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Email communication: Top tips during Covid-19

Posted on 19th May, 2020 by Greg Doyle


With the continued global impact of Coronavirus, we are all facing a new type of normal and one where a variety of changes are needed. Email marketing is one of the lowest cost forms of marketing and one that many brands rely on for self-promotion. This blog is all about what changes you can and should be making in your email communications to help them resonate with the current market conditions and the new normal.

Choose your language carefully

The language and tone of voice can have a big impact when it comes to how your brand is perceived by your customers. Perceptions have shifted and so we need to choose language that is more sensitive and considered in relation to the current climate. Some of the things to consider in your marketing communications include:

  • Avoid using terms such as essential, necessity, must-have. With many people still in some form of lockdown a new 3-piece suite is probably not top of their list of essential items. Yes, we would love to think that our products or services are a necessity, but the reality is that for a lot of people this won’t be the case.
  • Focus on positive feelings. How will your product or service help your customers? Will it keep them entertained? Will it put a smile on their face? Everyone wants a way to feel uplifted so focus on how your products or services can do this.
  • Don’t use fear as a motivator. While fear is a powerful way to drive action, now is not the time to be using this type of messaging in your marketing. Check the tone of all communications and where possible focus on positive messages.
  • Avoid urgency messaging. Words such as act now, stock up or short supply, will create feelings of uncertainty. People are sensitive to this type of messaging now so where possible try not to use this language.

Mix up your content

While it’s important to let your customers know about the impact of Covid-19, they shouldn’t be the sole focus of customer communications. Before you send a dedicated email about Coronavirus to your subscribers or marketing list, stop to ask yourself if it is necessary and beneficial to customers. Instead why not have a brief section in your email with a link to a specific page on your website that deals with the measures your business is taking to deal with Coronavirus. Some tips for email content:

  • Don’t promote items that are low in stock or have long restock times, this will just lead to frustration from your customers.
  • Sales promotions. While big brand sales and discounts may seem like a good idea these may just make your subscribers hold on to purchase items until you run future sales.
  • Be careful of your imagery. Social distancing is one of the biggest changes since the start of the lockdown so make sure that your imagery reflects this. Avoid using images of large groups of people or travel related imagery.
  • Stagger new product launches. Instead of having a single email about all the new season stock and products that you are selling, space out the release of products to give your subscribers things to get excited about.

Transparency is key

Shipping delays, out of stock products and lengthy delivery timeframes are all part of the new normal. The more transparent and honest you are about these things the more trust your customers will have in your brand. Giving customers a heads up about these things at the point of sale, whether in store or online, will help to build a great experience from the outset.

Use your transactional emails and confirmation messages to reiterate delays and likely stock issues. In addition to these emails make sure you have got shipping notifications setup to give your customers updates on the progress of their order, this will help build a positive experience where they are looking forward to their order arriving.

Be mindful and empathetic

Businesses that are mindful and empathetic will create a positive impression with their customers and help to retain customers. The way of life caused by Coronavirus may be temporary but some of the effects will be felt for years to come. Building positive relationships with customers during this difficult time will help your business as things start to return to normal.

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