Home / Three Concepts Email Marketers Can Learn from the NFL and Fantasy Football

Three Concepts Email Marketers Can Learn from the NFL and Fantasy Football

I watch football. A lot of football. And with the football comes the requisite participation in fantasy football leagues.

My fanaticism for football and the passion for fantasy football got me thinking about how the sport could relate to email marketing. And I’ve come up with a few ideas. After the my ideas, I want yours. But here goes:

Here are three concepts that email marketers can learn from the NFL and Fantasy Football.

1. Understand that Anticipation is Everything

An NFL football game is the perfect example of the 90/10 rule when it comes to anticipation. My boss has told me on several occasions that the average football has about 12 minutes of actual action (the time it takes to run the actual plays). So 12 minutes out of 120 (3 hours) means that 90 percent of the game is spent waiting for the 10 percent worth of action.

The reason the NFL succeeds is that the action in that 10 percent is worth the price of admission (unless you’re a Raiders fan…). The 10 percent creates drama, debate, and suspense. The 90 percent covers the anticipation.

As email marketers, it’s crucial to establish a value proposition that people are amped to sign up for. Keep their mouths watering for more, and then wow them with your very own 10 percent.

2. Maximize the Value of the Event

Sundays mean football in the fall (let’s leave Monday night out of this). People talk about Sundays; they get together to watch games; it’s an event week in and week out. As a result, the NFL owns the sports conversation for the 5 months of the season as well as off-and-on in the offseason. (Can you say NFL draft?)

If email marketers can find a way to duplicate that kind of excitement and value, they’ll hit a gold mine. Maybe it’s a once-a-quarter sale that has build up. Maybe it’s a newsletter that is just so awesome that people consider it “Important.” (Sorry, had to thrown in a Gmail Priority Inbox reference somewhere.)

What can you do to create an “event?”

3. Enable Spectators to Become a Part of the Experience

The NFL may not have created the “sport,” but by embracing fantasy football, they have stumbled into a brilliant way to expand the sport. The last report I saw (and I can’t remember the source) stated that 30+ million people play fantasy football. You know what that means?

30+ million people not only care about football, but MULTIPLE teams and players (rather than just their home team). And these 30+ million people are not just casual fans, they’re rabid. The best players are constant consumers of news, stats, and everything there is to know about football.

So how can email marketers enable their best consumers to become a better part of the experience? Surveys? Polls? FTAF? SWYN? I’m not sure, but there is definitely a conversation starter here. (And perhaps email marketing is not the best place to start that kind of movement, but it can be a place that sort of conversation starts.)

But I’m NOT the NFL

I know. And you’ll notice I didn’t give too many specific ideas. In fact, I want yours.

How do you think you could leverage these concepts in your own campaigns?

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