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How To Communicate With Your Email Database During COVID-19 

If anything could make us all remember the true value of staying in touch, a deadly virus forcing many of us to remain in our homes for weeks on end could. 

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 we’ve found ourselves video-chatting to people more regularly than we’d ever normally speak to them, and not just for something to do; we’ve suddenly become very aware of the importance of social and familial connections, and how much we might have previously taken them for granted. 

It can be the same with customers and clients. When we can speak to them anytime, we can easily lapse into sending semi-regular mail outs. But when our audience suddenly have other more pressing priorities – that’s when we can realise that we might have been taking their interest for granted. 

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Keeping in touch with customers – even when the time isn’t right

Customers won’t always want to hear from you – that’s an unfortunate fact. 

The truth is that many people don’t like being constantly marketed to, and your email will be one of many jostling for their attention in crammed inboxes, especially at the moment with endless COVID-19 updates from all and sundryBut if you don’t think your database will be receptive to receiving emails right now, pause for thought before writing off any contact completely. Stopping all contact can actually have a negative impact, potentially leaving loyal customers wondering if all is not well! 

Furthermore, in a situation such as this where many people have been furloughed or are working from home, they are likely to have a little more time on their hands. If they are checking emails more frequently, then they might be more likely to read yours. 

It might be that business is quieter for you right now – and if so, this is the perfect time to invest more time in your marketing.  

Your competitors will certainly be staying in touch with customers – so make sure you do too. 

Keeping your email database engaged

It is so important to remain front of mind, and there are ways to do that without appearing insensitive or out of touch. In fact, it might benefit you to switch tactics to a softer sell for a time, as greater engagement with your contacts could increase your open and click through rates for future campaigns.  

The key is to rethink your usual strategy, the first step being to put yourself in the shoes of your database contacts – what information might they be interested in receiving from you right now?  

For example – competitions, funny stories, advice regarding the virus, posts about community work – anything designed to lift your customers’ moods in some small way will be received positively, and ramp up engagement. When things return to normal and you feel comfortable overtly selling to your database, the goodwill and loyalty you’ve generated should make your contacts that much more receptive. 

Keeping your email database growing

There are lots of ways to keep your database growing, but a few of the quick big wins are: 

  • Creating a prominent website button or pop up to encourage sign ups 
  • Offering newsletter sign up incentives e.g. a discount for new sign ups 
  • Making sure you have a subscribe link in your email newsletters– so that if the email is forwarded, the new contact can sign up too 
  • Running competitions on other channels such as social media, and including the option to sign up to your database when they enter 

Do you have any ideas that have worked for keeping your own database happy, healthy and growing? Please share them in the comments! 

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