Adapting Your Email Marketing Strategy for the Covid-19 Pandemic

While everyone is saying that COVID-19 is bound to change the world, only a few realise that it already has.

With millions of people turning to the digital realm to work, shop, and socialise, marketers are finding thousands of new opportunities to generate leads.

In the 21st century, email has become the most powerful marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. The 4200% ROI makes it highly appealing and impossible to ignore. What has changed about email marketing during the COVID-19 epidemic and what to expect after it's over? Let's find out.

Email Marketing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Email marketing has been around since 1978 when Gary Thuerk sent the first promotional email via Arpanet and earned $13 million for his company selling DEC machines. Which means that this marketing tool survived the oil crisis, Black Monday, the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, and much more.

Over the years, the approach to email marketing has been changing according to the latest developments. The COVID-19 recession isn't an exception. The biggest difference between the rest of the crises and the situation we find ourselves in today is how dependent people are on the digital world.

With the target audience spending more and more time online, the power of email marketing has soared.

Best Practices for Email Marketers During the COVID-19 Recession and Beyond

Even though the pandemic is subsiding in many countries, prospects is still unclear. Adjusting your email marketing strategies right now can help you thrive during these tough times and prepare for the post-COVID-19 world.

1. Adding Clarity

These days the world is overwhelmed with conspiracy theories, cries for help, fake content, and incomplete data. Consider taking advantage of this chaos by adding clarity to your emails. While you can't make predictions about the pandemic, you can be transparent about your own business.

During COVID-19: The more clarity you can add to your emails, including timelines of product delivery, the appearance of new services, and upcoming promotions, the more conversions you are likely to achieve. Become an oasis of clarity in these chaotic times, and your target audience will be hooked.

Post-COVID-19: This approach will be highly appealing after the pandemic is over as well. With millions of emails trying to compete for the clients' attention, people are learning how to sift through them quickly.
Post COVID-19, a catchy intro may not be enough to grab their attention. You'd have to establish your company as a trustworthy source of clear and valuable information.

2. Focusing on Working from Home

Remote work used to be a nice perk and an employee retention factor. In 2020, it turned into a survival tactic. During the Coronavirus pandemic, 88% of organisations encourage their employees to work from home.

During COVID-19: Whatever services and products your business provides, your email strategy should be focused on offering them to people at home. From comfy slippers to telemedicine, the work-from-home offers should be on the agenda.

Post-COVID-19: Today, more and more companies are realising that working from home can be just as productive as coming to the office. Renting large office spaces is likely to become obsolete in many industries.

When the pandemic is over, these companies may keep part of their workforce at home. Accordingly, this tactic is here to stay for a long time, if not forever.

3. Adjusting Sending Schedule

Pandemic forced many email marketers to rethink their e-mail sending schedule. With the majority of people staying at home, their email checking habits have changed.

Pre-COVID-19, the best time slots for sending emails were around 10 a.m. (a person arrives at work and finishes the morning coffee) and 1 p.m. (catching up on email after lunch).

During COVID-19: Now that commute to work is obsolete, many people tend to check their email earlier. Many of them do it right after they wake up. The flexible working hours that many employees now face wreak havoc on their habits. That's why it's important to come up with new sending schedules.

Post-COVID-19: After the pandemic, many people are likely to keep working from home. That's why the sending tactics may not change drastically.
However, it may be a good idea to survey your existing clients about their plans for the post-COVID-19 period right now to have a better idea about the sending schedule once the virus subsides.

4. Focusing on Health-Related Information

Coronavirus made many people rethink their unhealthy habits and adjust lifestyles accordingly. Whatever actions they take right now are focused on staying as healthy as possible with the hope to survive the virus without developing any symptoms.

During COVID-19: Adapting the email marketing strategy should include focusing on your audience's health. Even if your services and products don't have much to do with the clients' health, you may consider offering tips, insights, and resources to help them in their struggle. Your care for the clients' well-being must be obvious.

Post-COVID-19: The echo of the pandemic is likely to stay with us for years. That's why the series of health-related emails you may be working on today could become highly demanded tomorrow. Caring for your audience's health is likely to become an important part of marketing personalisation tactics.

5. Emphasising Involvement

Since the pandemic is a problem faced by the entire population, each company is trying to show its involvement in the fight. From free hand-made medical masks to fund-raisers to running errands for the elderly population, involvement has become an integral part of brand awareness.

During COVID-19: You can include information about your involvement and struggle to fight the virus into your email marketing strategy. Especially, if you are focusing on local marketing. Take everything you possibly can out of the company's actions to counter the virus to craft appealing brand awareness emails.

Post-COVID-19: Since you've honed the involvement tactic during the pandemic, there is no need to abandon it after it's over. If you've established yourself as a company that cares, take full advantage of it.
There are plenty of causes you can devote some of your time and money to after the pandemic. Such involvement will always be great for your email marketing strategy.

6. Taking a New Approach to Segmentation

COVID-19 changed the way many people live. That's why it's imperative to segment your audience and email lists according to the new reality.
During COVID-19: You can be dividing your audience into such segments as:

  • Working from home during the pandemic.
  • Lost a job during the pandemic.
  • Forced to work on the "front lines" during the pandemic.

While demographics and buyer's behaviour are still important, these criteria may affect the content of your emails and marketing tactics tremendously. The pain points of a big chunk of your audience may have changed, and you need to adjust your emails accordingly.
Post-COVID-19: You'd have to revisit your segments one more time when the pandemic subsides. Pain points and demographic information may change once again. You have to be ready for constant changes in your segments during the post-COVID-19 period.

7. Rethinking the Language

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way many people perceive such things as urgency and necessity. That's why it's important to rethink the language marketers use in promotional emails.
During COVID-19: Whatever you are selling or offering (unless it's medical supplies), try to avoid saying that the product is "essential" or a "necessity". This may call for conflicting emotions from the audience.
Your language must be as sensitive as possible. These days, health is essential and critical, as opposed to a new pair of shorts or a leather sofa.
Try not to be overly chirpy or excited yet keep the gloom out of your voice. Your clients are likely to crave something positive.
Post-COVID-19: The new normal is likely to have people cautious about products they buy and the services they use for a long while. That's why careful language is a new reality. Your poor language choices during the pandemic could affect your business after it's over.  

Starting Email Marketing During the Pandemic

While pandemic has many companies struggling to stay afloat, it creates new opportunities for many businesses as well. Numerous companies have reinvented themselves to offer new products and stay on top of their game.

Whether you are starting a new company or thinking about revamping your email marketing strategy entirely, now is the time to do it. Waiting for the pandemic to subside could leave you trailing behind the competition.

The experience you gain while marketing your company during the COVID-19 outbreak is vital to the way you do business in the future. The new reality is already here. Quick adjustment is the key to success.

Unusual Times Warrant Creative Decisions

Email marketing is a powerful weapon. Wielding it during a crisis may be tough but not impossible.

Just like during any other time, a top-notch email marketing strategy depends on how well you know your audience.

Since you don't have many precedents to rely upon, it's time to be creative, sensible, and highly flexible. By taking full advantage of this experience, it's possible to stay on top of your game during and after the pandemic.

Achieving all the above is impossible without access to the right tools. To learn about how Enginemailer can help adjust your email marketing efforts, sign-up for free today.