Over the past year we’ve been faced with countless new, and you guessed it unprecedented challenges that have turned all of our worlds inside out. Aside from the emotional, social, and general lifestyle changes we’ve all had to make, professionals across every industry have had to adapt their work styles to meet these new circumstances. As the group that handles brands’ customer communications, marketers, have faced unique hurdles when it comes to performing their everyday tasks. 

As the “new normal” continues to evolve, here are three email marketing tips marketers should keep in their back pockets:

1. Keep a close eye on the news and pop culture

This may seem like a total “duh” tip, but the importance of keeping up with the ever changing news cycle can’t be overstated. When you’re living through a time that will no doubt be immortalized in every history book out there, you have to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on. Before you hit send you should take a glance at a few different news sources (from different locales and with varying opinions) to make sure your language and tone is consistent with the way many of your subscribers might be feeling based on the news cycle.

Don’t forget to turn a special eye to pop culture! Adding a fun topical reference to your email communications is a fun way to add a bit of levity to everyone’s day (when it’s appropriate, of course). Remember the flurry of “Tiger King” references you saw in your inbox last March? There’s no telling what pop culture references will become part of the 2021 zeitgeist, so be sure to ask your most in-the-loop co-worker what’s going on on TikTok or just simply check Twitter a few times a day. 

2. Don’t be afraid to pause or cancel a send

If you’ve checked the news, and something big or noteworthy has happened don’t be afraid to postpone an upcoming send. While it can certainly be frustrating to work hard on an email campaign only to cancel it, there is nothing worse than sending out a message to customers that feels out of tune with the current moment. When sending out email marketing messages it’s imperative to put the customer first, which means if you think they’re facing stress due to external factors canceling your message is the right thing to do. Of course, there is no one-size-fits all to this rule so use your best judgment when deciding when to pull the plug on an outgoing campaign. Make sure whatever you do, it’s in line with what customers would expect from your brand. 

3. Be authentic!

Over the course of 2020, we saw more and more brands participate in corporate social activism. With this shift towards brands engaging in the conversation around social issues, we’ve also seen more and more consumers be critical of brands’ motivations. And, who can blame them? When brands spend real marketing dollars on promoting their values rather than their products it’s worth doing a double take. When sending out a message regarding your brand’s values ask yourself, “What is our motivation for sending out this message?” If the answer doesn’t reflect the empathy you are trying to convey in your email then it’s time to pump the breaks on that message. When it comes to corporate social activism, build in time to reflect and confer with others in your organization on your messaging before you hit send. 

We hope these three email marketing tips help guide you as you continue to build out your 2021 email program!

~ Erica