THE BLOG
01/28/2015 04:47 pm ET Updated Mar 30, 2015

It's Game on for Marketers: Touchdown to Email Marketing Greatness

With the entire country talking about Super Bowl XLIX and placing bets on either the New England Patriots or Seattle Seahawks, it's hard not to have football on your mind. Amidst all the hype, there are a few lessons to be learned from the big game for even the most seasoned email marketer.

The Super Bowl attracts hundreds of millions of viewers each and every year, providing a huge opportunity for brand awareness and placing a significant amount of pressure on the championship teams to put on a show. Likewise, when executing an email campaign, marketers have a significant opportunity to connect with their list of contacts by implementing the right strategies and appealing to their preferences. And, it comes as no surprise that marketers may need to call a timeout or two and re-strategize with varying subject lines or calls-to-action in order to launch that game winning play.

In efforts to help marketers channel their inner Patriots spirit, Campaigner has pulled together a quick email marketing playbook with five key strategies to achieve game-day success:

  1. Pre-Game Film Study: On top of intense practices and two-a-days, it's safe to say that both the Patriots and the Seahawks are spending hours on film study, getting to know their opponents in and out. Marketers should similarly conduct a pre-game film study to get to know their contacts. This way, marketers have the ability to truly customize their emails and are more likely to attract interest and engagement. Consider studying past purchase histories and previous interactions to send highly personalized emails, which can further result in brand engagement and customer loyalty. The more information you know about your opponent or customer, the more successful your game-day strategy will be. So get out there and study, study, study!
  2. Invest in Your Email Marketing Quarterback -- The Subject Line: This Super Bowl, all eyes are on Tom Brady and Russell Wilson to lead their teams to victory--after all, the quarterback is key to game-day success. While these QBs are prepping for their big game, marketers should invest equal attention to their own secret sauce: the subject line. In any email marketing campaign, the subject line is top priority as it drives the most interactions and determines whether or not users will open the message. Take the time this season to get creative with subject lines and make a splash. Use A/B split testing to find a subject that draws the most interaction and make that one the starting QB.
  3. Avoid Foul Plays: Though crazy or shocking subject lines might be the most effective for grabbing customer attention, they might not always be worth the foul play. If the Seahawks gained 10 yards but were called for holding, the play results in no beneficial outcome. Similarly, a surprising subject may very well result in yards gained through high open rates, but with no resulting click-throughs, it's not worth the yellow flag. Don't be afraid to take a timeout, go back to the reporting and analyze user interaction. If it's not positive, it's time to re-strategize and try a different play.
  4. The Best Offense is a Good Defense: When playing in the email marketing Super Bowl, the best offensive strategy is to have a solid defense. This means actively pruning out inactive customers and altering frequency accordingly. The Patriots wouldn't keep a player in the game if they kept throwing incomplete passes, so marketers shouldn't keep mailing to contacts who don't interact with their emails. It's critical to maintain lists by identifying inactive users and mailing to them less frequently, while also pinpointing the star players and giving them some first-string attention.
  5. Eyes on the Customer Prize: With over 100 million people watching the Super Bowl every year, it's no surprise that brands take advantage of the massive audience through marketing and advertising stunts such as the always-anticipated Super Bowl commercials. For email marketers, transactional emails provide the same type of marketing opportunity: guaranteed user views and opens because customers are actively awaiting the delivery of these emails. So take advantage! It's a no-brainer for brands to leverage the Super Bowl audience, and it should be a no-brainer for marketers to leverage transactional email. Integrate marketing campaigns with transactional emails to guarantee brand visibility and influence repeat buyers.

With a playbook equipped with these five strategies, marketers will be well prepped for any game-day blitz or deflated footballs that might come their way. By taking advantage of timeouts to re-strategize, investing in a star quarterback subject line and establishing a solid defensive distribution list, any marketer will have what it takes to gain enough yards for a winning campaign.