Grow your Club through effective marketing ideas

Anna RobertsonClubland Newsletter

With increasing competition for members, bringing in new members to your club is always important and often a challenge. Raising the profile of your club through a range of marketing ideas will help to increase the number of people through the door.

Below is a range of ideas that you could consider for promoting your club in the lead up to Christmas/over the summer, ready for Term 1 2020.

  1. How important is growth to us right now? This will help you to prioritise how much time and energy is put into marketing and promotion. If growth is essential for next year, you will need to allocate time and resource accordingly.
  2. Where are we trying to grow membership? Is it across the whole club or specific areas like pre-school or recreation? Targeting your promotion on the area’s most needing growth will mean you use your resources most effectively.
  3. What options should we focus on? This is about what you are already doing, what has worked well in the past etc. Choosing some specific areas to focus on is generally more effective than trying to do everything at once.

Once you have worked through those questions, put together a brief plan outlining what you intend to do, when the various things will take place and who is responsible for each area. This doesn’t have to be a formal marketing plan, just something to keep you organised and on track.

It is also worth keeping track of what you tried and what was successful and what didn’t work. This will help decision making in the future.

Aktive Auckland have put together an excellent resource to help with marketing. This includes template plans and all the things to consider when constructing your message.

Sport Waitakere ran an excellent workshop on Building Participation and Membership earlier this year. They have kindly agreed to share the notes from this session. These notes cover a wide range of areas including barriers to joining, making your club a welcoming environment, communication, building school club links and knowing your members.

Below are a range of ideas that you could consider. You can also go to Club Portal (Resources > Marketing) where there are some specific resources on Facebook, Website and Email).

Promotional Drive

  • Introduce a new member and receive a discount off next terms fees
  • Flyers on cars – this can be a very effective way to raise your clubs profile with people who are already in the area. This can be done on local streets, at nearby supermarkets, local leisure centres etc. Anywhere that lots of cars congregate. Offering a discount or promotion in exchange for the flyer is a good way to encourage people to take action. Team up some of your older athletes with parents to help out.
  • Bring a friend day – this can be done with the whole club but if you only have certain programmes you are wanting to grow, focus your bring a friend day there.
  • Target past members (particularly pre-school) by offering a special deal for signing back up. Pre-school kids often drop out when they start school. Give them a term or two and then be proactive in inviting them back.
  • Advertising in school newsletters – particularly holiday programmes and birthday parties.
  • Flyers displayed at local plunket, kindys and daycares, libraries, supermarkets and community centres. Anywhere that has a public noticeboard.
  • Think about what on-line groups and boards you can promote through. Many Regional Sports Trusts promote clubs on their website and do specific promotion of holiday programmes. Utilise Neighbourly and other community posting sites.

Website and Social Media

  • Make sure that the first page of your website is inviting – bright inviting pictures, minimal text and direction for where to go to enrol or try a session.
  • Ensure that your timetable is easy to find and easy to understand. Update with any changes as soon as they occur.
  • If you offer a free trial session make sure that this is clearly promoted on the website.
  • Ensure that there is an easy sign-up link on your website.
  • Include videos of classes in action.
  • Photos (and videos) should include happy children, clean gym, enthusiastic coaches.
  • Make your URL short and easy to remember – include on all promotional material
  • Facebook advertising – this is an incredibly cost effective way to promote your club. Ensure that you are alternating which programmes you are particularly focusing on each month.
  • Refer to the website and social marketing documents in Club Portal for more detailed ideas using these mediums.

Practical Ideas within the Club

  • Think about how you convert members from one class to another eg. playgym to recreation. Is there a clear pathway? Are athletes/parents encouraged to take the next step? Do they know what they will learn/how they will benefit from staying involved?
  • Building signage – is it easy to find your club? Is it easy to find your club in the dark?
  • School festivals – make sure kids all go home with a flyer advertising the club and the timetable.
  • Do you have club merchandise? How can this be used to get your logo out into the community – kids wearing branded clothing are walking billboards.
  • Potential members trialling sessions – how do you ensure that they have a positive experience? Having someone welcome them, make sure they know what they are doing throughout and having a quick chat with the parent afterwards to – see how they found it, what they do to sign up etc.
  • If you are holding an open day or have a go day – make sure you have extra staff/volunteers around as well as plenty of coaches. Proactively engage with the parents of those trying it out – ensure they know what the club offers, how kids progress etc and how to sign up. Offering a discount for signing up on the day can also be effective.
  • Office – ensure that your voice message is clear and includes office open hours. Prioritise clearing and responding to messages promptly.
  • If possible operate a no wait-list policy. Many kids move onto a different sport while waiting for their turn. Consider ways to increase classes first.
  • Have a Club email signature