The Covid-19 pandemic changed businesses and life, in general, as we know it – from our morning routines to our priorities and life goals.

Even in the world of email marketing, everything marketers thought they knew about consumer behavior quickly changed in 2020.

After years of carefully watching email metrics and optimizing campaigns, it suddenly left them navigating in uncharted waters while trying to stay afloat during a global crisis.

But just like how past outbreaks eventually come to a close, life will also return to some form of normal soon and there will be lessons we can learn along the way. Out of this crisis comes learning, so they say.

That’s why in today’s article, we weigh in on some important email marketing lessons we think are worth remembering.

Hopefully, the following lessons can help marketers improve their email marketing strategy this 2021 and beyond.

The Pandemic Inbox: 7 Lessons Email Marketers can learn from the pandemic

1. Empathize with your customers/ audience

Right now, many of your audience are at their most vulnerable. Personal loss, anxiety, job insecurities, insolvency, illness, and life-changing circumstances are things that people continue to grapple with.

So, in these profoundly trying times, one of the most important steps that email marketers can do is to focus on empathy.

This means that your audience would love to know you first as a human being and an email compatriot second.

The lesson here is to think about what your customers are experiencing and applying that in your email marketing campaigns. For instance, you can write a message that departs from the business-as-usual tone but still reflects your brand’s voice.

Always remember this golden rule in email marketing: market to others in a way you would have them market to you.

Need some ideas on how to communicate with empathy? Here are some tips on how to ensure empathetic email marketing during a pandemic.

2. Absorb and adapt

There are three phases to marketing during the global pandemic. These are the react, rebound, and recovery phases.

During the react phase – characterized by restrictions in people’s movement – email marketers can monitor the changing consumer behavior. An example of such is the decline in the purchase of non-essential goods.

The rebound phase, which was after the shutdown, is where marketers can adjust their operations and strategies. Finally, the recovery phase is when the pandemic became the “new normal” and buyers shifted their digital consumption habits.

It would be best for email marketers to appropriately position their marketing efforts in these phases and to change their gears quickly to get better conversions through email marketing despite the pandemic.

3. Digital channels are more important than ever

Many people nowadays are stuck at home and research shows that email open rates rose by up to 20% because of that. Shipping volumes have also increased.

Moreover, we see an increased acceptance by customers to go for digital channels to engage or make online appointments. With all this data, it becomes necessary to evaluate your current email marketing campaigns to know if they need tweaking or remain effective.

So, consider not just your email marketing strategy but all connecting digital channels, such as web, mobile, and social media.

4. Be more personal

One of the most important things that people probably crave now is interaction with one another. The more you can make your email marketing campaigns more personal, the more effective and engaging they will be.

Invest time to segment your list based on categories and interests to increase audience engagement rates too! But just because people crave interaction doesn’t mean they would love being bombarded with emails in their inbox.

Remember that sending out a high volume of emails could undermine your brand. It’s because you’re conveying to your audience that you are fearful of losing your business and this practice may only convince ISPs, like Gmail, to block your emails.

So, don’t fatigue your audience. Focus instead on ensuring that your message is always relative to your target audience.

5. Rediscover the value of a plain-text email

For many email marketers, time and resources are a luxury right now as the pandemic has forced them to reassess their ways of working. The good news is that they can go back to using plain text emails.

Not only do these kinds of emails save time, but they will also make the recipients feel that they are directly reached out to.

Plain text emails are as they sound – they’re simple messages that contain no images, formatting, and pretty fonts. And because this structure, makes email marketing more authentic.

6. Deliver value above all

It is estimated that an average person receives 121 emails per day. Knowing such, it’s easy for email marketers to become a part of the noise. If you really want to stand out from the inbox clutter, you have to focus on delivering value above all.

Providing valuable content that your recipient actually wants helps maintain brand loyalty as well. And this could mean sending a list of helpful videos and articles. Perhaps, you can send a funny video, a free resource, or a message of encouragement as well.

Don’t forget to use email list segmentation to send a message or resource that will align with your audience’s preferences.

7. Innovate with intention

In these uncertain times, organizations that remain resilient are those that don’t stop innovating and you can apply this lesson in your present email marketing campaign.

For example, you can schedule your product releases accordingly. Don’t just announce your new offerings in one email, but give your audience the time to build a sense of anticipation or something to look forward to.

If in pre-pandemic times you used to reward your clients with VIP access to certain experiences, you can transition these experiences virtually.

From hosting fitness classes online to private acoustic performances, you are using technology to your advantage.

Another strategy is to strategize your sale events. Just because people are tight on cash doesn’t mean you should mark down all your products.

Cheers to better emails in 2021

There they are, the seven email marketing lessons that we can learn from this pandemic.

Be sure to consider these things when planning for your next campaigns and it can empower you and make your email stand out from the crowd.