As a merchant running a Shopify store during this coronavirus outbreak, your processes look very different from how they usually are. From your product sales to your store traffic to your marketing— you’ve had to redo every aspect of your store in the past few weeks. One aspect that may be hard to figure out is email marketing.
How can you be sensitive to your shoppers? Do you even send emails to your emotionally exhausted shoppers? How do you measure the success of these emails when shoppers aren’t buying as much?
In this blog, we will help you set up your email marketing and adapt it to fit these tough times with 10 best practices.
If you’re wondering how to run ads during this time, our blog on best practices for running ads during this period can be helpful.
10 Best Practices for Crisis Email Marketing During Coronavirus
1. Let shoppers know how your business will be adapting
Send a quick email to all your email subscribers about how your business will be affected by the quarantine. This is especially important for Shopify stores that are selling essential items since your shoppers are hoping to shop from you. Here are a few details you can include:
- If you will still be selling
- How your production will be affected
- Which products will be available
- Shipping period (including delivery time for different locations)
- How you will change the way you work (optional, but it helps you connect with your audience)
By providing thorough details of your status as a store, you can easily help shoppers plan their orders and ensure you can meet their expectations.
2. Change your goal
Your goal as a Shopify store is usually how much you sell and the revenue generated. But, during this crisis, you cannot focus on your sales goal since people aren’t spending the way they do. So, instead, you can change your store’s success metrics to a realistic goal, like subscriber growth, shopper engagement, or social media following.
With a more realistic goal, you can plan your marketing content better. Once you’ve set your email campaigns according to your new goal, you can monitor its performance within RevTap’s powerful analytics dashboard. Analyze how shoppers are responding to your email to tweak the content and optimize your emails.
3. Set up back in stock email automation
If your products are sure to sell out soon— and this is proven to be true for essential products— you need to set up back-in-stock alerts. This way, if a product goes out of stock, interested shoppers can subscribe to be notified when the product is back in stock. This way, your shoppers don’t have to worry about where they will buy the product they need and you won’t lose a shopper during this tough time.
Set up the Back in Stock – Restock Alerts app to easily automate back in stock messages. The app allows you to set up in-stock alerts via email, SMS, web push notifications, and Facebook Messenger so that shoppers can choose the communication channel they prefer.
4. Update your transactional emails
Your transaction emails provide details to shoppers about when the product will be delivered and include recommendations of other products they could buy. However, with the coronavirus, delivery might take longer and some products won’t be available on your store.
Update your transaction emails to reflect the current situation. Here are some steps you can take:
- Add a longer delivery time (including a buffer period) so that shoppers are not led to believe the item will arrive sooner than it would.
- Show only product recommendations for essential items and items that are sure to be available.
- Show content or resources you are creating on your social media, Youtube, or your blog.
5. Send promotions only if they are about necessary products
Your sales promotions should be thought out carefully. If you are selling and want to promote these products within your email campaigns, you need to first consider whether they are essential or not. A tone-deaf email promotion about a dress that will look great on your shopper is going to yield very little results.
When crafting this sales promotion, ensure that it is targetted to the right audiences and uses copy that shows how the product can help the shopper during this turbulent time. This way, you won’t come across as pushy and the email will be received well by your audience.
6. Send location-based newsletters
If you can only cater to specific areas or have special delivery set up in certain regions, send an email to shoppers within these areas and let them know about this! With a location-based newsletter, you can hyper-target specific segments of your audience and increase your chances of engaging them and bringing them back to your store to buy from you.
Unlike a generic newsletter, such emails would help you maximize your engagement and conversions from your email segment.
7. Be empathetic in your message but don’t overdo it
Your email copy needs to hit the right balance between reassuring and empathetic, while not overdoing it. Ensure that your emails acknowledge the pains of this outbreak but don’t overdo it. A few things to keep in mind include:
- Don’t sound negative in your email, make your tone hopeful. Phrases like “we’ll get through this” are favored
- Don’t set up discount codes like “corona30” or “covid19”.
- Do use humor to help them through this tough time.
You can read this excellent blog by Klaviyo on communicating with your shoppers during this time.
8. Avoid preaching about the coronavirus
Your shoppers are exhausted hearing about the coronavirus, from the news to their social media and now, in their own email inboxes. You don’t want to add to the noise. That’s why we suggest these tips:
- Don’t use ‘coronavirus’ in your subject line. Shoppers will instantly switch off. Instead, subject lines like “here’s how our services will change” will be more effective.
- Shoppers are already seeing guidelines on staying safe during this time. Avoid reiterating it.
- If you run a brick-and-mortar store, you can share the guidelines to follow within your store.
9. Be helpful and fun
Your emails don’t have to push a product to be worth an audience. Prioritize relationship-building for your email audience with fun or helpful content that caters to your audience’s needs during this time. Many stores are sending quizzes, infographics, videos, reading lists, and more to their email list to keep them engaged. And it works! Shoppers are receiving messages that are designed for them, rather than a promotion that nudges them to take action.
Your audience is likely to feel more positively about your brand and due to this, be more likely to choose you when they need to purchase items similar to what you sell.
10. Pause your automated drip campaigns, if any
If you have automated campaigns re-engagement lost shoppers or nudging for a repeat purchase, it’s best to put them on hold. Since shoppers are concerned about other things, your campaigns may not be as effective as it usually is.
While you’re pausing your automated campaigns, you must revamp your welcome campaign to reflect the current mood. Your goal pre-coronavirus might have been to sell to new subscribers. But during coronavirus outbreak, your new subscribers’ motive might not be to buy from you. Some may be shopping essentials from your Shopify store but most would be signing up for the content that you promised.
Use your welcome campaign to build a relationship with your new subscribers. Use this drip email to send tips and tricks related to what you sell. You’ll find that these subscribers will be more engaged with you.
With high engagement, you will have a better chance of selling to these new subscribers post-coronavirus.
Ready to set up email marketing that is sensitive and helpful to shoppers during this time?
These 10 best practices can help you set up sensitive, helpful, and engaging email marketing campaigns with goals that can help you later sell to new subscribers and engaged shoppers.
We know how tough it is getting for merchants to minimize their spending on running a store while not being able to make sales. But keeping your brand alive is equally important to retain your presence in the target market and bring back customers when things get back on track.
That’s why the Shopify experts at RevTap are offering a FREE consultation to stores on their email marketing strategy during COVID-19. We’ll help you strategize campaigns that keep your subscribers and customers engaged throughout this period.