For the last month at FC Nordsjaelland I was tasked with looking at the data. My job is to analyze spreadsheets that are stored in different parts of the organization and propose how to best organize it. We need a software solution, so I am in the process of building a business case. At the same time I am asking myself why is a fan database important. And more importantly, how do we go about growing it?
The business case is fairly straightforward. Sponsors will pay a premium for larger and more engaged fan databases. Every sponsor has their business goals and if your club can give them direct access to inboxes of potential customers… well thats kinda valuable. Clubs can lower churn of season ticket holders, increase fan engagement and lifetime value and in general improve attendances with larger databases.
I had multiple conversations with CRM vendors and one of them shared an interesting insight. If your club has a 10,000 capacity stadium, generally you need a customer database 14 times larger than your capacity to fill your stadium every time.
The business case for CRM is looking strong, but how do you grow your database? What kind of tactics can your club use? Last week we ran a little experiment at FC Nordsjaelland that yielded a fairly good result for us and I wanted to share some marketing tactics of growing the email list or your clubs CRM.
But first a little back story. Last week, Godsway Donyoh, our top goalscorer singed a new two-year contract. The club is known for selling their top players, so this was fairly good news that was well received. We had teased the news on our Facebook page with this little video.
🔊 SOUND ON 🔊Godsway er klar med en overraskelse i morgen 🔝👌🏻
Posted by FC Nordsjælland on Tuesday, October 30, 2018
The next day media broke the news and we released a special shirt with the number 2021 (the year when his new contract expires). The intent was to run a simple giveaway, but we had decided to turn this contest into a lead generation opportunity for our database. We only had 4 days left before the game, so we had to move fast. Here’s exactly how we did it:
Step 1 – Facebook Lead Generation Campaign
We setup a simple Facebook Lead Ads campaign. For people to participate in the contest, all they had to do was press “Agree Button” and Facebook pre-filled out the rest of the info. Contestants could agree to participate and to receive our communications with one click of a button, so conversion rate was pretty good. We then pinned this post to our FB home page, which has 30,000 fans and only a very small percentage of them are on our email list. We also wanted to involve people who have not engaged with us before, so here we needed to spend a little bit in an advertising budget. I have broken down the Facebook campaign budget into 4 different audiences and excluded targeting audiences that are already in our database.
Here’s the screenshot of the actual Facebook Ad
Step 2 – Import the Lead Ads into Your Football Clubs CRM
The campaign generated 227 new contacts. Now this may not sound like a large number but to put things in perspective, our average home attendance this season is 2491 spectators. An additional 227 email contacts is sizable. We spent $310 on Facebook, but most importantly we were able to capture 155 new contacts that did not appear in our database. There are ways to integrate Facebook Lead Forms with a CRM, so that it automatically updates, but I did a simple copy/paste this time.
Step 3 – Send them the first email – Contest Results
Naturally, an email campaign announcing the winner had an invitation to our Sunday game. The open rate was 76.6% (this is VERY uncommon) and 17 people from the email list had bought an online ticket. We can’t be sure if anyone from the list had bought a cash ticket but our ticket booth sold double the number of tickets it normally does. We had a lot of other initiatives going on, so I am not sure if this campaign was responsible for some of the cash tickets uplift. But most importantly, with this campaign we acquired 3 new paying customers that we wouldn’t otherwise have had.
Step 4 – The email Offer
We are about to send a follow up email to our list. Since 227 people had competed for the Godsway’s Jersey and only one of them received it, want to guess what our next email offer will be? 🙂 We haven’t sent the email yet, but the subject line will read: “A message from Godsway”. The email will thank them for contest participation and will contain a 20% off coupon for Godsway’s Jerseys and a promise from him to sign the first 10 shirts that are sold. Here’s a short video of the player that the email will contain. Not sure if we will get any jerseys sold, but we will give it a shot…
Not sure if any of you have tried something similar, but I would love to hear your tactics for growing your marketing Database.