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The impact of the pandemic continues to spread across the globe. Businesses, both big and small, are caught unaware and forced to make the necessary adjustments within a strict timeline to keep up with the trends in light of the new normal.  

Only the best digital marketers have the skill to pivot quickly and efficiently towards better campaigns. Email marketing during COVID-19 must function to help your customers feel a sense of normalcy amidst the current situation in connection to your brand.

If your business is affected by the city-wide self-quarantines and other new contingencies, you should consider revamping your email marketing strategies to keep up with the times. With so many email marketing services available, you’re sure to have a plethora of functionalities and tactics at your disposal. 

So, how do you make the most of email marketing in the new normal? Let’s take a look at some top-performing email marketing strategies to grow your e-commerce business amid difficult times. 

Focus on Feeding Your Customers’ Curiosity

Now more than ever is the time to create engaging and relevant content for customers. Consumption of content is at an all-time high. Video streaming increased by 12%, and web traffic increased by 20% just during the first week of the quarantine. 

But of course, you can’t just publish whatever promotional content that comes to mind. It’s a fine line between piquing your customers’ interest through your business and sounding overly-promotional during a difficult time in society. You should keep COVID-19 as an important factor to consider in your marketing campaigns, but customers are also looking for escapism when interacting with brands. 

Examples of appropriate and relevant content include informative recipes or health tips for people staying at home. You can easily link to your products and services through fun and educational content.

Image: Bluetree

Take note of the following reminders when crafting your email marketing campaign: 

  • Avoid linking to specific products that may be on low stocks. Use general CTAs focusing on categories.  
  • Schedule product releases accordingly. Don’t just announce all your new products in one email. Give your customers something to look forward to and build a sense of anticipation. They’ll trust your brand to continue innovating despite the difficult situation. 
  • Use appropriate photos. It’s best to avoid photos of people hanging out in groups or traveling. 
  • Strategize your sale events. People might be tight on cash nowadays, but you shouldn’t just mark down your products. 

Offer Exclusive Discounts 

Another way to get your customers’ attention is to offer discounts on your products and promote them through your email marketing channels. 

Sending discounts through referral links is a way to boost customer loyalty and broaden your reach as well. In addition to acts of corporate social responsibility like donations, you can also offer discounts for health or medical frontliners as another way of giving back to the community. 

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Image: Missguided

Collaborate and Build Partnerships

It’s also the time for brands to help each other out now that everyone’s going through a rough patch. E-commerce sites can benefit from the marketing reach of influencers who jump at the opportunity to work with brands.

Many events and social campaigns are canceled due to the pandemic, so influencers are more than eager to partner up with brands. You can even consider setting up partner establishments that offer discounted prices or loyalty perks for returning customers. 

For more on how to build D2C partnerships:

Brand Partnerships: Why They Matter for D2C Brands

Personalization Is Now More Important Than Ever

Customers love to be reassured that they are noticed by and valuable to the brand. 94% of marketers agree that personalization is essential for making and retaining customers

However, you can’t just add the lead’s name in the subject line and call it a day. You also have to make sure that the content they receive is relevant and tailored to their needs and interests. 

Look into setting up triggered emails based on your customers’ recent behaviors and engagement with your brand. Trigger-based emails have high open rates and are effective in targeting window shoppers to become paying customers by simply reminding them of products they repeatedly browse or add to cart. 

For more on personalization tips:

Personalized Marketing: 7 Actionable Tips

Launch a Retargeting Campaign

Besides turning your focus on your loyal customers, you should also pay attention to leads that haven’t converted yet. Through lead nurturing, you can send personalized and relevant content to your leads at different stages in the marketing pipeline. Tell them how your business can offer solutions to their problems, build trust, and eventually screen which leads are most likely to convert. 

Consider retargeting your email campaigns to reach both customers and potential leads further. Retargeting helps you track your customers’ behaviors after they leave your website with or without buying anything. 

You can remind them of your products as they browse other sites on the internet. With developments in marketing technology, you can even track and analyze consumer behavior online to serve them retargeted advertisements for products they may have browsed but not yet bought on your e-commerce website. 

Watch Your Language

During unstable situations in society, customers seek a trustworthy source of information. Brand content needs to not only prioritize making a sale but also create a sense of authenticity for the customers. Even though your intentions are good with your message, the way you deliver it will vastly affect how the audience receives it.

An effective email marketing campaign for the new normal must be tactful of the current climate. 

  • Be careful about suggesting which products or services are essential or not. Frankly, not all products are essential during a pandemic. Clever rewording in email copy can turn otherwise “luxury” goods into necessary “self-care” products to provide much-needed comfort during stressful times.  
  • Use the same product to address other needs. For example, traveling bags might be seeing a decrease in sales since everyone is staying at home. But people are also stocking up on essentials like toiletries and food. Traveling bags can then be promoted as necessary “go bags” to pack essentials in case of an emergency. It’s important to make your customer see the value of otherwise non-essential goods.  
  • Strike a balance between positivity and practicality. You should avoid feeding anxieties or negativity, but you shouldn’t sound like everything is back to the “old normal.” It’s great to be prepared without creating a sense of urgency or panic. 
  • Don’t ride on the COVID-19 hashtag. People and organizations are using the hashtag for urgent and critical information, so it’s bad for your brand to be associated with profiting on the trend. 

Improve Your Email Deliverability Rate

A well-crafted email campaign is only effective if delivered to the intended recipients and uses the right tactics to ensure email deliverability. This article names some important things to remember to ensure your emails are landing in peoples’ inboxes, including spam words to watch out for and the best times to follow up with leads. 

After all, you’d want to make sure that your emails don’t go straight to your customer’s spam folder. By following deliverability best practices, you can get better open rates and even conversion rates overall.

For more on how to improve your email marketing strategies:

5 Ways to Increase Email Deliverability Rates

Providing Stability 

In this period of the new normal, marketers are responsible not only for growing their brand for also providing customers with a stable sense of normalcy by letting them know they can rely on your brand. Communication channels like email during COVID-19 must remain thoughtful and clear in order to remain relevant to customers despite the current challenges. 

Author

Kevin is a content marketing consultant who helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.