How to sell sports picks

7 things the best handicappers are doing to sell their picks

It's hard to sell sports picks. You have to have thick skin, and your customers will abandon you at the first hint of a losing streak. You have to continuously prove yourself, every single day, no matter what your long-term record is. Many customers only care about what you've done for them this week.


As a sports bettor, I get a lot of emails from handicappers trying to sell their sports picks. I didn't sign up for these lists, but I know that email addresses of sports bettors get bought, sold and traded every day.

As a marketer, I see what these handicappers are doing, and it makes me shake my head. They probably think that email marketing is dead, or that it's too hard to make it in this business as a handicapper.

I got this email a few minutes ago:

Email from handicapper

I don't know who "Frank" is. I've never heard of him. As a sports bettor, I would just hit the Spam button, especially considering how "Frank" did a really bad job of trying to convince me to click on his link.

I get so many of these emails, and I know that the response rate is very low on these types of ads.

When I read this email, the marketer in me had to reply to "Frank" and give him a few pointers.

This is what I sent him. You can click the image to see a bigger version of it:

More than likely, you're going to conclude that the list you just sent to was trash, unresponsive, and a complete waste of your time and money.

I would think the same thing, too, if I didn't work in the marketing department of one of the largest enterprise-level ESPs in the States.

Business-owner to business-owner: Your ad sucks. It needs a lot of work.

Sure, you might get a few nibbles, but nothing compared to what you should be getting.

The list you're using is decent; after all, I am a sports bettor.

But I don't know who you are. There's no social proof. You didn't call out to my emotions. Your CTA was weak.

You linked me to a website that gave me a ton of choices. Any idea why Costco only gives you a couple of different choices per item? Because they know that people get like a deer in headlights. They freeze, and ultimately don't make a purchase. Information overload. Paralysis by analysis.

You send me an email from "Frank Gillian", yet on the landing page you sent me to, there's no mention of a Frank anywhere. What was the point of your email? What are you ultimately trying to accomplish (obviously making money, but your specific goal for THIS email)?

Are you trying to alert me to a bet tracker platform? Are you trying to sell me picks?

I mean, as the end-user, there's just too much questions you're leaving me with.

And as a marketer, you definitely need to put a lot more thought into your email marketing.

And then this happened...


You spend the money to acquire an email list.

You spend the money to send an email out.

And yet, you don't have a valid email address for your potential customers to reply to?

Is this just a hobby for you? 

Okay so anyway, I clicked on the link in the email, only to be shown this:

Screenshot of sports betting landing page

What is this??

Are you trying to sell me on your bet tracker software (as a handicapper), or are you trying to sell me picks? Which one is it?

You should never leave the customer guessing what you want them to do.

You have to tell your customers what you want them to do next. You don't leave them guessing, and you definitely don't give them 20 options to choose from.

It's hard being a sports handicapper and trying to sell your picks. You have to have great analytical skills (to come up with the picks in the first place), great marketing skills (to sell the picks to others), and great customer service skills (because you will get emails from your customers calling you every name out there).

I get it, though, I really do. It's hard to find handicappers that are great marketers, and it's hard to find marketers that are great handicappers. Some of the best handicappers that I know of are pretty bad at their marketing.

If you want to see how a lot of handicappers are marketing right now, just go to twitter and do a search for #sportsbetting. Everybody's always winning. Nobody's losing.

And then you get all these screenshots (click here to learn how easy it is to create fake bet slips) like this:

And then when you click to their website, they're slinging their picks for $250 a month. It makes no sense whatsoever. 

Why would you sell your picks for $250 a month if you were betting $44,000 a pick?

You wouldn't. Just winning 1 unit a month would earn you $40,000 a month - almost half a million dollars a year. Isn't that enough for you? Do you really need to sling your picks on Twitter for $250 a month on top of it?

Sports bettors aren't stupid. As a handicapper, it's harder now than ever to sell your picks.

Thanks to the internet, sports bettors have become a lot more educated. A lot of handicappers can't make the same amount of money that they used to, back in the boiler room days.

The internet has removed most of the anonymity. Sports bettors now demand social proof before they'll give you any money.

The more professional sports bettors, the ones that treat this as an investment or a business, require full disclosure and tracked bets.

If you want to make money selling your sports picks, follow these 7 rules:

  • Take your time writing an email to potential customers. An email should take you hours to write. Then sleep on it. Look at it again the next day. Make changes to it. Sleep on it again.

    Writing ad copy takes a lot of time. If you need helping learning how to write ad copy, I highly recommend a book by Maria Veloso called Web Copy That Sells.
  • Always have a valid way for your customers (potential and current) to contact you. Respond as quickly and professionally as you can.
  • Be direct with what you want your customers to do. Don't just assume that your marketing is obvious and that they know what to do. Your customers can't read your mind.
  • Never use fake screenshots or bet slips. Your customers aren't stupid. Nobody is betting 5 figures per game and selling picks for $250 a month, and smart sports bettors know this. Don't insult your customers.
  • Use real social proof. Ask your customers for testimonials that you can use to promote your service. Reviews & testimonials are vital for your business.

    When people shop on Amazon, the customer reviews are one of the most popular sections that they look at first. Reviews are that important.

    Don't fake these. I know they're really easy to fake, but have some integrity. 
  • Track your bets. Smart sports bettors will ask you for a P&L (profit & loss) statement. They want to know what your ROI (Return on Investment) and ROC (Return on Capital) are.

    If you don't know, or can't get those numbers within 5 minutes with a few clicks, then you've lost a customer.
  • Be honest. Don't just celebrate your wins and ignore your losses. Your customers hate when you do this. They're trusting you with their money. Respect that trust. Own your losses, and they'll be more apt to stick with you during the losing streaks.

About the Author Steve

Steve firmly believes that most meals can be improved with mac n cheese. When he's not helping people make money betting on sports, Steve loves mountain biking, playing video games with his son, & annoying his wife. Oh, and he's a big Dallas Cowboys fan. Don't hate.

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