In advance of his upcoming session at ClickZ Live San Francisco this August, we caught up with Tim Clark, managing director of NASCAR’s digital platform, and talked about NASCAR’s email marketing strategy, the role of fans, and measurement.
Can you tell us about your role at NASCAR? What does a typical day involve?
I am responsible for the day-to-day management of NASCAR’s digital platform – anything that touches the millions of fans that engage with our website, digital products and mobile apps.
We’re constantly looking to improve the way we interact with NASCAR fans and provide the best experience possible, so each day is unique.
It’s everything from analyzing data from various sources to reviewing our content and programming mix, reviewing user feedback and social media conversation and planning our next marketing campaign and design comps.
What are the goals of NASCAR’s email marketing strategy?
Email is critical to our overall interaction with fans. We’re focused on identifying what’s important to specific fans at specific times and frequencies and manage our campaigns accordingly.
The primary goal is effective communication of relevant information. What time does the race start on Sunday? What are the storylines for the week? Where is my favorite driver starting?
From there, we try to customize based on preference – lineup reminders for fantasy players, merchandise offers from those that have purchased in the past, ticket offers for fans that live close to the track.
How do you use the enthusiasm of the fan base to improve your overall marketing?
We see the relationship with our fans as mutually beneficial.
NASCAR fans are as passionate as they come, which is amazing on a number of levels. For one, it’s easy to learn their preferences.
If a fan has a favorite team or favorite driver or, for that matter, a favorite platform, we see that and it’s up to us to accommodate those preferences. As we see more fans on digital and social platforms, we’re able to increase our marketing mix there.
With a more engaged fan base than most brands, is it easier to find the data you need to effectively segment and personalize email messages?
Selfishly, we always want more data – because we can always get better. But in terms of personalizing the message for fans – and this may be oversimplifying – we just ask them.
When a user registers with us for the first time, we ask who your favorite driver is so we can personalize content in the newsletter. We also survey our users regularly, just to make sure we’re meeting expectations.
How do you measure and monitor the results of email marketing?
We start with the basics – deliverability, open rate, click rate, etc., but we also look at how we’re pacing our campaigns.
We have rules in place that should prevent users from receiving messages they don’t want. For example, on a week to week basis, if one fan doesn’t open the weekend preview email, we won’t send them the weekend recap email.
That’s going to keep our engagement at a healthy level and keep fans satisfied with our frequency.
Results are going to vary by campaign – sometimes we’re looking to covert new fans with a new product or offer and sometimes we’re looking to communicate information about one of our partners or sponsors. Many times, we’re just looking to inform. Each of those goals has different KPIs so we try to stay flexible.
Want to hear more insights from Tim Clark? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco on August 29-31, where he will be speaking about driving success with email marketing, and how to engage your fans and followers to achieve the ultimate customer experience.
Early Bird rates are still available so grab your ticket today!
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