The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way the world functioned. The anxiety, paranoia and fear can be felt all around. And that has affected the consumption pattern and shopping habits of people. This, in turn, has affected the sales of businesses. As a marketer, you need to take a look at your marketing strategy and update it in accordance with the world crisis.
So how should you communicate with your customers during this pandemic? With 70% of people checking their email often, it can become the most preferred marketing channel for easy communication and engagement with customers. But it is critical to reshape your email marketing strategy to make it more empathetic, humane, and compassionate, all at the same time. Here’s how you can do it.
While the whole world is in this pandemic together, it is important to be empathetic towards your customers. The right thing to do in the present scenario is to not speak like a marketer but a human being who cares for another human being. A few kind words through your email can help your customers feel positive. Try crafting your emails in a way that sounds more like a personal conversation with a friend.
● Don’t rush into things
Don’t send COVID-19 emails just for the sake of sending. It is imperative to know if you need to send a COVID related email or not. If you don’t have any new information or offer to share, it is better to not send an email at all. Your subscriber’s inbox is already flooded with such irrelevant emails, make sure your brand is not the one doing so.
● Keep yourself updated
While the education of 1.6 billion learners has been disrupted, 40 to 60 billion people are expected to reach extreme poverty in 2020 because of this pandemic. So, you see how the world and the situation related to COVID-19 is changing at a fast pace? Therefore, you must have thorough knowledge about the COVID related data and information you are including in your emails. You can do so by checking your facts and relying on credible sources for extracting the pandemic related news.
● Don’t overdo it
We all know how an excess of anything is bad. Don’t send too many COVID related emails to your customer base. It might have worked for the first time but it wouldn’t cater to your customer’s needs all the time. Send such emails only if you have something valuable to offer.
● Make sure you are not offensive
Selling your products and offering discounts to your customer base is fine. After all, that’s your job as a marketer. However, don’t try to cash in on people’s fear and anxiety. A lot of people in your customer base would dislike it, especially if they are directly affected by it or have seen someone close suffering.
Now, since you know about the best practices to opt for your email marketing strategy during this crisis, the next step is to know about the types of emails you can send to maximize your campaign value amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Emails Depicting Change in Offers
If the pandemic has affected your business and you are not able to function the way you used to, you can send a change in offer email to your subscriber base. For instance, Eventbrite, a US-based event management and ticketing website helps users to browse, create and promote local events. However, the lockdown has restricted its functioning completely. Therefore, it is trying to move forward virtually by encouraging people to purchase gift certificates, hosting virtual happy hours, providing online attendance options for classes and concerts etc. In addition, it is also being empathetic by motivating people to contribute to food banks, non-profit organizations etc. Further, it is even giving tips to event creators about conducting online webinars and events. Take a look at its beautiful email template.
2. Emails Talking About How To Deal With The Pandemic Situation
The COVID-19 pandemic is a testing time for everyone. This is the time when you can provide your customer base solace by letting them know how you are dealing with the situation. See how Burberry, a British luxury fashion house is dealing with the situation by fast-tracking the delivery of surgical masks for medical staff along with creating non-surgical gowns and masks for the patients. In addition, it is also funding vaccine-related research and donating to charities committed to tackling food poverty.
Here’s another example from MOVE, a supermarket providing aid by combating the food shortage and loss of mobility. It is not only providing staples shipped at cost with free delivery but also happily bearing the loss.
3. Informative Emails
Informative emails about how to deal with the pandemic and the precautions that require to be taken is the need of the hour. Take a look at the COVID-19 email sent by Quest diagnostics. From letting its customer base know how it is protecting its patients to encouraging people to act quickly in case of an emergency, it is doing it all through precise content and effective CTAs. This HTML email example by Quest diagnostics has a lot of inspiration to take from.
Here’s another example from Carrot fertility which is hosting a webinar for expecting parents regarding the complexities of fertility during this crisis.
4. Emails Explaining How to Be Productive at Home
The restricted movement has forced people to stay within the four walls of their houses. However, the anxiety and boredom that comes with it has drastically reduced the energy and productivity of people. This is where you can leverage email marketing. From giving your customer base tips to be productive during quarantine to letting them know how you are working remotely, you can do it all to instil some positivity and confidence. Take a look at how asana does it.
5. Emails That Work As a Support System
Few kind and compassionate words can go a long way in building a long-lasting relationship with your customer base. So, let your subscribers know that you have their back. Take a look at an email from Email Uplers where it is trying to provide every kind of support for its client base working remotely.
In addition, MailNinja also does a good job with its assurance email. Take a look.
6. Emails Pertaining to Safety Protocol
If you are a Brick and Mortar company, you must tell your customer base what kind of safety protocols you are taking to keep your employees safe. Sephora does it like a pro.
Here’s another email example from Foodsby where they are informing customers how they are communicating with restaurants and following all the health and hygiene standards while promoting contactless delivery for their customer base.
7. Emails Related to Donations and Relief Funds
If you work as a non-profit organization or are into a corporate business trying to collect donations for combating COVID-19, you must send emails to your customer base for the same. This way you fulfil your corporate social responsibility and also improve your brand image.
With Covid-19, every day is a new challenge for customers as well as marketers. However, as a marketer, it is your responsibility to reach out to your subscribers and stand by them in this trying time. So, take some cues from the above-mentioned tips and examples and craft an email marketing strategy that best resonates with the current scenario. Remember to be sincere and kind with your words.
Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and Custom Mailchimp Templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.