At a glance

The Challenge

  • Financial impact due to COVID-19 lockdowns
  • Keeping the fan engagement rates up
  • Struggle to attract crowds to future matches

The Solution

The Results

  • Open rates for Rich Media Messaging of up to 41%
  • Click through rates of up to 16%
  • Recipients viewed the messages at least three times

About Southend United Football Club

Southend United is a professional football club based in Southend on-Sea, Essex, England. As of the 2020-2021 season, the team competes in League Two of English football.

The Challenge

Southend United Football Club (SUFC) was sent into a spiral at the announcement of the first national lockdown in March 2020 due to Covid-19. The two main challenges were the impact to the club’s revenue and the engagement with their fan base.

SUFC wanted an innovative solution that would bring them closer to their fans and give them the chance to promote pay per view offers for matches once the football season restarted. The new channel would work alongside their other communication avenues such as email, website, and social.

The Solution

VoiceSage, worked with SUFC and looked at various fan engagement methods, from simple SMS notifications, Interactive Voice Messaging to Rich Media Messaging (RMM). The latter solution offered the ability to include more rich and engaging content in their messages. It could be anything from articles, video interviews with the Chairman Ron Martin, the Manager, Mark Molesley and players. RMMs have stronger calls to action, therefore they are perfect for promoting pay per view tickets for live matches.

The RMM solution was innovative, simple to implement, and it allowed SUFC to align with their existing, comprehensive communication strategy. The whole process, from idea to sending the first live campaign, took ten days.

By working closely with SUFC’s media and communication team, we developed a framework for the new solution and a training schedule. After training, the team is now self-sufficient in using VoiceSage’s solution. They can create content, schedule campaigns, report on outcomes of the campaigns, and use the findings to optimize future messaging campaigns.

The Results

“Fan engagement became a critical challenge for us when the global pandemic started. We needed to think of new, innovative ways of keeping our fans connected to us, and VoiceSage had the perfect solution. The rich media messages helped us communicate at scale with our fans. They watch our videos and even open our messages multiple times. We are happy with the solution because it helps us enhance and broaden our fan engagement.”

Rhys Ellingham, General Manager at SUFC

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