Email Of The Week: Celtic Till I… Delete?

celticWith so much football in the news over the last few weeks, we’re going to continue the theme set by our previous email of the week as we look at an email sent by [Editor’s note: one of…] the best football club in the world. I am of course speaking about the greatest, the one and only… CELTIC FC!

However, don’t worry, I will put aside my allegiances to ensure what follows is a truly fair and transparent assessment of my beloved club’s email marketing prowess. After all, even though I’m a dedicated supporter, braving -18 degree winds to catch a midweek game, I’m an even more dedicated email marketer!

So, without further ado, let’s look at the email in question (click here to see it in all its glory)!

The message announces the latest reductions in the club’s mid-season sale; quite a compelling proposition for any fan I’m sure you’d agree. Let’s dive into more detail and see what worked and what could be improved.

We liked… the colour scheme. You don’t have to be a Celtic fan to appreciate it’s important to ensure consistent branding across all digital (and non-digital) channels. Where possible, look to unify elements like fonts, colours, graphics and layouts. This email does this perfectly.

We didn’t like… the absence of social links. Football fans are notoriously tribal and so, with no mechanism to allow fans to share content with fellow supporters, Celtic has shot itself in the foot here by not including this relatively simple functionality.

We didn’t like… the lack of personalisation. Again, football fans will have a very close affinity with the brand, so why not use personalisation to make them feel special and valued?

With such a well-developed database, there’s so much scope to integrate more personalisation into the club’s marketing efforts. Just imagine if you received emails that referenced your favourite player or at least included your first name if you’re a season ticket holder!

We didn’t like… the disappointing rendering. I have my email client set to not display images by default, leaving most emails appearing as a strange mix of text and boxes. It doesn’t matter how big you make the font for your copy, with images off it simply won’t render.

Without images, the email from Celtic was indecipherable at best! This just highlights again how important it is to test these aspects before sending to ensure emails are engaging, even without images.

We were disappointed by… UPPERCASE WORDS IN THE SUBJECT LINE. This is a classic characteristic of spam. It’s really important to avoid as it could simply land your messages in the junk folder. And while we are at it, Celtic could have done much more here to ensure the subject line was more compelling. Why didn’t they focus on the offer itself, for example?

It pains me to say it, but Celtic really scored a few own goals here. However, being the spirited team I know they are, I’ve no doubt they will bounce back and to do so would actually be relatively easy as all the criticisms here could be solved very quickly.

Paying a bit more attention to the subject line, social networking potential and personalisation would go a long way and improve open and click through rates. This should of course should all be wrapped up in a planned testing strategy.

As the final stretch of the football season approaches, there will be plenty of opportunities for Celtic to make amends. So while I’ll be crossing my fingers watching the team’s efforts on the pitch as they move towards the SPL title, I’ll also be keeping one eye on my inbox to see if their off-field efforts top the table!

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