Email Strategy in Times of Crisis

4 minute read

Upland Admin

As an email marketer, you strive to engage your subscribers with the most helpful, relevant content at all times. This doesn’t change in a crisis; however, a crisis can change what the most relevant communication is.

While some marketers may pause their email efforts entirely during emergency situations, it’s worth it to consider whether you can pivot your email strategy to effectively communicate with your audience during a time when good communication is critical.

As you adjust the course of your email program, here are some things you should keep in mind to stay connected through change and continue building strong audience relationships.

1) Adjust your messaging to the situation.

In an emergency, the things that typically engage your email audience may not be as relevant – or even appropriate. More than anything, your email subscribers are probably looking for answers right now. As a direct line of communication to your audience, email is a great channel to answer these questions proactively. Some questions you can answer may include:

  • Have your company policies or hours changed?
  • Will you cancel events, or will they be moved online?
  • What resources will you make available to help your customers?
  • How can subscribers contact you with additional questions?
  • What measures are you taking to protect customers and employees?

Of course, not all of these answers will be relevant to all audiences. That’s why it’s important for you to take time to consider the situation, fully understand your audience’s needs, and adjust your message accordingly.

2) Check on your automated email messaging.

When you have a fine-tuned email automation program running in the background, it can be easy to forget about these messages. These automated messages may be helpful to your audience normally, but it’s possible that they may come across as inappropriate during a sensitive situation.

Audit your automated email messages to ensure that your emails don’t miss the mark with your audience. Make changes to the copy where necessary, and consider pausing any email series that comes across as too sales-y in this time.

3) Coordinate email with your other channels.

The email channel is at its best when it works in tandem with your other channels. Make sure your email strategy complements your multi-channel strategy.

For instance, if you’ve created a new web page to communicate your emergency updates, you can promote this page in your email communication. Likewise, if your organization chooses to deliver key updates through a non-email channel, such as mobile messaging, you can use email to encourage subscribers to opt in to this messaging.

4) Fight email fatigue by getting creative.

In a global emergency, your subscribers will receive dozens – if not hundreds – of marketing emails from organizations addressing the current situation. To keep your email audience engaged, it’s important to differentiate yourself – while being mindful of tone, of course.

Email is an adaptable channel, so as you adapt your strategy, look for new ways to engage your subscribers with helpful information. You may choose to use email to continually connect your audiences with new resources, promote your virtual events, or raise funds for an emergency relief nonprofit.

5) Don’t forget email best practices.

During a rapidly-changing situation, you must move quickly, but don’t move so quickly that you drop the ball on your best practices!

A few best practices that will be especially important during this time:

  • Write clear copy, and use a tone that is professional, yet friendly.
  • Think about your email design. Avoid sending emails that look too promotional.
  • Consider segmenting your email list to provide the right resources to the right audiences.
  • Use concise, informative subject lines that get readers to open your email without taking advantage of a delicate situation.
  • Ensure your emails are mobile-responsive.
  • Send accessible emails so everyone in your audience can stay informed.

While a crisis may change the types of email you send, it doesn’t change the importance of providing a good email experience. Put the needs of your audience first, and use this to guide your email strategy as you strive to stay connected through changing situations.

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