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Best Practices for Email Marketing in Times of Crisis

Posted by IndustrySelect on Wednesday, May 6, 2020




The coronavirus crisis has created a new status quo almost overnight. As a marketer, being reactive is more important now than ever, and there is a dire need to find a new communication style that suits your brand and audience as well as the current situation we're facing.

Email marketing is still a relevant and reliable way to connect with your audience, but you need to rethink your content strategy, find the right tone to discuss current events, connect with leads in meaningful ways and avoid clichés.

Rethinking Email Marketing

The good news is that engagement has been going up for email marketing. People are more likely to be online and seek information, and newsletters are seeing their average opening rate increase by 5%. There is an opportunity to connect with your audience if you can deliver the kind of content they need. The challenge, however, lies in figuring out how your audience's needs have changed and how you can address these new priorities and concerns.

Take some time to analyze how lockdowns, social distancing and uncertainty are affecting both your organization and your customers. Recognizing the situation can help you figure out whether your old goals and strategies are still relevant to today's environment.

Additionally, email is a great opportunity to communicate about your crisis management strategies. You can use this channel to talk about how things have changed for your organization and outline the steps you're taking to support your customers and protect employees. This type of content will reassure your audience that you are prioritizing health and safety.

The Emotional Component

Some words and images are going to insight a different emotional response than the one you intended when you developed content prior to the global pandemic.

For instance, images of crowds or of people touching would evoke positive concepts like communication and connection in normal times. These images can now become a source of anxiety or insensitivity.

Establishing and maintaining an emotional connection with your audience is important. The best way of connecting with leads and existing customers is to be authentic. As such, you should discuss current challenges and issues without being alarmist, adopt a tone that is appropriate for the situation and avoid clichés that have become overused over the past few months.

Communicating Sensitively

Tact is crucial for communicating during the COVID-19 crisis. Some of the content that you had scheduled might not feel relevant or appropriate, and your automated email series might need a few touch-ups if you don't just want to temporarily suspend these campaigns.

For example, sales-focused emails won't bode well with an audience that is cutting costs to save money. Instead, emphasize sensitivity and focus on how you can show your support, not on how you can make a quick buck.

You should also think about how your audience is perceiving your organization in light of the crisis. Your email communication efforts can feel hollow if there is negative publicity surrounding layoffs or issues with keeping essential employees safe.

Prioritize your crisis management strategy and ensure internal safety. Once you have a hold on your processes, you can then reach out to help your customers with their needs. After all, if you can't practice what you preach, it is unlikely your customers will trust you to help them.

Communicating Effectively

While the content may be different, the basic rules of email marketing still apply. You will get better results if you share emails with a clear and concise message and communicate with a purpose.

There are a few strategies you can use to address COVID-19 while still delivering valuable content to your audience:

• Identify new challenges your audience is facing and discuss how your products or services can help.
• Are any of your leads and clients considered essential manufacturers? Highlight products and services that can help with continuing production or keeping employees safe.
• Share news about your industry to show you are paying attention to updates.
• Offer advice for dealing with new challenges, such as supply chain disruption or operating an essential facility.
• If shutdowns have disrupted your usual services, keep your audience informed about the services you're still offering and focus on content that is positive and discusses future plans.

Reaching out to new leads and existing customers will be more beneficial for everyone when you have figured out a new way of communicating in the midst of this crisis. Right now, manufacturers are seeing their needs change at a rapid pace and are likely to consider new solutions.

IndustrySelect can help you send the right message to the right people with our comprehensive database. To learn more, visit our website and start your free demo today



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