Our top 5 World Cup 2014 email campaigns

If like me you have recently received more World Cup emails than Messi has taken shots, you’d probably forgive me for tuning many of them out as white noise.

That being said, a handful of brands managed to peak my interest when it came to sending out some clever World Cup campaigns.

Given this, I thought I should really showcase the top five World Cup emails which made me do a double take and in some cases, even pull out my debit card.

Play the long game

Most of the World Cup emails I have seen over the past month have been focused on sell, sell, sell. Leave the hard sell to your sales team and focus on a softer approach with your content.

Instead of trying to flog a vague connection between your product and the World Cup, use the game as a chance to share knowledge and offer insight to your targeted recipients. Not only will this help to build a relationship with your recipients, but it also means that you have given them a reason to look forward to and open your next email communication.
The Equaliser do this fantastically by sending out a regular series of insightful emails, complete with clever subject lines, knowledge sharing, interesting stats and well-designed infographics.

Start a virtual mexican wave

Get your brand noticed by creating content which recipients genuinely want to share. I’m not suggesting you create a Suarez-scale PR nightmare, simply consider the type of content your recipients will take notice of and want to pass on.

Wowcher did exactly this by using cheeky humour to create a tongue-in-cheek ‘David Luiz deal’. The offer may not have directly made them money, however it topped up a whopping 1.2k likes on Facebook and 320 tweets; far outnumbering the share stats on any of their other offers.

Engage with your fan club

Your fans are one of your biggest and probably underused assets, so utilise them in both your email and wider marketing campaigns. If you are not taking advantage of UGC (user generated content), then a big event such as the World Cup is the perfect time to get started.

Benefit Cosmetics know their customers well and have created the perfect World Cup themed campaign for them, in the guise of #benebeautysquad.

They offer budding beauticians the chance to win Benefit goodies by pinning ideas for their own fantasy football team using the hashtag #benebeautysquad.

The UGC not only improves brand awareness for Benefit, it also provides them great visual content to use within their emails and marketing campaigns.

Tackle timings like Mascherano

One large benefit of the World Cup is that marketers can utilise set match times to pre-plan their marketing activity. This means emails can be highly targeting and timely; reaching recipients at the perfect moment.

New Look did this impeccably; meaning that they sent me my favourite email of the World Cup. I received the following email 15 minutes before the final World Cup match. At the time I was trying to zone out Gary Linekars musings on (I assume) football and crisps, whilst browsing the internet; similar to what I imagine many of their recipients were doing at the time.

The football icons in the subject line immediately caught my attention due to their high relevancy, but not as much as the capitalised 3 HOURS ONLY which added a sense of urgency that could rival the final moments of the Belgium vs USA match.

Regrettably, the campaign was so successful that it took a chunk out of my bank balance…

Muller the competition by going all in

If there is a large event which is related to your brand, then take advantage of it. After all this is one of the best chances you will have of showcasing your content and brand in a way that is highly relevant to a large amount of people.

Adidas do this by (understandably) going all out for their World Cup sponsorship. They have created a huge ‘Adidas: All in or Nothing’ campaign which they have utilised throughout their email. They have impressively managed to balance both minimalist and epic messaging; allowing their trophy-worthy content to speak for itself whilst incorporating discrete calls to action.

They think it’s all over..

..but it doesn’t have to be! To score in your future email campaigns, follow these simple pointers:

  • Don’t focus purely on sales; informative and viral content can do wonders for your brand in the long run.
  • Be creative and utilise your fan base, social networks and wider marketing activity.
  • Take full advantage of relevant events, the key word being relevant. Recipients are wise to brands jumping on irrelevant bandwagons, so don’t try to fool them.