Email showdown: Broncos vs. Panthers

February 3, 2016 McKenzie Gregory

 

Right now, the internet is abuzz about one of the biggest sporting events of the year. You know the one…the game that shall not be named.

Though “The Big Game" is still a few days away, as far as we’re concerned, one team has already triumphed.

You see, a few weeks ago, we signed up for the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers email lists – and since then, we’ve been evaluating each team's performance on the most competitive field we could think of: the inbox.

Here’s a look at the matchup:

 


 

The Panthers

When you sign up for Carolina's official email list, you immediately receive this welcome message:

 

 

It’s a little plain (something in HTML would certainly be an improvement!), but it’s a nice gesture that confirms your subscription and tells you what to expect from their mailings.

After that, all of their sends look like this. And they all have the exact same subject line – “News Alert from the Carolina Panthers":

 

 

We can appreciate the nice header, the easy-to-use navigation bar at the top, and the social follow buttons on the footer, but in-between….

A list of text links? Really, guys? We can only assume that the team has such a loyal, engaged audience that they’re opening and clicking despite the less-than-attractive packaging. After all, you’d have to be pretty darn loyal to want to struggle with these links on your mobile phone:

 

 

The team does get bonus points, however, for clicking-through to a site that IS optimized for mobile.

 

 

Right now, things are looking pretty grim for Newton and his Panthers. Let’s see how the Broncos stack up.

 


 

The Broncos

Immediately after completing the signup process, the Broncos chances aren't looking much better – they do send a welcome email (and it does include their logo and the chance to update your preferences), but it’s still pretty underwhelming, design-wise:

 

 

However, with each of their emails, new hope arises. Their standard newsletter/content digest scores points over the Panthers by at least incorporating some basic design elements like images and CTA buttons, even if it does feel a little jumbled and busy. 

 

 

But they really pile on the points with the mailings for their special offers. They’re attractive, relevant and focused on a clear call-to-action.

 

 

 

 


Not bad, boys! But just when we thought we had a complete blowout….

 

 

Their digest links to a website that isn’t optimized for mobile! It’s a rookie mistake that could cost them the game. They recover, however, with an online store that looks great on a smartphone:

 

 


 

So who’s the champion? It’s a tough matchup that, in all honesty, had some sloppy play on both sides – we expected a lot more from two NFL teams that do some pretty solid marketing overall.

But we have to give this one to the Broncos. Even though their landing page isn’t optimized for mobile, they’re at least using CTA buttons, compelling imagery, and sending more than one type of email to their subscribers.

 

 

Congrats, Peyton. You’re going out on top.

 

About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a content writer on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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