Generate 100 000 EUR during one campaign…
It would feel good, right?

To be able to generate 100 000 EUR through a relatively simple campaign. A campaign
that can be reused, year after year, without having to put too much work into it.

Also, take into account that the campaign is highly targeted – which means that the
recipient will feel seen, valued, and taken care of by you as the sender.

Win-win, right?

This may sound like a dream scenario for many. But thanks to the technology available
today, it’s highly doable. And it doesn’t have to be complicated.

To help you with this, we’ll take you through how the Swedish football champion AIK
managed to achieve these results with the help of marketing automation.

AIK uses SALESmanago’s marketing automation system, which Data Talks is a reseller
of and a Diamond partner to.
AIK’s goal

To strategically develop the supporter engagement

Football clubs know the importance of engaging with their supporters. Therefore, in November 2018, AIK chose to enter into a partnership with Data Talks, with the aim of making a digital investment in marketing automation.
The purpose was simple: to strategically and digitally develop the supporter engagement.

A short time after the implementation, the first two campaigns were launched. One generated a 79% increase in the number of subscribers in AIK’s paid video channel. The second campaign aimed at increasing the conversion rate with personalized offers for selling hard-to-get-rid-off supporter merchandise and this also got fantastic results. It became the most successful campaign launched to date!

In other words, the football club is on track when it comes to what one of the biggest daily Swedish newspapers, Svenska Dagbladet, wrote November 29 (in conjunction with the Data Talks partnership):

“Now AIK Fotboll will become Swedish champions also online”.

The football club is now sharing, step by step, how they succeeded with their third marketing automation campaign.
Step 1: Defining the campaign
(increasing the sales of season tickets)

With two successful campaigns done in the past, AIK chose (at the beginning of 2019)
to run a third campaign. This time, the focus was on increasing the conversion rate of
season tickets.

The campaign was designed to target those who were season ticket holders in 2018,
but who had not yet made the purchase for 2019. AIK has hundreds of thousands of
contacts in their register and this campaign targeted about 2% of them.

The objective of the campaign: to get as many people as possible to buy a season
ticket in 2019.

Step 2: Segmentation of customers
(family supporters or ultras?)

With the campaign’s purpose and target group defined, the focus shifted to segmenting
the supporters for a more personal tone of communication. An alternative here is to
send the same email to all contacts, but then the recipient will not experience it as very

In addition, different target groups have different reasons to buy a product or service. A
fan standing in the ultra sector (“Norra stå”), probably buys the season ticket for the
feeling of standing in the crowd and chanting for 90 minutes. A family section
supporter, on the other hand, might buy their ticket to support AIK’s future and to have
an enjoyable time with their children.

This is one of the benefits of marketing automation: you can easily segment your
contacts based on their behavior, region or other information you have about your

To be relevant in the campaign, AIK chose to divide the contacts into three different
segments. The segments were selected on the basis of the ticket type the supporter
had bought the year before.

Here were the three segments:

  • Long-stand
  • Family section
  • Ultra sector (“Norra stå”)

The three segments received three different emails. The main message was the same
(buy a season ticket for 2019), but the tonality differed.

For example, a person who watches the AIK’s matches with their children has different
needs and desires than a person who has chosen a ticket in the ultra sector “Norra stå”.

On the next page you can see parts of the email that got sent out to the contacts in the
family section.
Example: family section

As you can see, the picture shows a child supporter. AIK also highlights how the family
section is a great place for both adults and children. This email is great for a family
supporter, who wants to know that both their children and they will enjoy themselves.

How was it then communicated to the ultra sector target group (“Norra stå”)? On the
next page you have parts of the reminder email that got sent out:

Example: Ultra sector (”Norra stå”)

Again, both the image and the text are adapted to the segment. There is no mentioning
here about “Gnagis” (AIK’s mascot) or about the newly opened Taqueterian that offers
delicious Mexican food for the whole family.

Personal communication is key. It not only creates a stronger connection to the
recipient – it has also been proven to increase the conversion rate by 6 times.

It is therefore much more efficient to adapt your communication based on the person
you’re talking to. And as you can see above, this doesn’t have to be complicated.

Step 3. Send out (via email and SMS) and the results

How did AIK choose to set up the campaign?

First, three different emails were sent out to the three different segments. (Long stand,
family section and the ultra sector). Here, the supporters were being invited to purchase
the season ticket.

The result of the first e-mail message was a conversion rate of 9%, which was
considered very successful!

After seven days, reminder emails were being sent out to those that had not yet
purchased the season ticket. Again, three different emails were being sent out to the
three different segments.

This resulted in a conversion rate of 5%.

To those that didn’t purchase a season tickets via email, a text message was sent out a
few days later. This is another advantage of marketing automation: email can
sometimes end up in the spam folder or if the person is on vacation and doesn’t check
their email, he or she might miss the offer. Then another channel, such as SMS, can
help to reach the person.

After another couple of days, an additional SMS was sent out to those that had not yet
made the purchase. Those who didn’t buy a season ticket, neither via email or SMS, were
later contacted by AIK’s customer service.

With marketing automation, much can be automated, which means that less human work is
involved, while the recipient gets a highly personal experience.

Here you can see a snapshot of the campaign flow that AIK set up:

The end result? Satisfied supporters and a successful campaign

Thanks to marketing automation, you can make sure to reach the right person, at the right time, in the right channel, and with the right message. In other words: the possibilities are endless!

Getting started with marketing automation doesn’t have to be complicated. As you can see above, it is about defining what you want to achieve and who your target group is. Then you segment the group so that you can send more targeted communication. In this campaign, AIK created a total of 6 emails and 6 text messages. All in all, the work of setting up the campaign took about 15 hours and, as you already know, it generated 100 000 EUR.

This was an example of a campaign targeting about 2% of AIK’s database. In the future, the football club plans on creating even more targeted, relevant, and timely campaigns to continue developing their supporter engagement. This can be, for example, loyalty programs, selling last minute tickets, or combining ticket sales with the merchandise.

Is it then worth spending time, money and resources on digitization and marketing automation? Well, if you have at least a few thousand contacts and you want to be more relevant to your target group, increase revenue and lower costs, then the answer is obvious: yes.

According to the Boston Consulting Group, companies
that communicate meaningfully can increase their
marginal revenue by 20% and lower their costs by 30%.

Source: BCG Digital Marketing Maturity study 2018

Case Study created by Data Talks – SALESmanago Diamond Partner