Sports & leisure

USA Rugby tackles member engagement with easy-to-use email marketing tools

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USA Rugby’s single-person email marketing team needed a marketing automation platform that was simple and easy-to-use. It needed to get up-and-running quickly with over 200,000 active members, fans, and donors it needed to communicate with on a regular basis.

With its previous email automation provider, it was experiencing deliverability issues which resulted in very low open rates. Before making the switch to dotdigital, its open rates were on average 8.4%.

As a non-profit organization, audience engagement is its ultimate goal. From high school level to professional players, ticket buyers to philanthropic donors; sending relevant content that engages members at every level is a top priority.

USA Rugby needed to a platform that was simple to use and had the capabilities to target and segment its wide and diverse email database with ease.


To improve the brands deliverability, USA Rugby worked closely with Dotdigital experts to develop a new, less frequent, communication format. By doing this, it was able to incorporate its onboarding “ramp-up” campaign to establish a positive reputation for its new “from” address.

USA Rugby needed to improve its customer data to enable it to segment and personalize its email marketing. The brand has three major audience groups: members, fans, and donors. Each need to receive specific content relating to their interest and involvement with the organization. To achieve this, it built a powerful email preference center that would empower its members to update their marketing preferences.

Thanks to the simplicity of the Dotdigital platform, USA Rugby can use its customer data and their marketing preferences to deliver personalized content to its segmented audiences. Using Dotdigital’s simple ‘data fields’ functionality, it can now target and segment its database according to age, location, membership type, and even level of play.

As it continues to gather customer insights, USA Rugby also plans to gather preferences on types of communication such as newsletters, ticket sales, donor appeals. This will allow each contact to personalize their own experience instead of simply unsubscribing, a capability its previous platform didn’t offer.

About USA Rugby

Founded in 1975, USA Rugby is the national governing body for the rugby in America. USA Rugby is responsible for advancing the game of rugby at all levels. It oversees four senior national teams, multiple development programs, and is developing an Olympic pathway for elite athletes.

As live events and participation resume post-COVID-19, USA Rugby are excited to explore the tools and channels available to them through the Dotdigital platform.

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Despite a slightly longer onboarding and “ramp-up” period due to the outbreak of COVID-19, USA rugby has seen an immediate improvement to its open rates. Over a few short months, open rates have increased by over 205% to 25.7%.

USA Rugby is looking to strengthen its relationship with Dotdigital. Working with Dotdigital’s Custom Technical Solution (CTS) team, it’s planning on connecting Dotdigital’s omnichannel automation platform with its member registration platform. This will help ensure its customer data is up-to-date and deepened its ability to deliver personalized email marketing.

As live events and participation resume post-COVID-19, USA Rugby are excited to explore the tools and channels available to them through the Dotdigital platform. Where they’re hoping to see the biggest impact is through the implementation of triggered drip campaigns for event ticket buyers. Thanks to Dotdigital’s advanced segmentation tools, it’ll be able to drive revenue by targeting the segment of event goers with VIP upselling campaigns, merchandise recommendations and more.