One of my favourite anecdotes I’ve heard from the many smart people in my network of business contacts is the story Russell Scibetti, President of KORE Planning & Insights, tells to demonstrate the power of email marketing.
“People like to make the comment that “email marketing is dead”, which I vehemently disagree with. One of the main premises of that belief is that email has been overtaken by social media as a primary communication channel to fans and customers, and while we shouldn’t underestimate the impact of social media, different channels are better at different things.
One area where email marketing still has a clear advantage is in direct consumer monetisation, so whenever this topic comes up in a group setting, there’s a simple exercise I love to run. First, I ask everyone in the room to raise their hands if, in the last 12 months, they’ve purchased an item directly from clicking a link on Twitter or Facebook, and very few hands are raised. Then I ask the group to raise their hands if, in the last 12 months, they’ve purchased an item directly from clicking a link in an email, and nearly every hand pops up. This creates a clear demonstration of email marketing and direct marketing in general maintains its effectiveness in generating sales.”
This leads me to the subject of this post – how we use CRM and data to sell more merchandise.
One such method is to use data to select the most effective channel and create a target audience and to back up Russell’s anecdote above, we have a great case study from the Finland Football Association (the FAF).
Despite not previously having needed them, the FAF had been collecting email addresses from all registered participants – players, referees, coaches and volunteers for several years. These records were then integrated into their email-marketing database, along with match ticketing and online store sales data. What this showed was a fantastic overview of how their registered players were engaging with them, and what kinds of relationships were being fostered. This data helped the FAF understand if its players both played and watched matches, whether they spent money while following football, and how much they were spending. In turn, this enabled them to begin sending out targeted and personalised emails.
The first three email campaigns were issued in November and December 2014. Rolling them out so close to Christmas and the fact they had never before directly addressed their fans, helped the FAF achieve 400% of their annual sales targets for the online store. In just four weeks.
This incredible start to data-driven marketing gave the FAF the momentum they needed to push on with their efforts and today, they are one of the most advanced email marketers among rights owners, sending out multiple versions of their campaigns to a segmented audience using dynamic and personalised content.
Another example is Liverpool Football Club, no stranger to digital remarketing to collapse the marketing funnel. With its merchandise operation generating an eight-figure turnover, it’s easy to understand why the club would apply a data-driven practice to its online store. Their remarketing campaigns incorporate website engagement driven by user data, supplemented by email and display retargeting, using customised dynamic messaging. In a case study published by Ve, automated abandoned shopping cart messaging was used to encourage fans to complete their online store purchases and achieved a click-to-conversion rate of 55.8%. That is, 55.8% of all email recipients who clicked on the message to continue their transaction went on to do so.
You can read more about the use of data to sell merchandise – and indeed other revenue objectives – in Winning with Data: CRM and Analytics for the Business of Sports. If you’re interested in buying a copy of our book, please contact us for a 30% discount code.