“I never get too many emails,” said no one ever. If your inboxes look anything like ours, COVID-19 emails have been piling up in an exponential number. To make matters worse in an already stressful time, many of these emails fail to meet their supposed goal: to provide relevant information to the right audience.
Ask yourself these three questions before you decide to join the ranks of the unread masses.
- Is your email IMPORTANT?
- Your company’s reaction to COVID-19 should not be about your brand. Your subscribers are real people with real problems that will likely be magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is NOT the time to price gouge, make light of the pandemic, or push your subscribers to make non-essential purchases.
- Is your email VALUABLE?
- For example: if you’re a grocery store announcing a change to your hygiene policies, describe what is specifically changing and what, if anything, will be required for your customers to continue shopping with you (“all shoppers will be requested to use hand sanitizer upon arrival”).
- Is your email RELEVANT?
- Consider deeper segmentation
- If a subscriber has been on your list for 2 years and has never opened your emails, they shouldn’t still be on it. Use this opportunity to sunset them.
- Choose your audience carefully
- If you’re announcing an in-store closure but your list is primarily made up of online-only purchasers, don’t blast all of their inboxes with irrelevant closure information
- Specify the impact and set expectations
- If an event is canceled, inform the attendees immediately. If an event is postponed, inform attendees and announce the new tentative date.
- If you’re expecting delays, inform your subscribers in any emails that include a call-to-action to purchase.
- Consider deeper segmentation
A few reasons an email could be an important part of your COVID-19 communication strategy are listed below.
- Event cancellations
- Work disruptions if they directly affect your subscribers
- Location changes
- New visitor policies
- New capacity restrictions
- System outages that may impact your subscribers
- Action that needs to be completed by your subscriber in order to work with your company as usual
- A direct call-to-action to support other local businesses
- Are you matching sales with donations to organizations helping with the pandemic?
- Be sure to choose a non-profit that ties in directly to your company’s mission. For example, Rainfactory’s client Bartesian, an at-home cocktail maker, has committed to donating a percentage of each sale to help bartenders out of work due to COVID-19.
- Are you starting an in-kind donation program?
- Are you changing your business to directly provide aid during the pandemic? (Ex. a factory that will increase hand sanitizer production to keep up with worldwide demand)
If your email content idea isn’t on the list above, follow this simple email adage: when in doubt, hold out. It is not worth the risk of decreased deliverability and engagement to send an email that fails to provide relevant information to your subscribers.