8+ Great Sports Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Team’s Email List
In today’s ever-changing climate of online marketing, communication is getting trickier. Businesses are adjusting how they connect with their fans because it’s no longer guaranteed their fans will see every post.
(Re)Enter email marketing.
Using an email list to connect with your fans is one of the best sports marketing strategies to share content with your whole community. With today’s new technology, it’s even possible to confirm they both received and opened it.
Today, I’m going to share some of the best sports marketing ways to grow your email list as well as how you can maintain it while maximizing your fan base and packing those stands.
Why You Need An Email List
Email lists are a great way to stay on top of how you’re communicating with your fans.
With an email list, you can:
- Keep fans in the loop and get messages out to multiple people quickly
- Send exclusive content and news as well as reward loyal fans
- Personalize content for sets of subscribers to cater to individual fans
For details, check out 5 Reasons Your Sports Team Needs an Email List.
The Best Sports Marketing Ideas
There are several ways you can encourage your sports team’s fans to sign up for a newsletter and they’re detailed below.
Paper and Pen
Sometimes the old-fashioned way works the most effectively. Put together a sheet explaining what the list is for, what your subscribers will be receiving and insert an empty lined page for fans to fill in names and emails. Then, pass it around at the next match.
If fans are browsing your website to get more details, make it easy for them to get them. Not only should the signup link or entry box be visible on the homepage, but it shouldn’t ask for more than a few inputs. People are far more likely to say yes if all they have to give is their first name and email.
The Indianapolis Colts take this a step further by letting you select what you’re interested in receiving.
Use Social Media
Social media and the internet have become huge parts of the sports industry. This is especially true for those who aren’t able to attend a game or watch online. Using well-placed social media links makes it easy for fans to connect with you and each other.
Here are some social media-centric sports email marketing ideas:
- Include links in emails so your current subscriber list can share them with fellow fans and have an option to sign up directly from the email.
- Notify people on social media that your list exists. This is a great option for larger teams with a broader fanbase where pen and paper isn’t possible.
- Make sure to have a signup form directly on your Facebook page for fans who don’t want to leave the site.
Also, make sure you have accounts on all the various social media platforms to reach those unicorns who may only be on one. You can offer game recaps on YouTube and statistical analysis of the game on Twitter.
For details, check out How to Get Started with Content Marketing for Sports Teams and How to Use Twitter to Market and Promote Your Sports Team.
Meet Your Fans Where They Are Now
Once upon a time, this may have meant going to the local diner, but things have gone virtual now. Do a little digging and research where your fans are hanging out online.
It’s possible you’ll discover there are Facebook groups, forums and similar places where you can strike up natural conversations and naturally mention your email list.
For example, official team Facebook pages are a great place to start.
Here are other ways you can meet your fans where they are now:
- Put yourself in their shoes and think about where your fans may hang out. Then, think about what would convince them to sign up. Are they passionate about community and inclusion or free things? Tailor a plan that fits.
- Use Facebook’s Audience Insights Page to learn more about the demographics of your audience and who likes your page on Facebook. This will help you cater to them with better content and help you figure out what they’ll respond to best.
- Approach local businesses that would be appropriate and fitting for sponsorship of the team or even ask if it’s okay to put up a poster with the details. You can create some catchy designs for free using Canva, for example, to catch people’s eyes with bright graphics and inviting imagery.
Above all, even with the best sports marketing, you need to provide real value to your fans. Otherwise, they may not sign up or read emails you send.
Have key leaders of the organization strike up a conversation during or after matches to find out what fans want to see.
Use an Email Opt-In Plugin
We previously covered a few of the top email marketing services, but how do you get folks on that list? Here are a few of the best sports marketing opt-in plugins that you can try out and use on your website to ramp up and optimize your signups.
If you already use MailChimp for your email list provider, this is a straightforward way to extend it over to WordPress.
It’s basic in terms of design and customization, but it gets the job done and also has a great one-click to subscribe feature for notifications of comments, checkouts, and more.
ThriveLeads has over 50 different opt-in form templates, a drag-and-drop system for easy form customization, the ability to add forms to key locations on your site as well as advanced targeting options and split-testing functionality.
Bloom can be used as a plugin for opt-in forms, but also as a content unlocking plugin where users must enter their email address to get a free downloadable team schedule poster or something similar. There’s also a trigger system to display a popover or fly-in if a visitor completes certain actions.
Give ‘Em Something to Talk About
Be it a funny commercial or a moving YouTube video, when people really enjoy a piece of content, they’re quick to share it with others.
The best sports marketing ideas are unexpected. What spectacular conversation piece can you put out on the internet to get people talking?
Here are a few suggestions to get your brainstorming juices flowing:
- A hilarious lip dub video with the team dancing to a hit song.
- Players talking about what the team means to them and how it has helped them grow.
- A rally to get a certain amount of likes on a Facebook post and the team does public karaoke after the next game.
Give your fans something to talk about and they’ll do the rest for you. Make sure you include links to your website and signup page in the description section of whatever media you put out.
For more fabulous content ideas, check out 7+ Sports Email Marketing Ideas to Create More Raving Fans.
Everyone Likes Free Things
Incentives can be extremely powerful when used the right way. When you offer fans an incentive in exchange for their email address, it draws in a lot of people.
Speak to your local coffee shops, restaurants, arenas and other local establishments. Many of them will be happy to support your team (and the community!) with coupons, free snacks or appetizers, and other items.
If you offer reasonable suggestions such as a 25% off coupon at the local pizza place that everyone goes to after the game, a free appetizer when you purchase a meal or similar deals, and gently remind them they would be supporting their local community, they’re more likely to get on board.
This is especially true if you offer them incentives such as advertising space on your site.
With the items you get, you can offer them to visitors when they sign up for the list. If they want to subscribe, of course they can, but if you periodically offer discounted merchandise or free popcorn on Thursdays, for example, chances are they’ll stick around.
For details, check out some of the articles below:
- How to Find a Sponsor for Your Sports Team or Sporting Event
- How to Add and Attract New Sponsors to Your Sports WordPress Site
- 5 Smart Ways to Get Sponsors For Your Team
- 12 Sponsorship Mistakes Sports Teams Need to Stop Making
- How to Create a Sponsorship Package For Your Team
- 3 Different Ways to Create Sponsorship Packages
- Sponsorship Agreements for Sports Teams: Everything You Need to Know
Give Back To Your Community
Sports teams have such a large sense of community because they create events for people to come together and support something as a unit.
Perhaps some of the best sports marketing strategies don’t need to cost any money at all. Why not volunteer and give back to the people and the local area that supports you?
Community renewal projects or having a team volunteer at a local hospital or shelter is a great way to showcase your team as givers and leaders in the community. Not only will it help out the local area, but it can have a positive effect on the members of the team and the people with which they connect.
You’re certainly not doing this just for email subscribers, but it may help you meet folks that wouldn’t ordinarily come to the game and maybe even garner some positive media coverage, especially if you call your local news station and let them know ahead of time.
Sign Me Up
When you ask people to sign up for your email list, you’re asking them to give over a bit of their time and focus each day to support you.
This comes with a measure of trust and connection that should be honored. Nobody wants to feel like just a name on a list, but when you take the time to listen to your fans and provide them with the content they want, you’re sure to come out on top.
Check out these articles for more of the best sports marketing suggestions: 9 Effective Marketing Ideas for Sports Teams and Sporting Events, 9 Awesome Sports Marketing Examples to Learn From, How to Get Started with Content Marketing for Sports Teams and How to Use Twitter to Market and Promote Your Sports Team.
Which strategy are you excited to implement to grow your email list? What’s the best sports marketing you have experienced? Can you think of anything missing off this list? Let us know over on Twitter or Facebook.