Email Marketing Premier League – Will your club get off to a flying start?

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With the Premier League just round the corner, there have been numerous conversations at Emailcenter HQ discussing who will get off to a flying start to battle it out for the top of the table and who will be sitting in those dreaded relegation spots. But what if the Premier League was based upon each club’s welcome email programmes? Would we still see the big guns performing the best and challenging for those European spots? Or would we see some of the underdogs putting up a fight? To answer this, I recently signed up to email communications from each club, assessing their welcome emails to determine how easy it was for someone to sign up, how much clarity there was on what I was signing up for, what their welcome email was like and if there were any other initial first impressions. So, take a look at the Emailcenter Email Marketing Premier League and see whether your club is fighting for Europe, sitting mid table or battling for relegation!


When entering the Arsenal website it’s easy to spot the ‘sign up’ button at the top of the homepage which takes you to a detailed form where you enter some personal details such as your name, birthday and address. It’s made very clear on what you are signing up for, first of all highlighting the benefits to subscribing, and additionally, offering the subscriber the opportunity to select what news they wish to receive.

After subscribing I quickly received a clean looking welcome email welcoming me to the Arsenal family with numerous links to the website where I could see more information about my membership and login to my account. All in all it’s not a bad job by Arsenal here.

Rating: Potential champions!

Aston Villa

Subscribing to Aston Villa’s email communications wasn’t as easy as i’d have hoped. Initially, I could only see a sign up option for Aston Villa TV (a paid subscription service), but after some digging around I found the sign up form within the supporters club area. This does make sense I suppose, however including a newsletter sign up within the AVFC home page wouldn’t cause any harm and would make signing up that bit easier.

The sign up form was fine and I was given the opportunity to select what I was interested in receiving, however no clear benefits for signing up were highlighted to me like some other clubs really shout about. I received a confirmation email following completion to verify my account, but it took 4 days for my account to be approved and no welcome email was received, just a text only email confirming my account had been activated.

Rating: Escaped relegation


Again, another one which is clear to see where to sign up for communications, offering a choice of two packages for subscribers – a free account and a paid account. This stage of the sign up process clearly highlights what you can expect, as well as the difference between the two packages which is a great start.

The welcome email I received shortly after was great, it had a nice design, clear branding of chelsea FC, a link to some exclusive content available to me and a link to my profile where preferences could be edited. My issue however, is that a lot of this information seems to be about the content available to me online, not what I can expect to receive in my inbox. All that’s missing in this is a summary of what I can expect to receive in my inbox after subscribing.

Rating: A close 3rd

Chelsea email preferences

Crystal Palace

Unfortunately, I didn’t get very far with this one… It was easy to locate where to sign up to their newsletter, however I didn’t get any further than attempting to submit the form. It seems to reload the page with my details missing, leaving me unaware whether the submission has been successful or not. I tired this again a few days later and still had no luck… In fact, I am yet to receive anything in my inbox from them at all!

Rating: Relegated – Bottom of the pile


Being a Liverpool fan, signing up for Everton’s communications was a tough job! I completed their sign up form to become a member and selected to receive communications from Everton FC. However, I am still waiting on a welcome email and am still yet to receive any communications from Everton FC at all. They are really missing out here and i’m a little confused to what I actually signed up for…

Rating: Relegated – 19th

Liverpool FC

There was no direct newsletter sign up for Liverpool, however I was easily able to create a LFC account where I could tailor my communications to email. The benefits to signing up were vaguely highlighted as ‘Sign up for exclusive free features’, but it would have been nice to have more clarity on what exactly I can expect back. Shortly following sign up, a branded welcome email was in my inbox with some of the benefits highlighted here, however similar to Chelsea it seemed to be more focused on what you can do within the website, not what I can tailor and expect to receive in my inbox.

Rating: Pushing for Europe – 5th

Manchester City

Manchester City start strong here, they display a clear opportunity to sign up on their website and their sign up form is great, covering numerous details and clearly highlighting the benefits available to the subscriber. They even make use of a preference centre which allows users to tailor their communications if they require.

When it comes to a welcome email for Manchester City, it’s a real shame, as I failed to receive one! This comes as a big surprise, especially after all the effort which went in initially. In fact, despite opting in for all types of emails within the preference centre I am still yet to receive any communications whatsoever!

Rating – Mid table

Manchester United

Man Utd’s sign up process was great. A simple sign up button took me to a detailed form for me to complete which allowed me to tailor my email communication preferences including a choice from three different newsletters as well as ticket and news updates. A welcome email was promptly delivered following sign up, it may have been pretty plain with not much to it, but it did highlight the benefits that come along with signing up, and thats highly important. Again, it was good, but more could be done in terms of what was within the welcome email.

Rating: Just missing out on the title – 2nd place


Sign up to Newcastle’s email communications is easily located in the footer of their website, taking me to a form containing the basic information and preferences including the weekly newsletter and the latest news and offers.

However, they are yet another club to fail to deliver a welcome email into my inbox. In fact, i’m still waiting on any form of communication from Newcastle!

Rating: Relegated – 18th


Southampton almost fall into the same group analysis as Bournemouth, Norwich and Leicester etc (which can be found at the end of the blog), however the only difference is that no welcome email has been received. I completed and submitted the sign up form only to return to my inbox to find nothing waiting for me.

Rating: Escaping relegation


I couldn’t find a subscribe option within the homepage, however after entering the news section, clear sign up can be seen on the right hand side. There is no form as such, but instead a simple box to enter your email address. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive a welcome email which was a big disappointment… All I can see that i’ve signed up for is the Black Cats Bulletin which is delivered every thursday afternoon. I can confirm I did go on to receiving their newsletter, however a welcome email to confirm this would have been a useful and there is a missed opportunity yet again.

Rating: Escaping relegation


I was unable to find a direct newsletter sign up link, so I opted to sign up for ‘MRSPURS’ which is clearly promoted on their homepage. The benefits of this are highlighted clearly, however I was a little disappointed once completing the form after being lead straight to a eticketing page where I was presented with the opportunity to purchase tickets.

Firstly I received an email confirming my account, however this email was from the ticket office and displayed no intention of providing me with any information other than tickets. The email did inform me that I would receive another email around information regarding my Spurs account which was then delivered later the following day. Ideally this welcome email would have been better received if it was sent shortly after sign up. The welcome email itself was pretty good, looking past an obvious typo, it contained some helpful information and various useful links including the ability to update my preferences.

Rating: Just snatching the final Champions League spot – 4th

Subscriber benefits for Spurs

West Ham

Once clicking through to sign up for West Ham’s communications, I was taken to a form where an incentive was provided to sign up – A signed football shirt. This is a great way to entice people to subscribe, and as far as I can see, West Ham are the only club who are currently doing an prize giveaway, so hats off to you for that one West Ham!

Unfortunately, when it came to receiving the welcome email I wasn’t quite as impressed. The welcome/confirmation email was simply a short amount of text with a my username and password, as well as a link to activate my account. This email could easily have been missed in a busy inbox with a subject line of “Confirm your registration” and no branding of any kind.

Additionally, when I went to conduct a search in my inbox, this wouldn’t even show up in the results for the search term “West Ham”. I know it’s only a confirmation email, but so much more could have been done.

Rating: Mid table

Bournemouth, Leicester, Norwich, Stoke, Swansea, Watford and West Brom

If you’re a Premier League whizz, you may have noticed a few teams missing so far. In order to prevent me from repeating myself, i’ve had to group the above teams together in one analysis as they all seem to use the same system here and have the same welcome emails…

Starting with a positive, these clubs do make subscribing an easy process, many have a simple newsletter sign up at the top or bottom of their webpage taking me through to a form which requested information such as my birthday and mobile number. I wasn’t interested in mobile communications so I left that blank and ticked the preferences for communications for the club and official partners only. There wasn’t much clarity on what exactly I was signing up for, yes I could see it was for a newsletter but the benefits and contents of the newsletter is left unclear.

Following sign up, the good news was that I did receive a welcome email, the bad news however was that when viewing the automated email there was no branding of any of the clubs, in fact, all these welcome emails were the same, just with slightly different wording and the correct clubs name. These guys are missing a trick here as a welcome email plays a large importance in starting a relationship with the customer and are great for setting the tone and engaging with the customer from the word go.

Rating: Mid table

Conclusion – So what’s missing?

A number of clubs welcome emails for a start! I was quite surprised that numerous clubs send no welcome or confirmation email whatsoever! Your welcome emails are likely to have a high engagement rate, and by not sending one you are missing out on a great opportunity to create a relationship with your subscriber and let them know what they can expect from you after signing up to your communications.

Ensuring the welcome email is sent shortly after the subscriber has signed up to communications and whilst they are still engaged is essential. Send the welcome email a week later and people may forget who you are and why they signed up!

Your welcome email doesn’t have to be anything to crazy, but start as you mean to go on. Your subscriber is highly engaged at the point of sign up, so make the most of this opportunity as this email may receive your highest open rates. Be sure to make it clear who the email is from and why it has been sent, otherwise your subscribers may not pay much attention to it.

Many premier league teams clearly highlight the benefits of signing up to communications which is an important factor in securing the initial sign ups. And if you are struggling to capture the sign ups, it is often worth providing an incentive – in this case perhaps a signed players shirt or free match tickets.

For more information, speak to one of our experts today to find out how we can assist with your email marketing.

About James Lucas

Former Senior Marketing Executive at Emailcenter UK Ltd, a leading provider of email marketing software and solutions.