“These are unprecedented times.” “Things are crazy right now.” “We’re here for you.”
If you’ve checked your inbox in the last two months (and you likely have many times over considering open rates are up more than 20%), you’ve probably seen a slew of marketing emails using phrases like these.
Sensitively addressing COVID-19 eight weeks ago was a no brainer, but what now?
Bring a little sunshine from the end of the tunnel into your subscribers’ inboxes.
Use positive, thoughtful, and relevant email content to connect with your customers and build your brand.
This is always a good idea, but it especially makes sense right now.
According to Endeavor Creative, “Most people who buy your service aren’t going to be “sold” your offering, even if you try to sell it. It’s branding that facilitates the sales process. Branding is what creates the good feeling that leads to sales.”
That good feeling, be it happiness, inspiration, or any other positive emotion, will lift your customers’ spirits. And in a time where everyone could use a pick-me-up, it’ll make you stand out and be remembered.
In turn, this doesn’t just boost sales in the present, it creates a durable emotional tie that will increase your business’s lifetime value.
How do you give customers that good feeling?
To start, it will take some effort, thought, and creativity. Not just any kind sentiment or useful tip will make an impact.
What you send will depend on who you are speaking to and what resonates with them. What works for one brand’s audience could turn off another.
You know your customers best, so it won’t be too hard once you get started – especially with some inspiration!
Here are 10 examples of positive and thoughtful emails we’ve seen since social distancing began:
1. Eczema Honey
Why it works: Eczema Honey’s audience is very niche: people with eczema and other sensitive skin conditions. Because the majority of their customers know the ins and outs of these struggles, this content is easily relatable and entertaining. A few readers loved this email so much they posted about it on Instagram. (Scroll through to see the responses!)
2. Outdoor Voices
Why it works: With gyms closed and sports cancelled, staying in shape during quarantine requires extra motivation. Since Outdoor Voices is famous for their athletic apparel, they knew their audience would appreciate some fresh music to fuel their at-home workouts.
Why it works: The internet is notorious for loving adorable animals, so these snaps easily earn smiles. This GIF stands out because it features the pets of team members, giving Rothy’s fans a personal connection to the brand.
Why it works: When you’re stuck at home and each day bleeds into the next, your energy might be running low. That’s where Casper comes in. Not just with their well-known mattresses and other sleep accessories, but with these helpful tips for beating a mid-day slump.
Why it works: A few things will forever be synonymous with the COVID-19 pandemic: Tiger King, baking bread, and Zoom. Staying true to the humor their audience loves (and has come to expect), Chubbies recently shared free Zoom backgrounds to match some of their best-selling shirts.
Why it works: This step-by-step hand-washing guide is simple, but a very practical reminder. Even better, it’s a natural lead-in to Lush’s line of soaps and lotions rather than a blatant, opportunistic advertisement.
Why it works: Supporting others makes people feel good about supporting you. Highlighting how you’re helping those affected by COVID-19 looks good on any brand, but Ora made this idea more interactive. Instead of just donating, they asked their audience to nominate frontline workers to receive a bundle of their immune-boosting products.
Why it works: Mahabis is famous for their luxurious slippers, so it makes sense they’d send out content just as cozy as their product. This heartwarming screenshot of a Slack message is sure to give any reader warm, fuzzy feelings and help them associate this brand with comfort.
9. Ministry of Supply
Why it works: In the time of social distancing, no one’s hitting up happy hour with co-workers, so Ministry of Supply hosted a virtual get together for employees and customers alike. Whether they show up or not, inviting your audience to connect is a kind gesture they’re unlikely to forget.
Why it works: Luxury comes in more forms than just silver and gold. With recommendations for an aesthetically-pleasing film and a rich lemon turmeric tea cake recipe, this email gives readers ideas to elevate their at-home experience (not to mention motivation to throw on some accessories with their sweatpants).
As these examples demonstrate, the performance of an email can’t always be measured by the conversions it yields. By sending your customers uplifting, useful content, you’re making an impression on them and helping them understand who you are.
In the long run, connection like this builds a strong relationship that keeps them coming back. According to Sprout Social, “When customers feel connected to brands, more than half of consumers (57%) will increase their spending with that brand.”
Though these emails aren't meant to make short-term sales, we have also seen immediate success in sending them. For example, Eczema Honey's meme-heavy campaign earned a 43% open rate, and a 0.9% conversion rate.
Every brand has the opportunity to create this experience for their audience, you just have to think about what will resonate with them.
Use this inspiration to get creative with your own email content now and your customers will remember how you were there for them during this time.