Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Junior Golf Newsletter

As a supposed expert in Internet marketing one statistic that has always stuck in my mind is that, on average, it takes, the average web surfer 7 visits to a site before the pluck up the courage to buy anything.

Yes I did say seven!!

So, whilst it would be lovely to sell everybody something the first time they visit the site, its faintly optimistic. At best you would like them to leave some contact details so that you can contact them in future in order to entice them back to your site a further 6 times.

And once you've collected contact details its important that what you send them is relevant and geared to what they are intersted in.

So how do you do that I hear you ask. Well, personally, constructing content rich, highly targetted email marketing messages was not my speciality, no really. However, with a little help from Constant Contact I'm now very much the expert.

Have a look yourself, there's even a free trial.

Constant Contact --> Your Email Marketing Manager

Golf Monthly - Regional Course Rankings

Golf monthly magazine is looking to create a regionalised list of golf courses ranked by local players under specified criteria. Whilst I applaud the idea, I am again disappointed to see that the junior golfer has again been excluded from being a panelist.

You can view the criteria for both panelist and ranking on the Regional Course Rankings page but in a nutshell you have to be 18, hold an 18 handicap, and have played for more than two years.

Well, I say, if you can't join them, beat them. I propose to begin a list of golf courses of my own. To be on the list each course must have a junior golf academy, regular coaching, and actively promote junior golf at thier club.

So if your club meets the criteria let me know

Monday, December 19, 2005

British Heart Foundation Junior Golf Championship

The British Heart Foundation has been hosting its Junior Golf Championship since 1994 and its attracted over 35,000 juniors so far. Teams of three compete in various preliminary rounds and then a regional final all vying to win one of the 21 team spots in the Grand Final, which last year was held at the Belfy.

Its a fabulous event that has raised over £1.5 million since 1994 and has also attracted a great deal of support from the R & A and Ryder Cup player and current European Order of Merit Winner, Colin Montgomerie.

If you want to get a team together this year you will need to download the brochuse from the BHF web site.

And if you do enter drop me a line and let me know how you did.

Other Great Junior Golf Events

The HSBC Wee Wonders Open Golf Championships - Now at the Grand Final stage for 2005 you can register for the 2006 event early next year. Visit the web site for more details

The Daily Telegraph Marriott Golf Roots programme has already introduced more than 45,000 inner city children to golf, and plans are already in pace for 2006. If you'd like to take part or even volunteer to help they would love to hear from you. Just visit their website

Weekend in Scotland

The annual Christmas trip to see the In-Laws gave me an opportunity to nip to one of the most beautiful golf courses in the country. Turnberry Ailsa course is regarded as one one the most challenging in the world and is host to the 138th Open Championship in 2009.

While I was there it popped into the Golf Academy to take a look at the new range of Moxie Junior Golf Clubs from Ping. At Prices that start from £170 for a half set they not for the first set of golf clubs you'd buy for your buddy Tiger. However, Ping have wasted non of their experience and technology in designing their new range designed for golfer between 8 and 12 years of age.

The Titanium driver and Stainless Steele irons are both lightwieght and forgiving offering a steep launch curve and long carry, and would not look out of place on any gofl course. However, as I said before, as long as Slazenger, and Maxfli are offering 75% of the quality for 30% of the price, Ping are going to struggle.

Friday, December 16, 2005

What do you mean its Christmas next week?

Well Christmas is just round the corner, and if you're anything like me you haven't bought anything, yet. Living in an all girl household (apart from me of course) its almost impossible not to feel like a martian most of time, but Christmas is especially difficult. That's why giving the girls a hobby was an absolute godsend, as whilst mummy spent all year filling pillow cases full of presents all for under a fiver, all I had to do was buy one decent present and make sure it was one they especially wanted.

Unfortuantely, what they both especially want for Christmas this year is a Nintendog, and being last minute dot dad I left it till exactly 3 weeeks after the last one in the country got sold before I started looking. I haven't received those type of looks from shop assistants since I stopped buying meals for 1 at 24hr Asda's.

For her birthday in October I bought the oldest a Slazenger half set with a stand bag, that went down a storm, and so the little one has to have something from Santa Golf range for Christmas all their will be hell to pay. I've just had a thought, I know both my girls are pretty savvy on the internet, and although they're no Matt Cutts, it wouldn't take them long to find this site.

So with that in mind I'm off to WHSmith to buy them both the full set of english and maths revision notes. They'll be thrilled.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

66% of Online Shoppers Still Fear Misuse of Personal Information

Here’s a thing, did you know that, in a recent survey, 49% of shoppers cited credit card fraud as the reason they don’t buy on the Internet. That’s a whopper of a stat but I couldn’t help thinking that as the internet only accounts for about 9% of overall consumer spending, its not particularly surprising. 39% also said identity theft, 39% said spam and 30% said spyware.

Overall, I think that’s really encouraging. No really, think about it? That mean's people are aware of credit card fraud and theft on the Internet, and even know about spam and spyware. So, what they were actually saying is ‘sort yourselves out and we’ll buy’. Only 35% of people cited that they preferred the touch and feel of bricks and mortar retailers.

So, what can we do to ensure that our customers feel safe buying from us? Well, having a privacy statement and a privacy seal helps. 75% of responders said they felt more comfortable using a site that did. By the way if you’re going to have a privacy statement, make sure it’s displayed prominently on you site, not hidden away, and don’t copy one from someone else’s site. For one thing, most of it won’t be relevant and it will probably be full of jargon.
Some sites that I’ve visited didn’t even have a contact us page that included a name, address and telephone number. Also, you must have a returns policy? And not one that limits people to an unreasonable length of time to return unwanted items. The longest queue at Marks and Spencer’s is the returns queue and although it might sound bad, that’s great news for M&S. It means people feel comfortable that they can buy merchandise even if they’re not sure its absolutely right. And if it’s important to a high street retailer, it imperative for anyone hoping to retail over the Internet.

Thanks for all your responses

When I first decided to start Junior Golf World, I was working in the industry as an Internet marketing consultant so it wasn't dificult to find the time to build the site and start the ball rolling. But then in October of 2004 I decided to leave my employment and start full time on my own. Now most people going into business on the own would have a business plan, a strategy and a chunk of money in the bank. Well I had two out of three and no matter how hard I squeezed the bank account I couldn't generate sufficient cash to launch the site and keep my growing family in chocolate spread sandwiches, let alone shoes.

Not one for letting something as trivial as having no money stop me live out my dream I was still all set to go boldly, when out of the blue I received an offer to go back to the rat race. Now when I say rat race I don't mean the wonderful and inspiring world of internet marketing that had captured my attention some four years previous. Oh, no, the offer was from the Motor Trade, an industry that I'd fallen into after school and one that I'd invested 17 long hard years into.

The decision was far from easy but the offer was generous and the thought of paying off all those debts and putting a little nest egg aside for Junior Golf World put paid to any weak arguments in favour of marching headlong into self employment.

And so the site was mothballed, put aside for the foreseable future as I got used to long hours, working weekends, watching my golf game go the dogs.

Well, not any more. As of January 1st we are back in business, and more determined than ever to fulfil my dream of creating an e-business I can be proud of. So thanks for all your emails over the last year and here's to a fantastic 2006.