Using email marketing in the right way can be a difficult task. But in the times when the world is facing a horrible pandemic, it reaches a whole new level of difficulty. It can be hard to know what to say, and even whether you should say anything at all.
At the same time, it’s also true that communication is a key, and vitally important way to stay in contact, during these isolated times.
In this post, we are sharing some ideas on how you can use email marketing to communicate appropriately and carefully with your audience during the pandemic.
Show that you care
The strange thing about this horrible pandemic is that it has united people all around the world.
We might be separated physically and locked down in our homes, but we can understand each other’s fears and worries.
We are all equally exposed, vulnerable, worried for our loved ones and living in uncertainty. At the same time, we have the opportunity to show the best of humanity.
It’s important, now more than ever, to show how much you care about your customers and your community. Even when travelling is literally impossible.
Your email lists can help you a lot with that.
Segment your list in a way that will enable you to get personal with each contact on your list.
Note that this is not time to sell anything, but to be genuinely kind. Don’t forget that in these times even small acts can have a big impact – a simple, short email filled with positive thoughts can be enough to brighten someone’s day.
Think about your audience and what is likely to be of use to them right now. Any communications should be about your audience – not about you.
Provide helpful resources
In addition to the previous, you can curate and send to your audience a list of resources and tips on how to navigate through challenging times. Note that there is already noise on the internet about these topics, so do a thorough search, and provide only resources that you are personally trusting and using.
You can help your audience with tips for staying healthy and boosting their immune system, tips on working from home, self-care routines, spending days in quarantine productively.
You can also share pantry recipes, virtual city tours, or even some suggest some interesting online events and courses that promote better health, like this wicked sleep course for example.
Try to make it relevant to your core offer. For example, let’s say in normal times, you sell cocktail making experiences. In this case, you could consider providing content and inspiration for your audience to try it themselves at home.
This is also an opportunity to show support to small businesses from your community who are struggling at the moment. Encourage your audience to shop from them online or support them in any other way they can.
Support your (new) online offers
In our last article, we have talked about how to pivot your travel business, and one of way is to switch to an online environment.
What we mean by that, in short, is to modify your current offer into an online version or to create some new offer, related to your business, that your customers can enjoy from the comfort of their home – like online events and classes, webinars, e-courses, just to name a few.
If you can do that in a relatively short time, you will need solid email marketing in place not only to help you spread the word about your online offers but also to help you deliver it in a timely manner and keep all your customers informed and updated on time.
How email marketing can support your online events
As an example, let’s say you are doing an online yoga class. You will have pre-event and post-event emails.
With pre-event emails, firstly, you want to inform your audience about your upcoming yoga class.
Grab their attention by sharing why yoga is beneficial and how it can help them cope with quarantine life and uncertain times.
Share all the details about the class – the date and time, what’s included, how the class is structured, how is it delivered, who is it and who is it not for, if they need any special equipment and so on. Make sure you set the expectations right before the class, to avoid any misunderstandings and disappointments.
Use this time to build anticipation by sharing early-bird discounts, a countdown until the class, teaser videos, behind the scenes etc.
After the class has happened, don’t just disappear from their inbox.
This is the moment when you can collect their feedback and ask for reviews. See what you have done good and what could have been better.
The feedback is valuable for improving your online offer to perfection, so don’t forget to ask for it. If the yoga class was live, share a recorded version so they can practice again whenever they want. In addition, share some other resources, tips and information that can help them stay motivated to practice regularly.
If you are using emails to deliver the class and all materials, be sure to use a reliable email service provider.
You might be “forced” now to do events online, but you should consider keeping them as part of your offer in the future too. Online events and courses can be a very profitable, additional income stream.
You can learn more about how to take your events online and what tools to use in our free guide that answers all the questions you might have.
Be open and honest about your business
Open and honest communication and transparency can take you a long way and build a strong relationship with your customers.
This is the time to take your audience behind the scenes of your business.
Show them how one day in the life of a receptionist looks like, how your cleaning service operates, how you prepare the room before new guests arrive, how high your hygienic standards are.
You can be creative here and turn that information into an engaging infographic that you can share on multiple channels.
If you are a small family-owned hotel that has been hit hard during the pandemic, don’t hide your struggles.
Share your founding story, your mission and why you have opened the hotel. Show the amount of hard work you have put in it only to see everything stopping right before the start of the season.
Show the human side of your business, you are allowed to be vulnerable too. Your audience will relate to you and will want to support you the way they can. And they will understand why you are asking them to postpone their trip, not to cancel it.
We hope this can help you adapt your email marketing strategy to the current situation successfully. Just because the travel industry is on hold, that doesn’t mean your business has to be entirely on hold too.
You cannot control a pandemic, but you can control how you are going to use this free time that you are given all of the sudden. We suggest using it in a way your future business will thank you.
Stay home and stay healthy,
Until next time,