Take a look at your inbox over the last few weeks. My guess is that you’ve received many emails from the brands you know and love – in addition to the companies you may not even remember. Unfortunately for business communicators, countless email recipients are viewing this wave of emails as an opportunity to unsubscribe from corporate communications they are uninterested in or do not find valuable.

How do you cut through the inbox clutter amidst the flood of unwanted emails and prevent your contacts from distancing your brand?

Put yourself in the shoes of your contacts, and think about how your emails will be interpreted. Are you relaying important information? Do your subscribers expect or need repeated messages from you? How much information is relevant? How much could be perceived as excessive or unnecessary?

Segmentation and value-driven messaging are critical to helping you meet your audiences where they are. Here are some other tips to keep your subscribers engaged, happy and on your mailing lists:

  • Communicate with customers directly. Segment your audience by their attributes, behaviors or the information your CRM provides. Your messages about actions your business is taking will resonate most strongly with those who do business with your brand.

  • Change your messaging based on subscriber source. Consider crafting different messages based on how your contacts initially engaged with your brand. Did your contacts fill out a form on your website, or are they repeat visitors to your brick-and-mortar locations? Provide tailored messaging to reach your subscribers based on their relationship with you.

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  • Segment based on engagement. If you are sending more than one email, consider excluding contacts that did not open your first email. Continuing to send messages to unengaged contacts may result in increased unsubscribes and spam reports. Look for the opportunity presented by engaged contacts to find your company’s evangelists and cultivate further engagement among those willing to do so.

  • Enhance your subscription preference center. Repeat messaging may not be valuable to your contacts. To prevent unsubscribes, make sure you give your contacts the option to opt-out of repeated COVID-19 messaging. Otherwise, you run the risk of these contacts unsubscribing from all of your messaging.

  • Provide clear value in your messaging – and don’t spam. Consider your industry, your relationship with your customers and other factors when choosing what to say and how often to communicate with your contacts. If you’re not providing them with vital, new information, reconsider the decision to email them more than once.

  • Be kind and avoid trigger words. Like any crisis, the current situation can present an opportunity to deepen your relationship with your customers and contacts. We’re all in the same boat, so it’s important to be sensitive to your audiences’ experiences. Choose your words wisely, and try not to add to the uncertainty and anxiety your contacts are facing.

Don’t lose sight of who you are and what your brand voice is. But remember, don’t harm your future email marketing by taking a misstep with your COVID-19 emails.


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June 11, 2024