If I had to list the top ways of building a big tennis programme, this would be near the top. I can really write from personal experience here.
A quick look at our database tells me that we have just over 2000 names on it, and of those, about 1500 are children aged 3-14 (of course it is the parents’ contact details). So when I send out an email or text message about, for example, our tennis camps – it will go to 1500 people. And not just any 1500 people – they are the correct age and have already been involved in tennis with us. That is a very effective way to market the camps.
That list has built up over the 5 years that I’ve been coaching at my current club. It’s not the biggest – there will be plenty of bigger programmes around, but it is easy and effective.
Later on we’ll be talking about emails, text messages and ways to market to that database, but for now let’s just make sure that you are capturing and storing the information of everyone who comes through your programme.
Who should you collect info from?
Anyone who takes part in any session, even a trial session. Get them in the system and leave them in there until they unsubscribe. So that is anyone who does a trial, a private lesson, a group lesson, a camp or one-off session like an open day.
And schools – this is a subject for another article, but with our after school clubs, we try to set it up so that the parents book directly with us, which means all those names go into the database.
Information You Need
It’s vital that you get the right information from people right at the beginning. The information I recommend is……….
- Parent name (for juniors)
- Student name
- Student d.o.b. (juniors only)
- School attended (juniors only)
- Address (Parent for juniors)
- Home phone (Parent for juniors)
- Mobile phone (Parent for juniors)
- Email (Parent for juniors)
- Any medical issues or other information which you think we should be aware of?
- Permission for photos
- Permission to contact – we use the following tick box:
You may think of other information which you need.
Capturing The Info
This depends what systems you use. It may be a combination of any of the following:
- Online sign up
- SMS / Text
- A paper form to fill in
Storing the information
If your programme is big, you’ll want to use software to manage the programme. We use software called tennisbiz, but there are several options out there. Any of them should have a good database facility and the ability to email straight from the software using various filters or tags.
If you don’t have that kind of software, you can just use an excel spreadsheet. The good thing about excel is that if you go on to use other software to store the info, you’ll be able to import it straight from your excel spreadsheet.