Saumil July 6th, 2020

Things to keep in mind for email automation during COVID-19

The Coronavirus pandemic and its aftereffects have got the marketing realms overwhelmed as a result of which marketers have been compelled to alter their marketing strategy in view of the current situation. From being empathetic to drafting the right message for the audience, marketers have to spend several hours on their marketing plan.

Things are no different for email marketers. They have to rethink the tone of the email, the language, the kind of offers highlighted, and of course, the overall goal of their campaigns. 

It is not advisable to carry out email marketing as usual or set automation workflows and forget about it. In this article, we shall shed light on how to adapt your email automation during such times. 

Adapting to the COVID-19 Crisis

1. Try to understand your audience

37% marketers have given special consideration to segmentation during the pandemic. Your automated email campaigns should consider parameters like geographical location, previous interaction, and any change in their behavior or buying patterns. Rather than sending batch-and-blast emails to everyone on the list, revamp your emails to have only relevant information. 

2. Determine the goals of your emails

Your prospects or customers might not be thinking about purchasing at the moment. Therefore, you must redefine the goals of your email campaigns. While you executed email automation to ‘convert’ maximum subscribers into customers in a pre-COVID-19 world, your goals during the crisis might be to offer maximum support to them rather than bringing in sales. 

3. Let them know any changes in your business model

Use your automated emails to “inform” rather than “sell”. Keep your subscribers updated about any changes that you make in the way you are rendering your services or delivering your products. Let them know if you are organizing a donation drive to help the underprivileged and encourage them to come forward to do their bit. 

How can you revise your automated emails to fit in the situation?

Having discussed how you can adapt to the COVID-19 crisis, let’s get into the details about how you can revise the kind of automated emails that you have in your workflow. 

1. Welcome Emails

Getting a subscriber during such times is indeed a matter of great fortune. You must leave no stone unturned to create an impressive brand appeal so that the prospect remembers you and purchases from you whenever a need arises. With the pandemic spreading its tentacles throughout the world, it has become important to assure the subscribers that they can avail your email marketing services without being apprehensive of contracting the virus. 

Take a look at this welcome email by RepairSmith. 

As soon as a user signs up on their website, they receive this email that informs them about their services and how they have started a “No-contact car repair service” taking into consideration COVID-19 crisis. The email includes a personal message by the CEO along with his headshot and that increases the brand credibility.    

Target sets another fine example for welcome email. It lets the subscriber know how they are doing the best to cater to the subscriber’s needs during these trying times. 

2. Promotional Emails

While it is not the right time to promote your products with an idea to capitalize on the opportunity and generate sales, you can lend a helping hand to your subscribers by letting them know that you are there for them. 

Timeshifter has sent out an empathetic email that informs the subscribers that they do not need to pay when they are not flying. It subtly promotes the jet lag plan credit which would help the users during these times of crisis. 

3. Cart Abandonment Emails

During these difficult times, every conversion matters. Therefore, you must send out cart recovery emails to the cart abandoners or subscribers who leave the checkout page without making the purchase. These emails become all the more important during such times when each conversion paves avenues to keep the business afloat. 

4. Re-engagement Emails

COVID-19 has brought a situation in which subscribers might not be able to open your email or engage with it. During such times, you must gently remind those inactive subscribers that you remember them and care for them. You can let them know about the new initiatives or donation drives that you have launched in the light of the pandemic. 

Alternatively, you can segment them into people who have not engaged with your brand in the last 60 days, 90 days, and 120 days, according to your business and industry.   

Campaign Monitor has taken a commendable approach in this direction and sent out an email that allows the user to pause the emails for 30 days. 

Wrapping Up

Whether you are in the education industry, ecommerce, healthcare sector, or any other field, it is inevitable to adapt your communication to match the vulnerable minds of your subscribers, financial crisis, and health issues. 

These tips will surely empower your email automation strategy and help you adjust it according to the situation. 

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash


Saumil is the marketing lead at Inbox Army, a professional email marketing agency that specializes in providing email marketing services from production to deployment. In 2014, the digital marketing bug bit him and he fell in love with helping clients succeed in the digital arena. And for 6 solid years now, Saumil has helped clients in various niches grow their businesses and revenue through:SEO, Content marketing, PPC, Email marketing, Lead generation.

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