As a digital marketer, you should already be aware that the personalisation of email campaigns is a fantastic way to make your fans feel more valued. Emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened and marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns.
Tom Gorringe, Commercial Director for Bristol Rovers FC, a club currently in England’s Football League One, is an experienced email marketer, and knows he needs data to turn his email campaigns from ad-hoc messaging to personalised engagement.
“Data is vital. From a football perspective we need to know as much about our supporters as possible because ultimately we’re here to serve them. So, the better understanding we can get of them, their behaviours, the way that they interact with us, the better we can service those behaviours, and ultimately then commercialise them. Every email campaign that we send would be targeted to a specific group. We wouldn’t go to somebody who’s never been to a game before and say ‘here’s a season ticket’. It’s about getting them to their first game. We couldn’t do this without data”.
Gorringe used personalisation to great effect at his previous club, Brighton and Hove Albion. An end-of-season email campaign to the club’s ticket buyers included the distance the recipient travelled across a whole season, calculated from the address data they held. To this the email added information about the matches they attended, the goals scored or the goal scorers in those matches, resulting in multiple versions of the same campaign; one for every user with a different postcode and attendance record.
“The most important element of the email was that it was specifically non-commercial. It contained no mention of any sort of sales messages. This was to ensure that it was authentic and received in the manner in which it was sent. However, what we found was that following the receipt there was an increase in season ticket sales, which in the first instance amounted to £30,000 within 48 hours from those that received the email. This we believe is due to the reminder of why supporters do what they do and the development of the feeling of loyalty and thanks given for their efforts”.
At the Memorial Stadium, Bristol Rovers’ home ground, Gorringe has a ‘green field’ and intends to take the time necessary to get the foundations in place to use email effectively.
“Because we haven’t done anything for so long, we effectively need to start getting a lot of these supporters and making sure we’re communicating with them from day one and getting a real understanding of what their preferences are, and that we’re only communicating with them in the way that they want us to. But it is a bit of a blank canvas so again, it’s a nice place to be in”.
The club is still in the early stages of pulling its data streams together. By mid 2018, Gorringe expects to have the email system set up in order to send tailored messages to the Rovers’ fans.
“I think the most important thing is, we start with a nice welcome email that explains the changes and what we’re looking to do. We need to make sure that everyone’s details are up to date and then from the start of next season, once we’ve done a bit of a survey and got some more insight on the supporter base, made sure all of our data’s clean and that we’re compliant, we can really start to push this strategy. We’ll particularly aim to utilise our email channels to bring it to life”.
This excerpt is an exclusive preview from our upcoming publication ‘Winning With Data: CRM and Analytics for the Sports Industry’.
If you would like to discuss how Winners could help you utilise data to enhance your email campaigns, please get in touch.