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When Emailing During the Big Game, Timing Is Everything

“While products or offers may vary depending on the business, getting the timing right during the Big Game can be the key to winning or losing for email marketers.”

As the saying goes, “Timing is everything.” That is especially true when sending marketing emails during pro football’s championship game on Sunday, February 12. With so many fans engaged simultaneously, the Big Game represents an incredible opportunity to connect with potential customers.

With its big plays, star-studded halftime show, and postgame awards celebration, there will be a lot going on during the Big Game. That means delivering your message at the right moment can make the difference between winning or losing for email marketers.

Let’s examine why emailing during the Big Game is a good idea and how you can maximize your results by getting the timing right.

Why Email During the Big Game?

Last year, over 115 million Americans watched the Big Game, and those numbers are only expected to grow in 2024. Fortunately for email marketers, 49% of viewers use multiple screens to follow the game, including smartphones and tablets.

That’s because the Big Game is one of the last great shared events that everyone follows and shares with their friends and families. They’ll be texting, posting on social media, and, yes – checking their email throughout the game.

Movable Ink looked at email activity during the Big Game a few years ago and found that smartphone email opens – always highest over weekends when people are away from desktops – remained consistently high during the Big Game. Read lengths saw a sizable increase.

With so many potential customers sharing a common experience while connected via mobile devices, the Big Game is a great opportunity for email marketers who:

• Tailor content to the game and provide context-based value

• Optimize email for mobile devices

• Understand customer behavior before, during, and after the game to deliver messages at the right time

Now that you know why, let’s discover when to send email during the Big Game.

When to Email During the Game

Regarding email marketing, the Big Game can be broken down into three basic periods during which you have the best chance to connect with customers: pre-game, halftime, and post-game. Depending on your product or service, one or all of these periods could make sense for your messaging.

Pre-game: The game starts at 6:30 PM EST on Sunday, February 11. Fox will air a pre-game show in the hours leading up to kick-off. For all but the most diehard fans of the two teams participating, the pre-game show will play a background role as final preparations are made to host viewing parties and friends or family travel and arrive to watch the game. While it makes sense for food service businesses to send last-minute sales messages in the hours leading up to kick-off, for most businesses, the sweet spot for email delivery is probably during the last half hour when fans check their messages before settling into watching the game.

Halftime: The game can be expected to pause for halftime at approximately 8 PM EST. Halftime breaks during regular season games last about 12 minutes. But, during the Big Game, the break is extended to half an hour to accommodate extra on-air analysis, expensive commercials, and a special halftime show featuring eight-time Grammy winner Usher.

For example, the much-loved compression sock brand ProCompression targets halftime audiences by promoting NFL socks with the subject line, “Half-price Happiness Awaits!” The preheader that follows reads, “Game day deal! 50% off NFL + Sitewide!”

Schedule your email so it arrives as the second quarter of the game ends, just before halftime festivities begin. This will avoid competing with the star power of the halftime show. You can also target the end of the halftime show – roughly 8:30 PM EST – to catch fans before the game resumes. Either way, referencing the halftime performer in your subject line could help grab attention.

Post-game: Regular season football games are usually about three hours long, barring overtime. Considering the Big Game’s extended halftime, it will probably stretch to about three and a half hours, with the end coming at around 10 PM EST.

Post-game emails enable you to connect with fans when they check their messages while finishing the remaining snacks and beverages or before heading home. Post-game messages featuring “end of season” deals or congratulatory/conciliatory specials for fans of the participating teams can be effective.

With so many Americans engaged at the same time for the same event, the Big Game provides an incredible opportunity for email marketers to connect with potential customers. While products or offers may vary depending on the business, getting the timing right during the Big Game can be the key to winning or losing for email marketers.

If you found these Big Game tips helpful and would like to bring our expertise to your email or SMS campaigns, contact us today for a FREE quote!

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