In our blog we share information on social media, SEO, web analytics and more to help grow your business online!

Your Tennis Program & 5 Surprising Reasons Why Clients Are Not Attending It

tennis program low attendanceYou manage a tennis club with, let’s say a hundred members, you have various programs scheduled during the season, but only a handful of people seem to be joining those. Or maybe you have noticed that your program attendance is continuously dropping but you have no idea why. 

Why do you think that is? 

In this blog post we will discuss a few reasons and a few ways to improve your bottom line. 

Reason # 1: Your marketing is targeting the wrong audience 

Most important step to promoting your tennis program 

If you would like to engage your tennis members and get better attendance, you must find ways to promote your tennis programs. There are a myriad of options, but not all would work for your particular business as different tennis clubs may have different types of demographics (aka. target audiences).

For example, a club may have mostly an adult crowd, who may be moms, dads, or people who no longer have young children. Or, your demographic may involve families with children only, that recently moved to the area because of the great schools, or college students attending a local university.  

If you do not know what your tennis club’s demographic looks like, your marketing efforts may become an expensive lost cause. 

Download eBook

Tennis Club Marketing 101

Marketing Ideas for Tennis Club Owners, Managers, and Coaches.

Reason # 2: You don't have up-to-date contact information 

So you have completed the first step - getting to know your tennis clients. Once you know who you are trying to promote your tennis program to, you will need to figure out a way to reach that audience. 

But where do you start? 

Many tennis clubs have a directory, a list of emails, addresses, and phone numbers for all their members. Any of the board members of your club should be able to provide some of that information to you. If that is not available, you must start building a list of least one email address per family, phone number, or a mailing address. 

Email is probably the most utilized (and successful) way of doing marketing and communicating with customers. However, if you do not have an email list for your tennis club members, then emailing people might not be the best approach to promoting your tennis program, at least in the beginning.  

Direct mail and cold calls 

Our first step is to design and print visually appealing flyers, which you will send via mail (direct mail marketing) to all your addresses in the tennis members directory. Some of those flyers you will also distribute and display around your club. As usual, hiring a professional graphic designer is the best option. If you do not have one available at your club, you have a couple of options: 

Whichever approach you choose, make sure your tennis program flyers or brochures are well-designed so they quickly catch the eye of your potential clients. 

Once you have your print advertising ready, it is time to mail it and display it in all relevant locations around your club. Scheduling your direct mail is extremely important, as it takes time for mail to reach your clients (and they may not open it right away), so be sure to do this well before the start of your season. Once those clients respond to your direct mail advertising and contact you, be sure to collect email addresses, so you can start building an email list.   

In addition to mailing your flyers, you can also place them at visible locations at your facility - community board, front desk, court-side. 

The next step would be to give everyone in your tennis club directory a call to introduce yourself (if you are new to the club) and make them aware of your upcoming tennis program and tennis events. This can be time-consuming, so the best approach to being efficient is to put together a script (what to say when you call, including a script if you need to leave a voicemail). You may also want to take notes of your conversation once you get people on the call. Collecting emails should be one of your call priorities. Since almost everyone uses email these days, having an email list is crucial. 

If some of your contacts are not willing to share an email address with you, ask them politely what is their preferred way of receiving information regarding the club’s tennis programs in the future and make a note of that. If you have many clients without email addresses, you may want to place them into a separate list of (people to call). While you have them on the phone, be sure to use the opportunity to verify the rest of their contact information in the directory is still up-to-date. This is so you do not end up wasting valuable resources (e.g. spending money on direct mail to addresses that are no longer valid, or to people who no longer live at those).


If you have an email list that is complete and up to date, it is time to make the best use of that valuable resource.  

Start by selecting an email platform - e.g. MailChimp, Constant Contact, MailerLite, or Hubspot (affiliate link). Then, put together an email template with your tennis club name, logo, and brand colors. This would be the email template to use for all email marketing communication. 

Once you have your email template ready, you can enter the information you would like to transmit to your clients (e.g. programs’ dates, brief description, information on how to sign up).   

Reason # 3: You do not do any marketing 

Many tennis professionals at small clubs and most entry-level tennis coaches do not do any marketing. They rely on word of mouth only, and as a result, they get very low attendance for most of their tennis programs, tennis lessons and tennis camps.

Marketing is a continuous effort, you must keep investing time and/or money into it in order to keep bringing new clients to your lessons. If your clients are not receiving any regular communication from you, they are forgetting you and they are not getting the message you want to transmit. AND if they're forgetting you, then there is certainly someone else in your area who is keeping in touch who they will remember. If your clients are remembering another competitive business that is where they will go and spend their time and money at. 

An email sent once a week is not too much. Posting on social media once a day is also not too much. You want to be there in front of their eyes without being annoying.  

Reason # 4: Tennis lessons schedule does not work 

Part of the process of getting to know your audience involves understanding their schedule. If most people at your club work in the office during the weekdays, then your adult group lesson at 10:30 am would likely not be well-attended. If the local school district has changed the hours students are meant to be attending, you should be aware of that information when scheduling your junior lessons. 

Finding out the demand for certain time slots should be part of your conversations with your tennis clients (“would a group lesson at 9:00 am on weekdays be a good time for you or are weekends easier”) and watch out for any important scheduling updates. 

Reason # 5: Your teaching methods need some updates  

Now, we are not here to give coaches advice on how to be a better teacher on the court. All tennis professionals know that being a good coach requires continuous learning and adjusting as no two students are the same (also tennis as a sport, the equipment, and technology used evolve all the time).  

If people are dropping out after a lesson or two or if there is a high turnover every session, it is probably a good idea to find out why people are not sticking around long-term. Are your tennis customers not having fun, do not feel like they are improving, are they finding lessons too expensive (in other words, they do not find enough value in them), or are they becoming “burned out”? You would not know how to correct the issue if you do not know what the issue is. 

Surveys or suggestion boxes might be a good way to get some valuable customer feedback. Giving them a call is a much faster way of receiving feedback (and also that way you get a chance to resolve any possible issues on the spot). This is a good approach, as long as you are willing to receive criticism in a professional manner, without getting defensive.


In this blog post, we identified 5 possible reasons why your tennis program might be getting a low attendance. Participation in sport activities is frequently motivated by enjoyment and development and maintenance of social support networks, so be sure to keep that in mind when you design your marketing activities.

If you have any questions or need help with your tennis business marketing, please do not hesitate to contact Resourcely®.