Does your organization do email marketing?
Do you send out updates when you publish new articles to your website?
Do you do business, sell tickets, or sell merchandise online?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you ought to make it easy for people to sign for an a “free” account to receive email marketing from your organization. If you’re looking to monetize your digital properties, this is one easy way to do it – by sending emails. Most of the major college properties already have a website template provider that ought to make this a pretty easy solution. As for the professional sport organizations, all of the actual league properties make it pretty easy to sign up for an account, although they are not all equal in terms of actually getting email updates.
When developing an online revenue strategy, email really ought to be a huge part of that plan. Email marketing is not dead. It might need a little reviving if you don’t know what you are doing and haven’t made a dime yet, but those changes will come as long as you seek advice from a reliable source with a proven track record. Many bloggers out there know how important an email list is and many make it so easy to sign up that it is almost obtrusive. Don’t be obtrusive, but do give people the ability to get what they want, when they want it. Take some time to see how different bloggers set up their websites and take notes on what you think looks good. You’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, just getting ideas on what looks good.
If you would prefer not to add a sign-in or sign-up feature on your homepage, at least make this a part of your ticket page or marketing and promotions page. You could also consider adding these links to the bottom of every article that goes up on your site, making it subtle but obvious what you want your fans to do (call-to-action). The ticket and marketing pages of your website are the two places were it is very natural to ask people to sign up and almost a negative if you don’t offer then a place to receive updates on these pages.
Step one would be to just get the capability active on your site if you don’t have anyway for people to sign up. Step two would be to put some analytics on your website and find out where people are looking the most. Again, if you don’t put it on the homepage, put your sign-up links on the pages with the most, regular traffic. Step three would be to allow your customers to customize their email experience based on their own interests. Also important to note is that there is a law that states you must give them the option to unsubscribe in every email you send. Look up ICANN legislation for more on some important tips and rules.
After doing a pretty thorough search for college email lists in all of the major FBS conferences, I was very surprised at how few schools actually have a list to sign up for and how difficult it was to find the schools that did offer a way to get marketing emails. The ones that did offer a way to sign up to get emails had the links buried so deep that in some cases it took almost ten minutes going link by link, menu by menu to find what I was looking for.
While you are thinking about all this, clean up your website and make it easy for people to find what they want and employ a good search tool. All sports teams have a ton of information to put online, but there are numerous examples of teams that do it well. But, in order to cleanup appropriately, you have to know what your organizational goals are in order to do so. If you have those laid out and you know what they are, great! If not, figure that out first before you tackle your website re-design. Goals are critical to everything you do as an organization and everything you do must advance you toward those ends.
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