In this time of heightened sensitivity related to COVID-19, inboxes are full and more than ever it’s necessary to think of the consumer experience with every send. Now is the time to be upfront and transparent with your consumers.

How Brands Should Communicate About COVID-19

If something is happening that will directly impact your customers—different hours, new shipping/return policies, goodwill to employees—send it to your standard engaged sending audience.

Now is not the time to reach deep into your unengaged audience to send them an email when they would have otherwise not received a note from you. Doing this is sure to directly impact unsubscribe rates.

For ongoing email communications, brands should use a layered approach to strike the appropriate balance during this time.

1. Continue deploying transactional emails

Transactional sends, such as order confirmation and password request emails, still need to deploy. If consumers are choosing to engage with your brand during this time, these business-critical messages still need to deploy to provide reassurance that everything is processing as expected.

2. Pause and check triggered email sends

Triggered sends require a conversation to determine what is crucial to your business.

In the instance of triggered messages that are the result of the consumer taking an action, such as abandoned-cart series, they may still be okay to send. Other series, such as a re-engagement series sent to people who are not opening or clicking your emails, may need to be paused for the time being.

In every case, it’s recommended that all content be reviewed to make sure the tone of your message is appropriate.

3. Take a close look at promotional email content

Promotional emails require a close look at both content and cadence, as inboxes are being flooded with messages from brands right now.

It’s important to allow consumers the space to engage as they feel is appropriate is important. If your business offers a service that can benefit a customer in self-quarantine—such as delivery services, free shipping (so the customer doesn’t have to leave their house), or even just a message that will help people smile in these trying times—take advantage of this good communication.

Think about your brand voice and how you can help your customers in the coming weeks. It’s likely that more people will be checking their inbox and phone as they are working from home (or not working), so you have an opportunity to make a real connection with them if you approach it with the appropriate amount of sensitivity to tone and messaging.

Coronavirus communication done right

  • Domino’s sent a timely email on March 14, introducing contactless delivery
  • Madewell aptly said, “Things are weird … But we’ll figure them out.”
  • OPI adjusted the copy of this email to speak to social distancing
  • The American Red Cross explained the importance of donating blood now and reinforced its commitment to the safety of donors when giving blood
  • Chipotle reiterated its food handling regimen and now is offering free delivery
  • Kendra Scott updated its birthday automation message to include timely copy about the situation
  • Rhone sent an email that added value amidst the chaos

How to Optimize Your Website for Search Engine Crawling in 2020

To see other COVID-19 brand emails, check out this incredible resource put together by Women of Email.

There’s a lot going on right now and things will need to be adjusted, so please consider your subscribers’ experience with every piece of content you deploy.

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