Email messaging is one of the best ways to reach a large audience because not only is an email fairly straightforward and quick to whip up, it’s also extremely cost-effective. But sending mass emails is only effective when you have an actual mass of people to send those emails to. And when email databases lose around 22.5% of subscribers each year, it’s one-hundred percent necessary to have a continuous flow of people signing up for your mailing list to not only replace the losses but also grow your current numbers and expand your reach. 

Luckily, there are a LOT of passionate sports fans out there, and they are usually very open to receiving communications about game schedules, giveaways, etc. Unlike businesses that sell material goods, sports teams and organizations offer an experience built upon the passion of their supporters. This will make it exponentially easier to get people on board with your email list. However, the work isn’t going to do itself. Here’s what you need to get the ball rolling:

First, you need to have good content. I know, shocker, right? But seriously, if you’re constantly spamming your subscribers with low-quality emails that have them wondering why you even bothered, they’re going to banish you right to the spam folder. Or, they’ll unsubscribe. Either way, you’ll never hear from them again. So when you’re drafting an email, ask yourself: What purpose does this serve? Why are my subscribers interested in this? Am I providing them with value? What effect do I hope this content will have on my subscribers? If you can’t answer the basic why’s and how’s, either step back and re-evaluate what will make a more effective email, or just skip sending one at all until a better opportunity arises. For sports fans, good content will be things like giveaways for tickets or merch, exciting announcements about their team, etc. Small news or things they’re likely already seeing on their social media feed isn’t worthy of an email.

Next, focus on personalizing that content. Using Audience Segmentation, figure out what various subsets of your audience exist and craft specific email content to target those groups. This will make your audience realize that you understand them and their personal wants and needs. Subscribers are more likely to click through your emails if the content speaks to them. For example, if you’re a larger company that represents more than one sport, you don’t want to be sending basketball-related emails to a subscriber who has labeled themselves as a hockey fan, unless you have clear evidence that they would be willing to receive communications about basketball events or games. Sometimes these kinds of risky emails can actually increase conversion, as many sports fans enjoy a wide range of sports and might be open to hearing about different happenings in the industry. But you must be strategic about it, and use this tactic sparingly as not to insult your subscribers with irrelevant content.

There are a few creative little tricks you can weave throughout your web content as well:

  • Bonus content. You can offer bonus content on your website that users can unlock by simply signing up for your mailing list. 
  • Online contest. Use your social media pages and website to host a contest or giveaway that followers can enter by providing their contact information. These work wonderfully with sports marketing, because passionate fans will always be motivated by offers of free tickets or memorabilia. 
  • Free tools. Offer simple, free tools and quizzes that users can access by providing their email address.
  • Birthday promotions. Create a promotional offer that you will send out to subscribers during their birthday month or week.

Usually, sports are a household-wide affair, as well as an activity or interest that many people have in common with friends, coworkers, acquaintances, etc. For this reason, you should also encourage your subscribers to forward your emails to friends and family. Have a very visible, easy to use forward link for people to share your content with others. It’s free advertising, so make sure you lock it down!

We’ve covered the basics, but if you want to see even more ways to grow your email list, check out this comprehensive list from HubSpot.

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