COVID-19 and your email strategy
As we have been faced with a unique and pivotal moment in time, one major question many of our clients were wrestling with was how to respond and communicate with their customers. Acoustic hosted a very interesting webinar that covered this exact topic in detail. We have included some of the important points below:
First and foremost, before you communicate with your customers, take a step back and ask yourselves the critical questions that need to be asked. Yes, we can send an email from the CEO, but rather strategically ask “How do we best support the business and our customer for the next several months or quarters?’”. In some sectors some businesses’ are going to be devastated for months or even years and in other industries businesses are hiring like crazy. It’s not so much about what email to send, but how do we prepare and manage our customer exceptions?
Below are highlights on how to build a foundation for success and making marketing even more valuable to your business.
- Strategy, people & process. How has your business shifted during this time? Your marketing team, now more than ever, has to be aligned with your business strategy.
- Agile processes are vital. How your customers interact with your brand and even how they purchase, is changing daily. You need to be able to respond to those changes daily too. Is your company able to respond on the same day? Marketing will now need to leverage from the software world. You will need to be able to make decisions very quickly and be ahead of the game.
- Foundational elements: It is easy to make mistakes, like sending an email to the wrong audience. We can’t forget the foundational elements.
- Getting your data in order: Have you noticed how full everyone’s inboxes have become during this time? From companies you didn’t even know you subscribed to, and now you find the CEO is your best friend! The reality is that companies’ data houses are not in order. You will notice that many companies’ unsubscribe rates have increased. Ultimately, brands are not using their channels in the right way. If your business can get its data right, you will be ahead of the game.
- Trust: You don’t want to use and abuse the trust of your customers, over-communicating, or being over-aggressive. It is very hard to win back trust in the middle of a crisis. You can very easily and quickly lose it.
- Customer experience: The concept of marketing is changing and customer experience is the new marketing. Who better than the CMO to take ownership over this time. Your customers are going to be experiencing you in new ways and new channels and marketing has to step up and make sure customers are getting the best experience on all the touchpoints.
Some important principles to follow
1. Transparency is key
In the middle of a crisis, you need to stick to the facts and be as transparent as possible. Use language that is direct and simple. It’s not the time to use creative fanciful language or even humor. It’s the time to make sure you have multiple eyes on the communications leaving your company. Think about your audiences, who they are and what they are doing. You need to respect your audience and the situation that they are in. People understand what you are trying to tell them – be clear and direct.
2. Actively listen
Listen to what your customers, media, government, and competitors are saying . You need to ensure you make statements that are grounded in what your customers are listening to. What do your customers want to hear?
3. What voice are you using?
It is very important to be using a compassionate tone of voice to your customers and not making your brand into something it’s not. Remember to put yourself in the shoes of your customer and craft something that is genuine. You will then be able to break through the noise and resonate with your recipient. If there is no need to send a communication, then don’t.
We hope you found this useful. Please don’t forget to listen to the webinar to learn about the communications framework during this time and some practical examples to implement.