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The background

Crystal Palace Football Club demonstrated the power of a strong fan base when Lloyds Bank was persuaded to sell the freehold of its ground at London’s Selhurst Park to a consortium of four local business people determined to secure the club’s future.

“Fans are the heart of a football club,” comments Phil Alexander, the club’s Chief Executive. “They’re the people who come through the turnstiles every week, and in football, your gate money is your second biggest revenue after TV, so you need to make sure you build a close and two-way relationship with them.”

Multichannel marketing is key to maintaining relationships

CPFC use a number of channels to communicate with its diverse fan base, including the website, social media, SMS and, most importantly, email.

Before the club adopted Engagement Cloud, it was sending out 3-4 emails each month but didn’t have a clean database. Mike Sinnerton, the club’s Assistant Communications Manager, explains email’s unique benefit of enabling the club to speak to fans on a one-to-one level: “We now have a database that we can segment across all the different types and interests of the people on it, and tailor the emails we send based on the fans’ specific preferences.”

Having built its list to the point where there are over 76,000 active members, CPFC can now send out more than 400,000 different emails.

Investing in testing drove up open rates to 35%

The ability to analyze results and compare the success of different content and email styles has proved to be hugely valuable for Crystal Palace FC. “Before we had Engagement Cloud, we really were writing emails and sending them into a black hole,” comments Mike. “Compared to that, just knowing our average open rate has been a major leap forward, but we’ve been able to harvest a much richer information stream.”

The club’s emails are now enjoying a class-leading open rate average of 35%.

“dotdigital has fielded a great team”

“The key point for us is not the technology, it’s the people behind it,” said Mike. “In our experience dotdigital has fielded a great team – they have our interests at heart and take care to make sure we get the best information, support and ideas that can help us do our job more effectively.”