How to get your email marketing on the ball for the World Cup

World Cup by alobos life FlickrTopical events with widespread appeal present a fantastic ‘hook’ to tap into customer enthusiasm and reflect their excitement in your messages. World Cup fever is building and, chances are, your competitors will already be thinking of ways to incorporate it into their commerce marketing strategy.

Here are some ways you can build stronger, smarter email and SMS campaigns that hit the back of the net with consumers this summer.

Be clever with your content
It’s very easy to throw-in a World Cup pun or two and think you’ve written a topical email, but the brands that create most traction will develop the theme in a deeper and more engaging way. Use it as an excuse to get the creative juices flowing – promote international product ranges when their home country’s team are playing or build football-style tactics into copy, for example.

Time it wisely
When you deliver the message is as crucial as its content. For UK audiences, most matches will kick off mid to late evening, which provides a useful segmentation opportunity for brands. You could even run powerful short-burst campaigns such as 90-minute discounts that begin at the final whistle.

Respond to developments
There will be lots of marketing activity at the start of the tournament, but there’s even greater opportunity to resonate with consumers as it progresses. Try to connect your content with match results – perhaps offer discounts to cheer up a particular market if their team loses or send a celebratory promotional code when they triumph.

SMS marketing is a powerful responsive tool, especially for creative commerce marketers who can cleverly harness its immediacy and brevity. From new product alerts to time-sensitive special offers and viral messages, the possibilities are numerous and can be easily created as the tournament unfolds.

Interact with consumers
Whether they know much about it or not, most people have an opinion on football. Use this enthusiasm to encourage two-way conversations with consumers, such as asking them to predict scores or running a competition to guess which teams will reach the final. Consumers crave rewards, regardless of the prize, and you’ll be surprised how much interaction a giveaway can generate.

As with responsive messages, SMS comes into its own, and text-to-win competitions linked to World Cup activity can be an effective method for building your opt-in databases as well as strengthening existing customer relationships.

Remember the football haters
Although even occasional football followers get behind their national team for the World Cup, many consumers actively avoid watching matches. This presents a prime opportunity to appeal to their frustrations; encourage them to enjoy a peaceful shopping experience while fans of the ‘beautiful game’ are glued to the television set.

Whatever you’re doing, do it now
Clever campaigns are rarely put together at the last minute. If you’re thinking of developing marketing activity around the World Cup, put a strategy and messaging in place now. Its mass appeal offers lucrative consumer engagement potential, but the time frame is limited – in a few weeks’ time, the tournament will be over for another four years.

Kestrel Lemen is a marketing strategist at Bronto Software Europe