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Crisis-Sensitive eCommerce Email Campaigns — Top 3 Ideas You Can Use During the Coronavirus Pandemic

During this time of crisis, some business owners are busy keeping their employees and themselves safe from the pandemic. Notably, by implementing remote work practices for their team. But there’s another challenge businesses face. And that is optimizing their current campaigns during this time of crisis. Making sure their eCommerce email campaigns are crisis-sensitive is extremely important for many reasons. Which begs answering this question—

How are your current campaigns fairing during this COVID-19 pandemic?

How should you approach your email campaigns in the light of the coronavirus crisis? What are the lines your email content might end up crossing, regardless if it were intentional or not?

Here’s a great (or in this case bad) example. Imagine running a campaign about your new line of summer wear. And highlighting how this is the perfect time of year to buy to buy and flaunt them in the great outdoors. Or worse—the perfect time to book your travel tickets to your next summer excursion.

So are you afraid of unintentionally offending your audience? Try giving your email marketing campaigns a follow-up review. Especially those you’ve scheduled before the pandemic—those have top priority. Updating your emails should avoid any unnecessary damages to your brand’s image.


Use These 6 Pointers When Updating Your Campaigns

1. Communicate with Your Customers

Drop the marketing voice and talk to your customers directly. The sooner the better! Try not to wait around too long before opening up communication with your customers. Most especially when there’s a crisis at hand.

Update your customers and give them details about what’s going on in your end. Waiting too long in silence will only make it seem like your brand doesn’t care about what’s going on.

Can you imagine the potential damage if your automated campaigns content stay outdated? Especially if they’re currently running during this crisis.

2. Show Compassion

Show your customers you care. Think about how the pandemic and quarantine policies are affecting them. Put on hold insensitive email campaigns. These include contests, vacation-related deals, and anything with humorous content.

3. Share What Actions Your Company Have Taken in Light of the Pandemic

What’s one great major update you can add to your email campaigns? A message detailing what measures your brand has taken during these trying times.

Show your customers you’re cooperating with local quarantine policies. Highlight the practices you’ve implemented for limiting the spread of the infection.

If you’re an agency, this is also a great way to update your clients about any changes when it comes to interaction. Inform your customers about any changes in communication or processing of services. So at the very least, you’re making your clients aware that you have everything in control for them not to worry.

4. Show Initiative

Adding educational content or anything that helps raise awareness of the coronavirus threat into your emails goes a long way. If your products are essential, give out discounts. Or if you can—give them away for free.

The important thing here is that if your product can help the people affected by this crisis, then reach out to them.

5. Be Sensitive and Don’t Joke About the Situation

Yes, it’s important to stay positive during times like these. But it would be best to tone down on any pandemic-related humor.

Do any of your campaigns have any jokes that may poke fun at pandemic-like situations? Best take them out entirely.

6. Don’t Be ‘That’ Kind of Opportunist

As sad as it is, and unfortunately true, there will always be a business out there taking advantage of the situation for their own gain. Show your customers you aren’t a business that’s after their money, but that you also care about their safety.

Avoid price hiking any products that are in high demand during this crisis. And also avoid highlighting products in a manner that forces customers to buy from your brand out of desperation.


We Highlight 3 Crisis-Sensitive eCommerce Email Campaigns and What They Did Right


1. Nuun

In this email, hydration products brand Nuun highlighted something more than the benefits of their products. It’s that they’ll be donating care packages to medical professionals working hard during this pandemic. Afterall, they’re the frontliners in this global crisis facing the brunt of the outbreak. 


2. Draper James

Fashion brand Draper James went with the direct communication approach. Reese Witherspoon—the founder—personally wrote out a message to her customers.

She shared her concerns about the pandemic. As well as how much her company cares about their customers as she wishes them the best of health and continued safety.

At the bottom of the message, she added in a part introducing a new collection in her clothing line, but not without compassion. She first asked her customers if it was alright to send them promotional material highlighting these products. Adding this detail was a very sincere and genuine thing to do.


3. Host

Here’s a good example of spreading positivity the right way. Host—a manpower agency specializing in outsourcing bartenders—shared their own special way of lightening the mood for people going through home quarantine and working from home.

They shared a quick recipe for making your very own Baby Yoda Margarita. End your day of work with a glass of adorable goodness.


So You’ve Got the Gist of What to Do, Now Let’s Get Technical: 

If you’re not new to email marketing strategy and you want to leave with some technical actionables you can implement to your crisis-sensitive eCommerce email campaigns, we’ve got 3 for you. Let’s check them out: 

1. Segmentation

Make sure your campaign updates are relevant to your segments. One example is for your customers who live in different locations. This is because quarantine policies or the level of lockdown procedures may differ from region to region.

For example: Spain’s lockdown still allows residents to travel outside their homes. Mainly for essential needs such buying food and medicine or visiting a doctor. While in Jordan, all journeys outside of homes by the public are banned unless it’s for work authorized by their Prime Minister. These include gas delivery, bakers, pharmacists, and bus drivers.

Not everyone will have the same privileges when travelling outside their homes.  So stay up to date with your different segments. This is always a good idea when making sure the right people receive the right updates concerning your business operations.

2. Recheck Your Automated Campaign Schedules

Revisit any past campaigns you may have scheduled for future runs. Especially those your email marketing teams designed during the time before the outbreak. Are any of them still applicable now? Would their timings still be appropriate?

You can either tweak or postpone any of your campaigns when necessary. Doing so will avoid unnecessary confusion or conflict with your customers.

3. Revisit and Optimize Your Automation Flows

These are the gems that run in the background. While you don’t check on these as regularly as when you come up with your monthly content plans, it’s important to consider their impact on your business. 

One type of automated flow you should revisit are your transactional emails. After all, it’s reported that these emails have 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email. They’re also reported to generate 6x more revenue.

So we ask you—what do you get for tending to these automated flows?  You get maximized performance and returns from your campaigns even during the pandemic

One specific example for a transactional email you could be using would be your cart or browse recovery emails. You can update those by simply including notices. Like stating that shipping times might be affected due to logistical concerns born from the lockdowns.

Will entirely replacing your automation flows take up too much time? You can focus on revisiting your existing email campaigns for any necessary tweaks. See if they aged well when it comes to the sensitivity of the current crisis.

Why go back to campaigns we’ve already set into motion? After all, we’ve crafted them and AB tested them enough already so they work just fine. So why now?

Well, those email campaigns are indeed optimized. But that was during the time before the whole coronavirus ordeal took over the world. The last thing we want is for a customer to make a post about your brand promoting something insensitive during this time of crisis.

For more about email marketing automation, you can check out our ebook below..


It’s Always Important for Businesses to Stay Up-to-Date with Current Events

Your marketing materials should also reflect this. Reach out to your customers immediately and update them with what’s going on. This is a great way to strengthen your customer relationships.

Going for a crisis-sensitive eCommerce email campaign design shows your customers you’re not just fishing for money from under a rock. Showing sensitivity and compassion during trying times like these goes a long way. Doing so forges almost unbreakable bonds with your customers and clients.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect businesses all over. Be they online or brick-and-mortar brands—the virus does not discriminate.

The safest move for company operations to continue is by expanding into a work-from-home system. While remote team management sounds complicated, we assure you it’s a lot simpler than it sounds. It even comes with a bunch of benefits for both you and your employees.

Still wrapping your head around the whole coronavirus ordeal? Let us lighten your workload and help you out with your email marketing. Feel free to schedule a free online 30-minute strategy call with us and let’s get through this pandemic together!





The Guardian


Ready to get started?

We’ve put together a handy-dandy eCommerce marketing calendar to help you forecast all the sale dates you’ll need to watch out for! It’s chock-full of major and minor holidays, perfect for your eCommerce brand!
Book a call

Ready to get started?

We’ve put together a handy-dandy eCommerce marketing calendar to help you forecast all the sale dates you’ll need to watch out for! It’s chock-full of major and minor holidays, perfect for your eCommerce brand!
Book a call