In the increasingly digital world of advertising, where newspapers and radio ads are being left behind, audiences are receiving more messaging than ever before. Email marketing is one of the few direct ways to reach your fans but you also risk becoming part of the noise if not executed well. Email marketing is a powerful tool to directly engage your fans and drive conversion – as evidenced by a 2X higher ROI than cold calling, networking or trade shows (Marketing Sherpa ). Moreover, consumers purchase in higher volumes via email marketing than any other channel.
As we noted in our previous blog, without appropriate segmentation and personalization, your fans can become deaf to your messaging. It’s imperative that the messages your fans see come through their inboxes are relevant and hit on their interests. The trick is making sure your fans feel they are getting something of value when you do an outreach. Untargeted outreaches are filtered out at best and at worst, lead to customers opting out. Think of Amazon as a great example of personalization done well. Amazon’s product recommendations are tailor made for you – but it’s done at scale. We talk about some ways to do that in our personalization at scale blog and ways our customer data platform can help.
To get to personalized emails delivered at a good cadence, you need good data that you can use to effectively understand fan journeys and what resonates with your fans at different stages of that journey. We see terabytes of email data and notice email marketing is missing a few key ingredients to reach its potential as a rich data source for valuable fan engagement insights. If you’re going to spend the time segmenting, personalizing, and sending targeted outreaches to your fans, it’s worth it to make sure the data you’re collecting helps you gain a better understanding of them.
Figuring out what clients need or value depends on a virtuous feedback loop of targeting effectively based on data AND collecting feedback from your outreaches to record what they are interested in.
To enhance that feedback loop here are three things you can do to improve the data you collect from your marketing automation systems:
1. Keep the outreach subject line and content focused – don’t mix content type in emails, such as post game emails with charity event messages. Limit your calls to action (CTA) in each email. We like keeping it hyper targeted at 1 or 2. If an email has four different CTAs and three kinds of content it’s hard to understand the significance of an open other than ‘there was something generally the customer was engaging with’, and an opportunity for insight is lost
We’ve seen as many as a dozen different calls to action in an email – BUY SINGLES! BUY PACKAGES! CONTACT US FOR SEASON TICKETS! Avoid this at all costs. Not only will the data capture be limited as we’ve stated above but you’re at a high risk to disengage fans with irrelevant messages. Remember, if customers don’t feel like they’re getting value, they’re more likely to stop opening and unsubscribe – a kill shot for any marketing team.
2. Add labels, hidden tags or content keywords, that capture the purpose of the outreach. For example, if you’re sending an email about a specific promotion marketing, label it as such. If it’s a fan survey outreach, label is as such. Advanced labeling can even start to collect some interest data such as favorite moments, players, creative/ content type, experiences or merchandise.
3. Use digital behavioral tracking. Use tracking tools like those from Google Analytics to add cookies or UTM codes to your emails to help you understand what customers are doing before, during and after they read your email. Collecting this data can help complement your email outreach data with additional behavioural and interest data – to gain clarity into what motivates your fans.
Bonus next step: Ask for more information. Don’t be afraid to ask your email subscribers for more information about themselves, in return for something of value. An entry into a contest, a VIP experience giveaway, a discount at your team store, etc. are all easy ways to incentivize fans to provide more information about themselves. Just make sure that you actually use this new found information to provide them with more personalized service.
Improving these three areas will help your analytics software build a more holistic profile on your fans, improving insights and fan clustering (we’re biased but we really like our customer data platform). Gaining clarity into what an email is for and what the main CTA can help you gain insights into what specific fans are interested in and what they respond to. This in turn helps personalizing and ultimately nurturing fans to conversion and higher engagement.
Ready to find out more about how we can help you? Contact us today!