Immediate shifts in planning and strategy occurred for teams of all shapes and sizes. Each industry taking a different approach in regard to marketing messaging, frequency, delivery and tactics. This was especially prevalent in email marketing.
Now, 2 months out from the initial impacts of the pandemic, we are able to clearly see the state of email marketing. Theorem’s role as a digital marketing services provider, means we work with a variety of brands across a number of industries. Allowing us to have a full view of how email marketing teams have handled the changes.
What Does Email Marketing Look Like in the Wake
The rollout was swift. Brands from every verticle sent out emails directly to clients referenceing the COVID-19 crisis.
While the cadence of campaign messages did not change, the content and focus of their email marketing messaging certainly did.
The financial services sector sent 35% more emails in March 2020 than in March 2019, with equally impressive engagement results to match. There was a 23% increase in opens, 4.6% increase in click-through rates, and 11% decrease in unsubscribes year over year.
As financial brands determined their courses of action, many set out to make sure their marketing messages were more meaningful than ever before. Creating educational and promotional campaigns that would provide information to their customers. Information that would assist in determining their options and navigating new website features.
Travel & Hospitality
In terms of email marketing strategy, these brands did follow suit with the masses, sending out COVID specific messaging at the onset of the pandemic. However, their path back to a new normal is far longer and more treacherous than most.
To date, our teams and agencies across the marketing service landscape are reporting significant decreases in email marketing for these brands as well as overall work volume.
Healthcare as an industry has been top of mind since the pandemic started. Fortunately, in terms of email marketing, there has not been much impact. Our SME’s expressed that most healthcare brands are running email campaigns and marketing messaging as usual.
One significant change healthcare brands are implementing within their email marketing is a shift in messaging. Many are being careful in terms of what they advertise and how their email content is worded. Prioritizing sensitivity to the stress consumers are feeling as a result of the situation. Taking into account the verbiage of their messaging, the frequency and quantity of emails they are sending out to consumers.
Those in the healthcare product market are treading carefully, as to not take advantage of the situation.
Again, brand perception is key.
Service and Essential Industries
Outside of the big box “essential” brands like grocery chains, Walmart and Target, the food industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. With dine in literally off the menu, many restaurants simply had to close. While others looked to push take out, curb side pick-up and delivery as a way to keep their businesses afloat.
On the whole, the need for immediate digital marketing automation tactics is urgent for businesses of all shapes and sizes. However, it is important to realize that the growth and scale of digital marketing automation strategy will thrive best through partnerships.
Smaller establishments have struggled to take on this challenge, big brands were able to pivot their messaging quickly. Email marketing teams across the industry would start pushing out email messaging that expressed a concern for safety and convenience for consumers emphasizing “contactless delivery” and “simple online ordering”. Much like the financial industry, direct email marketing had to educate consumers. Relaying information about how to use new features while also providing information on topics that were top of mind. Additionally, brands both small and large have begun to partner with well-known food delivery services to offer their customers simple dine at home solutions.
At the core of every email marketing teams’ strategy is brand perception.