by Allison Winter, Communications Associate
With the current COVID-19 crisis, it may be hard to find a balance between inundating your members with emails and going completely silent. While we don’t want to overwhelm our members, we also don’t want to leave them wondering what our organization is doing and how it impacts them.
I recently attended two helpful webinars, Email Marketing During a Crisis: Lessons & Advice by Brightwave and Best Practices for Email Marketing During a Crisis by Litmus, that shared helpful tips to avoid either scenario. Here are a few takeaways.
Check Automated Messages
First, check all automated messages that your organization sends. Remove any information that refers to events that have been cancelled or moved to a virtual platform. Also, don’t forget to edit any information regarding office hours or services that have changed.
Make certain that the people in your images are following all social distancing guidelines. Remove any images that include groups of people, individuals shaking hands or hugging, and other actions and activities that are currently discouraged.
Consider Your Tone
Though we’ve all been taught “This Is Your Last Chance” and similar subject lines generate opens, now is not the time to create a heightened sense of urgency. Instead, consider communicating in a way that creates a sense of safety and security for your reader. Before sending any email, read it several times to think about all the different ways your tone could be interpreted and edit as needed.
Create Brief Messages
Don’t send an email just so your organization’s name appears in your member’s inbox. We’re all being inundated with information every day, so keep in mind that your members may be experiencing email fatigue. Only send messages when you have something to say. Keep your email brief and, most importantly, provide value to your reader.
Above all, remember there is a human being sitting on the other side of the screen. Think about where your members are, what they’re doing, and the experiences they may have encountered that day. One of the most powerful quotes I took away from the Litmus webinar is, “If you wouldn’t feel comfortable sending it to a family member, then don’t send it.” Now is not the time to let the bottom line cloud our judgement or use manipulative scare tactics. We must choose empathy.
If you’re struggling to send emails with a consistent and empathetic voice, then contact IMI Association Executives. We specialize in creating content that engages your members and advances your mission. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.