Cleveland Cavaliers Fuel Calendar Subscriptions with Multichannel Campaign

As one of the leading teams in the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers have no trouble finding fans. The team, however, wants to keep faithful followers up to date regarding when and where to watch the games. That’s why the Cavs expanded their partnership with CalReply, the global leader in mobile calendar marketing.

After having initial success with CalReply during prior seasons, the Cavs expanded and optimized their multifaceted campaign. How did they do it? The Cavs leveraged email, digital, and social channels to promote calendar subscriptions by capitalizing on preseason excitement to fuel calendar subscriptions.

With access to CalReply’s tools such as a channel finder and dynamic calendar updates, which populate calendars with game changes long after fans subscribe, the Cavs ensure fans never miss game notifications or updates.


Promotion Strategy

For the Cavs, the best time to promote is at the forefront of a season when a new schedule releases. That’s when fans are most engaged and they look forward to receiving game reminders throughout the season.

The Cavs kicked off their preseason promotion last August using multiple channels to drive calendar subscriptions, including social media. In addition to using Facebook posts and other social sites fans visit, the team explored other strategies to grow subscribers.

During the preseason campaign, the Cavs leveraged Instagram Stories, which let fans see the team schedule and open up a web page to subscribe to the calendar. The Cavs used Instagram because many fans interact with the channel and the strategy helped the team minimize its ad costs.

In addition, the Cavs dedicated space on their website in ads to drive calendar subscriptions. The Cavs also integrated “Add to Calendar” buttons on the schedule page of the team’s website.

The Cavs also promoted calendar subscriptions in blogs and articles on its website, as well as launched an email campaign supporting the effort.

Driving Results

The decision to launch a campaign prior to the NBA season played a crucial role in the team’s success with CalReply. When the season began, calendar subscriptions grew nearly 53% compared to the previous year. What’s more, the Cavs have retained 97% of those fans who subscribed to the calendar.

Since the team’s social efforts were so successful at the start of the season, the Cavs expanded their promotion to different global social channels this year.

By optimizing their campaign and exploring different strategies to grow subscribers, the Cavs are keeping subscribers active and maintaining calendar engagement.

With CalReply’s dynamic calendering technology, clients can realize similar results by following these best practices:

Develop a multi-faceted promotion: Make sure your campaign touches every marketing channel—email, digital, and social.

Include calendar reminder buttons in key channels: Ensure that you include calendar buttons in your email marketing, blogs, and social media.

Remember to use a Call-to-Action: Provide detailed instructions for users to click the calendar link. For example, use copy that “Click here to download reminders!"

Be timely: Plan well in advance to capture some of the consumer excitement and anticipation leading up to a big event.

Contact your CalReply account manager to learn more about how you can optimize your campaigns!

Get Your Data in Real-Time Using CalReply Webhooks

We are excited to announce a new option for integrating with CalReply alongside our API – webhooks!

You’ve probably seen many popular web services boast about how they’ve made real-time data delivery possible through webhooks, now it's our turn.

Webhooks are simple, yet powerful. When a subscription event takes place, in real-time we push it to a desired location – a URL endpoint of your choosing – then you do what you want with it.  For example you might want to push this data into a CRM or database that you own and manage so that you can enrich customer records with calendars they are subscribing to. 

Webhooks provide you with detailed and real-time subscription data without the need for you to log into your CalReply account and manually export these records and import them into another platform.

Webhooks Flow

The setup is simple. By registering a URL endpoint in your CalReply merchant centre you will be notified anytime a subscription event takes place. When the event occurs—for example, a successful subscription is created, CalReply creates an Event Object. This object contains all the relevant information about the event occurrence, including the type of event and the data associated with that event. CalReply then sends the Event Object to any specified URL endpoints via an HTTP POST request. All in real-time. 

Adding a Webhook

Adding a Webhook

Webhooks Notification History

Webhooks Notification History

What triggers a Webhook?:

  • Subscribe Event - A user subscribes to a calendar

  • Unsubscribe Event - A user unsubscribes from a calendar

What data will you receive?

Here is an example of the subscription Event Object that will be pushed to your endpoint

Subscribe Event Object Payload

Why use webhooks?

In a word, Insight. You will receive detailed subscription data as it happens, this interpretation of the data is endless and it's up to you to decide how the data makes sense to you, here are just a few ideas: 

  • Build an email marketing database using emails associated with each subscription
  • Understand the success of a social media campaign to promote a calendar vs subscribers acquired at that time
  • Get an understanding as to the popularity of calendar tags in a certain zip code
  • Find out  which day and time yields the greatest number of subscribers

So, now that we've built it you should start using it! You'll find all the information in our docs, including the simple setup process and Event Object details. 

P.S this is just the beginning we will be adding more triggers to the Webhooks offering over time 😉

AMC Integrates CalReply into Email Newsletters

AMC Networks is known for producing quality programming like Better Call Saul, Into the Badlands and The Walking Dead (the highest-rated primetime show in America). To further serve their audiences, AMC has partnered with CalReply to bring detailed alerts to audiences moments before episodes air.

Subscribers can opt in to show calendars from the AMC website once to receive reminders for every episode of the season and all future seasons.


AMC has integrated REMIND ME buttons on their show pages as you can see above, and also into their weekly email newsletters to increase visibility of the CalReply offering.  The various newsletters provide consumers with valuable content such as videos, articles and podcasts to keep shows on AMC top-of-mind.  By including calendar buttons, AMC is ensuring that their already engaged audience, nurtured through email campaigns, remember to tune-in.  

Across the website and newsletters, REMIND ME buttons are placed in the header template next to the existing space reserved for airtimes.  Instead of relying on viewers to remember this date long after they’ve navigated away from the website or newsletter, calendar subscriptions will keep viewership up week after week.

Minutes before airtime, subscribers receive an alert including show and channel information.  To fully leverage the product,  the event can include enriched details like deep links to live-streams, app downloads, merchandising and more.

CalReply Joins ROKT

Brad Lindenberg (CEO, CalReply) and Bruce Buchanan (CEO, ROKT)

I'm proud and excited to share that CalReply has joined ROKT!

Five years ago we set out to build a lasting and valuable company with the aim to scale and serve millions of users around the world.

Through a few iterations of our original idea, we landed on CalReply, which has grown to become the world's leading calendar marketing platform for businesses aiming to drive real-time engagement for their media, broadcast and sport properties.  

Looking back over the last few years, our incredible team has built an innovative platform which was quickly adopted and embraced by the largest media outlets around the globe. Some of our customers include ITV, theSkimm, ESPN, UFC, NASCAR, IndyCar, MLB, NHL, Fox Sports, FOX, BT Sport and NFL Network to name a few. 

We have also powered calendaring solutions for the largest events on the planet including FIFA World Cup, RIO 2016 Olympics and the Rugby World Cup.

Over 4.5 million consumers in over 30 languages rely on our products to keep them informed across the 700 million reminders that have been triggered from our platform to date. 

To accelerate our strategic objectives, we have decided to merge our business into ROKT. ROKT is the world leader in post transaction marketing and have built an incredible technology that will enable our CalReply platform to become smarter and scale faster. 

Currently CalReply allows marketers to publish a relatively standardized set of events into subscribers calendars, however many of our customers are asking for more intelligent capabilities such as targeting all customers of a specific age or gender or those who have carried out an action on their website, similar to how intelligent email marketing platforms work. The ROKT technology will soon allow CalReply to bring these capabilities to market.

In addition to the technological benefits, ROKT is integrated into many of the world's largest eCommerce websites where they enable post transaction customer acquisition services for leading advertisers. The ROKT partner network receives over 100 million impressions a month, the majority of which are for online purchases that require an "add to calendar" action for the best user experience, for example concert bookings, flights and hotel reservations. This is the perfect place to expand CalReply's reach and enable customers to use the calendar as a means to connect with customers in a new and direct manner. Conversely our clients will be able to access the ROKT network and use it to drive calendar subscriber acquisition on a paid basis.

Most importantly, our team, product and ambitions are as strong as ever and will continue to be invested in. By combining resources with ROKT, we can accelerate our growth and momentum.

Thank you for your support and I look forward to what we will achieve together in the coming months and years ahead. 

- Brad Lindenberg, CEO 

Introducing The CalReply Event Engagement Score

CalReply is excited to introduce the Event Engagement score for all event reminders. This feature will be rolled out over the next 30 days into all CalReply accounts. 

The Event Engagement Score represents the percentage of subscribers that click into a calendar event reminder within a 15 minute window before and after an event start time.

CalReply is now one step further to closing the loop from subscription to tune-in by determining how many subscribers are taking action when reminded to watch TV or engage with an event.

While reminder impressions are still essential in determining engagement and cut through, the Event Engagement score demonstrates that audiences are taking action by opening their calendar and engaging with reminders in real-time.

In addition to this, we will soon be adding support for click through tracking from links within calendar reminders. 

Twice the engagement of email

On average, 15% of audiences that are notified via their calendar are interacting with events during the reminder window.  Sports events have the most engagement with 17% of subscribers engaging with their calendar when they are reminded of live events.  

When compared to open rates across digital channels for media companies, CalReply provides higher engagement rates than email and app push notifications.  On average,  41% of subscribers interact with calendar events on the day of a broadcast versus the 23% and 20% respectively for email and push notifications.  Unlike, emails, CalReply also offers real-time notifications ensuring subscribers will receive messaging prior to air-time. 


Increase Engagement through Deep Links in Calendar Events

Many clients have found success boosting engagement by including deep links in the event details. Deep links enable subscribers to consume content with ease by initiating desired actions with one click. Subscribers can be directed to various different sources like video content, articles, ticket sales, merchandise, app downloads and live streams. 

As an example, Columbus Blue Jackets and UFC utilize the events detail to drive subscribers to ticket sales and and game-time second screen statistics. 

The new Event Engagement score offers analytical insights on the value of driving CalReply reminders. With the added measurability, it's clear that calendaring is influencing tune-in all season long.  Start using the calendar engagement tool yourself and see why CalReply is an essential marketing channel to your strategy!


ESPN launches the ESPN Daily Calendar

ESPN, the preeminent source in worldwide sports, has built on its already extensive use of CalReply by releasing the ESPN Daily Calendar. The ESPN Daily Calendar is a curated calendar which is managed by ESPN's editorial staff and is updated daily to remind sports fans of the biggest events in sport across the globe.  

By manually curating each event, editorial staff are able to include commentary and insights that provide context around the event taking place. Here is an example:

The editorialized reminder provides context around the seeding of each player, who is playing, where to watch and the fact that this is a historical situation.


The ESPN Daily Calendar does not only feature events that air on ESPN, but also features events that are generally popular in nature. Examples include important UFC fights, tennis match ups, Rio Olympic events, international soccer rivalries, golf tournaments and more. By taking this approach, ESPN positions themselves as the leader in sports regardless whether they are a rightsholder to the event or not.

Explosive Subscriber Growth

To drive subscribers, ESPN began featuring the Daily Calendar in-app as a pop-up overlay which has resulted in tremendous growth. Upon opening the ESPN app, a full screen takeover invites visitors to subscribe and includes an example of what a calendar reminder looks like. After a one-click opt-in, fans’ calendars are immediately populated with events and news. Here is an example:


 By promoting calendars through in-app campaigns, ESPN has converted a large number of users into calendar subscribers. Additionally, the high calendar conversion rate and the value of a perpetual subscription-based methodology in CalReply nets ESPN a long-term engagement asset in  the form of the ability to remind audiences of key programming directly via their native mobile calendars. 

Instant Subscription via the Direct Link

One of the key drivers of subscriber growth is the flexibility of the CalReply API which allows for the creation of direct subscribe links for iOS for Android.  When implemented on mobile the user experience is drastically shortened since users don't need to load an interim CalReply calendar page before subscribing.  The direct link methodology has resulted in a 10x increase in subscription volume. 

Browser Push Notifications Powered by CalReply

Mobile usage continues to be ingrained in the daily lives of consumers, and companies have raced to market on mobile and social media.  Yet, with 42% of internet usage still conducted on a desktop or laptop computer, web browsers are a focal point in targeting the multi-channel individual. CalReply’s Browser Notifications feature is the optimal solution to connect with website visitors in real-time to boost engagement and site traffic. 

FOX, one of the largest television networks, partnered with CalReply to bring viewers calendar reminders and browser notifications to optimize the tune-in experience.  After finding success on the individual show level, FOX implemented browser push notifications dedicated to all the best events and content across the network.  These notifications provide a channel for FOX to stay connected with viewers. 

When visitors land on, they are greeted with a pop-up invitation to activate push notifications. Once access is granted, they can immediately begin receiving notifications, regardless of the website opened on the browser. Up-to-date release information is generated that redirects the subscriber to germane FOX articles. 

CalReply’s browser push notifications allow companies to provide timely and targeted content that re-engage consumers.  Consequently, companies can rest assured that important notifications are delivered and subscribers are directed to relevant site content instead of relying on traditional site-traffic alone.  Browser notifications expand the ability to reach and connect with users on an ubiquitous device that still accounts for almost half of internet usage.

Today’s consumers are inundated with data overload across several different devices but web browsers have remained a significant communication vehicle.  Leveraging browser notifications establishes long-term relationships with anonymous site visitors, and through targeted messaging re-engages users while providing subscriber relevant page views.