Should you ditch your email marketing campaign?
Everything during this period of isolation feels different: from our virtual church experience to our playroom-turned-home-office to our customer communication.
The email campaign you developed at the turn of the new year might feel a little too lighthearted or enthusiastic considering the heaviness of the current climate. Or perhaps you were building up to a fundraising event invitation that has now been canceled.
It’s likely your team has found it necessary to comb through pre-written emails to edit for tone and content. If you need to make updates to your email campaign, or if you’re starting from scratch, we’ve got you covered.
Follow these 4 suggestions as you develop a sensitive, timely and effective email marketing campaign in this new time of physical distancing.
1. Consider your tone
Though you don’t have to be somber and serious, do approach your followers with a thoughtful and sincere tone. Begin your communication by addressing the elephant in the room and acknowledging the difficult situation in which many are finding themselves during the COVID pandemic.
Also, be careful to underpromise and overdeliver. If you’re an organization that ships items, be clear about your delivery capacity and give yourself some margin. If you’re a church or parachurch organization, be clear about your availability amid the pandemic, and be prepared to gracefully field calls from followers and attendees who see the best course of action differently than you do.
Pro tip: If you haven’t yet sent an email blast to your contacts, start with a short thank-you message thanking them for their patience and support. It’s an efficient way to make an inbox connection and also communicate your gratitude.
Learn more about email marketing with 6 Email Metrics Every Marketer Needs to Know.
2. Carefully craft your message
If you choose to send a COVID-19 response email, do so carefully. Your customers and contacts have likely received dozens, so only send one when it’s necessary to communicate a change in operations or capacity.
Also, consider the following suggestions if you send a response email:
- Be clear on the actions your organization, church or business is taking. If there’s something your customers can also do, be specific and clear on that, too.
- Communicate your general timeline for future communications so your followers know what to expect from your organization.
If your church or organization can have a direct impact on those affected by the pandemic, remind your supporters about your efforts and how their partnership is powerful and critical.
3. Schedule emails wisely
Have you been tracking your email metrics? Are your current open and click-through rates holding steady?
For nonprofits, Get Response reports an email open rate is expected to be around 33.86%. And then 11.48% of your opened emails should convert to clicks, meaning the reader did the thing you asked them to do (read more, give, take a survey, etc.) These are generally what you can expect during times of normal communication.
When determining the frequency of your communication during COVID, consider what your metrics are telling you when compared with pre-pandemic. If your rates are:
- Comparable to before social distancing, then your data indicates you’re operating on a good schedule.
- Increasing, then consider sending more often or even introducing a new program, product or service.
- Decreasing, then it’s a good time to reevaluate your campaign. Analyze the frequency, but also consider the other factors discussed in this article and determine how you might best connect with your audience as you navigate uncharted territory.
Don’t stop serving! Read 6 Ways to Use Your Gifts While Isolated.
4. Give generously
During this unprecedented time, individuals are spending a great deal of time online, likely searching for some good feels.
Share your assets with your contacts by offering what you can at no cost. As the folks at Classy say:
“Take your nonprofit’s niche focus and develop something you can send to supporters that helps take their mind off things, while also strengthening your overall sense of community.”
Do you have a great e-book that articulates how to find hope in crisis? Consider linking to it, minus the opt-in. Is another organization giving away free resources or Bibles? Tell your contacts about hopeful resources you’ve encountered that will encourage them as well.
Also, use your platform to highlight good news and help your local nonprofits by directing attention to their efforts and critical work. Give them some virtual space in your communications, informing locals where they can direct their donations, efforts, or assistance.
If you have to communicate a cancelation of a fundraising or charity event, do not hesitate to remind followers how they can still give and participate in your organization’s mission.
There’s plenty of space to carry out your timely and effective email marketing campaign once you check for these 4 variables. Leave us a comment and let us know how you adapted. We’d love to hear from you!