email marketing strategy

How to Ace Your Email Marketing Strategy During COVID-19

A whopping 99% of consumers check their email every single day with 59% saying email marketing influences their purchase decisions.

Email marketing consistently delivers strong returns on investment – for every $1 spend on email, marketers can expect an average return of $42.

What’s more, email is an amazing customer retention and acquisition tool for brands, with 81% of small-medium businesses relying on email for this purpose.

That’s right, email marketing is a super powerful tool for businesses, yet amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, many marketers will be questioning how to shape their email marketing strategy at this time.

How should brands adapt their email marketing strategy? What kind of content should your business be sharing?

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. In fact, only 25% of marketers claim to have a solid communication plan in place amidst the pandemic, with 49% saying they are unsure if it’s the right one.

To help get marketers on the right track, Report Central have put together our top tips to email marketing during the crisis, to help every brand continue to drive success from their strategy at this challenging time.

Your messaging needs to change


When it comes to email marketing during a crisis, every brand will need to alter and adjust their messaging. After all, no brand should ignore the current situation and continue emailing as usual.

There are a few key points to consider when it comes to adapting your tone and voice during the pandemic:

  • Never exploit the situation for your own gain: your emails should never instil panic into your audience for profit. Don’t use messaging that creates a false sense of panic or urgency such as stock up in order to gain sales as customers won’t respond well to this, with 75% of us thinking companies shouldn’t exploit the current situation.
  • Be sensitive: your email messaging should be sensitive to the current pandemic. Continuing to email as usual will merely come across as insensitive and ignorant.
  • Be positive: although it’s hugely important to adapt your messaging to be sensitive to the current situation, consumers also appreciate it when brands deliver positive messaging.
  • Be authentic: 63% of consumers choose to buy from brands that are authentic over businesses that aren’t. Authenticity is key when it comes to email marketing, especially during the current crisis. Your customers want to know you are open, honest and a brand they can trust.

Keep your audience informed

No matter what type of business you run or what products and services you sell, during the crisis email is a great way to keep your audience updated on what your brand is doing. After all, 75% of consumers have stated that brands should be informing them of what they’re doing during the current crisis.

By simply reaching out to your audience with an email, your brand will instil trust and transparency about how you are dealing with the current situation.

Remember to include specific information about how your business is adapting, changing and continuing to support your customers.

Keep your audience up to date with any changes you make – from shipping policies to operational changes in your company, your audience will appreciate being kept in the loop.

Check out this great example from fast food chain McDonalds for inspiration on how to craft your emails:

email marketing

Ensure your emails deliver real value to your audience


The key to successful email marketing during a crisis is to send out emails that offer real value to your audience. After all, most of our daily lives having been impacted by the pandemic and the subsequent implementation of lockdown and social distancing measures.

Many of our needs and priorities have changed, and the way brands’ market their products or services needs to alter to cater for this.

Rather than using email to merely sell and promote, think about how your brand can offer value to its customers through your email strategy.

Check out this example from work management platform Asana:

email example

Asana’s email is packed full of amazing, useful free resources for their audience. With interesting articles to read, helpful guides and useful webinars – this is a perfect example of how to use email to provide your audience with amazing, free value during the crisis.

Here’s another example from fitness brand Gymshark. The brand teamed up with personal trainers to offer free, live home workouts and delivered this value via their email strategy:


The key to a sensitive, epic email strategy during this time is to use email to deliver free, valuable content to your audience rather than just a self-promotion tool.

Reconsider promotional email best practice


From discounts, special offers to exclusive promotions, 49% of consumers say that they love to receive promotional emails from their favourite brands.

However, many marketers will be wondering whether they should continue to send out promotional emails at this time, and if so, when and how should they do it?

The key to sending promotional emails during the crisis is to question if they make sense in the context of the pandemic. Think about whether your promotions genuinely help your audience and make their lives better at this time.

For example, offering a discount on your Working from collection or Home Schooling kits is a great way to help your audience and will come across as sensitive and emphatic to the current situation. However, using a promotional discount code called: CORONAVIRUS10 comes across as insensitive and won’t be received well by your audience.

Use email to launch handy new services to support your audience


If your business has launched a new service to help its customers in light of the current pandemic, it’s a great idea to use email to shout about it to your customers. After all, with 99% of consumers checking their emails every day, this is a great way of spreading the news amongst your audience.

Take a look at this example from Bandsintown – a site that keeps music fans updated on latest music shows, bands and venues.

In light of the current crisis, Bandsintown launched a Twitch channel to help musicians following the cancellation of thousands on events. The service supports musicians, giving them a platform to perform digitally, and helps music fans, giving them a space to enjoy their usual hobbies:


Again, this is an email that adds real value to your customers, helping to inform them of measures your brand is taking at this time, whilst offering them entertainment and excitement during a time when daily lives and hobbies have changed dramatically.

The key takeaway here is that if your business has launched a service off the back of the crisis, don’t be afraid to use email to promote it. As long as it’s a service that’s helpful to your audience and works to improve their lives during the crisis, it will be well received by your customers.

Use a catchy, to the point subject line


Every marketer knows the importance of an email subject line, with 69% of email recipients reporting emails as spam based on subject alone.

When it comes to crafting your email subject lines during the COVID-19 crisis, there are a few points every marketer should consider:

  • Be to the point: your subject line should tell the reader exactly what is inside. This should be clear and concise. If you’ve got a free guide on Working From Home for your audience, entice them to open your email by making this super obvious in the subject line.
  • Keep it short: when it comes to the length of your subject line, the optimal length is just 30 characters. Don’t beat around the bush, keep it short and sweet in order to catch the attention of your audience at a time when the battle for customers’ attention is more competitive than ever.
  • Don’t take advantage of the situation: do not use your subject line to create a sense of urgency or panic in order to get your audience to open your email. This is a tricky time for everyone, and customers won’t respond well to brands that exploit the situation for their own gain.
  • Make it personal: customers respond to personalisation, with personalised emails delivering a 6x higher transaction rate. What’s more, merely personalising your email subject line leads to 26% higher open rates. As audiences respond well to personalisation, there’s no harm in continuing this email marketing tactic during this time.

Optimise for mobile


We all know the importance of mobile and there’s no exception when it comes to email. If your brand is offering awesome, valuable email content to your audience to help them out during the crisis, you don’t want them to miss out because your email isn’t optimised for mobile.

After all, last year alone a massive 61% of all emails were opened and read on mobile. If your emails aren’t optimised for mobile, 70% of users will delete them straight away.

What’s more, as more of us are required to stay indoors and social distance, we’re spending more time on our phones in order to stay connected and entertained. Fail to optimise your email for mobile and face a lot of missed opportunity to deliver awesome content and connect with your audience.

A few top tips to optimising email for mobile include:

  • Use a mobile responsive design: this ensures your email is optimised for every user, no matter what device they read your email and what size screen they view it on. This is super easy to do, with most email service providers offering this feature as standard.
  • Optimise your subject line for mobile: we’ve talked about the importance of the subject line for the success of your email, and when it comes to mobile it’s important that you optimise your subject line for these devices. This means writing a short and sweet subject line that sticks to the 30-character This will ensure the entirety of your subject line is seen on mobile devise.
  • Include an obvious call-to-action: whether you’re encouraging your audience to read your guide or watch your webinar, your call-to-action needs to big enough and situated in a clear, obvious place to ensure its seen on any mobile device.

Next Steps – ace your email marketing strategy during the COVID-19 crisis with the help of Report Central


With 293.6 billion emails sent and received every day, email marketing is a great way for businesses to stay connected with their audience during the COVID-19 crisis. However, many brands will be finding it tricky to know what kind of email marketing strategy they should be delivering at this unprecedented time, after all, every brands’ strategy must evolve and adapt to the current situation.

We hope you found our top tips useful. For more help with shaping your crisis email marketing strategy, get in touch with the Report Central team today.

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