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When Emailing During the Big Game, Timing Is Everything

As the saying goes, “timing is everything.” That is especially true when it comes to sending marketing email during pro football’s championship game on Sunday February 12. With so many fans engaged all at once, 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 take a look at 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?

More than 110 million fans are expected to be watching the Big Game when it is broadcast live on Fox and the Fox Sports App. Fortunately for email marketers, as many as 41% of Americans will be following the game on multiple devices 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 took a look 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. In fact, 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 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

When it comes to 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 kicks-off at 6:30 PM ET on Sunday February 12. 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 foodservice 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 will be checking their messages before settling in to watch the game.

Halftime: The game can be expected to pause for halftime at approximately 8 PM ET. 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 nine time Grammy winner, Rihanna.

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 ET – to catch fans before the game resumes. Either way, referencing  the halftime performer (Rihanna) in your subject line could help grab attention.

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

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.