Round-up: CoronaVirus and Email Marketing


We thought it might be helpful to provide a round-up of resources on email marketing during the Coronavirus pandemic:

If your company is planning to send out an email referencing the pandemic, or even just if you're continuing to communicate business-as-usual information to your email audience, scan the resources here for guidance. 

Many thanks to Janet Roberts, who manages content for our OI newsletter; she pulled together a short list on short notice to get us started. 

Please send any other webinars, complimentary subscriptions, swipe files, articles or other resources that you feel are valuable to me at with 'CV Roundup' in the subject line and I'll add them to the post. Thanks! 

Webinars: Upcoming

A Virtual Event For Strategies & Solutions
Discover MarTech, April 21 to 23, 2020, 1:00 to 5:00 PM ET

Discover MarTech: A Virtual Event For Strategies & Solutions is a free training experience for senior-level marketers who need to stay up-to-speed on the latest developments in modern marketing and identify, evaluate, and implement time-saving, profit-generating marketing technologies.

Three days of workshops on marketing in a post-coronavirus world, featuring Scott Brinker and vendor-led workshops. Besides advice on buying and building a martech stack, it covers scenarios for marketing once the pandemic passes. 

Webinars/Podcasts: On-Demand

Email Geeks at Home Drinking coffee -- The CV One
by Chris Marriott and Paul Shriner for AudiencePoint, April 1, 2020

A new podcast from Chris Marriott and Paul Shriner... you can guess the subject matter in this, the first episode...

Webinar: Email Marketing for Sensitive Times

by Worldata, April 2, 2020, 3:00 PM ET

This webinar focused on the best email marketing techniques to utilize during this period of unease. Whether you are reaching B2B or B2C audiences, this webinar will share key stats, techniques and methods to ensure performance and appropriateness during these diffucult times. Featuring Jay Schwedelson, Worldata. 

Webinar: Email Marketing during Trying Times: You have Questions, We have Answers
by the Email Experience Council, March 27, 2020, 2:00 PM ET

Join us to get not just answers but also real-life examples of how organizations are successfully addressing the CoronaVirus in their email marketing efforts. Panelists:

  • Betsy Grondy, Lenovo
  • Jeanne Jennings, Email Optimization Shop and Only Influencers
  • Dwight Sholes, Sholes LLC
  • Karen Talavera, Synchronicity Marketing

Webinar: Customer Communications in the Age of Coronavirus: The Next Phase
by Movable Ink, March 27, 2020, 2:00 PM ET

Join the Movable Ink Client Strategy Team alongside Tom Buchok, CEO of MailCharts, as they share the latest data and trends on messaging tactics across all US B2C email marketers, as well as strategies that best-in-class marketers are using to respond compassionately and creatively in the face of significant business challenges. 

Webinar: Email Marketing during a Crisis: Lessons and Advice
by Brightwave

BrightWave’s CEO Simms Jenkins and Sr. Strategist Jessica Ginburg cover the dos and don’ts of communicating during a crisis, and ways to keep your business up and running with email marketing in a smart and savvy way. Update: the webinar already happened, but if you use the link you can view it on-demand. 

Webinar: Best Practices for Email Marketing During a Crisis
by Litmus, March 18, 2020, Noon ET

This free webinar features Jason Rodriguez from Litmus, Kristin Bond from the Girl Scouts of America, and Matthew Smith from Really Good Emails. Update: the webinar already happened, but if you use the link to register you can view it on-demand. 

Hangout: Results of CoronaVirus Poll and Discussion
by MailCharts, March 19, 2020, 2:00 PM ET

MailCharts will share the findings from their poll (take it here) and talk about what they're seeing. Attendees can share what they see in their email programs and how the email industry at large is responding. The poll and hangfest are obligation-free - no sales pitch during the call, and nobody will contact you later. Update: not seeing an option to view it on-demand, but will keep watching and post if it becomes available. 

Webinar: Customer Communication in the COVID Era: Step by step guidance for marketers
by Acoustic, March 20, 2020, 11:00 AM ET

A live presentation of the content in the article listed below; Join Norman Guadagno and Loren McDonald, both from Acoustic. Update: the webinar already happened, but if you use the link to register you can view it on-demand. 

Complimentary Subscriptions

COVID-19 Email Relief Program
by Netcore, April 3, 2020

#WeWillPrevail is the rallying cry. Netcore is facilitating impacted businesses headquartered in North America with complimentary access to their premium AI-powered Email Platform for 3 months under their COVID-19 Email Relief Program

The complimentary offer will enable the business to send unlimited emails and unlock premium features on the platform like advanced customer segmentation, send-time and subject-line optimization, advanced analytics & reporting along with white-glove service for a smooth onboarding.

Eligible companies can opt for this program before 31st May 2020

COVID-19 Relief Fund
by DataValidation, April 2, 2020

DataValidation is making available $1M in DataValidation services to support small- and medium-sized businesses impacted by COVID-19. Businessses in industries being negatively impacted by the pandemic as well as organizations with less than 25 employees are eligible. The free accounts are valid for 6 months. 

Also, existing and new customers will get use of the AutoPilot tool free for up to 500,000 emails or 12 months. 

Complimentary Access: Movable Ink’s Critical Messaging App
Movable Ink, March 27, 2020

Movable Ink’s Critical Messaging App is powered by a blank pixel placed in the email template and is then activated as needed by the marketer to display a relevant message – even after the email has been deployed and is in the consumers’ inbox. Movable Ink is making the Critical Messaging App available to all of their clients to use for free through the end of the year for COVID-19 service messaging.

A time of giving: email vendors offer free support during COVID-19 crisis
by Ray Schultz for MediaPost's Email Marketing Daily, March 26, 2020

Ray covers the growing movement by email vendors to offer help to businesses struggling during the COVID-19 shutdown. Offers include free testing services and real-time message updates, along with free paid-level account for public service organizations. 

It's Our Time to Give Back (Complimentary Email on Acid Subscriptions) 
by John Thies for Email on Acid, March 25, 2020

Earlier this week I wrote a blog post about the next phase of CoronaVirus Emails – from companies that redirect their efforts past words and into action. Email on Acid has done just that, with a generous offer to provide complimentary Email on Acid subscriptions to individuals and organizations which are severely impacted by this crisis. Eligible industries include:

  • hospitality
  • travel
  • entertainment
  • education
  • dining
  • non-profits
  • independent email consultants and freelancers.

Already an Email on Acid client? You’re still eligible for the offer!

Learn more about the offer
Request a complimentary subscription

Swipe Files

Emergency Email Samples: CoronaVirus
by Really Good Emails, March 17, 2020

A good showcase of what companies are sending. Highly recommend you look here for ideas and inspiration. 


Don't Send Irrelevent Emails during COVID-19 
by Jasmine Handa for Pepipost March 29, 2020

Right content with the right tone is just one of the good recommendations here; also lots of samples. 

Using Heartbeat Campaigns to safeguard your Domain Health During COVID-19
by Tejas Pitkar for Pepipost, April 6, 2020

Advice on why and how to do a heartbeat campaign, with examples. 

5 Tips for Brands to Send Effective Emails During Corona Crisis
by Tejas Pitkar for Pepipost, March 26, 2020

Sound advice, like double-check your automation and trigger campaigns, and good examples of companies doing it right.

Health & Fitness Newsletters See 34% Boost in Opens, Study Finds
by Ray Schultz for MediaPost, April 6, 2020

Newsletters focusing on health and fitness, arts and entertainment, and style and fashion are among those showing strong growth and performance. 

Email open rates soar 25% due to desktop browsing from home workers
Digital Strategy Consulting, April 3, 2020

A new report attributes higher email activity and behavior to more desktop activity from homebound workers and less distracted browsing and scrolling from mobile users.

Data Report: COVID-19 Retail Pulse
Bouncex, soon to be Wunderkind

Real-time performance dashboard. BounceX data compares U.S. and UK populations on visits and revenue and breaks out three U.S. states: New York, Washington and California on email conversions and revenue

How to Improve Email Deliverability During This Crisis
by Melissa Pekel for Ongage, April 2, 2020

This article reviews how marketers can list-building and hygiene to improve deliverability even as homebound customers pay more attention to your email.

Email Marketing During a Crisis: 3 Ways to Keep Your Program Strong

Article recommends continuing but modifying campaigns, updating templates and automations to reflect changes in store hours, locations and in-person events or promotions and targeting active customers instead of the entire database

With COVID-19 Emails Filling Inboxes, These Companies Stood Out
by Dan Gingiss for Forbes, April 6, 2020 

Dan highlights 5 brands – Delta, Charles Schwab, Catersource, Domino's Pizza and Enterprise Rent-A-Car -- for exceptional communications and suggests 3 best practices, including identifying opportunities to deliver value, not just reaction.

Experts talk about email marketing in times of Corona
by Haim Pekel for Ongage, March 27, 2020

Ongage asked a group of email experts to share advice and use cases about working from home and marketing in a pandemic. The results are enlightening, and the furry-coworker pictures several people shared are worth a click. 

You ask, I answer: What to market during a long crisis?
by Christopher Penn for Awaken Your Superhero, March 18, 2020

"Focus exclusively on being helpful." is the key according to Christopher. 

Don't panic and send toilet paper emails
by Tanja Plaza for dotDigital, March 23, 2020

Big picture advice: unless you’re communicating a decision that changes the ability of a recipient to interact with you in their usual way, don’t send it.

Deliverability tips: best email practices during a crisis
by Grace Miller for CampaignMonitor, March 27, 2020

Your subscribers' inboxes are overwhelmed right now. Keep your messages personal, helpful, concise, and only for critical purposes. 

Forrester: brands must build trust as coronavirus saps consumer sentiment
by Robert Williams for Marketing Dive, March 27, 2020

Good advice from Forrester, including examples. 

6 emails you shouldn't send to customer during a pandemic -- and 2 that you should
by Geoffrey James for Inc, March 25, 2020

The "don'ts" include trying to look on the bright side and asking for payments. One "do" email: Asking "How can I help?"

What we owe each other: Marketing during the unthinkable
by Kristin Bond for Email Snarketing, March 13, 2020

4 things to consider before you send and 4 types of email that would be welcomed right now. 

To Send or Not to Send: Messaging in the Age of COVID-19
by Brittany Luebke for Cheetah Digital, March 16, 2020

4 questions to consider before you send that COVID-19-themed email marketing campaign. 

Coronavirus Resources & Readings
by Sonal Chokshi and a16z Editorial for Andreessen Horowitz

Not specific to email or marketing, but this is a list of selected resources on the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease. The list spans everything from official sources, trackers, and data sites to medical journal information hubs, background readings, and Twitter accounts. 

React, Respond, Redirect: Waves of Coronavirus Emails
by Jeanne Jennings for Email Optimization Shop, March 24, 2020

We all got bombarded with cookie-cutter emails of little value in the first wave, the second wave was a little more helpful, but this third wave is where efforts are becoming redirected, from words to action. Read all about it and help your organization surf this third wave and deepen relationships with prospects and customers.

Includes examples of email messages from each of the three waves.

Stats roundup: coronavirus impact on marketing, ecommerce & advertising
by Lizzy Hillier for Econsultancy, March 20, 2020

Netflix's YOY subscription growth is expected to be double original estimates, a 15% expected decline in YOY travel ad revenue, delayed investments in digital transformation and more. 

Email Newsletter Opens Spike During Crisis: Report
by Ray Schultz for MediaPost, March 17, 2020

MediaPost quotes a LiveIntent report that email opens are up 5%, mainly in arts and entertainment and style/fashion.

Being sensitive: Human responses to COVID-19
by Gabrielle Wright for Smart Insights, March 23, 2020

Smart Insights rounds up what it calls the best industry responses to COVID-19.

Examples include Adobe offering free access to its Creative Cloud apps to students working at home, a streaming concert fundraiser for the Global Foodbanking Network and Marks & Spencer assertion that "M&S has served customers without cease through two world wars [and] terrorist bombings and we are determined to support customers now."

Opinion: What 9/11 can teach us about marketing in the time of coronavirus
by Bradley Johnson for AdAge, March 17, 2020

Some people draw parallels between today's pandemic and the financial panic of 2008, but a number of email veterans say it's closer to what happened after 9/11.

This opinion column reviews some notable campaigns from 2001 and calls on marketers for bold initiatives. The direct quote: "bunkered up and hunkered down" describes some brands' early approaches. 

The Complete Overview to Crisis Email Marketing and the Coronavirus
by John Walsh and Jordi van Rijn for EmailMonday, March 23, 2020

Another round-up to help email marketers and business owners adapt and get the right communication out, take the right steps and not leave anything important out, and get ready for other crisis communication situations. 

7 things marketers need to be thinking of during Coronavirus
by Komal Helyer for Pure360, March 17, 2020

Good tips, including #7: Rewire your thinking. 

Special Coverage: CoronaVirus; Leading and working through a pandemic
by Harvard Business Review

Not specifically targeted to marketers, but lots of good advice here on working from home, making virtual meetings less boring and addressing anxiety.

How Should Your Email Marketing Change in Response to COVID-19?
by Scott Burdsall for Trendline Interactive, March 17, 2020

Advice here includes "learn to respond, not react" and "keeping the focus on the consumer experience should act as your guide."

How to Communicate with Customers During Times of Crisis
by Heidi Robbins for Salesforce, March 18, 2020

5 Tips to guide your marketing communications at difficult times. 

Benchmark Assessment: COVID-19 Email Activity and Engagement
by John Landsman for SparkPost, March 18, 2020

SparkPost's John Landsman tracks campaign volume and read rates that show higher than usual engagement in several sectors including transportation and food delivery/meal kits.

Back in Stock Automation: How Marketers Can Manage Supply and Demand Issues Amid the CoronaVirus Outbreak
by Alex McPeak for the Klaviyo Blog, March 9, 2020

Detailed info on why and how to develop 'back in stock' emails to address shortages during the outbreak. Also here, a 2-minute pole for marketers to share their experiences during this time. 

Customer communication in the COVID era: a 7-step guide for marketers
by Loren McDonald for the Acoustic Blog, March 17, 2020

A comprehensive overview of what every company should be doing, with regard to all their marketing initiatives, not just those in the email channel. 

Authenticity is now more important that ever during the coronavirus
by Ryan Phelan for Martech Today, March 17, 2020

"Think outside your own box" -- a good rule for email marketing any time you're doing it, but especially important in the time of a pandemic. Read on for Ryan's other tips. 

Covid-19: Should I Send this Email? 
by Megan Reed, Gallagher, March 13, 2020

Thanks to Megan Reed who created this one-page resource to answer this question and posted it to LinkedIn, Twitter and the Women of Email Facebook discussion board. 

Beware of Virtue Signaling or Outright Greed in Brand Communications About COVID-19
by Augie Ray for the Gartner Blog, March 15, 2020

Good post by Gartner's Augie Ray who has tips on messaging about company positions including "Avoid virtue signaling" and "don't signal your brand's desperation" along with 4 questions to ask to determine if you really need to email.

 Should COVID-19 Stop B2B Marketers From Marketing?
by Lee Odden for the Top Rank Marketing blog, March 16, 2020

Post by Lee Odden, who recommends reviewing campaigns and pausing anything that assumes everything is normal. Also recommends updating brand channels, focusing messaging on what customers need now, and reinforcing efforts to support company, employees and customers.

Email First: The New Normal for Keeping You Connected to Customers in Challenging Times
by Melissa Sargeant for the Litmus blog, March 13, 2020

Explains why an "email first" policy can help companies strengthen customer relations and keep WFH employees connected, plus examples from companies like Zendesk, Altos and Namecheap, plus ways to upgrade email production for more efficiency. Good piece.

Spirit Airlines Apologizes For Email Sent At Height Of Coronavirus Fears
by Ray Schultz for MediaPost, March 13, 2020 

Short piece on how companies need to readjust email timing to avoid inadvertent failures.

8-Step Guide to Email Marketing During a Crisis
by Liz Willits for the AWeber blog, March 13, 2020

Advice on communicating during the coronavirus crisis, including timing, messaging tone, avoiding any appearance of capitalizing on the crisis, plus examples.

Why no one is reading your coronavirus emails
by Todd Rogers for CNN, March 13, 2020

Great advice from a non-email person about writing better crisis emails, including "write in accessible language," "use a larger font," "use clear structure."

Why the New York Times shut off programmatic ads for its coronavirus newsletter
by George P. Slefo for AdAge, March 7, 2020

Another angle on both covid-19 response and the topic of adding ads to email newsletters. Interesting note: the Times has removed the paywall from all its coverage of the virus. 



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Thursday, 09 April 2020