March Madness: 5 Tips to Make an Email Marketing Slam Dunk
March Madness is upon us, which means we'll soon be surrounded by the annual rush of bracket competitions at work and outside the office. Millions of eyes will be on the young basketball stars and college programs as each attempts to make their mark. March Madness isn't just a college fan favorite, however. There are also key takeaways and tactics that email marketers can leverage to gain a competitive advantage with their campaigns.
With basketball, every move presents an opportunity to win or lose. Similarly, every email campaign presents an opportunity for marketers to get noticed by prospective customers and generate leads, or to stay off the court and remain in the shadows.
In an effort to help email marketers get off the bench and into the spotlight, I've created a quick email marketing playbook that includes five crunch-time moves to help you make it to the next round:
1. Jump into two-a-days: When preparing for an intense tournament, the best teams are going to double down on practices to perfect their winning strategies. Competition is fierce among the best NCAA teams, and players need to be sharp to beat their opponents. Similarly, email marketers should capitalize on pre-game preparation to determine which campaigns will get them optimum results. Use A/B split testing to evaluate graphics, pricing and calls to action, and streamline your offense so each email can produce revenue for your business.
2. Athletes' study tool: Every member of a team that makes it to the tournament spends hours in the film room studying their plays and their opponent's plays. Marketers should hold their own film study sessions, analyzing previous customer behavior to guarantee deep knowledge of their contacts. Personalizing messages with purchase histories and other metrics is a valuable way to secure brand engagement and safeguard customer loyalty. It's about knowing the players well enough to gain a step or two and shoot the game-winning basket.
3. Dunk into the inbox with triggered emails: No matter how much time has been spent on game-day preparation, there's always the possibility for unexpected turnovers. During these types of plays, teams need to react quickly and restrategize on the fly. Luckily, marketers have a secret advantage in this situation: triggered emails. By setting up automated drip campaigns, marketers can constantly get their brand out in front of their audience by using triggered emails based on certain user actions to follow any expected or unexpected play. Automated triggers allow marketers to send highly relevant emails without having to take any timeout.
4. Work with your best players: Heading into March Madness, the focus will be on the star players. These players are facing a crucial point in their collegiate athletic career, especially those with aspirations on joining the NBA. You can bet that every coach has and will continue to work tirelessly to make their stars shine throughout the tournament, and marketers should follow suit. In an email marketing campaign, the subject line is the star player and should be a top priority. It drives the most interactions and determines whether users will open the message. Therefore, take time to get creative and use A/B split testing to find a subject line that draws the most interaction and engagement from your crowd.
5. Don't miss out on the trophy: March Madness has recently reached record viewership and shows no signs of slowing down — almost 11 million people watch each game and over 23 million tune in for the championship. Not surprisingly, brands take advantage of this massive audience and use the opportunity to make advertising and marketing plays. For email marketers, transactional emails provide the same type of opportunity: customers are actively awaiting the delivery of these emails, guaranteeing user views and opens. Don't hesitate to use these to your advantage! Integrate marketing campaigns with transactional emails to boost brand visibility and influence repeat buyers.
With these key strategies in their playbooks, marketers will be well equipped to make it to the Final Four with their email campaigns. By laying the groundwork through solid preparation, having the ability to quickly pivot, and knowing when — and how — to take advantage of a focused audience, marketers can hustle down the court looking at nothing but net.
Seamas Egan is the manager of revenue operations at Campaigner, an email marketing service.
Related story: How's Your March Madness Marketing Game?