Five Things Fantasy Football Can Teach You about Email Marketing
By Julia Peavy
It’s officially fall and that means Fantasy Football is in full swing for many (including me) across the United States. I’ve been playing Fantasy Football for almost as long as I have been involved in Email Marketing. So, what can my endless hours playing the waiver wire and analyzing weekly match-ups teach me about Email Marketing?
1) Be willing to adjust. Just because one player got you 25 points one week, that same player might have a bye week or end up missing a game because of injury. While it can be hard to replace a hot player, you have to look at the big picture and adjust your strategy as needed to keep the team performing optimally. Sending the same campaign and the same subject line week after week might work for a period of time, but don’t get too confident in your “go-to campaign.” Look at all your metrics (including complaints and unsubscribes in addition to clicks and conversions) to make sure you aren’t missing an opportunity to adjust and generate even more positive engagement with your campaigns. This also applies to triggered campaigns. While the benefit of these campaigns is “set it and forget,” reviewing these campaigns (and adjusting as necessary) can ensure these successful campaigns continue to generate positive outcomes.
2) Understand the competition. When it comes to determining which Fantasy Football players to start, it is crucial you understand the defense they are facing. If the team has a great pass defense, this could mean sitting your star wide receiver for a week. The inbox is also a competitive place. In order to stand out, you need to understand your subscribers, what else is competing for their attention, and ensure your offers and emails drive them to action. If you don’t know what drives your subscribers to action (with your campaign or others), you’re missing a huge opportunity to leverage all the data and insights email provides to inform other areas of your marketing program.
3) Timing matters. If you forget to play the waiver wire before the deadline, your team suffers. The same goes for your campaigns – they suffer if they are sent at the wrong time. If you don’t test optimal sending times and days, you’re leaving revenue on the table. Determining when to send your campaigns is only becoming more important as subscribers are reading their emails on the go and on multiple devices. To optimize sending times, review past metrics, continually test, and see what is working for your competition and then take these insights and make the appropriate adjustments.
4) Don’t play anyone on the injured-reserve list. A player on the injured reserve list won’t score any points for your fantasy team. The same goes for inactive email addresses on your list. If you keep mailing inactive email addresses, this not only costs you money, it can hurt your sender reputation. Individuals who aren’t engaging with your email program can hurt your ability to be delivered to the inbox as mailbox providers are looking more and more at subscriber engagement as a factor of deliverability. In addition, subscribers that aren’t engaged with your program are more likely to register complaints with mailbox providers, which will further hinder your email deliverability. Reduced frequency and re-activation campaigns are two ways to manage your inactive email addresses before making the difficult decision to remove them from your file completely.
5) It’s a team sport. While one player can push you over the winning edge, you need all the players on your team to step up week after week. The same goes for the email marketing program. Email works great on its own, but when combined with mobile, social, and direct marketing, it becomes even more powerful. As subscribers expect to be reached at the right time on the right device, it is even more important that email becomes integrated into the entire marketing ecosystem to ensure its being used to its potential and contributes to the marketing team.
Do you have any insights from your Fantasy Football experience that can be applied to Email Marketing? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Julia Peavy is director, response consulting for email intelligence firm Return Path.