You’ve read our blog on Win-back Campaigns, which focus on helping you nurture your individual game buyers to increase their likelihood to return year-over-year. Your win-back efforts should start immediately after a fan has attended your event or game. Here we focus on one of the easiest and best ways to engage your customers following a home game.
Email is one of the most cost-effective channels to connect with customers – and a great fit for a post-game follow-up. Email can be delivered quickly and to the masses while still being personalized (we’re talking segmentation, not just addressing them by name in the message, which you can read more about here). It’s still one of the most effective ways to reach your fans.
Here are a few best practices on post-game follow-ups that we’ve found to be effective:
72 hour rule.
There is a timing element to the win-back and the best time to engage with your buyers is immediately after they have attended. Capitalize while the memories and experiences are fresh in your customers’ minds! Buyers are 30% more likely to purchase again if they are contacted within 72 hours of attending.
Segment your list to deliver relevant content to buyers who have just attended. Are they a first time attendee? Build customer affinity by welcoming them to the home team nation or family! Remember that customers’ expectations are rising. The best way to connect with them is to serve them with messaging that will resonate – what makes them different from other groups of fans? We strongly recommend NOT hitting your full customer list with the same message as it can increase unsubscribes and teach your fans to tune you out.
Leverage marketing automation to personalize at scale. Personalize the subject line to that specific segment. Personalize the greeting (Were they sitting in a specific section of the stadium that got tossed an awesome giveaway? Did they sit in the family section? Have they attended multiple games already this season? Did they buy any merch?). Use this chance to connect with your fans on a personal level.
Set a Goal.
Capitalizing on recency requires a concise message. Handpick no more than two goals for the post-game email and feature them prominently. These goals can, and generally should be, different per segment. Here are a few examples of post-game follow-up goals:
Gather feedback on the experience. We’re talking about a short 3-4 question survey, not a 20min deep dive. Remember, most fans will likely be looking at this on their mobile devices so make it quick – 1-2min max.
Get your customers signed up for your newsletter. For you, this will provide the opportunity to continue building engagement and affinity but you need to make this about your fans. You want them to have the inside scoop on what’s new with the team, you want them to have the first chance to sign up for a specific fan event, etc..
Get individual game buyers to purchase for a second game. Often, teams will think of this as a discount code for tickets, but what if you offered them the chance to do the first pitch at a specific game? What if the customers gained access to a voucher for 20% off at your team store with the purchase of a regularly priced item? There’s so many other ‘perks’ you can offer without discounting the value of your tickets. We recommend getting creative.
Ultimately, you want to continue to familiarize fans with your brand. Set a target and measure success. This will allow you to test and learn.
Use an epic photo from the game attended to spark the memory of their experience. Make the email visual to remind fans of the atmosphere or memorable moment. A single call-to-action is key so that the email doesn’t become too noisy. Your content should flow from the goal you have set.
Add a survey link to gather feedback. How did you enjoy the game? What was your favorite part of your experience? Where can we make improvements?
Present your fans with a special offer or experience that encourages them to buy tickets.
If you’re following up after every game or series, you have a great opportunity to learn and improve over time. Use A/B testing to understand what email attribute combinations result in the highest opens and click throughs. Try different subject lines to see what resonates more with your fan-base. Test time of delivery. Do your customers prefer to open emails in the morning or in the afternoon? Many email marketing systems have these tools built in – use them! Iterate and optimize to maximize engagement and conversion.
Seize the opportunity to capture data to better understand your customers.
This is an area where you’re never truly done – it’s an ongoing process. The more you communicate with your targeted segments over a longer period of time, the more you can track those outreaches to better understand the messaging that resonates with them the best. We recently wrote a blog on 3 things you can do to make your email marketing data better, which may be a good place to start. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to get started:
Are these fans in-market?
Did they attend a game with a specific promotion? Gathering this data will allow you to best serve and understand your passionate fanbase. Use collected data to personalize a future offer.
How many tickets did they buy?
Have they signed up for your newsletter?
The follow-up doesn’t always have to be about an additional sale. A follow-up email can be as simple as a thank you for coming and we’re excited to have you as part of the family! Focus on relationship building and forming connections with your fans. This is absolutely not the last time you can or should be contacting them so resist the urge to tell them everything. If you do, their likelihood to engage with even one of your CTAs drops – significantly. You also have no reason to contact them again because you won’t have anything new to share.
There is a real opportunity to effectively warm and nurture leads over time. Organizations that do this best will be able to move customers up the product ladder into package products by increasing customer engagement and affinity. But beware, this doesn’t happen overnight! Great nurturing is the result of patience, continuing to learn more about your fans every time they interact with you, and continuing to get more targeted with the messaging you deliver.
We see many single game buyers ramp up the number of games attended over 1, 2, 3 seasons before they’re an ideal fit for a package purchase. We also see teams experiencing immediate, positive results from not only sending post-game emails, but targeting those messages. So much so that conversion rates can increase by 2 – 6x by better segmenting and following the above best practices.
With those types of results, we encourage teams to not only add post-game emails to their organizational priorities, but to spend the time crafting messages that relate to different segments. Use email to capitalize on the amazing memories and experiences you have provided in-stadium and grow customer lifetime value!
Looking to start a conversation about how you can leverage your data to answer some of the above questions, reach out to us!