The All-in-One Bowls Club Management System

Bowls club marketing 101: how to attract and keep new members

26/06/2023

Looking to boost your bowls club's membership and secure its long-term success? If so, you've come to the right place.

Bowls has been around for thousands of years, and it’s still a popular game to this day – in 2019, over 1 million viewers tuned in to watch an international televised lawn bowls competition, and there are plenty of outdoor locations for playing casual bowls all over the UK. At Brighton’s vibrant seafront, for example, the famous beachside public bowls court is popular with both young and old players alike.

Despite this, it's no secret that attracting and retaining new bowls club members can be hard. With shifting demographics, evolving leisure trends, and an increasingly competitive landscape, it's essential for bowls clubs to adopt effective marketing strategies to stay relevant and thrive.

At Bowlr, our aim is to help bowls clubs keep up with the changing landscape by sharing tips about successful bowls club marketing, as well as revitalising and modernising club systems. In this blog, we'll explore a variety of marketing techniques that will help make your bowls club an attractive destination for both prospective and current members – from leveraging digital platforms to hosting engaging events. Let’s get started!

5 Ways to Promote Your Club and Retain Members

The landscape of bowls is changing, and you’ll want to find ways to promote your club that will appeal to a broad range of people. This can mean hosting events to draw in crowds and solidify a sense of community, as well as offering booking systems that are both simple and user friendly.

In this section, we'll explore actionable tips that can help you promote your bowls club to potential members, helping to build a steady influx of enthusiastic players.

1. Host Open Days

One of the most effective ways to introduce your bowls club to prospective members is by hosting open days. These events provide an opportunity for people to visit the club, try their hand at the game, and experience the welcoming atmosphere firsthand.

  • Consider offering free taster sessions or providing equipment and basic instructions to newcomers.
  • Advertise your open days in local community centres, newspapers, online platforms, and through social media channels (more on this below) to maximise reach.

2. Offer Special Promotions

To entice new members and retain existing ones, you could consider offering special promotions or incentives.

For example, you could:

  • Provide discounted membership fees for the first year.
  • Provide discounted membership fees if a member refers a friend.
  • Offer a complimentary coaching session for beginners.
  • Provide free tea and coffee during certain times at the club.
  • Organise social activities outside of playing bowls, for example a quiz or game night, to build a strong community.

3. Engage With the Local Community

Building strong ties with the local community can be key to attracting new members.

  • Why not organise for your club to participate in local events and festivals? You could set up a booth and allow people to try a game of bowls then and there, or give out vouchers for free sessions at your club.
  • Collaborate with nearby schools, community centres, and businesses to organise joint initiatives such as teambuilding programmes. Even if these don't earn a big income, they'll be great for getting your name, and the game, out into the community.

4. Leverage Digital Marketing

In today's digital age, harnessing the power of online platforms is crucial for reaching a wider audience.

  • Create a user-friendly website for your bowls club that highlights its unique selling points, showcases upcoming events, provides membership information, and makes it easy to sign up and book. After all, a great website is one of the biggest keys to growing your club’s membership. Not sure where to start? Contact Bowlr – this is what we do best!
  • Use social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share engaging content, promote club activities, and interact with potential members. These can be incredibly valuable marketing tools. You can always get a professional to step in and manage your social media for you if it’s not your cup of tea – call us on 01202 684400 and we’ll be able to help.

5. Develop Local Partnerships

This is a great way to become a valuable part of the community, as well as offering club members some valuable incentives.

Consider forming partnerships with local businesses or organisations to cross-promote each other. For instance, collaborate with a nearby café or restaurant to offer exclusive discounts or packages to your club members, and reciprocate by promoting their establishment to your club's community.

These partnerships can help broaden your club's exposure and attract new members as well as offer club benefits.

Techniques that Promote Your Club and Build Community

Above are five of the most effective ways you can expand and retain your network of members. It’s important to remember that these techniques should not only be aimed at promoting your club, but also at building a strong sense of community within the club to retain existing members.

Bear in mind that even with the best promotion in the world, if it’s not easy for people to find out about your club, sign up, and manage their membership, you’re likely to miss out on some members. That’s where the importance of having a clear website and management system comes in handy.

At Bowlr, we’ve designed an efficient solution for indoor and outdoor bowls clubs seeking structured websites that offer seamless membership and league management. With its intuitive interface and dependable features, our Bowlr software revolutionises the way bowls clubs operate, simplifying administrative tasks and enhancing the overall club experience.

For more information, contact Bowlr on 01202 684400 or email us via [email protected].