Email Marketing During Covid-19: Are You Still Avoiding These 10 Common Mistakes?
It may seem trivial to discuss email marketing best practices during a global pandemic, but consumers and businesses still need each other in uncertain economic times. Email content remains an integral part of supporting customers and providing timely information.
However, there’s a fine line between supporting customers and appearing opportunistic, and some companies are still making unforced errors. To make sure your email messages are not damaging your reputation, here are 10 common email marketing mistakes you should continue to avoid at this challenging time.
Trying to Re-engage Inactive Subscribers
If you have inactive subscribers, it’s best to avoid contacting them at this time. You could try to re-engage them at a later date but doing so now will probably just come across as insensitive. Instead, focus on your most engaged consumers; this is an audience you don’t want to lose.
Failing to Double-Check Your Automated Emails
At the moment, it’s easier to create email content that is sensitive to the times we’re living in. But what about the automated messages and triggered emails that you created a few months ago? Go back and check the subject lines, imagery, and copy for any inappropriate content.
Sending Emails to Every Subscriber
If you’re making changes that impact every customer, it’s appropriate to update everyone. But this isn’t always the case. For example, if you’re a retailer and only a few stores are changing their hours of operation, this will mainly impact customers near to these stores. In this case, make sure you segment your list by location so that you’re only updating those who need to know.
Increasing Your Email Frequency
Some businesses think that by sending more email updates to subscribers, they’re being more helpful. In fact, this can have the opposite effect. People want information, but they don’t want to be overwhelmed. Keeping your email frequency consistent is actually more reassuring.
On the other hand, if you’re going to send fewer emails, be up front about it. Tell your subscribers why you’re cutting back but reassure them that you’re still open for business and available if anyone needs help.
Referring to “Coronavirus” or “Covid-19” Too Frequently
People are receiving emails referring to Covid-19 all the time. While many of these messages are important, it’s no surprise people are starting to tune out. Instead of referring to “Coronavirus” or “Covid-19” too frequently, focus on other positive aspects of your message. In short, mention the pandemic less, and talk about the needs of your audience more.
Being Too Political
While taking a stance on certain issues can sometimes be a smart marketing move, getting involved in the political side of Covid-19 should be avoided. Every person has experienced the pandemic differently, both financially and emotionally. What’s more, your customers will have diverse political views, so saying anything political is likely to offend a significant number of people.
Avoid making promises you might not be able to keep. It’s sensible to be positive and hopeful during these times, but nobody knows the long-term effects of this pandemic. No one knows when things will return to “normal,” or even if things will return to “normal” at all. All you can do is promise that you will always try to serve your customers in the best way you can, and that you are there for them when they need help.
Sounding Too Promotional
It doesn’t look good if you seem to be taking advantage of the current situation to increase sales. At this time, cut back on promotional emails that push your products or services. It’s more important to show compassion, provide helpful resources, and listen to feedback. If you have any doubts about an email, don’t send it. Sometimes, it’s better to say nothing at all.
Using Urgency-Driven CTA (Call-to-Action) Buttons
Following on from the last point, marketers should avoid urgency-driven CTAs. Normally, there’s nothing wrong with FOMO (fear of missing out) marketing messages, but during these times this approach can look insensitive. When many people are worried about Covid-19, hearing “Get it now before it’s too late!” can come across as cold-hearted.
Failing to Plan
Many businesses have been thrown into disarray by recent events, and their email content has suffered as a result. Use this time to plan your email marketing content for the coming months. Create fresh email content that is geared toward helping your target audience and use a content calendar to schedule the content in advance. This way, you’ll have a regular stream of useful content to deliver going forward. Remember to regularly review your content calendar as the situation changes.
The Bottom Line
Email marketing isn’t easy at the best of times, but it’s even more of a challenge in the middle of a global pandemic. Mistakes are bound to happen from time to time, but if you make too many unforced errors it could seriously damage your reputation and cripple marketing results.
Businesses that plan their email content carefully and deliver more sensitive, supportive content are the ones that will enjoy stronger relationships with customers in the long run. If you avoid the mistakes outlined here, you can safeguard your reputation and make sure email marketing supports the growth of your business during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.