Email Marketing Case Study – Promoting the Timberwolves & Lynx Basketball Academy

Recently, We unveiled a brand new website for our Timberwolves and Lynx Basketball Academy. The Basketball Academy is one of the great ways we help promote the game of basketball throughout the state. It also gives us a chance to engage with fans, young and old, by helping develop their skills as basketball players.

I had set out to help drive some traffic and leads for our upcoming Summer Camps and Clinics.

Here is a snapshot of our Analytics data from our initial launch (~January 15th to the beginning of March).

The majority of our traffic is direct. I believe the word of mouth reputation of the Basketball Academy has worked well. Our top referrals are from and Social media has also helped drive a significant amount of our early traffic.

Using our CRM Data, We were able to segment our fan base to members with children under the age of 18. We combined these leads with previous campers from the past two years.

One thing that we didn’t do is turn on eCommerce tracking from the start (doh!) but we still have that data in the back-end.

With eCommerce tracking turned on, we can now use more of our data points to influence our marketing.

I wanted to make sure the the look and feel of the email matched the experience on the website. Our Digital Media Team and our friends at Morsekode team crafted an experience that would match the experience delivered on the court. I sought to extend that experience to their inbox.

I used the tablet breakpoint collateral to drive the build of my email template. I used Ink by ZURB as the foundation with some help from, and MailChimp Template Reference.

You can view the emails here

So how did our email do? Let’s take a look at the data.

The Good:

We made some money!

The buying process for camps, clinics and training is not an impulse by. Emails has generated more revenue than any other source. Its still early to tell but including cart abandonment, camp reminders (maybe a remind me later feature?) via email could generate more revenue for the Academy.

(Lots of) Traffic

We had the most visitors on our site since our launch. The majority of this traffic was via email. We have increased awareness of our Basketball Academy which should help drive visitors.

The Bad:

(Crappy) Deliverability

We have been struggling with Deliverability as of late. We recently moved over to a dedicated IP and warmed it as instructed. With adding new leads that based on our segmentation criteria, We should have scrubbed the list to make sure the email addresses were valid.

Yahoo doesn’t like us right now.

There is still plenty to learn but I think we have started on a pretty good note. There is some things we could do to immediately help promotion.

  • Referral Program
  • Camp Reminders
  • Send to a friend
  • Getting the Newsletter off the ground.

Any tips or comments are more than welcome! Let me know your thoughts.