Email marketing in times of crisis

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19, March 2020


We are currently getting a lot of questions from our customers about how they should deal with their email marketing. Our experts have compiled the 8 most frequently asked questions and answers for you.


1. My inbox is fuller than ever before. Why are organizations sending so many emails at the moment?

Email is the perfect channel for the context we currently live in. Social media is fleeting, quick and not everyone has every app and social media channel. However, everyone does have an email address. You can read an email calmly with potential breaks, you can easily reflect on it, you can copy the text and forward it to friends. You can draft an email in the form of a letter in a very basic way. Email has unparalleled potential.


2. What does my customer need right now?

A customer needs trust, security, certainty and positivity right now. Take off your marketing hat if necessary and don’t take advantage of the situation, because then you are missing the point.

How can you really help customers/contacts with your product and/or service? Connect and be empathetic. Where are your customers and what are they doing right now? Are they working from home? How do they feel? Step into the shoes of somebody close (friend/family member) and see how they would receive this email right now. After all, we’re all at home now more than ever.

Be mindful: positivity does not mean fun or witty content. The majority of your recipients isn’t open for that right now.


3. What tone of voice should I use?

We are in a serious situation. Write informatively, seriously and clearly. Do not miss the point with cheeky or jolly language and step away from your usual tone of voice if necessary. Reassuring messages help: “We understand you’re dealing with x and y. This is how we’re going to help you.”

Create expectations, be consistent and cater to your contact’s need for security: “The coming month we will send you an email every week. This is what to expect in them.” If appropriate, you can keep your current house style, of course.


4. Should I stop my regular flows?

It isn’t necessary to stop everything, but do check all automatic flows. What’s correct and what isn’t? Do they contain messages like “We’ll meet for a cup of coffee soon”, “I’ll see you next week”, “Next month’s training”, etc.? Are there inappropriate jokes in them? Prevent accidentally missing the point.


5. What should I do if my regular, commercial newsletter with offers has no point? For example if I’m a travel agency?

Optimally utilize the creativity of your organization and determine what content you can communicate to stay connected. For example, send a background story every month or carefully look forward to better times together. Make sure your brand stays visible and doesn’t go off the radar, but do it properly. Take your marketing hat off.

Think about opportunities as well. Design flows you usually wouldn’t have (made) time for, go clean things up. It may not bring in hard cash, but it will help you “strike back” after this period.


6. What about my deliverability?

It’s preferable to keep doing what you always do. Don’t suddenly send a “Corona-email” to your entire database if you wouldn’t do something like that regularly. Segmentation remains crucial! Tip: In terms of message, stick to what the rest is doing. You don’t want to stand out in a negative way (“We DO send you a humorous email/check out our amazing Corona-offers”) and receive spam complaints or suffer damage to your online reputation.

Monitor brands in your own inbox and follow socials. We’re all in this together and that’s why you should do what everyone else is doing.

Extra tip from our expert: it’s advisable not to use the word Corona as clickbait. This is what fraudsters love to do as well. It’s the same story for COVID-19: only use these terms if you really have something to communicate about them.


7. How do I know if what I’m doing works?

Check your statistics and monitor them. To measure is to know. It’s the only way to factually get to know how your customers feel about your brand and communication during a time of crisis such as this.


8. Where can I find more info about email marketing in times of crisis

Broaden your horizon in general. Read more about crisis communication, read studies about emotional intelligence, etc. Try not to focus solely on email marketing as a channel, but make an effort to understand the wider spectrum.


Questions about email marketing?

The Webpower-team is happy to help you, in the good times and the bad!


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