Nonprofit email marketing during a crisis can be a tough task. It becomes a crazy balancing act. Should we send more emails? Should we make it less? It’s hard to tell what the right answer is during such strange times.
We’re making history and living through a crisis. Right now, your email subscribers are being flooded with COVID-19 updates, and they’re probably sick of hearing about “unprecedented times.” So, if your organization is one of those trying to balance your email marketing, make it a point to keep your content relevant and valid.
Keep in mind that screen fatigue is a real issue. If you don’t want to get ignored in the overcrowded inbox of your subscribers — or even worse, get backlash from your subscribers for sounding inappropriate and profiteering — you should take a look at various do’s and don’ts of email marketing to consider during a crisis.
Do’s of email marketing during a crisis
Focus on updating your base on changes you’ve had to make to your organization.
Most businesses reach out to their customers during a crisis to reassure them with the measures they are taking to keep them safe. They also send emails if there is a change in the way business works.
Either way, it is important to give specifics. From the kind of measures you are taking to how you are helping to combat the situation, you need to tell them all.
In addition, make sure the language you use is clear, precise, and easy to scan with clear formatting. In this context, you can try using bullet points and headers to highlight the key information. Make it easy to read by using large titles and clearly spaced bulleted points.
Inform your customers about online options or alternatives.
During the time of a crisis or a pandemic like COVID-19, most people go out as little as possible. So, if you provide them with online options or alternatives, it helps both you and your supporters. For instance, if you are into the fitness industry, you can upload online videos that people can watch or streamline your fitness exercises online for people to follow.
Tailor your copy tone to be in sync with the situation.
It is important to focus on your tone and language while drafting crisis email copy. Simply put, avoid irreverent jokes and edgy humor — no matter how relevant it is with your brand. Remember, your subscribers might be worried and anxious. While some might have lost a loved one to the crisis, others might be suffering from a job loss or financial issues.
So, keep a check on your language. Use an empathetic tone that resonates with people and makes them feel that you genuinely care.
Review your automated emails.
It is critical to review your automated emails during a situation of crisis. The newsletter that might have made sense earlier, might come as offensive during a pandemic, and it might affect your brand reputation. Make sure you avoid embarrassing marketing errors and analyze your automated emails beforehand.
Don’ts of email marketing during a crisis
Don’t consider it a re-engagement opportunity.
A situation of crisis should never be seen as an opportunity to re-engage or entice your previous subscribers to come back to your brand. Simply put, a business contacting a subscriber out of the blue might make them uncomfortable, especially in times of crisis. In a worst-case scenario, they might completely get turned off by your brand and tell their friends about the experience.
So to avoid this situation, make sure you send crisis-related emails to your current and active subscribers only. These are the people who might be waiting for an update from you and will welcome it in their inbox.
Avoid sending crisis emails just for the sake of it.
Don’t send crisis emails because every brand is doing so. Make sure to have a valid point and reason to contact your customers at such a critical time. If you don’t have anything important to say, it’s better to stay away from your subscriber’s inbox.
Don’t capitalize on fear and anxiety.
Avoid sending emails that try to profit out of the crisis. The last thing people want right now is to receive an email that is trying to capitalize on their fear and anxiety. Keep your emails simple while avoiding any kind of crisis-related sales or packages.
For instance, in a pandemic, if you happen to be in the business of essential commodities such as hand sanitizers, masks, do not raise the product prices unnecessarily. It will make your brand appear as opportunistic and inhumane, damaging your brand reputation. In short, be empathetic, kind, and humane in your approach while dealing with your subscribers.
With anxiety running high and people worried for their lives, the least you can do as an email marketer is to give the right information to your subscriber base. You need to convey the appropriate sentiment while being helpful and supportive during these tough times.
Having access to the right resources to guide you with your email marketing through these uncertain times is imperative. Hope the above-mentioned tips help you in bringing a breath of fresh air to your subscribers right now.