Shooting well below par

Golfsmith sees 60% improvement in direct-mail response, cuts data-merging costs 50%

Golfsmith is one of the largest golf specialty retailers in the US, with 75 retail stores and a large Web and catalog following. The company chose SAS® Analytics to better understand its customers across all sales channels, segment customers and increase mailing response rates. The results have been dramatic. The company increased direct mail response rates 10 to 60 percent, decreased data merging costs by 50 percent and shaved 70 percent off the time it takes to prepare campaign results.

I can pretty much do anything with SAS. It's a great investment.

Mu Hu
Director, Customer Relationship Management

Golfsmith challenges

  • The company wanted to improve the response rate of marketing efforts, reduce costs and develop a stronger relationship with customers.
  • Prior to using SAS, Golfsmith hired a third party to manage customer databases. The process was slow. "The lack of timely results prevents us from applying the learning to quickly impact the next campaign,'' explains Mu Hu, Golfsmith's Director of Customer Relationship Management. For instance, it took two to three months to identify campaign conversion matches.

Why SAS®?

  • Hu says SAS is quick, fast, flexible and versatile. "It is a very powerful tool. I can pretty much do anything with SAS. It's a great investment.'' Hu adds. Senior managers, like Matt Corey, senior vice president of marketing, were a big proponent of the solution.

Mapping success

  • Campaign results are available within a month vs. two to three months using the third-party vendor. "Every month we learn from the past month so we can make quick decisions,'' Hu says. Campaign results are now available in near real time.
  • Data merging costs have dropped by 50 percent.
  • Response rates have increased (depending on campaign) 10 to 60 percent.

Developing a better relationship with the customer

  • With SAS, Golfsmith knows which customers are active or inactive, motivated by sales or by new offerings. It can develop targeted campaigns to meet each segment's needs.
  • It is identifying customer patterns in shopping online, through the catalogs and at stores, which helps target marketing campaigns.
  • The company learns from each campaign, applying the results to future campaigns.


Golfsmith wanted to segment customers to increase the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.


SAS® Analytics Pro


The company increased response rates 10 to 60 percent, decreased data merging costs by 50 percent and shaved 70 percent off the time it takes to prepare reports.

The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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