Famous Last Words: Golf? No Thanks!
When I was a kid, I tried golf—once. I found my eyesight was so lousy—even with glasses—that every ball was a lost ball, even those that went straight down the fairway (which was almost never). I have not picked up a golf club since.
In my Friday Philadelphia Inquirer, I received a massive lead-generation piece—a 16-page, 91⁄4˝ x 11˝ (one spread opened up to 361⁄2˝ across) color brochure flogging membership in The Cliffs golfing communities of South Carolina, and especially the new Tiger Woods-designed golf course at High Carolina.
This piece—which must have cost 50 cents with printing and insertion—came through my door mail slot in my Inquirer. The marketers had the good sense not to put it in newsstand copies. It is exquisite—loaded with glorious photos and lots of gushing copy.
The product: Membership that allows me access to all eight of the Cliffs’ facilities—golf courses, marinas, clubhouses, restaurants, equestrian center, hiking trails, wellness centers and much more. “Homesites from the $300,000s to more than $3 million; Custom homes from the $700,000s to more than $5 million,” the piece coos.
The offer: Either phone or fill out a form to indicate my interest in one or more of seven different venues, and send in the courtesy reply card (meaning I foot the postage).
The marketers are hoping to find people who:
1. Are ready to move to the boonies of South Carolina;
2. Play golf; and
3. Can afford a minimum of $700,000 plus annual membership dues.
It was a hugely expensive fiasco sent to anybody who subscribed to the Inquirer—a slew of middle-income, non-golfing workers tied to urban jobs like my wife, Peggy, and me. My guess: Maybe 10 out of 100 readers might fit the criteria. At 50 cents a pop, that’s $500/M. However, if only 10 percent of readers fit the profile, the real cost is $5,000/M or $5 apiece.