Don’t pay over the odds for your new golf bag tags
Rubber, leather and hard plastic golf bag tags are expensive. As well as the inflated unit price, you have to pay set-up fees and year stickers to go on them. And when a member doesn’t renew, you lose the potential costs savings you might have recouped by just handing out a new sticker.
Our full colour plastic golf bag tags start from £215+ VAT for 250, including straps
Our custom golf bag tags are made from quality, durable plastic, and are very slightly thinner than a standard credit card for flexibility. All our quoted prices are for full colour on both sides – you don’t pay per colour.
Many golf clubs use the reverse side for a sponsor’s message or branding, which often pays for the cost of the printing.
We share some more ideas on how to cover the costs of your membership card printing here.
Clearly label all of your members, so you can see immediately what membership they have
Having different tags for each membership is ideal in terms of visibility, particularly for Week-Day, IMP and Full members, but doing so is often cost prohibitive as it requires a new run of tags.
With our golf bag tags, you can have any number of designs in the same run for an extra £25.00 per design.
So if you ordered 500 cards for £320 for example, but wanted three different designs in total, you would only pay an extra £50.
You can also personalise them with members’ names or barcodes for just 5p per card.
Maximise the reverse of your bag tags
Many clubs don’t maximise the potential of the back of the cards, even though it doesn’t cost any extra to do so. If you don’t want to include a sponsor’s message, how about reminders about etiquette, or club rules?
Want someone else to pay for your membership cards printing this year?
The fact is, if you’re a club, organisation or attraction, a professionally printed membership card is expected by your members, and it’s a necessity for you too.
But it’s more than that: a branded and personalised card gives a feeling of belonging, and a sense of being part of something special.
However the cost of membership card printing can be prohibitive.
So here’s how to get someone else to pay for it.
Use the back of your membership cards as a sponsorship opportunity
Most plastic membership cards are printed double sided, in full colour, so the reverse is a prime advertising space. Offer it up to the right sponsor, and you can easily cover the costs of the cards – and enhance your own brand image at the same time.
Here are a few routes to consider:
Linked local suppliers If you’re a tennis club, and there’s a sports shop in town that sells the right kit, they’re the ideal partner. They’ll be advertising their wares to a captive audience that will be exposed to their brand on a regular basis, for less than the price of a newspaper ad.
2. Linked online suppliers If there’s an online supplier that a lot of your members go to for equipment or gear, or specialist insurance, get in touch. You’re unlikely to be successful with the Amazon’s of this world, but it might be right up a smaller online retailer’s street (for example a specialist cycling insurance provider).
3. Linked big brands Don’t think that you can’t approach the big brands, even if you only have a few hundred members. For example, if you’re a golf club, approaching brands like TaylorMade or FootJoy could deliver dividends. A few hundred pounds is nothing out of their marketing budget, and your membership demographic might be exactly what they’re looking to target.
4. Complimentary local services or suppliers Your membership demographic should determine who you approach for sponsorship in your local area. What type of people are they? What stage of life are they at? Whose ideal customer are they likely to be? If your membership is predominately 20/30 somethings with time on their hands, then think about local bars or nightclubs. If they’re older professionals with disposable incomes, a prestige car showroom might be more relevant.
5. Look internally for brands that may want extra promotion If you have a bar, restaurant or café on site, look at the brands you’re selling. Breweries are a good starting place: they may have a particular drink that they want to sell more of over the following year. Or if you’re a gym selling a particular range of energy bars or drinks, think about approaching them. This route has benefits for you too in terms of increased sales.
Whoa there Nelly! A word of caution before you start
Before you pick up the phone and start ringing round, make sure you don’t damage your own brand by choosing the wrong sponsor. If you’ve spent years building up an exclusive membership of professionals, don’t blow it by advertising Carl’s Cheeky Chicken on the back of your plastic membership cards.
Associating yourself with a well-known brand, or an aspirational brand, will do wonders for your own organisation. It’s a great message to existing members that they’ve made the right choice, and it’s even stronger in terms of attraction. Because if a famous brand has chosen to be affiliated with your club, why wouldn’t they?
Contrary to what you might think, the two most common reasons people don’t renew their club membership isn’t because they’re unhappy or have found a better offer elsewhere. They are:
They think they’re still a member, or
They simply ‘forget’.
Which is precisely why you should start ‘reminding’ them to renew well before their club membership is due.
If you’re still sending them a club newsletter, or club communications, chances are they think they’re still a member, and it won’t occur to them to check.
And even if you have sent an electronic reminder, there’s a high possibility that it will get lost in a crowded inbox.
So make sure you set up a renewal touchpoint schedule
Don’t be embarrassed to ask more than once, and don’t rely on email for all of the touchpoints (think of that crowded inbox again). Be prepared that it might take a number of attempts to get the result you’re looking for.
A good schedule to follow is:
First touchpoint – 2 months before club membership expires
Send them an email or letter reminding them that their membership is coming up for renewal soon. Remind them of all the great member benefits they receive, and how much their membership is valued. Consideroffering an incentive if they renew before a certain date – either a discount off their membership fees, money off in your café or vouchers.
Second touchpoint – a month before club membership expires
Send them a reminder of the date their membership comes to an end. If you haven’t offered an incentive before, now’s the time. If you have a members-only events, key matches or other areas of interest coming up in the new membership season, be sure to let them know about it.
Third touchpoint – as the membership is due to expire
Make a personal phone call to thank the member for their club membership, and ask if they’re happy to renew again this year. If not, why not? This can give you valuable insights into any issues that need addressing, and that might be affecting other members. If you see them in person at the club, even better.
If they still don’t renew, make sure you include them in your promotional campaigns.
Just because they haven’t renewed this year doesn’t mean they won’t again. Stay in touch, but don’t bombard them with information or sales messages. Make sure you keep them up-to-date with any improvements or changes happening at the club, and after 6-12 months, try them with an incentive again.
Clubs and organisations are always looking for ways to increase their membership. We’ll share a few ideas for boosting membership numbers in this post.
But before we do, we recommend you start at home first – with your existing members.
Begin by asking your current members what they think
What’s the best thing about your club? What could be better? We often hear Organisers say ‘our members don’t like that’, or ‘our members prefer this’, but have you ever actually asked them?
It’s easy to think that one person’s view is representative of the entire membership, when often it isn’t.
So start with a member survey and ask for your member’s opinions and ideas. As well as being a good way of retaining your existing members by making them feel important, it will flag up any problem areas and tell you which benefits are seen as most valuable (and therefore which you should prioritise in promotion).
If you make changes in light of the feedback, be sure to pass this back to the existing members. This is a positive message that you’re a responsive club that cares about your members’ opinions, and they’re much more likely to recommend you to friends as a result.
Use your current members as referrers
Your existing members are your best promotional tools – as long as they’re feeling happy and valued (see point one above).
Word-of-mouth is more valuable than anything, but you have to give them a reason to spread it.
So provide them with opportunities to talk you up.
If you haven’t set up a ‘Refer-a-Friend’ scheme, do so now. Think about what benefit or incentive would mean the most to both the referrer and the referee.
Is offering a discount off their first year of membership fees the strongest message? What benefit will you give the existing member? Ask them for their opinion in the member survey – this will tell you what they would respond best to.
Set up opportunities to personally interact with potential new members
The worst thing you can do is set up a refer-a-friend scheme and expect your existing members to proactively put it into practice. Don’t rely on email either – you need physical touch points.
Taster Days or Community Events are a good way to get new people through the door. Ask each of your members to invite along a friend, lay on some refreshments and set up some entertainment or activity that’s relevant to your club or organisation.
This doesn’t need to be about slick marketing, it’s about getting people to experience your friendly atmosphere for themselves. Your existing members will do the promotion naturally for you.
Do make sure you have a discount offer available at the time. You need to have an incentive on offer to encourage people to join THAT DAY, like a discount on their membership fees, or 14 months for the price of 12.
Another way to get people through the door is to:
Print extra promotional cards with your membership card run
The more cards you print, the cheaper the cost per card is.
So when you send your run of membership cards to print, ask about running-on some generic branded cards at the same time. This is a really cost effective marketing tool. You can use these in various ways:
Give one to each existing member with their new membership card to pass on to a friend or family member
Advertise a refer-a-friend incentive – e.g. 30% off membership fees for new joiners when you present this card
Print a discount card for members to pass on that offers a discount off a meal in your restaurant, or a free session at your club, e.g. a free round of golf, or afternoon using the spa facilities.
You could also use the extra cards to:
Promote an offer locally to your target audience
This relies on you having a strong understanding of where your target audience ‘live’. You could run a series of promotional cards offering a discount in your restaurant or bar for example, and post it out to local postcodes, or to a relevant database.
This will only work though if you know your demographic, and if the potential rewards are worth the cost. For example doing a mass mail out to local households with details of your tennis club will have high wastage, as only a small percentage of them will actually play tennis.
If you’re able to isolate a group of highly desirable potential members, then consider:
Pre-loading branded gift cards and posting those out. A card with ‘actual’ money on (say £5 for spending in the bar) is hard to ignore or throw away.
Set up an incentive programme with other local businesses Partnering with local businesses is a great way to provide your members with valuable benefits, and to encourage participation from different groups. For example, you could come to a deal with a neighbouring hotel or attraction, and make it reciprocal. They offer your members a discount when they visit; you do the same in return.
Market your club where your members are likely to be Seems a bit obvious this one, but there are still a lot of clubs that expect potential members to come to them. You need to do some research into who your ideal member is, and what their lifestyle is likely to be. By which we mean: what do they read, what social media groups do they follow, what are their interests? How can you reach them?
Go where your members are and you will be able to find new members/leads to mine.
Printing cards yourself on a double-sided card printer
If you’re printing double sided membership cards yourself, on a double-sided printer, the most common mistake is using a YMCKO ribbon, rather than a YMCKOK one.
A YMCKOK ribbon basically has a second black panel, and is designed specifically for use with double sided card printers. It allows you to print full colour on the front of the card and black on the reverse – making it ideal for clubs who print graphics on the front, but only sparse details on the back.
If you were to use a YMCKO ribbon instead, you would have to use all 5 panels on the front, then all 5 panels on the back. The result? You use up the ribbon twice as fast.
Just overprinting members’ details?
If you are just overprinting details like name and membership number onto pre-printed membership cards, you don’t need an all singing, all dancing ribbon. A single-colour ribbon could do the job just fine. You can get ribbons in a choice of colours, including silver and gold, and the cost is considerably cheaper per print than using an YMCKO ribbon.
Remember that ribbons have a shelf-life of around a year
Also think about the quantity of membership cards you need to produce and don’t overbuy on printer capacity. Each ribbon is capable of printing a certain number of cards, so if you only need a handful on an irregular basis, don’t shell out on a 1000 capacity ribbon when 200 would do. Especially as ribbons have a shelf-life – generally of about a year.
The larger the print ribbon the less the cost per card, so if you’re printing larger numbers, invest in a higher image one. This will also save on re-ordering costs such as delivery.
Still not sure which ribbon is right for your plastic card printer?
Give one of our friendly team a call – we’re happy to help guide you.
Bringing photo ID cards into your organisation can play a significant factor in ensuring the security of your building and the protection of your staff. So how do you go about setting it up?
First, think about what you want to achieve.
Do you want the photo ID cards to just identify the wearer, or do you want them to also act as access control cards (to gain entry to your building) or as smart cards (to pay for their lunch in the canteen for example)?
The answer to this will determine what kind of cards you need, and how much investment/time will be involved. If this is purely an exercise in badging, a plain PVC card will do – which you can choose to print yourself by investing in an ID card printer, or by using a card bureau service. You can buy cards that come with signature strips, or mag stripes that work with simpler loyalty systems for example.
If you want your photo ID cards to work with your existing access control system, speak to your installer about whether your existing cards can be printed on – or indeed whether you need to swop from a token or fob to a card. Most access control cards can be printed on with a specific type of ID card printer.
If you truly want a smart card, you’ll need a card that comes with a chip embedded – for example Mifare cards (think an Oyster card), or one that’s capable of taking on smart card capabilities. Again, these can be printed on – usually by a card bureau.
Then consider how you’ll manage the programme.
Who will be responsible for creating the photo ID cards, managing the records and dealing with the day-to-day administration? Usually this responsibility lies with HR, but if you don’t have your own HR department, give at least two people responsibility. That way, if one person is on holiday when a card is ‘forgotten’ or ‘stolen’, things won’t grind to a halt.
If your photo ID cards are doubling up as access control cards, put robust procedures in place for what happens if a card goes missing. Your access control software will allow you to block or delete a specific card – ensuring it doesn’t allow access to your building if it drops into the wrong hands.
If you’re bringing in a programme for security reasons, make sure you stick to it.
Don’t make it one rule for one, one rule for another. That means senior management need to be onboard too, otherwise it undermines the whole programme. If the primary purpose for bringing in photo ID cards is to improve security, everyone needs to wear a badge.
That means following procedures for ‘forgotten’ badges too. Give out temporary badges to members of staff who have left theirs at home that day.
Giving all staff a Photo ID card for security purposes is only effective if it’s going to be enforced. If you have someone permanently in Reception, give them the responsibility for checking everyone is wearing a photo ID card when they enter the building. Most importantly, they should stop anyone who is not.
In some industries where security is paramount, for example in healthcare or schools, staff should be given permission to challenge anyone not wearing a badge. This secondary level of checking should reveal anyone who made it past reception unnoticed.
Now you need to consider how you’ll create the cards.
There are two ways you can print your photo ID cards: by investing in a plastic card printer and doing it yourself, or by sending the data to a card bureau for them to print them for you.
Keeping your card printing in-house
There is a wide range of card printers available on the market. At the entry-level end, you can pick up the Evolis ‘plug & print’ Badgy for less than £600.
But if you’re printing a large quantity of cards, or you need them to do more clever things (like print volumes of double sided cards with smart card capabilities) then you could be looking at spending more like £1200. Then you’ll need to factor in the running costs, in terms of blank cards, ribbons and cleaning kits.
Keeping your card printing in-house is sensible if you have a regular need to print new photo ID cards, for example for temporary workers, or contractors.
Outsourcing to a card bureau
If you don’t want to shell-out for a card printer, look for a plastic card supplier with a track record in printing photo ID cards. They will take your data and print the cards for you.
But make sure you check their credibility. It isn’t particularly wise to choose a supplier in China you’ve never heard of – even if they are cheap – integrity of data won’t be guaranteed. Ask sensible questions to protect the identities of your employees – how will the supplier store your information? Are their staff CRB checked? We would expect to be asked this type of due diligence.
Some plastic card printers will also take away the hassle of administration from you. Many, like The Card Network, operate a card issuance service, where all photo ID cards are sent with a personalised letter directly to employees.
On a simple level, photo ID cards identify the wearer, and whether they have the right to access the building. They also make it much harder for the cards to be ‘adopted’ by anyone other than the rightful owner, which automatically tightens security. They also bring a sense of community to your workforce, a benefit that can’t be underestimated.
Plastic cards that can’t be ignored – even in the dark
You might not choose lurid fluorescent yellow for your next lot of business cards, but having a card that leaps out at you in the gloom is extremely handy in certain situations.
Bar tabs & cloakroom tags
Down you go to the Cellar bar for a much needed gin and tonic.
Then follows a few embarrassing moments scrabbling around trying to locate your bar tab card, eventually resolved by shining your phone camera light into your bag (queue building behind).
Repeat the same process upstairs when you’re trying to pick up your jacket from the cloakroom.
Fluorescent plastic cards are perfect for bars and clubs, making it easy for you – and the bar person – to find them.
We’ve recently printed some bar tab cards for the Club at the House of St Barnabas in London’s Soho because they wanted something that would stand out. Job done.
Theatres/cinemas and any sort of ‘after dark’ show
Same principle applies here really. As well as making great tickets (much easier to check seat numbers in the dark), they’re ideal for staff in these kinds of settings, making them easy to spot.
Fluorescent plastic cards are perfect for festivals that stretch into the evenings, for both security staff and festival-goers. They make it much easier to check tickets, identify people and locate the tickets in the first place. That, and a fluorescent audience is going to look kinda cool in the photos.
In the workplace
If you have staff working in lower light situations, fluorescent plastic cards are the ideal platform for health & safety details, helpline numbers or any other important information. Even if it’s not low light, they’ll certainly stand out.
On school trips
We’ve noticed that schools are using the cards on school outings; their high visibility making it easy to spot and count children.
If there’s a lot of ‘noise’ around you from other companies or brands, for example during Fresher’s Week when you’re trying to promote your offer above everyone else’s, fluorescent plastic cards will help you stand out. They’ll be there shouting ‘look at me! look at me!’ whilst everyone else’s cards are quietly whispering their wares.
Print your own, or have them printed for you
You can buy packs of fluorescent plastic cards for use in your own plastic card printer very inexpensively. We sell 100 Fotodek Fluorescent cards in green, yellow, orange or pink for just £24. These are the same thickness as a standard credit card. We would recommend you print mono on them – ideally black, to get the best results.
However if you’re printing larger quantities, or want to include a magnetic stripe or signature strip, you’re best having them professionally printed. If this is something you’re interested in, please contact our friendly team for a quote.
If you’re about to order your new club cards for the 2014-2015 season, take a minute to really consider what you want them to do before just reprinting last years.
It’s likely they could be generating more value and be performing more functions than they currently do.
What would you like your club cards to do?
By including a range of features, or changing the type of card you use, you can turn them into multi-purpose cards.
If you want to secure access to locker rooms or members-only areas for example, you can easily turn your club cards into ‘swipe to access’ cards.
Or you could turn them into ‘smart cards’, and allow members to use them to ‘swipe’ for their lunch, or access their tab at the bar.
Turning your club cards into loyalty cards encourages more spending from members. You’ll need to think carefully about how you’ll administer a loyalty programme, and how members will accrue and spend ‘points’. Do you want to offer money off purchases made in the club for example, or introduce other retailers to give your members more choice? As well as incorporating the necessary features to turn your club card into a loyalty card, we can also advise on the right loyalty system.
Think about your members. What do they want from a club?
Creating a successful membership programme is about:
– Showing them you value their membership fee
– Making them feel welcome when they’re with you
– Providing them with benefits and perks for being a member
– Giving them more reasons to spend time (and money) at the club
– Handing them reasons to recommend you to others.
Get the benefits right
Research your competition to see what they are offering, and better it.
Providing benefits to your members for their fee doesn’t have to cost you much – or indeed anything at all. It’s the feeling of exclusivity that you want to convey. Some perks might include:
– Free entry to club events
– Discounted tickets for family members
– First priority on club tickets
– Deals with neighbouring retailers, hotels & restaurants just for club members (make these reciprocal so there are no costs involved)
– Discounts on their own membership fee if they refer-a-friend.
Offering discounts on club food and drink is perceived as a tangible (and very attractive) benefit. You’ll need to weigh up the cost versus the benefit, but it’s likely that it will encourage members who may not normally use the facilities to give them a try. Providing vouchers for members to hand to friends and family is a win-win situation: they feel like they’re getting ‘something for nothing’ whereas you get new customers into the club.
Don’t forget that it’s the simple things that make people feel special. Welcoming a guest by name when they show a membership card is easy to do, and makes a great impression. Especially if they’re with friends.
We offer numbering as standard
All our club cards are full colour, double sided numbered cards. You can also choose from a range of extra features, such as signature panels or barcodes. Or why not include a QR code to unlock a members-only benefit on your website?
Refresh, refresh, refresh
Even if you don’t need any new features, or don’t want your club cards to do anything particularly clever, refreshing the design is always a good idea. Don’t use the same design again just because you don’t have someone who can create a new one for you.
Design and artwork is included in all of our quoted prices, so why not ask us to renew the look of the club cards for you.
Join an exclusive private membership club and as part of your hefty (often eye watering) membership fee you can expect VIP benefits like a 24/7 concierge service and invitations to exclusive parties.
Not to mention the prestige of being able to say you’re a member. Especially if joining is ‘by invitation only.’
Next comes the extremely satisfying act of whipping out your new member’s card to a cacophony of ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’ from your colleagues and friends.
And nothing will do that better than diamond encrusted membership cards.
Bling-up your membership cards
Black Astrum, a British company based in London, makes ‘signature’ diamond encrusted business cards and membership cards. Just one will set you back around £1000, depending on your requirements. A recent set produced by Black Astrum for a client in Brunei featured matt-black engraving surrounded by black diamonds.
One wonders just how many were produced.
In case you’re thinking about commissioning them any time soon, you should know that they only work by invitation. By which we mean they have to invite you. Which gives a whole new meaning to being exclusive enough to provide exclusivity in the first place. If you see what we mean.
Can’t quite stretch to diamonds?
How about settling for gold plating or silver? You can pick up an 18-carat gold plated membership card or business card from BCE online for around £200 – a snip of the price of a diamond one. The more you buy the cheaper it gets: 10 will set you back around £1000.
If you want a 22 carat solid one (i.e. not plated) you’ll be looking at around £2000.
It could be a little weighty in the pocket, and you may be terrified of losing it, but it’ll certainly be a talking point.
Cards for the top brass
You can still make quite an impact with brass membership cards, and they do look a bit like gold. You’re nearly into the realms of affordability too – 200 of those will set you back around £500 from Pure Metal Cards in the US.
If your budget won’t quite stretch to bling, you could of course just go with a metallic printed plastic card for your Gold and Silver VIP members. Have the cards die-cut into an unusual shape, or cut-out your logo, and you’ll still stand out.
And what’s more, you won’t go bankrupt if you have to replace one of them.
If you’re a spa or beauty salon, Mother’s Day is one of the biggest events in the calendar. Spa vouchers or printed gift cards are one of the most popular gifts for mums and grandmas on Mothering Sunday (especially for those who ‘have everything’).
Theme your printed gift cards for Mother’s Day
Rather than giving out a standard card, why not create special Mother’s Day printed gift cards instead? We know they’re well received by mum and the buyer alike – and they’ll be a great advertisement or reminder sitting in your spa window or reception desk.
Customised printed gift cards is easy to do with your own card printer
A plastic card printer is a worthwhile investment if you want to customise your own printed gift cards cards and print them in-house. They aren’t as expensive as they used to be, and for organisations that regularly have a need for plastic cards, the investment quickly pays for itself when compared to using a card bureau (i.e. a provider that prints the cards for you.)
Many spas have a membership programme or loyalty scheme, and so have an on-going need for membership cards or loyalty cards as well as printed gift cards – all of which can be printed using a card printer.
If you’re part of a Hotel or entertainment complex, the printer can also be used to print promotional messages on the back of hotel key cards, or even on staff ID badges.
The printer you choose will depend on the volume of cards you need, and frequency.
For most organisations looking for an entry-level printer that doesn’t need to do anything too clever, or act as a workhorse, the Evolis Badgy fits the bill.
The Badgy is a complete and quick card printer designed to ‘plug in and print’. It’s incredibly easy to use and comes with all the software you need to custom design your own cards. You’ll even find some Mother’s Day templates ready for you to personalise your printed gift cards here. The Badgy is on sale for £585.38, including one year’s warranty.
Mother’s Day falls on Sunday 30th March this year. Don’t forget.