Sunday, February 22, 2015

"They Say You Want a Revolution. Well, You Know, We All Want to Change the World"...John lennon

7% of all emails are opened within 7 days. 99% of text messages are opened within 2 minutes.  Are you still relying on emails as your only bullet in communicating to your customers? 

Oh yes, you also send out Facebook posts, right?

So how is all that emailing working for you?  

Just OK, you say?  

Well there are a lot of younger folks out there who no longer have emails and only text.  

A couple of weeks ago, Marie and I were driving my neighbor’s teenage daughter and her friend to the mall to meet my neighbor and his wife for dinner and a movie while the girls cruised the mall.  

It was eerily quiet in the back seat and all I could hear was the click of phones.  When I asked what they were doing. They said “texting”.  When I asked who they were texting? They instantly said in unison, "Each Other.” No talking. No emailing.  Just texting!


Yup, that’s how they communicate.  

Which got me to thinking about what could be done to make this growing phenomenon of text marketing work for many of my bowling proprietor friends.

So I hooked up with one of my tech savvy friends (who knows bowling, is a league bowler and has as strong a passion as I do to see the industry grow) we discussed WHAT could be done.

We we will soon unveil a solution that will rock the way you communicate to your customer and deliver content, offers and build a long lasting relationship with your customers and future customers.

I’m not going to spill the beans today, but I just wanted to tell you that something big is coming and it will be to bowling marketing what the automatic scorer was to bowling back in the late seventies.

We have more work to do, but it will be worth it, be affordably priced and best of all, you will have very little work to do...if any.

It will be all on us.

Let me know if you would like to be one of the first centers to see this exciting new way to communicate to your customers.

I’m so excited. It’s gonna be great!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Management Tips from the Beatles

Andrew Sobel, a management consultant and author of Strategy and Business says the Beatles are a textbook example of how to forge cooperation and creativity inside an organization.

Sobel says there are at least four lessons to be learned from the Beatles success

1.    Their early years performing in small clubs forged a true sense of spirit de corps that is rare today when virtual teams are common.  Invest in and build time, especially face time, among key members.

2.    The Beatles music evolved over time, so must your center’s products and programs. Keep testing, introducing and refining your products. If it is going to generate new ideas, it can’t be a one hit wonder.

3.    While John and Paul wrote most of the songs, from time to time, Ringo and George were given a chance to shine. “It’s great to feel part of a team”, says Sobel, “but in the end every one needs a sense of personal importance as well.”   The lesson to be learned: give team members a project of their own that will make them look good in their own right?”

4.    And finally, the make up of the group is important. Each member must be able to contribute different skills and be of different temperaments to encourage creativity and problem solving

Of course, nothing lasts forever, (except for “Strawberry Fields”) and the Beatles broke up in April 1970

Monday, February 9, 2015

Email Marketing is Alive and Well

Contrary to what a lot of people think email marketing does better than other social media.  In fact this tool is more powerful than you can imagine. 

According to many digital marketing experts there is a consensus that of all the social media platforms, email will deliver better results for small businesses IF these businesses have a well-structured, timely and relevant email campaign targeted at an audience that has given you permission to contact them.  

It is not unusual to see two or three times the engagement with email that we do with other social media platforms.

But there is a knack for getting the kind of results you want. Here are some tried and true tips

1.    Build your list. Get out and meet people on your concourse. At your local pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations and any place you do business. Carry a sign up form with you OR capture emails on your website. I am constantly amazed at how many sites DO NOT have a place for me to sign up. If it’s there, it is usually hidden.  Put it on your first page; make it pop up on other pages. Offer people a value for signing and then have an auto responder thanking them for filling it out and telling them their $$$ bowling value is coming.

2.   The next challenge is to get people to actually open your emails. With open rates hovering in the 10% to 15% range, getting your email opened can be a little tricky…even if people opt in. People tend to sort email into 3 categories: “Now.” “Later” or “Never”. Your objective is to get them to open it NOW!

3.   Keep your subject lines short. Many email services will automatically shorten your subject line so lead with the most attention grabbing content. (I.E: “Want a FREE new bowling ball?”

4.   Set a schedule to send out your email as opposed to random settings (which I unfortunately do). Having a set schedule will improve your open rate. (Don’t I know it!!!)

5.   Check your spelling and punctuation before you send it, then send it to a friend to read it as well.

6.   Know your audience.  If your list isn't segmented, then work on that. NO point in sending Grandma Sadie, in your senior league, information about your ‘tween part.  She might be a teenager, but she is 113, not the segment you want. Besides, you will eventually send Grandma so many irrelevant emails that she will opt out and a name and data is lost.

7.   Time it right. Know when emails are opened the most? If you said Saturday mornings you are correct, followed by Tuesday.  But it may be different in your market. Start testing your emails. Send out the same email on different days and times and then compare the open rates. It might provide you with some valuable information.

8.   Clean up the list. Get rid of the bounced emails, bad addresses and the spam complaints. Your email may even be blocked by certain ISPs, preventing you from reaching even interested buyers.

9.   Establish an email campaign consisting of three steps. In the first email you tell them that Presidents' Day is coming and you hope, if they are off work, they will come to your center for your great family special, then throw in a $10 coupon valid for $20 or more of bowling. The second email, tell them it’s almost here: and with that your great fun loving, family happy, money saving bowling special of $10 off of $20 of bowling is now available, but this is limited to only 100 customers. On the third email, tell them it’s almost sold out, but if they want some family fun, they still have some time and then set a deadline (like 9am on Presidents Day).

10. And the most important tip. Don’t make every email a “selly sell” one. Use your email to provide information, to make your customers life better as well as offering information about your center. If you always try to sell me, I will eventually opt out.

Follow these 10 simple tips and watch your email open rate and your business improve…and if you have any questions you can always contact me at