How should brands approach the new normal? The virus brings about a very complex regulatory landscape that has affected a lot of businesses. At the same time, more people are engaging with eCommerce businesses online and it’s a really important time for brands to communicate with their customers.
We’ve compiled some of the top tips about marketing for the new normal and some examples of our most favorite emails.
Let’s dive in.
Offer COVID-related information and resources
The first thing you need to do as a brand is to make sure that your customers are aware of important COVID-related information. This is particularly important if you are in the travel or restaurant industry where there have been a lot of regulatory changes in the past few months.
Here’s a great email from Airbnb where they’ve created a special resource page for local government restrictions on hosting people and travel.
The email is really clear and clearly shows that Airbnb is taking the situation seriously and wants to make sure that customers can cancel in time if their trip is affected by the virus.
Put more effort into communicating with customers
It’s really important to show that your business cares about your customers and is being flexible for them. This is a great time to put even more effort into customer service and to make sure that every customer interaction with your business is a positive one and that your response times are on point.
Customers are going to ask you a lot more questions about deliveries, shipping times, and general product questions so be even more available. Expand your customer team or shuffle people from other roles that are less used at this time to focus more effort and manpower on customer success.
Show how your business is adjusting to the new normal
One of the most powerful ways to connect with your customers is to write a bit about what your business is doing to adjust to the situation. Highlight anything that you are doing to improve the experience of your customers, their ease of purchase, the logistics, the shipping/delivery process.
Here’s a really great example from Walgreens where they show how they make it easier for their customers to order products from home, they mention their new store hours and all the new ways that they support their customers (pharmacy chat, free delivery & shipping).
Offer special discounts
A lot of brands are offering discounts for their customers. For some, it’s free shipping or delivery and for some, it’s a month of service for free. Classpass, a fitness site that offers physical classes, took this a step further and offered to pause billing for all of its customers until further notice. Check this out:
Launch an online event for your customers
The new normal is making a lot of brands re-think how they connect with their customers. With so many people stuck at home, it’s a really great idea to create an online event that provides value and connects the customers to the brand.
Here are some ideas:
-Make a special event with a celebrity
-Create a webinar with your CEO where he explains the new changes and answers customer questions
-Launch a panel with speakers and interesting content that provides value to your customers
-If you’re a company that makes events think of ways to incorporate similar elements into an online event
Here’s a brilliant idea for an event from Planet Fitness that featured Jerry O'Connell. It’s a short and sweet email, highlights the event, invites people to download the fitness app, and provides a really creative way to interact with the brand.
Support the local community
A great way to engage with your customers is to shift your business and what you have planned next to incorporate a community element. Focus on giving back to the local community.
This could be food drives, online events, supporting local causes, or offering services like food delivery. Below is a great example from Do312 where they highlight several incredible initiatives that they are doing
Another example of supporting the local community is from Resy, the restaurant app, that sent a guide to its users highlighting its takeout and delivery options. It’s a really clear email that’s easy to follow and provides a ton of value for their users.
Here’s another great example of an email that highlights community support. This one is from Burberry where they highlight everything they are doing to fight the spread of the virus. They are re-purposing one of their factories to begin manufacturing masks, they’re funding vaccine research and delivering 100,000 surgical masks to the UK National Health Service. Wow these guys are amazing!
Make COVID-related products
One of the greatest business shifts I’ve seen is from Sock Fancy, a sock subscription box brand. A week or two after Covid19 hit they shifted to making masks and started delivering them to customer’s doors. They made some really fun masks and really made a huge impression on me.
And they also launched a campaign where for every mask you purchase they donate a mask to a person in need. Now that’s a kind of company that we could all get behind.
Another really innovative thing that Sock Fancy did is that they not only launched the masks but they improved on them and made even better. They added an extra layer of protection, adjustable ear loops, and an adjustable noseband for added comfort. These masks provide way more value than the standard one-time-use masks you could buy locally.
Donate to charitable causes
Speaking of donations, one of the easiest ways to show that you care is to donate to a charitable cause. Everlane did this really well. They partnered with Feeding America to help raise money for food banks all over the country.
And here’s another email they’ve sent with a little bit more information about the specifics of the cause:
Temporarily change your logo to show you care
A new trend that’s becoming really popular is changing the company logo to show solidarity with a cause. This started with Pride Month in 2018 and has since been used for COVID19 as well.
Here’s what Volkswagen did recently to their logo:
And here’s another example from Audi:
Make your brand stand out by using humor to lighten things up. Not everything needs to be doom and gloom and for some brands, it works to add a little humor to their message.
Heineken did an amazing video ad where they showed people trying to video chat with their friends and family while drinking a beer.
Show you care with a UGC campaign
A great way to engage with your customers is to encourage them to create user-generated content and publish it on social media. The Denver Art Museum launched a campaign like that for COVID19 where they showed their visitors adhering to social distancing guidelines.
This is a great way to show that the Museum has opened and to encourage visitors to come back. A UGC campaign is perfect for museums, galleries, restaurants, and other businesses that have been hit heavily by new government regulations and are just beginning to open their doors.
Give your customers something to do
One of the biggest challenges that people are facing in isolation is - boredom. It’s difficult to sit indoors all day and have limited access to your favorite destinations. The most exciting place to visit becomes the couch in the living room.
So one of the most helpful things that a brand can do is to offer helpful tips and share ideas on what people could do when stuck indoors.
Here’s a great example from Headspace where they promote an exercise series.
Here’s another email from Headspace where they promote the launch of their COVID-related section of meditations and exercises:
Wondered what to do with your kids on quarantine? Here’s an email from Thumbtack that literally saved the day (or hundreds of days depending on your local restrictions).
Another challenge is working from home, and changing your whole work set up. Feather sent out a really great email encouraging customers to update their home offices.
One thing we’re sure about is that COVID19 is here to stay for a long time, and we need to make the best out of the situation. Brands need to communicate with their customers in a new way and here are 12 of the top ways to do that:
1. Offer COVID-related information and resources
2. Put more effort into communicating with customers
3. Show how your business is adjusting to the new normal
4. Offer special discounts and new packages
5. Launch online events
6. Support the local community
7. Make COVID-related products
8. Donate to charities
9. Temporarily change your logo to show you care
10. Be humorous
11. Launch a UGC campaign
12. Share new activities that your customers could do
Did you love an email that we didn’t add to this list? Please leave us a comment below and we would love to add it.
Cia and stay safe out there!