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Although social media platforms top the popularity charts, no one canceled the emails. And it’s not surprising why that is the case. When it comes to shop sales, newsletters are still the main driver (4.29% of visitors make a purchase through email referrals compared to 2.49% of visitors coming from search engines).

The importance of sports newsletters cannot be ignored by organizations to propel their brand forwards. We share with you the best practices to fully leverage this potential for your sporting brand.

Article outline:
1) What should your sports brand include in your newsletter?
2) How often should a sports club send newsletters to its fans?
3) The Subject Line
4) What should be the appearance of the newsletter?
5) What are the best tools to send sports newsletters?

1) What should your sports brand include in your newsletter?

Newsletters are an amazing way to communicate with your customers, subscribers or fans in a personalized way. They are a means to deliver the right message, at the right time, in an attempt to engage your following.

There are several topics a sports organization can cover in a newsletter. Here is a list of some of the most important ones to get you going.

WELCOME: Newsletters are a great way to welcome your new fans to the ‘inner circle’ of your sports brand.

NEWS: Football clubs like Manchester United keep their fans informed about the latest happenings in the club through their newsletters. From injury news, fixture rescheduling, sponsor partnerships, ticket information and so much more, it is an ideal way to inform your loyal fan base.

Manchester United keep their fans informed about the latest happenings in the club through their newsletters

PROMOTIONS: Got your new kit for the season? Is there a Black Friday sale in your sporting organization’s store? Is there a new promotion on online sales? The role of sports newsletters is pivotal in driving all these campaigns.

EVENTS: From organizing events to give back to the community, to informing your fans about trophy celebrations, newsletters are key.

GIVEAWAYS & VOTES: Another great example of the content in newsletters would be get your fans to vote and participate in relevant discussions. Here is an example of the Wales FA with their ‘vote the masked player’ campaign.

The Wales FA with their ‘vote the masked player'

SPONSOR INTEGRATION: Giving your sponsor mileage through promoting a partnered campaign, and getting your fans involved in the action as well, is an all-around win-win scenario. Here is an example of the latest UEFA & Lays campaign with Messi in the spotlight:

UEFA & Lays campaign with Messi in the spotlight

2) How often should a sports club send newsletters to its fans?

Maintaining a balance between too little and too much is vital when it comes to connecting with your audience. Although there can be a temptation to inform your fans about all the latest happenings, a balance needs to be struck. According to market research, subscribers expect one newsletter a week at minimum in their inbox. Having said that, some sports brands go up to 6 newsletters a week.

The best way to go about it would be to monitor your newsletters clicks as you send them out. You should increase your frequency over the weeks until you see that the clicks you are getting through newsletters are increasing steadily without any noticeable rise in the unsubscribes list.

3) The Subject Line

The subject line is a turning point for a successful newsletter campaign. A good newsletter should be focused on a clear message/statement, followed by other types of content. Newsletters like “the latest updates” are not good enough. Think of your subject line as the crucial statement your subscribers want to click on to find out more. It needs to be enticing, clear and should state exactly what the newsletter is about.

Here are some best practices:

The length is key: There is an element of trial and error to this. But one thing is for certain, the sweet spot seems to be between 6 and 10 words. Yes, it could go a little over or under, but it should never be too long.

What to avoid: There are certain words you need to stay clear off. The word Newsletter itself should never be used. Also, it is recommended to avoid spam words like “Apply Now” or Free. Also, ALL CAPS is a big no.

Compelling Subject Lines: Compelling subject lines boost the engagement of sports newsletters for your organization. It is what makes the reader open the email. Your subject line should aim at peaking the interest of your audience. Sometimes it is best to create urgency while other times, its best to keep your audience curious. You can also use the name of your most revered players in the subject line to peak the interest of your fans.

The use of emojis ⚡: Emojis are a great way to add an emotion to your Subject. They help you message stand out and give it the “wow” factor. However, it’s pertinent to note that Emojis should only be inserted naturally and never abused.

Here are three examples of excellent Subject lines and why we at Kickly approve them.

Example 1:
Forget FOMO—see what’s waiting for you
This subject line by NIKE was introducing their latest range to their followers and also giving out information on their clearance sale. The headline is short and enticing, inviting the fan to know more.

Example 2:
First Cityzens Christmas competition revealed ?
Adding personality to the subject line, Manchester City spelt citizens with a ‘y’ to give it some branding. The subject line makes the reader curious as to what the competition would be and confirms by the use of emoji that there is a prize involved.

Example 3:
Dear Fans…
This Subject line by the Formula One racing commission already tells you that something important and personal is about to be discussed. Short and sweet is how we would describe this one. The newsletter goes on to update fans about how the cancellation of the sport due to the Covid-19 situation is being handled.

4) What should be the appearance of the newsletter?

The impact of sports newsletters to a sports brand is encapsulated by the appearance of it. From a visual standpoint, the background should stick to the club colors and portray the personality and traits of the brand.

The newsletter below is a great example of how Formula One uses the red and black theme, their dominant colors, to visually represent their story. The easiest way to sum this up would be to get your clubs identity clearly portrayed in your newsletters.

Formula One uses the red and black theme, their dominant colors, to visually represent their story

Text, visuals and Call to Action

A good newsletter should combine a decent amount of texts, photos with the call to actions. As the newsletter below shows, Southampton Football Club using crisp text, evenly spaced out with a clear call to action for different segments of their newsletter, which announces their next upcoming match.

When it comes to sports visuals, Kickly is at the forefront of equipping your sports organization with the latest graphic templates for creating stunning newsletters. Not only would it save your time and money, with Kickly, you stay at the top of the best practices in the sports newsletters game to engage your fans.

Media Type

Other than  the links to your club’s website and videos, GIFs are another way to drive engagement and capitalize on the value of sports newsletters to drive your club forward. One thing to take care of; is to make sure your Gifs and other visuals look good on all devices. Usually newsletter services have preview mode to take care of that.

The Footer

The footer should contain the social media links, business info, and GDPR compliance (if it’s the case). Keep it neat and simple.

5) What are the best tools to send sports newsletters?

Now that you know exactly the importance of sports newsletters for your club, here is a list to get you going on that journey of creating awesome content. There are several services out there which can help you professionally create and distribute your newsletters.

A renowned service in the market, Mailchimp offers customizable templates for you to build your newsletters and offers valuable insights into how they are performing. Their plan range from small to big companies and can help you quickly get on track in the newsletters game. There is a free version for beginners and small clubs as well to get you started.

Another service is SendGrid which allows you to make custom designs from the templates they offer, or create your own. You can schedule a series of newsletters, add contacts easily and offers real-time data so you can tweak your campaigns as you like.

Active Campaign
Another fantastic service is Active Campaign. It offers you to create custom lists of contacts, scheduling of your newsletters from welcome ones to the weekly digests. It also offers a template builder for you to quickly and easily create stunning newsletters.

The importance of sports newsletters can no longer be ignored as a sports brand. It is not just a way to engage with your fans and drive real value-adding results, but it is also a representation of your sporting organization as a whole. With these tips and tricks, you should be well on your way towards utilizing the full potential of it.

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