COVID-19 has no doubt impacted the way we interact and communicate with our clients, so we have compiled some useful tips.

Adapt your email marketing tactics to the situation

Email can be an efficient tool to communicate when time is of the essence. However, the way in which you use this medium can differ in a pandemic situation. Here is what we observed in some of our clients’ January to March 2020 email statistics based on StoneShot activity in the financial sector:

Increased communication
  • Over 40% increase in emails sent since the beginning of the year
  • 48% increase in number of emails sent between week 11 (March 9) and week 12 (March 16)
  • Over 65% increase in the number of contacts used
COVID-19 campaigns
  • Started in week 3 (January 13)
  • 2,320% increase in the number of subject lines related to COVID-19 or coronavirus
  • 8% of campaigns with COVID-19 or coronavirus in the subject line (doesn’t include all with COVID-19 in the body of the email)
  • Steady increase by 86% on average week on week since the beginning of the year
Stable open rates
  • Remained around 42% on average
  • 4% increase in open rates in February
  • The difference between open rates varies between 15 and 23% on a weekly basis
Less opt-outs
  • Lower than average percentage of opt-outs for COVID-19 campaigns
  • Ranges from 0 to 0.05% on average for all campaigns (0 or 0.03% for COVID-19 campaigns)
  • Decreasing percentage of opt-outs (0.035% in March vs. 0.077% in January) across all campaigns
Internal vs. external campaigns remain constant
  • 15% of campaigns with COVID-19 in the subject line are internal
  • 16% of overall campaigns are internal
  • 73% average open rate for internal COVID-19 campaigns (highest 88% in week 5)
  • 34% average open rate for external COVID-19 campaigns (highest 44% in week 11)
Slight increase in bounces
  • 0.48% increase in bounces from average 2.9% to 3.4% at the highest point
Bi-weekly cycles remain unaffected
  • Usual trend of non COVID-19 number of campaigns increasing across all our clients on odd weeks (+102% on average) and decreasing on even weeks (-66% on average) remain unaffected

Next week’s blog post will focus on the reasons behind these numbers as we will share how our clients are changing their email marketing strategies.

Here are some tips that we prepared related to good marketing practices that our clients are implementing now:

Get your tone right

In a crisis, authenticity is more important than ever. It’s critical to communicate in a simple and honest manner rather than superfluous jargon. Whilst we get that jargon implies professionalism, people experiencing anxiety process simple words better.

Get into the client’s head and answer their questions before they ask

As more events unfold which can have a significant impact or outlook on the market, it’s good to tell your clients what you are doing to keep your products valuable to them. In absence of answers, telling them that you are aware of the event and are working on a solution is the next best thing. This creates an atmosphere of transparency and open communication which is crucial in establishing trust during trying times.

Try to plan for various scenarios and prepare different versions of content in advance

Whilst there is still a lot of uncertainty in the air, there are various predicted and simulated scenarios which may or may not come to pass. Acknowledging that you are getting together a game plan for various scenarios, what’s changing and what’s staying the same, may give a bit more comfort to your clients and help with uncertainty. It’s also a good idea to prepare a few pre-approved versions of the same communication if you are waiting for a confirmation of a rumour or a public announcement.

Tell your clients when to expect to hear from you

To reduce the amount of inbound queries to your client service or account management team, you may want to tell them that you will send a weekly or bi-weekly update to address the latest developments or updates.

Shift formerly offline marketing activity to secure online channels

Events and meetings took up a big chunk of client activity pre-COVID-19. These channels were chosen because they were the most accessible way to build relationships, convey trust, transparency and security. There are a variety of secure online channels that can host group events and 1:1 meetings. Explore, activate new and scale existing digital channels to support customer engagement.

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If you find that you need more practical help, check out our COVID packages.