We are all being bombarded by COVID-19 emails from supermarkets, pet stores, doctors, restaurants, gyms, and every other business with an email list. For some, this email is an official letter signed by the CEO of your company. For others, it’s a quick update with the latest changes.
As a business owner, you might be wondering if you should send an email of your own. If your email isn’t met with importance, consideration, and an additional value add at best, your message will be ignored. At worst, you’ll get backlash from clients who find your messaging old news.
To help you navigate this tricky landscape, we’ve combed through coronavirus-related emails and comments from clients on social media to pull the top takeaways. You can use these insights to consider how you should – or shouldn’t – be communicating.
When should I send an email about COVID-19?
If your products or services are impacted by COVID-19, you should send an email update. Reasons you might need to send an email include:
- You have useful, important information to share.
- Your clients are more sensitive to this crisis; for example, current status of deals with borrowers or supporting clients.
- Your business has brick-and-mortar locations, or you see customers in person; for example, construction or real estate agents.
- The Coronavirus impacts or changes your services in some way.
- You’re offering to help your clients during this time, like providing supplies, offering virtual services, or waiving fees.
When should I not send a COVID-19 email?
For every email with a purpose, there are a dozen that didn’t need to be sent. Ask yourself why you’re sending the COVID-19 email and who really needs to receive the information. Someone who purchased from you or did business with your company five years ago probably doesn’t need to know the same information that current clients and prospects are looking for.
Here are COVID-19 emails that could upset your subscribers:
- Your messaging is empty. You want to look like you’re doing something, but there’s no substance, and nothing is planned.
- You want to tell people that COVID-19 isn’t going to impact your business.
- You’re telling your email subscribers that your staff is working from home.
- You’re just restating information from other sources.
All of these will only prompt your subscribers to hit that “unsubscribe” button, which is something you want to be extra cautious with during this time. People are taking advantage of their time, which means learning and cleaning. The last thing you want to do is prompt someone to unsubscribe from your emails as they’re cleaning up their inbox.
5 ways to make your COVID-19 emails more effective
Since most people don’t have time to go through all the COVID-19 emails they’ve been receiving, go through the considerations above and make every message one that your subscribers will engage with. If you’ve decided to send something, it should be purposeful. Here are some tips for effective messaging.
Only include useful content.
Don’t send an email just because everyone else is. Send it because you have something to say. Think about your clients first. What information are they looking for? This can be a reminder of virtual services or an update on one of your policies.
Make emails easy to read.
A lot of COVID-19 emails contain large blocks of text, making it hard to skim and find the important key points. This example from Lyft, with large titles and bullets, is very easy to digest. Also note that Lyft’s entire business is based on person-to-person interaction, so their customers will have big questions about service changes.
Keep it short.
Your COVID-19 email shouldn’t feature an excess amount of information and jargon. Your subscribers are busy and overwhelmed, and they’d prefer a concise, easy-to-read message.
Include a note about the virus in your newsletter.
You don’t necessarily need to send a dedicated COVID-19 email. Oftentimes just a note at the top of your regular newsletter is more than enough.
Ask subscribers for their input.
Some brands are sending their COVID-19 email and then conducting business as usual. Instead, ask clients what they want from your brand in these uncertain times. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Other considerations considering COVID-19
Don’t forget about your automated emails. Spirit Airlines learned this lesson the hard way when a scheduled email blast saying “Never A Better Time To Fly” was sent as COVID-19 was upgraded to pandemic status.
COVID-19 isn’t something to take lightly. People around the world are worried about their health and their livelihood. Make sure you’re giving it the right amount of concern and that your messages are appropriate. Think about how your brand can be helpful and supportive.
As always, we are here for you and the private lending industry at Geraci. We would love to learn about the current marketing initiatives you are facing and advise you on the best next steps to take. Reach out to us here.