Video and Email Open Rates

JimSchoullerJim Schouller, the 2012 Middle Atlantic PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, is the PGA head professional at Fountain Head Country Club in Hagerstown, Maryland, a 2014 AGM Best of the Best Platinum Golf Shop, 2013 AGM Platinum Golf Shop, 2010 Golf World Top 100 Golf Shop and winner of the 2009 AGM Front Nine Award for Best Creative Sales Promotion.

With the success of “Morning Drive” on Golf Channel, we developed a version of a golf morning show called “The Bucket.” I purchased software called Power Director (for video editing), an HD video camera and a microphone. At the time our bi-weekly membership email open rates were only averaging 30 percent. So I decided to do something about it, as doing something visual has a bigger impact than a regular text email. So, following the conclusion of a big tournament or the announcement of important club news, we began adding videos to our emails. I have been able to paint the picture of what we wanted to tell our members so much better. For the customers, they became engaged in watching. In fact, “buzz” grew around the club about the show. We featured our members who won club tournaments in post round interviews, as people always love to see themselves on video. Keeping the show light and humorous really made it special for our members. For us, we’ve been able to grow our tournament participation rate and exposed our members to new merchandise and overall club offerings and events. And for Fountain Head Country Club, it’s seen improved financial success and, most of all, a means of communication to the members at a much higher success rate.

First of all, our emails now average an 80 percent open rate! The second main area of impact has been with our tournaments and outings. Our tournament participation grew 15 percent over last year. We have also seen sales directly related to the show of over $5,000. As for the member experience, we actually have had members wanting to be on the show – they came to us and asked “can we be on ‘The Bucket’?” I also once heard a member whistling our theme song in the hallway. Featuring our members in the show has helped the camaraderie around the club immensely. We exclusively promoted our Member-Guest tournament via the tournament chairs on “The Bucket.” I have been pleasantly surprised by all the positive comments I receive on a daily basis about the show. Though it is very time consuming to put the show together with the amount of detail I desire, it is all worth the investment. To view a couple of samples of our videos, please see below.


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Editor’s note: The above comments reflect the opinion and experiences of the submitting PGA Professional and are not endorsed by PGA Magazine or the PGA of America.