Five ways to make clever use of the Olympic Winter Games as an (email) marketer.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes (Too long? Email me this article)
30, January 2018

The Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are about to begin. Even if you do not work for a sports label or sports-related service, you can easily use the euphoria and successes – or losses – of the Games to your advantage as a marketer. If you have not yet used the Winter Games in your marketing, it is not too late to do so. In this article, I will provide some examples that you can implement quickly with the help of marketing automation.

1) Cinemagraph

In an earlier article, I covered the email trends of 2018. Even more than in 2017, we will move from static to interactive and creative emails. One of the email trends that is sure to become increasingly popular in 2018 is the cinemagraph. Sports are all about emotion and strength. A sports photograph is therefore perfect for a cinemagraph. Surprise your subscribers with an email containing an awesome cinemagraph that is linked to the Winter Games. Ask your copywriter to come up with a powerful text that links this image to your product or service. Creating a cinemagraph is not that difficult. Your designer can draw one up quite easily. Emotion is also great for social media. Since you can post cinemagraphs on social media, you can hit two birds with one stone.

2) Increasing your discount with every medal won

Send out a promotional code via email or text message that recipients can redeem for the duration of the Winter Games. Increase the sense of urgency with a countdown timer. One idea is to add a humorous nod to sports fanatics’ partners, who surely dread the idea of watching yet another skating match. Instead, they can get a discount as they shop with this special code. The discount percentage can be tied to the number of medals your country earns. Another idea is to offer a discount to soften the blow after a loss. Be sure to prepare for every outcome in advance. After all, everyone loves a discount and you are sure to achieve success by linking it to the Olympic Games.

How can you send a unique, personal promotional code via email or text message?

Of course, you can also choose to send subscribers a unique, personal promotional code. With this, your customers will feel even more personally approached than with a standard code. I covered how to send personalised codes in an earlier blog article (which I have written in Dutch).

3) Communicate (and generate interaction) whenever your sports hero is on

A great opportunity to communicate with your customers during the Winter Games is whenever the athlete you sponsor – or favour in a different context – is on TV. “We of brand X wish “our athlete” the best of luck today. What about you?” Increase the interaction with your brand. Include a feedback section in your email that lets people wish the athlete in question good luck by clicking on an icon. You can also let people vote on the athlete they believe should/will win. Which Dutch skater is most popular among your subscribers? Send out an infographic with the results of the poll. Finally, you can celebrate the athlete’s success (or deal with their loss) together with a special promotion.

4) Pay special attention to your international relations

Now is a great time to pay some special attention to your international relations or customers. The Olympic Winter Games are all about international solidarity, which makes this the perfect opportunity to further develop your relationship with your customers and strengthen their loyalty. Use the results of your relation’s country: send a congratulatory email or text message to your international contacts/relations whenever their country’s athletes achieve a victory. Your contacts are guaranteed to be surprised by your attentiveness.

5) Text messaging service from a sports brand or TV network

Text messages are back. Amid the torrent of information that we all process on a daily basis, a text message is a unique tool. It stands out and is often read immediately. Need proof?

Research shows that the average open rate of a text message is 99%. Of this percentage, 97% is read within fifteen minutes.

You can use this fact to your advantage during the Olympic Winter Games. If you work for a sports brand or TV network, you can set up a text messaging service that people can sign up for. Whenever their favourite sport or country is up, they will receive a reminder text. You can easily set everything up beforehand, so you have nothing to worry about during the Games themselves. You can even personalise your text messages.

Pay attention while developing your communication: you can not just use the Olympic logo. Also keep an eye on ‘Rule 40’. There are a lot of associations that not everyone can make, considering the rights of the Olympic Games, athletes, teams and countries. View the regulations here.

What do sports and marketing automation have in common?

I always look forward to the Olympic games. To me, it is like doing business in general: the intense drive, gathering like-minded people around you in order to achieve a common goal, the international contacts that make you see the world in a different light, getting to know new people, always looking for novelties, dealing with situations by giving it your all. As an entrepreneur, this event inspires me every time.

In addition to being an entrepreneur, I am also a fanatical athlete. I love riding my BMX. Although BMX is a summer sport and we are talking about the Winter Games here, I see a lot of similarities when I compare my favourite sport to marketing automation. You always work with small steps:

  • start your marketing automation efforts on a (very) small scale. Success is achieved by taking one small step at a time;
  • start with a simple automated email flow, while always keeping a predetermined (interim) goal in mind;
  • never give up, because marketing automation is all about learning by doing;
  • take small steps based on quick wins;
  • conduct tests and analyse their results. Adjust your efforts in order to win the gold;
  • failing is part of the game, as is recognising that not every initiative pans out;
  • once you reach the top, try to stay there by moving from quick wins to finetuning.

I can guarantee that no organisation that currently achieves great success with its marketing automation started on a grand scale. Not even those companies that perform best in the field of email marketing are immune to failure. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. What I do know is that having an excellent coach (in the form of an ESP with the requisite knowledge and services) is essential to your success.

If you are looking for a sparring partner, coach or inspirer, I am at your service.

Jacco Bouw, founder of Webpower.

Share this article

Questions about this article?