org