Even if you aren’t from Kentucky, you’re probably familiar with their #1 ranked basketball team and their loyal fanbase: Big Blue Nation (BBN).

There is nothing the BBN loves more than to proudly wear the blue and white team colors on game day and our client, Wildcat Wearhouse, is one of the top suppliers of game day attire.

Team loyalty aside, customers need to receive the message that you’re offering what they want. So Wildcat Wearhouse sent out targeted campaigns offering the latest t-shirt must have for every Wildcat fan.

“Email is direct and allows us to reach 13,000 potential customers who may not follow us on social media and see our campaigns there,” says Nick Child, Marketing Director at Wildcat Wearhouse. “I know that if I send out an email at 6:30 on a Monday morning that a lot of people are going to see it when they get to work.”

One email featured a video showing the latest shirt being launched into space hot off the press. The results for engagement metrics were out of this world (pun intended). In total, Wildcat Wearhouse sent five March Madness campaigns. When compared to campaigns sent previously, including the 2014 holiday season, they saw an average of 50% increase in open rate with the space shirt showing the greatest.

Average unique click-through rate (UCTR) for these five March Madness campaigns increased 4% over all previous campaigns, which is 6% greater than the industry average UCTR for the retail / wholesale industry, according to an article published by MarketingProfs.

Best of all, the space shirt email campaign alone led to a 3% conversion rate of sales. However, that rate only accounts for the customers who buy online after viewing the email. It does not account for those who see the message and then come directly to the store to make a purchase.

“Most businesses are looking for direct conversions to a website, but our customers like to get their hands on the gear immediately, so that may mean seeing the message and coming directly to the store,” says Nick.

Using the Litmus Email Analytics, we were able to take a deep dive into subscriber behavior and discovered that Wildcat fans are forwarding the campaigns without using a forward to a friend link. In fact, new online subscriber registration has doubled since February 1, 2015. In looking at an analytic report in particular, the SEC Championship email campaign, 75% of their audience that opened the email, spent greater than seven seconds reading the campaign. 67% of these engaged subscribers were on a mobile device, specifically an Apple iPhone which is 15% greater than the email marketing client share data published by Litmus.

“We’ve seen above average conversion rates and click through rates because we are niche market,” says Nick. “We sell UK gear to avid UK fans and they are already out looking for that so as soon as an email comes through that has what they are looking for, they are going to react. We are able to deliver what they need through email marketing.

So, what does this tell us moving forward?  As an audience, BBN tends to be mobile and yes, they really love their Wildcat basketball!

If you’re looking to boost your email results, give us a call, and check out these resources from Litmus and the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.