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Jumping on the World Cup marketing bandwagon

May 20, 2010

With the World Cup coming in June, those ads and promotions, exploiting the football theme, are starting to kick in, excuse the pun. As its fast becoming “the bandwagon”, I thought I would jump right on it to see if there are any tenuous links between football and email marketing that I can shamelessly claim!

1. Get the basics right

Football - No football team succeeds without getting the basics sorted. The simple, unspectacular stuff like pass - move - pass. And just getting the basics right is often enough to win.

Email - It's easy to get excited about the latest technologies or arty creative. But does your email work when images are blocked? Do you have sign-up opportunities on every page of your website? Have you covered all the basic elements that go to make up a solid email marketing campaign?

2. Use the power of creative flair

Football - Most of the more successful football teams in history were certainly built on solid, often uninspiring play. But it's the flair players and teams that really engage the crowd most of all. Efficiency brings respect and good results. Innovation and creativity inspires devotion and excitement.
But the two have to work together. The ideal team has a mix of solid dependability and creative flair. Together they make legends.

Email - If the basics are right, you'll have a good campaign with respectable open rates and bottom line results. Throw in a touch of flair, innovation and creativity, and you'll have a great campaign and people will look forward to your emails.

3. Don't be complacent

Football - you can’t rest on your laurels and have to keep on moving forward to stay at the top. If you don't, there's a hungrier team waiting to take your place. The top English teams imported foreign coaches and talent and began to focus more on such things as nutrition and sports psychology.

Email - there is constant competition for a place in that inbox and the minds of your customers and prospects. Everyone is trying to do a better job. Keep an eye on best practices and industry developments. Buy in the expertise where you see a knowledge gap. And keep on pushing. However good your metrics may be, they can always be better.

4. Listen to the numbers and react accordingly

Football - At halftime in the 2005 Champions League final, Liverpool went three goals down to Italy's AC Milan and completely overrun. Did they persevere with the same tactics? No. They swapped out a player or two, reorganized the midfield to address the weaknesses revealed in the first half. And went on to win.

Email - When things are going badly, all is not lost. But it is time to change tactics. Don't cling on to failed theories...look rationally at the metrics that tell you exactly how you're doing and dig out the root causes for a poor performance. Then change what you have to.

5. Small things matter

Football - When an AC Milan player was distracted as he bent down to do up his bootlaces in a Champions League Final; the ball went past him on its way to an opposing forward who shot and scored. Badly-tied laces were an important factor in losing a game that cost the club millions in lost prize money and merchandising revenue, not to mention knock-on effects on team morale and the AC Milan "brand."

Email - Before you send out your email, have you rechecked the links, looked for typos in the subject line, tested the personalization, made sure the right campaign boxes are ticked. One broken link is all it takes to lose the game.

6. You can win, whatever your size

Football - No team is unbeatable. No game is lost before it starts. Football is littered with tales of various Davids mastering embarrassed Goliaths.

Email - Every email gets equal space in the inbox. If you follow best practices and give your readers a rewarding, valuable and relevant experience, you'll win their attention and custom, whatever your size.

Go for it. And remember: use the full width of the pitch, give the man with the ball a passing option and never let the Brazilians get in behind your left back.

Oh and come on England by the way!

Posted by Rebecca McCormick

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