Why email marketing is a secret weapon during COVID (plus pro tips)

In this 5-minute article:

  • Email has the highest ROI of any marketing strategy
  • Your customers are spending more time online than ever
  • Manage your campaigns remotely
  • Keep your customers informed of your COVID hours and policies
  • Send unique offers to entice new or repeat business

As we pointed out in our article, How you should change your marketing strategy during a pandemic, during a economic crisis or other socioeconomic upheaval, it’s tempting to slow or even eliminate your business’s marketing strategy. This is a mistake akin to 18th-century physicians bleeding weak and ill patients in an attempt to remove “bad blood”—it serves only to make a bad situation even worse.

When revenue is down and customers are reluctant to visit your business for various reasons, cutting off your marketing efforts weakens your customer relationships and new-customer lead generation even more. 

Womply has made email marketing truly automatic for busy small business owners and operators. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!

However, we understand that during a pandemic, businesses are struggling like never before, and some difficult choices sometimes have to be made. We suggest that, if at all possible, you should continue your email marketing efforts, and you may find that it’s a secret weapon to help you survive these crazy times. Let’s go over some key reasons why:

Of all marketing tools, email has the highest ROI by far

Believe it or not, business still is built on email. Social networks come and go, but email marketing is still growing bigger than ever, and and therefore it’s worth investing in.

The ROI of email marketing is truly astounding. For every $1 spent on email marketing, it returns a staggering $42 in revenue, according to one study. VentureBeat wrote a post about how successful email marketing works:

“In a survey of companies regarding email use, enterprise companies saw 117 percent return on investment, SMB [small business] firms indicated their return was 183 percent, and midsized companies reported a whopping 246 percent ROI.”

Of course, your results may vary, but the data is clear that you should keep your email marketing strategy going during economic hard times, if at all possible.

Your customers are spending even more time online

Americans were spending a crazy amount of time online even before the pandemic, and now are online more than 16 hours a day, according to the Wall Street Journal. The social issues and fallout that may result from this trend will likely not be understood for many years, but what it means for your business in the meantime is that you have lots of potential customers with lots of opportunity to consume the products of your online marketing efforts.

Ask 5 of your friends what are the first things they do when they wake up in the morning, and chances are one of those things will be “check my email.”

woman checking email in bed

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to capitalize on this increasingly indoor, online trend. You can even give them the chance to get out of their homes and have a break (by spending money with you :D).

You may also like: How to choose the right email marketing solution for your business

You can easily manage your email marketing remotely

Of course, today’s email marketing solutions make it easy to manage your campaigns with a minimum of time invested. From data integration, customer relationship management functionality, marketing automation, and more, when you use a modern email marketing solution you can choose what features you want and how automatic you want to make the process.

All of this is done online, and so you can of course manage it all from the safety and comfort of your own home, or wherever you run your business from during these strange times.

Email marketing lets customers know you’re still open for business and your COVID precautions

With so many businesses shutting down due to the pandemic, whether temporarily or permanently, customers may be reluctant to visit local businesses until they have confirmed that you’re still a going concern. 

Of course you should definitely keep all your online business listings, website, and review site profiles up to date with your current hours of operation, location, and offerings, but you should also be sending out email campaigns reminding your current and potential customers that you’re still here (and that you need them as much as they need you). 

african american storekeeper with facemask

Notify them of the measures you’ve taken for their protection, how you’re dealing with any local regulations or restrictions, tell them about your alternative sales avenues and pickup/delivery options, and even ask for their help if you’re in truly dire financial straits. 

Recent events have shown that local customers will go out of their way to support local businesses in trouble if given the chance. Give them that chance!

Email marketing lets you send special offers to encourage new/repeat sales

An effective business email should tell a story, but don’t forget that people love to save money. Many people are working with lower salaries these days, and if you can help them get the products and services they want at a lower price (while still feeling good about supporting a local business), all the better.

Be sure to include special “pandemic” offers or get creative with your sales emails. Studies show that customers actually want to receive emails and offers from businesses they like.

Pro tips to maximize your email marketing efforts

Allow for opt-out and opt-in

Some people simply don’t like to receive promotional emails, and there are laws to protect consumers from unwanted contact. When you send current/potential customers emails, be sure to include a clear way for customers to opt out so you can stay compliant. If you use an email marketing solution, this opt-out will likely be handled for you.

If you want to go the extra mile, consider offering incentives or asking permission before adding someone to your email list. Allowing customers to opt in increases the chances of engagement, sales, and referrals. To grease the wheels further, try offering something of value, like a loyalty program or a drawing or a discount, to encourage customers to offer their email address willingly.

Target by customer type and need

Once you have your business’s email list, it’s important to think about what type of content to send customers. More than half of those who unsubscribe from a business’s mailing list do so because they felt the content wasn’t relevant to them. 

With this in mind, customer segmentation is an important strategy for your email marketing efforts. When someone first joins, take the time to find out more about what they value. For example, you might do this by sending new subscribers a welcome email with the option to indicate the type of content they are interested in receiving. Your goal should be to figure out what’s relevant and valuable to your recipients.

Deliver quality, original email content

Your email messages should deliver value and project a professional image for your company brand. Consumers get a lot of promotional email, so it’s best to make sure yours are specific, relevant, and brief. Over half of consumers polled say they will unsubscribe to an email list if the content isn’t what they expected.

Here are some best practices to avoid turning off customers:

  • Use professional templates that are customized to match your brand’s image, particularly if you lack technical or design expertise. An email that looks unprofessional will do your business more harm than good.
  • Make your interface compelling with clear and easy directions on how to take action, and ensure functionality of multimedia across multiple devices.
  • Pay attention to the types of questions your customers ask and what they talk about online to get a clearer idea of what they value. Womply can help you collect and respond to candid customer feedback. You can incorporate these insights into your email marketing approach.

Go deeper: Top 10 best practices for small business email marketing

Maximize your email marketing efforts with Womply

For small business owners during an economic crisis, email marketing is still the best way to create a lasting connection that keeps customers coming back with smiles on their faces and money in their sanitized hands. Womply’s email marketing solution is part of Womply’s robust suite of front-office small business software, and provides an easy way for you to build customer loyalty and keep more customers coming back. 

You can send customized emails with each transaction that a customer makes, thanking them for their business and keeping them updated on new deals and offerings. 

You can easily send helpful and timely reminders, marketing offers, birthday wishes, notifications, updates and more, including both templatized and customizable options.

More than 500,000 businesses trust Womply’s small business solutions, and Womply’s email targeting and email marketing automation features save you time while providing your customers with incentives to return to your business again and again. 

Womply’s apps include vital reputation management, business insights, and customer relationship management features in addition to email marketing functionality such as:

  • Email automation (if you so choose)
  • Targeted messaging
  • Real-time alerts
  • Sending customized offers
  • App integrations

Stay top of mind for your customers and improve loyalty with Womply. Our U.S. based customer support team is ready guide you through the software and features whenever you have a question. 

Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!

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