As the COVID-19 cases continue to rise by the day and it takes a toll on people’s health worldwide, businesses are changing from a COVID-19 refusal to COVID-19 FOMO in just a week. Therefore, we thought to pen down some best practices on how businesses can avoid sending irrelevant emails amid the COVID-19 crisis.
It’s high time that we do not take things lightly as we take extra precautions amidst the lockdown conditions which are prevailing all over the world.
We all realize that there is a sensitive situation at stake as many livelihoods and markets are at risk of losing a lot of money if not direct bankruptcy. Meanwhile, you must ensure that your email program is running healthy and it doesn’t go wrong by sending unnecessary messages at the wrong time or being very impatient about content, etc. which could result in your brand downcast.
I am pretty sure you wouldn’t want your brand to be remembered as –
Let us see what are these Best Email Practices are-
1. Decide if communication is essential.
During the worldwide health emergency, organizations in almost all sectors have been communicating with their customers via email may it be asking them to stay safe, or telling them the measures or the work from home facility that they are providing to their employees, or information on the change in their operations or services, etc.
Email Channel is a perfect yet non-intrusive way to remind your customers about you and of course the best when in times of public crisis.
But it is really necessary to send emails?
Just for the sake of sending or getting an eyeball of your brand name or because everyone is doing that does not justify your answer to the above question as YES!. Hence, we feel that you should send coronavirus related emails only in certain instances.
When should you be sending COVID-19 emails?
- You have substantial information to share like impact and changes in operations or services of your business
- You are dealing with customers that are living in sensitive areas or professionals eg. medical practitioners, therapist, etc.
- You also have a brick and mortar store.
- You are providing help to your customers or victims like food supplies, waiving cancellation fees, etc.
- There are so many emails that were sent out during this time of panic but added not much in value other than empathize with the readers.
This email by CVS is a perfect example of adding value at the right time.
Why do we say so?
But if you look at the email from CVS, you know instantly that you’re going to get something of value and this is not just another empathy email. The value-add here is the free delivery of prescription meds, flu shots, and more.
2. Right content with the Right tone.
There is already a lot of stress around and therefore none of your recipients want another email to add to that stress. Getting the right tone is important where you need to be very subtle about exigency.
For example, you can use some words like virtual, online, tips, essentials instead of urgent, critical, serious, or alert.
In short, use words that don’t add more stress to the reader.
As we discussed on the above point that your content should be relevant according to the type of communication you want to send to your audience, make sure that you have clear goals about what to communicate which similarly should be reflected on the subject line of your email.
3. Personalize the Message
If you have a large subscriber list, then segmenting your list will help people get the relevant content which will increase the chance of better engagement and maximum inboxing.
If you have stores all around the world, you just can send the same messages to all the audience, the changes in the services and operations might be different, government regulations at the emergency time may be different, the messages might also change according to the recency, frequency, and value of the purchase done by the customer. Sending messages accordingly will make more sense for each brand.
Not to forget, you should also give an option of opt-out, in case people do not want to hear from you so that you don’t bother them again.
4. Be human, avoid sales pitches
Out of the hundreds of thousands of emails that are being sent, many of them are simply opportunistic sales pitches. That’s really not the right thing to do. Even though you could get a lot of opens and click-throughs with such tactics, offering no real value through these emails will tamper your brand image in the minds of many of your existing customers.
And you really do not want to fall in that zone. So don’t sell. Talk to your customers like you would talk to a friend. Add value to their lives in a way that aligns with your brand. Avoid pitching any products right now.
5. Deliver the right value proposition
It is essential to keep all your activities in sync with the values of your organization during critical times. We often lose the focus because of unprecedented events and conditions around us and in the lieu of always staying competitive.
You need to be true to your values and build on how your brand has been positioned already.
In these times where panic is the sentiment around the world, people need to hear from someone who can be calm, complacent, and forward-looking. As a brand, it becomes your topmost priority to not only show empathy and support but to offer any kind of guidance and direction that’s possible from your end.
Direct promotion in the name of Coronavirus is a big NO, so steer clear from that. Show your customers that you are with them and find a way that best aligns with your business personality to convey this sentiment.
Stay safe, and keep in touch with your customers.