The COVID-19 pandemic has forced almost every company to reevaluate their marketing practices. Stalled sales, disrupted campaigns, and consumer buying behavior change are the new factors to be considered while creating a new email communication strategy.
Can email marketing work as effectively as it worked during the last decade?
The significance of email has escalated during the current crisis. Stats published by HubSpot highlight that since the beginning of the lockdown, the percentage of emails sent by firms has increased by 44 percent compared to stats from before the coronavirus crisis. As per Wunderkind, Inc., the open rates have also increased considerably.
Here’re some tips to help in ensuring your brand’s emails remain relevant to the current scenario.
1 Your email’s subject line matters a lot
As email marketers often point out, considerable percentages of emails sent to prospects do not even get opened. The best way to boost the opening rate is by using excellent email subject lines. Avoid using the word YOU in the subject line. Using personalized subject lines with fewer than 30 characters can help.
2 Sharing news and health safety tips can work
As per data from a study conducted by a global communications firm, Edelman, 54 percent of consumers pay attention to brands that talk about solutions to handle pandemic-related challenges. The same research also highlighted that 84 percent of consumers look at brands as a source of reliable news during the current crisis. So, using email communication for sharing news about coronavirus vaccine development and health tips along with links for pandemic related research work can help in ensuring high opening and readability rates.
3 Providing real value to the consumer is crucial
Sending two emails per week, one for educating customers and the other that focuses on the brand’s products or services, has worked for several firms.
Sending email messages that are concise, empathetic, and contain useful information can promote consumer perception about the brand. Readers won’t consider your emails as something that’s clogging their inbox. Sales language emails should be spared for another day.
4 Establish a rapport and signal a sympathetic tone
The message should be compassionate, genuine, and help relieve the feeling of doom. As pointed out by the University of Queensland’s lecturer, Ken Tann, during her interaction with the BBC, using words that are sympathetic, and breed a sense of global camaraderie can help. Commiserating the feeling arising out of the pandemic and reminding the readers that they are not alone is crucial.
5 Deals and special offers are appreciated
Almost every country’s economy has been badly hit due to the pandemic. Several firms have declared job cuts worldwide, which has resulted in uncertainty in the jobs market. People have changed their shopping patterns; most of them are buying stuff that’s absolutely necessary.
Using emails as a medium to provide special deals and offers is highly recommended. People do wish to purchase household essentials and services that they need in their day-to-day life. Waiving off delivery charges, providing free trials for membership programs, and discount gift cards can be a welcoming move. Another tried and tested way to improve deliverability and open rate is creating offers based on search keywords used by website visitors and Google search trends.
6 Offer mobile data top-ups or OTT platform subscriptions via email campaigns
People are using mobile phones to access excellent entertainment content. They also use these devices for creating Wi-Fi hotspots while working from home. So, they appreciate brands that provide free data, subscription to OTT platforms, or audio content to help them stay engaged.
Several firms have signed co-branding pacts with telecom companies to offer free 4G data along with their products and services. And using emails to share offer codes with loyal customers as a part of the campaign can help in ensuring customers stay hooked.
7 Customers appreciate brands that contribute to society during the pandemic
As highlighted by Edelman New York’s President, Jennifer Cohan, people put their trust in brands that stand for something. Firms are expected to act beyond classic business interests and solve societal issues. In fact, studies have stressed the point that companies have worked more quickly to help people than the government in some cases. Thus, if brands are indulged in email marketing, they should link their service to some greater good that the organization has done for the people during the pandemic.
Organizations should avoid communicating with the consumers if the action does not deliver any value because the chances are that pure marketing emails would be ignored. Such communication can upset the customer or make them anxious.
The rough patch, the difficult time, will end as soon as coronavirus vaccine(s) pass various trials and reach people worldwide. Everyone will appreciate and remember their government executives, NGOs, healthcare workers who did not hesitate to put their life at stake while helping others. People will also not forget companies, brands that supported employees, consumers, and society during the coronavirus crisis.
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