Although the NFL traditionally has relied heavily on public service announcements for goodwill campaigns, it added e-mail to the breast cancer fund-raising effort. E-mail marketing company eDialog, Lexington, Mass., sent a message about the campaign to the 550,000 fans registered to get a weekly NFL.com eNewsletter from eDialog. The message, which explained the cancer effort but didn't offer any football information, included a call to action for recipients to click on a link to reach the NFL for Her section of NFL.com, containing breast cancer news and information.
More than 22,000 people clicked through from the e-mail to enable an NFL donation, a 4% response rate. The response level surprised the NFL, which expected 10,000 click-throughs and set a limit on its donation of $50,000.
"We had no idea that the newsletter was going to have such an effect," said Lauren Pasquale, NFL manager-programming development, new media. She said NFL for Her normally gets an average of 7,000 users a day.
Ms. Pasquale attributed the high e-mail response to the simplicity of the message and the ease with which people could react, vs. a PSA or in-stadium ad that requires remembering or writing down the URL to use later. "It was easy," she said. "It was packaged in a small paragraph, and the link was right there."
The NFL's "most loyal customers are subscribers to the e-mail [newsletter]," said eDialog President-CEO John Rizzie. "The objective of this e-mail was not selling; it was to add value to the relationship."