Like many marketers, you’re probably wondering how to restart your marketing in the current climate, and how to return to your “normal” marketing plan. However, now is anything but “normal” marketing. Unique times call for unique marketing plans!
What does that plan look like? We know that this unusual time can paralyze some teams from taking action and cause uncertainty about what the next step should be. Many consumers are using this time to do things they don’t normally take the time to focus on—such as personal development or creating healthier habits. As a marketer, how are you using this time?
Updating your marketing plans doesn’t mean you have to scrap all of your 2020 plans, nor does it mean that all the experience you have as a marketer should be thrown out the window!
We’ve compiled some thought starters, ideas, questions to ask yourselves, and much more to inspire you to confidently take action during this time. You can leverage all your marketing knowledge, experience, and capabilities to create the best plan to fit your business needs and those of your customers in the current environment !
Restarting your plan
1. Ease back in slowly to encourage strong deliverability and reduce the risk of ending up in spam. We recommend starting with a series of targeted campaigns that will make it easier to foster strong opens and click rates while maintaining consistent volumes, this will also help retain strong deliverability. Learn more in our article on managing deliverability in a time of crisis.
2. Prioritize specific topics that will be relevant to your customers right now—perhaps something with a slightly different feel from your normal campaigns. Consider a series that focuses more on branding, in order to reconnect your customers to your brand and the people behind it.
We’ve seen really interesting campaigns and series around sustainability, brand history, unique content created specifically for this time—none of which would have been outside this crisis. Go into the image archives, explore outside your typical marketing boundaries, get creative!
The goal to keep in mind is to remind the customer why they are subscribed in the first place, and what will help them stay engaged with your brand during a time when they might not be able to purchase anything.
3. Track engagement with your messages closely and optimize content so that customers are engaging with it. Conversions might typically be your goal for email, but given the current environment, focusing on strong engagement with your content instead of conversions could help to deliver the right content to customers who are interested in your brand during this time. Not only that but strong click engagement with your emails will help to improve or maintain your deliverability rates
4. Revisit your automated and triggered messaging. In times of crisis, poorly phrased or timed messaging remains a non-negotiable with consumers. Consider the example where automated and triggered messaging retarget a customer who visited a page for a trip that is no longer available, due to closed borders.
5. Consider your automated lifecycle messages and your welcome plan. Should you adapt your birthday anniversary email to avoid sending a “Have the best day of your life!” message right now? It’s possible that the message after COVID-19 will not be the exact same one for new customers. A metric for this could be the number of life cycle emails that have been modified (as well as the open/click rates of these when business picks up again).
6. Take the time to understand your unsubscribe rates. It’s easy to brush our unsubscribe rate under the rug. It’s “such a small percentage” and “these are just the customers who would opt out anyway,” right? Not exactly. Do you know the business impact of your opt-out rate? That “small” percentage of customers can actually add up to significant losses. To learn more, see our article about this and use our free simulator to see the real impact of this rate on your bottom line.
7. Ask your customers to move your messages into their inbox (from the Promotions tab or even Spam folder). We realize it’s not the sexiest messaging, but this can have a massive impact on your deliverability rate.
8. And while you’re asking for things…can your customers reply to your email campaigns? You probably know that frequent and strong engagement with your campaigns help improve deliverability rates, but frequent replies to your emails have an even greater impact on deliverability.
Planning for a strong future
9. Clean and improve your database. Usually, you don’t have time to do these actions due to your commercial agenda and business priorities. When was the last time you were able to prioritize cleaning your database? While seemingly insignificant, this will have a positive impact on the health of your channel and performance.
Additionally, when was the last time you were able to focus on obtaining sociodemographic information in your database? Consider gift rewards, raffles, questionnaires, etc. A metric to apply to the success of such campaigns or efforts could be the fill rate of some fields.
10. Build a clear action plan if any type of crisis were to happen again. This crisis has shown us that many B2C players were not prepared to quickly adapt their CRM strategy to a major crisis. A few months ago, it was hard to imagine us being in this situation. However, now that we know it’s possible, it is best to plan for unexpected events.
What kind of plan could you put in place to quickly adapt your communication strategy if needed again in the future?
- What would the first step be? Pause email until you figure out what you want to tell?
- What about the second? Define if you have anything to tell your customer? Express empathy?
- And how would you follow up on these messages? Create new campaigns? Update existing copy? Adjust welcome emails and triggered messages?
We hope these tips and questions will inspire you to consider this as a unique opportunity to deepen your customer’s connection with your brand and strengthen your marketing strategy and plans. Or maybe tackle some CRM projects that you wouldn’t have the time to do otherwise!
One final tip for Tinyclues customers:
Reach out to your CSM if you would like to discuss some unique opportunities for these times, such as:
- Optimizing your learning for clicks to improve engagement and deliverability
- Identifying specific topics that are most relevant to your customers right now
- Setting up filters for ISPs (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo…) to help with deliverability.