Mobile App = Generate Revenue
The key to a mobile application that generates revenue is the ability to send push messages. Similar to social engagement, why bother with an app if you cannot use it to generate revenue, but first you must get users who WANT you to send them messages.

Getting Downloads
If you build it…they won’t just come. Even before you launch your app you should be thinking about downloads. It is key to have a plan and a budget in place so that you are ready to go as soon as your app is uploaded to the app stores. And yes you need a budget. Just having an app in any app store is not enough to generate downloads from your customers and potential customers.

Low Cost
Using your social platforms and your email database first and most low cost places to start. Start with social teasers before your app is launched to build interest. Have a comprehensive newsletter ready to go and hit send as soon as your app store links are live.

Your newsletter should first outline the ‘why’ for your users. Why should they download the app and what will they (and won’t they) get out of it. This same information should have its own page on your website, even before your app is ready.

One of the key points to focus on for your golfers is ease and speed of booking a tee time. It is better to focus on a practical use for your golfers first, not to lead with discount opportunities. Discounts and offers may come later, but you want your users to know that the app is valuable even without giving them a deal.

Higher Cost
Having a budget to spend on print materials, a manned or un-manned test station and possibly even outside advertising will help you reach your initial download goal faster. Many of your golfers will be cautious to download. Who wants more apps on their phone? So both having your staff available to help people with their initial download and to physically show users the value is key to success. You should plan to have a station or staff member for a week or two in your golf shop either at the launch date or as soon as your course traffic is busy enough to warrant. The cost that you will initially spend in labour will be of benefit when you send your first push notification to 1,000 or more golfers.

App Content
Just like all of your other platforms, content is key. You should also think about what content your golfers will want and what they will refer to regularly. Is your restaurant menu important? Your daily specials? A list of tournaments that your golfers can participate in or days when they cannot golf because the course is booked? What questions do you get asked regularly and can you answer these for everyone?

Staff Resources
Who will update the app? Yes you need to update the content just like other platforms. Who will be in charge of the push notifications when you are ready to do them? The content may be done by one person and the app pushes by another. This depends on how your content is generated and if the content creator also has access to and understanding of your tee sheet and your traffic patterns.

These are all things to think about before you launch your app. These are also important things to review, discuss and modify annually.  The more planning you can do in advance the more successful your app will be.

We, Jeff and Tara Ciecko of CK Golf write two blogs, one is our 19th Hole Blog where we share personal experiences and the other an Industry Blog where we comment on general business and internet marketing best practices, sales strategies and give golf industry related opinions. We have owned CK Golf  for 14+ years and provide business services to the golf and other industries. We have recently started hosted online video chats on current topics and issues facing the industry. You can watch Golf Industry Conversations here. As of July 31, 2016 our life and our business became ‘location independent’. Our 19th Hole Blog is about the places we visit and the things we do. If you have any questions or comments, or happen to be in the same location as us please reach out and contact us anytime.