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Retention Over Recruitment

CGM in The Private Club Advisor - December 2019

The cost and time required to retain a current member tends to be significantly less than the time it takes to recruit and admit a new member. Therefore prioritizing member retention should be high on every club’s list. But when does member retention start for a new member? One year after joining? According to AJ Redetzke of Creative Golf Marketing, membership retention starts once the initiation fee is paid.

Keeping members engaged and using the club regularly is essential for retaining them. The less members use the club, the more likely they are to stop seeing the value of membership costs and drop their memberships as a result. Redetzke told the audience at the Professional Club Marketing Association Annual Conference that negative trends in member usage are more of an indication for resignation than the amount the member is spending at the club. “If a member averaged eight rounds of golf a month for 10 years and this year fell to averaging six rounds a month, that member is more at risk of dropping his membership than a member who only plays once a month, but has always only played once a month. A higher usage rate does not equate to a member being safe—you have to examine the individual trend. ” he explained.

Many software programs exist to help identify members who are most at risk. Once these members are identified, Redetzke urges clubs to take action immediately. “Between the membership professional and membership committee members, you can easily connect with 15 to 20 members each month and help them reengage with the club,” he said. A simple phone call to say “we miss you” or a personalized invitation to attend an upcoming event can be effective. Offer the member an incentive to come to the club and then ask what you can do to enhance the member experience. The point, Redetzke says, is to let them know that you’ve noticed their absence and that you want to help them reengage.

The Private Club Advisor - December 2019

f you would like additional information regarding our ALI (Activity Level Indicator) monthly reports and membership retention, or how to identify your own ‘at risk’ members, please call AJ Redeztke at (800) 526-8794 or by email at At Creative Golf Marketing, our goal has always been to provide the guidance and solutions to reinvigorate, promote and market the private club industry.


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