We live in a changed world right now. Ever since the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus a global pandemic on March 11, everyone has been working to orient themselves in our “new normal.” In addition to watching out for personal health and that of family and friends, the pandemic and social distancing measures have impacted nearly every single kind of business.
If you are a business owner or marketer, email has now become your number one way to communicate with your customers. It can be a method of reassurance or a useful update of new practices. But, because of the uncertain and fatiguing nature of these times, how you share your messages is especially important.
Here are some tips for your customer emails.
Be Sensitive, but Stay True to Your Brand
A global situation like this provides every incentive for businesses to speak to the moment in bold and dramatic ways. But in a time when everyone is inundated with intense news reports and changing lifestyles, likely the best message you can provide is one of consistency.
Whatever your typical marketing tone is to your customers, it’s smart to maintain and adapt it for this current time. While you want to avoid saying anything tone-deaf (more on that below), there’s no reason for your brand to suddenly become C-SPAN and convey a bunch of news that people already know.
Stay in your lane and focus on your customers—and do it in a familiar brand voice.
Resist the Urge to “Send to All”
This is a very important deliverability note. While the current crisis may inspire a “pull out all the stops” mentality, you should be very cautious about sending out an email marketing message to your entire email list, especially if you haven’t taken such an action in a while.
You could rack up a record number of bounce-backs, invalid emails, and spam complaints. You want to make sure that a sudden spike in sending volume does not impact your sender reputation score in negative ways. Now, more than ever, you want to be sure that your email messages are making it to every inbox.
Deliver Valuable and Relevant Content
Your customers have enough going on, so you really want to avoid sending them any unnecessary or frivolous messages. Stick to email topics that you know will be appreciated: updates about services or products, discount opportunities, or changes to your business.
If you are able to do anything philanthropic to help during this time, you can share updates about that as well. Customers like to know when brands are taking the initiative to assist others. They may even reward you by patronizing you to show their support for your actions.
Carefully Choose Your Language
Emails are by definition a personal communication between brands and customers: your message is in their inbox. So tread carefully with all your email copy to avoid being out of step with the moment.
Typical “countdown” language about “Acting now” or “Time running out” should be avoided—these messages can add to already existing anxiety. Be conscious of the moment: people aren’t going on vacations or going out to eat now, so make sure your email language reflects that. You can still be friendly, or even funny, as long as you’re not making light of the health emergency or saying something that doesn’t match your brand voice.
Hopefully, you’ve built up a significant customer base over your email marketing messages. Use all that experience to fine-tune each message and stay true to your brand voice and you’ll get a positive response back.