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Importance of Email Marketing in the Time of COVID-19

Marketing teams for national and local businesses have been hit by three different paradigm shifts at once: COVID-19, a staggering economic hit, and working from home. The best thing for your team to focus on now is marketing outreach through tools your team can use at home and which use leads you already have. That's email marketing.

Why Email Marketing Should Be Your Remote Team's Top Priority

Email marketing is an excellent way to get up-to-date messages in front of leads who have already subscribed to your business. B2B customers need to know that your services are up and running, especially if your business is a crucial element of their own work-from-home plans. B2C audiences also need to know if your doors are open - online or otherwise - and emails bring your business name to the top of their attention.

However, email marketing is more than just a good continual marketing strategy. It's something marketing teams for local businesses can do, or very easily set up the tools for doing, during the first few weeks of sheltering in place and setting up remote work projects. It's the perfect combination of productive, routine, achievable, and communicative. That's something both your employees and your customers need.

3 Things Your Emails Should Always Make Clear

It's more important than ever that you aren't sending emails just for email's sake. While your target audience may have more frequent downtime or more access to all of their inboxes, that could just as easily lead to them cleaning out their inboxes and unsubscribing as it could lead to profitable engagement. Instead, always send your emails with a purpose. Establish these three things:

  • Your availability as the outbreak continues to develop: If you're a local business and you're restricting hours, communicate that clearly. If you're an online business and your hours are the same, also make that clear. Consumers don't know how each business is responding, so saying you're available removes the barrier of uncertainty.
  • How you're responding to the crisis: EmailMonday released a five-stage breakdown of how companies should communicate to customers and leads during a crisis. Track which stage your emails correspond to; this will keep them organized and give campaigns a sense of momentum.
  • What you're offering: The time for sending out generalized emails wishing customers well and saying you're responding to the crisis is over. Every email needs to have a unique value, whether it's a service, a discount, entertainment, or an unlocked layer of functionality in a customer's current service.

How to Incorporate Emailing Marketing Into Your Other Marketing Strategies

Local businesses need to be incorporating as many digital marketing strategies to reach their audiences as possible into their new COVID-19 marketing plans. Creating high-quality content to share over email, on Facebook posts, and through your website's blog is essential. Creating an omni-channel marketing approach where each of these tactics supports the others is true promised land. Email's cost effectiveness dictates that it play a big role in this approach. As your target audiences spend more and more time online, availability and recency are going to be two important factors.

Recency, through daily website content, frequent email updates, and quick (but non-polarizing!) responses to local and countrywide developments, is crucial. After all, audiences are returning to the same platforms for more content and want to know that any recent changes haven't impacted your availability.

3 Types of Email Marketing Strategies for Long-Term Engagement with Your Audiences

Before you start sending emails, it's important to choose the right strategy, or the right strategies, so the emails are organized and engaging. Every email needs strong, well-vetted content, and preparing that content ahead of time allows you to send it out based on customer-originating triggers or have it ready in the event of a sudden change. Prioritize these three email strategy types for the weeks ahead:

  1. Newsletters: Newsletter-style emails, especially if you have a back-catalog of content, allow you to engage with bored audiences or audiences who are looking for help. Preparing these emails is also a great task for local marketing teams who need productive projects as the executive team finalizes new strategies.
  2. Drip campaigns: Whether through dormant subscriptions, abandoned shopping carts, or half-consumed pieces of media, drip campaigns allow you to reach out to customers based on specific interactions that held their interest for at least a short period of time. Sending out reminders and incentives that are 100% tailored by their previous actions is a great way to reduce missed lead opportunities.
  3. Seasonal campaigns: If your business plans your summer season emails ahead of time, they probably have content that doesn't fit consumer mindsets anymore. Set your team on creating second versions now so you don't accidentally have untimely gaffes later.

If you know email marketing should be your team's top priority but you aren't sure how to make it work in a remote setting, contact us today. We can help you get organized so you can start sending the right content to the right inboxes.

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