Updated: Apr 21, 2020
E-mail marketing is clear and direct communication that businesses can use to connect with customers during this time of confusion.
E-mail marketing is a direct and measurable medium, making it stand out among other messages and content. It allows companies and organizations to manage the way they'll be handling the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, and maintain transparency with their customers.
Here are six ways that e-mail marketing can help your business deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Maintain Transparency
Sending an e-mail to your customers allows you to maintain transparency about how your business is dealing with the situation. In your e-mail outreach, you can include any specific details about what your company is doing to prepare and how you’ll continue to support your customers.
Your customers appreciate transparency, especially in times like this. It assures them that no matter what, you’ll be doing all you can for them, which will alleviate some of the concern and anxiety they’re currently experiencing.
Sending an e-mail to your customers allows you to maintain transparency about how your business is dealing with the situation.
2. Provide Special Measures
Everyone, including business, has to do their part to adhere to strict measures to control the COVID-19 virus. News broadcasts, radio and podcasts, and social media platforms are doing a solid job of spreading the word. However, there’s also a lot of misinformation out there, and those outlets are all competing for our attention.
By sending an e-mail, you’re able to address customers one-on-one, and it’s more likely that you’ll have their full attention. They can even go back to the e-mail for more details or share it with others.
Here are some examples of instances in which these kinds of emails make sense:
• The regional health service is making recommendations and providing a hotline for citizens to call and seek advice.
• A gym is only allowing a certain number of people to use the facility and is requiring specific hygiene protocols.
• An educational institution is informing students that it’s safe to attend classes due to specific cleaning measures they’re taking.
In each case, these types of emails do not lead with something that would cause readers to get agitated or fearful. Rather, they use calm language, indicating that this is a cautious time, but that the organization in question will be making decisions based on the health and well-being of their employees, clients, and community.
3. Communicate Changes
If you’re a B2C business, a storefront, or an event venue, you may be faced with changing your business hours, cancelling events, or closing altogether for the time-being. If temporarily closing your doors is something you need to do, then definitely alert your customers via e-mail as soon as possible so they’re completely in-the-know, and they don’t show up only to be disappointed.
Some specific examples of changes include:
• A theatre postponing some concerts and therefore informing ticket holders about new dates.
• A restaurant staying open during the morning but closing after lunch.
• A gym that's cancelled all group classes and is only permitting individual use of the facility.
4. Offer Your Services at a Distance
When deciding to close down temporarily, you can stay in touch with customers by sending e-mail campaigns that offer some kind of alternative to your services. Perhaps you’ve found a way for your product to be used from home until everyone is back to the usual routine.
Some examples include:
• A hairdresser providing tips via e-mail and video as to how to best cut hair at home.
• Closed schools providing recommendations and educational content for parents.
• A gym sending daily workout videos so members can workout from home.
You can stay in touch and top-of-mind with your customers via e-mail.
5. Promote E-commerce Alternatives
We’ve all seen the images of empty supermarkets and deserted shopping streets. Businesses are suffering, but e-mail marketing tactics can certainly help to boost sales. If you're business isn't already selling online, then start! And send an e-mail offer with a discount for those who shop online.
Or, notify your subscribers that there’s a way for their goods to be delivered to them if they purchase online. This will help you continue earning revenue while your doors are closed as well as stay top-of-mind with customers who would normally do business with you in person.
Some additional examples:
• A small shop or boutique putting all its products online so customers can shop from home.
• A restaurant offering free delivery if customers order through the e-mail or fill out a form.
• A supermarket offering to deliver your groceries for you if you order online or by e-mail.
6. Communicate Internally
Many companies have resisted letting their employees work remotely, but are now obligated to close their offices. If a team is not used to working from home, this can provide some difficulties in the beginning. Messaging services and video conferencing will be necessary tools, but don’t forget to keep everyone on the same page by sending out regular updates via e-mail.
Some examples of what to communicate to your team:
• All COVID-19-related changes.
• Specific reporting that certain teams need for their department.
• Regular video messages from the CEO to employees via e-mail.
One final point to keep in mind is: do not send pointless e-mails. If you don’t have anything compelling or essential to share with your customers about how your company is changing or reacting to the virus, don’t inundate your prospects with an e-mail.
Be safe out there, everyone. And make sure you look out for one another.