Yup. That time of year. Everyone is doing it. Even President Obama. Of course I am referring to March Madness. The Big Dance. The NCAA Basketball Tournament. The time when work productivity grinds to a halt. When corporate servers get taxed due to employees streaming live games. Pretty sure you know what I’m talking about.

Like many in the world, I am managing my multiple tournament brackets using CBSSports.com. I searched my Gmail archives to find the 7 most recent emails I received from “CBSSports.com.” See image below. So, how did they do when it comes to email marketing?

(I’ve heard 0 5 Training White TR 5 Free Fit Black Women's Silver Metallic Volt Shoe NIKE ptqUBB that a certain agency worked with CBSSports.com at the end of last year to help improve Fantasy Sports. I’m not sure if they worked on the March Madness campaigns, but something definitely changed/improved.)

The Good

  • As noted in green in the image above, I love that (#1) CBSSports.com emailed me back in December to prep me for this year’s tournament. The subject line contained a clear call to action (“update now”) and created a sense of urgency (“Important Update”). One could argue that the subject line was a bit spammy, but knowing the sender (From Name), I was more likely to open…which I did.
  • The second point (#2) highlighted in green was a nice reminder from CBSSports.com about updating my brackets. I’m not certain if this email was targeted to those who had not yet completed their brackets (I had not); however, the timing was perfect. It was 2 days before March Madness started. Great call to action in the subject line.
  • The reminder email was text only. Usually, I’m an HTML/graphics/images fan, but in this case it was spot on. It made sense. The email did not need to be pretty. It was a simple reminder. The email also included my login – a nice touch, but sometimes controversial. Again, it worked for me.

The Bad

  • Looking at #3 outlined in yellow above, I didn’t love the fact that there was a 9-month lag between email communications. As I’ve discussed before (“Womens Low 2 Bonnibel Peep White Heel Wonda Pumps Toe Dress Zn7Px“), a 9-month gap usually equates to “do not send.” However, CBSSports is able to get away with a bit more due to their strong brand name. While I would tell a client to be careful about a 3/4 of a year hiatus, it worked in this case.

Women's Nude Heavenly CLARKS Shine Pump Dress Leather The Ugly

  • Now for the “oopsy.” Check out the red area above (#4). Don’t forget when you copy/paste from word, special characters don’t usually translate well. Be careful with that subject line! I’m pretty certain that, “The NCAAŽ March MadnessŽ teams are set, fill out your brackets now” was supposed to read, “The NCAA® March Madness® teams are set, fill out your brackets now.”

Based on my opinionated assessment above, you can see that CBSSports.com is – thusfar – doing a pretty stellar job with their email marketing efforts around March Madness. I’ll be curious to see the frequency, content, subject lines (etc) of their emails as we move through March and into April.

Please forward along any other examples you may have. As always, we’d love to hear your comments below and/or on twitter (@bronto and/or @djwaldow).

*Oh yeah. Go Blue. It’s been a long 11 years.

DJ Waldow
Director of Best Practices & Deliverabilty at Bronto

One Response to “March Madness From CBSSports.com: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly”

  1. DJ – Do you think the messages should include an unsubscribe link? Many that I have received from CBS Sports do not.

    And btw, Clemson is going to roll on the 1-3-1

    Reply

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