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Deciding Whether to Increase or Decrease Email Frequency During the Pandemic?

In mid-March, when the country started to shut down due to the coronavirus, my inbox became chock full of messages expressing care and concern from every company I had ever done business with – and some I hadn’t.

As the calendar turned and we entered April, those messages dissipated and the emails I received took on a different tone:

“Need Help with Your Next Project?”

“Staying In?”

“We’ll Bring Comfort to You”

“Working from Home?”

“Bored? 30% Off Games & Puzzles”

“Home is Where the Savings Are – Shop”

As we worked with clients to navigate email marketing in the age of COVID-19, we were met with responses that mirror research shared by Mailcharts. They asked U.S. companies, “How has coronavirus impacted the amount of email you’re sending out?” Here’s how companies responded:

  • No change = 44.1%
  • Increased = 11.2%
  • Decreased = 44.7%

The vast majority of companies determined they should send the same amount or fewer emails during this time. Only 11% of marketers thought, “Hey, this is the time to ramp up our emails!” and they are right.

This information was further amplified by Jay Schwedelson, President and CEO of Worldata, in his webinar, “Email Marketing for Sensitive Times.” The research arm of his company looked at key email metrics from April 1-21, 2020, and found that people’s inbox activity was up 24%, meaning people were actually checking their emails more. Open rates were up – 9% for B2B messages and 14% for B2C. Email newsletter open rates were also higher by 14%. However, overall email volume was down 22%. So, people were visiting their inboxes MORE OFTEN, but marketers were sending LESS EMAIL. That doesn’t add up in marketing’s favor.

As marketers, we need to take advantage of the fact that we have a more engaged audience ready to receive our messaging. With extended time at home, our audience is craving information — whether it’s a means of escape, they’re looking for a deal, they want to be more productive or they want to learn something new. Consumers are like sponges waiting to be saturated. Now is not the time to put marketing on pause but rather to adjust – make changes, if necessary, to stay relevant – and execute! Figure out how to share information about the products and services that you offer that address the new normal and the challenges businesses will face in the coming months.

People are looking to connect. Think about it – you’ve probably talked with old friends more in the past five weeks than you have in the last five years. So, give your customers what they want and email them.

This post is courtesy of MMC Account Manager Jen Kardian

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