In times of possible inventory, scheduling and communication difficulties, it is important to optimize your email strategy in order to keep your customers as informed and engaged as possible. They will appreciate the fact that you keep them in the loop about the troubles your business may be facing, and are likely to continue viewing your brand in a positive light.
Of course, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to run your regular course of emails without issuing certain updates due to the coronavirus. We will run you through a series of tips to help you know what your customers might be expecting from you during this public health crisis.
Send out a frank email about how the coronavirus is affecting your business
Customers will value your honesty. There is little point in trying to pretend that your inventory and delivery operations will be running as normal, so an informative email will be your best friend here.
The first communication you send to your customers should include a clear review of how the coronavirus is currently affecting all aspects of your business. If customers are likely to see reduced stock, slower delivery times or other issues, it is best to point these out straight away.
Thank your subscribers for their understanding during this difficult time, and let them know that your business will be doing all it can to return to normality.
Do consider adding these messages to your welcome flows, and other important email flows your business uses.
Your usual welcome flow might have a disconcerting feel if left alone – customers might feel that you are not willing to communicate with them about the coronavirus situation.
Don’t forget – once the pandemic has passed, you want to remove this message from all of your flows. You could make this easier by setting the message up as a banner, instead of incorporating it into your welcome flow copywriting.
Keep your email templates dynamic
Some of your emails will include images and information about certain products. During the coronavirus, you will likely experience low stock on products that you might never expect to be low in stock.
Create an email template that allows for an easy interchange between products. This means you can repopulate the email with products that are in stock, quickly replacing the ones that are low or out of stock.
Crucially, doing this will allow your email team to send emails faster, keeping customers engaged with in-stock products.
In a time where many people won’t be leaving their homes, browsing your website and your email communication is something that could figure more often in their daily lives!
Create several emergency emails
During a global pandemic, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that your business and its email team might not have the time and resources they usually have.
You might want to consider creating several evergreen emails, ready to send out if your business enters a particularly difficult period. It is a good idea to create a rough template that can be easily adapted into an apology note, back-in-stock notification or other communication that could occur during these times.
Be transparent about your stock levels
Your usual notifications or stock alerts may not be enough during a time where stock levels may fluctuate dramatically. If a bestseller or otherwise popular product unexpectedly goes out of stock, make sure your customers have the option of receiving an email notification when the situation has returned to normal.
On the other hand, you also want to closely monitor and alert customers about low stock levels during the coronavirus. If a customer has tried to purchase an item that is out of stock, create an email that explains different options. If this is not possible, do your best to apologize and inform them that the current crisis has led to lower than usual stock levels.
As is common knowledge, trust is a big factor in eCommerce. Customers like to feel that a store is on their side, and some transparency during the coronavirus crisis will help to build rapport for the future.
Harvard Business Review states: “when customers are separated from the work that’s being done behind the scenes to serve them, they appreciate the service less and then they value the service less”.
Don’t feel tempted to hide low stock levels and other unexpected changes to your business behind closed doors. Honesty is the best policy!
Track responses to your email communication
Keep a new report aside for how well your email communication is received during the coronavirus outbreak.
Are customers wanting more information? Are they appreciating the clarity?
As with any other email campaign, it is important to listen to your customers and continue adapting your coronavirus email marketing to match their desires.
Prioritize email communication correctly
Your team is likely to be working remotely, and with limited resources.
Is it more important to inform some of your customers about an accessory that is now low in stock, or create a general email informing customers of what to expect during this period?
Of course, getting general information and apologies (if necessary) out to customers should be prioritized.
After this, you can continue to work on monitoring stock levels.