The COVID-19 pandemic brought organizations across the world to a halt. The rapid and unanticipated onset of the recent pandemic impacted nearly every aspect of business, causing leaders to make quick decisions that would greatly impact their organizations and strategy for 2020.
The unavoidable shift in strategy was felt heavily by marketing professionals across all industries. With the public inherently taking notes of how brands are responding, there’s no room to misstep. An organization’s ability to quickly amend or restructure predetermined programs to adapt to the Coronavirus climate will ultimately determine if their business will come out of the pandemic successfully. This means you not only have to work quickly, but you need to be smart, strategic and thoughtful in your approach.
It’s likely that your company’s email content plan needed to be revisited when COVID-19 hit. Email marketing plays an instrumental role in an organization’s lead generation or prospect development program because it allows you to reach customers on a personal level. During times of crisis, it’s not only important to protect your brand but also your lead funnel. This blog will take a deeper look into how you can amend your original email strategy and provide tips for how to kick-start your post-Covid recovery.
Where to begin?
It’s safe to say that when the pandemic began, our lives came to a screeching halt.
If you’re a marketer, you inevitably had a moment where you stopped to think, “what are we going to do now?” because we can all agree that nobody likes to be thrown a curveball. Especially when your email marketing plan was made and finalized several months ago.
Perhaps you considered hitting the pause button on email campaigns. From a company growth and sales perspective, you probably quickly realized you could not afford to do that. Email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook, and Twitter combined in helping your business acquire new customers. When times are tough, you can’t miss out on these opportunities.
The first step in revising your email program is to evaluate your original strategy. Before starting from scratch – and potentially creating more work, take a look at what was already in the schedule. Can you tweak the current messaging to fit the new climate? Could you move email send dates to go out at a more appropriate time? In some cases, you might discover that with a few simple edits you can make your already created emails work for you. When time is of the essence, you don’t want to waste it if you don’t have too!
Out with the old, in with the new.
If you find that you need to start from scratch – no need to panic. Before you get started mapping out a new plan, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my target audience most concerned about during this crisis?
- How can I reassure our audience?
- What does our organization offer that will be helpful during this time?
Building email content around the answers to these questions will guide in the right direction to determine a new campaign with updated messaging. This is your time to showcase your organization’s strengths. During this time of uncertainty, your clients and prospects are looking for answers. Communicating that your organization is the solution to their lingering questions and concerns will effectively engage your target audience. Last month, we wrote a blog about how to prepare for the recovery with a winning content strategy. This piece is a great reference if you’re struggling to determine appropriate content to send out right now!
It’s time to get Personal
Once you’ve determined the content of your email – it’s time to think about how you want to position your message. In times of crisis, personalization is key. It’s important to acknowledge that the fear and anxiety you’re feeling during this time of is also being felt by your prospects and clients. Now more than ever, they want to feel seen, heard, and cared for. Take advantage of message customization tools and do your best to address each member on your list by name, even if it’s a mass send. This will go a long way!
Provide value, but be careful of your tone!
As we’ve briefly covered, this is the time to communicate your organization’s value. With a series of email sends highlighting relevant services and offers, your audience will understand why they need you, particularly during times of crisis.
When drafting service-related emails, be wary of your tone and sounding too opportunistic. Tone sensitivity across all marketing channels is paramount during this time. We recommend only highlighting services that are useful for an organization’s recovery. It is also important that the overall tone of your email aligns with the current state of the pandemic. For instance, at first you’ll likely express empathy with messages relaying that “we’re all in this together.” As time goes on, you’ll need to transition to a more positive tone, encouraging your clients and prospects and outlining the tools they need to succeed and move forward.
Be Consistent, not overwhelming
Remember to be strategic in your approach! Supplementing your email campaigns with related social posts or advertising will enhance brand authenticity and awareness. Last month, we reviewed how to position your brand on social media during times of crisis along with best practices for social advertising when the unexpected occurs. Refer to these blog posts before you kick off a multi-channel campaign!
Because users will be digesting information through various sources and platforms, it’s important that your email content, website, social media accounts, and any other marketing materials all tell the same story. Users will likely follow up from your emails by further engaging with your brand elsewhere so it’s crucial that your messaging is consistent.
On a similar note – be careful not to overwhelm your clients and customers. Spread out your email sends so that it doesn’t feel like information overload to your users. You risk users unsubscribing or marking future emails as spam if you too frequently fill their inbox!
How to move forward?
As you would for any email marketing campaign, track your results!
Likely, the approach you’re taking now is not something you’ve previously done before. What was successful? If you found yourself in a similar situation down the line, what would you do differently? These very important insights give you a benchmark for the future if history repeats itself. The sudden shift in strategy may have also shed a light on new and improved email tactics that you want to move forward with in the future!
When executed properly, email marketing works. It’s cost-effective, efficient, and proven to drive results. As we mentioned at the start of the blog, email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to garner, nurture, and further engage new leads. Now more than ever, it’s important to deliver leads to your sales team so that your business will continue to grow, even when the unexpected occurs. Don’t let the pandemic be a setback for your organization!
If your organization isn’t seeing results from your current email efforts, talk to Nowspeed. Our team has solid experience, a strong portfolio and excellent skills that you can trust. Learn more about our Marketing Automation and Lead Nurture Services.