During this period of uncertainty, more and more companies are reaching out to their entire database of email addresses to communicate that their business is still operational during this time and how they are keeping their employees safe. Additionally, some brands are continuing to keep up a regular cadence on promotional emails at a time when it may feel out of context for consumers. As a result, recipients are showing signs of annoyance and fatigue from receiving too many emails, and having the chore of deciphering messages that are important, crucial, and noise.  The erratic increase and decrease in volume due to the fluidity in our current climate can also cause deliverability issues for brands .

So, what to do?  Below are some best practice recommendations that we suggest to help keep your deliverability and brand reputation in good shape during this unprecedented time: 

Recommendations for emails:

  • For crisis-specific emails, do create ones that are empathetic to address the concern. Ensure the message is pertinent and meaningful to your audience. We’ve given some additional tips on nailing the content, sending volume, targeting and other important details for crisis communications in a prior post
  • Be sure the context of your message fits the current situation–which can change  dramatically with time and geography. This is where the targeting will matter. You don’t have to stop promotions. They simply need to fit the context of the situation.
  • Make sure you don’t mix different types of content (e.g. informational and sales) in the same message. 
  • Even when the message is promotional, it’s important to ensure you’re clearly communicating any changes in shipping disruptions, changes in store hours, support hours, etc. 
  • Understand that many customers may not be in the spirit to buy, but may benefit from helpful content or entertainment. This could go a long way in helping consumers 
  • Include an unsubscribe link, and comply with CAN-SPAM or other country-region specific email and communication laws. One thing we’ve seen that we like is that some brands are offering an opt-down option to temporarily pause promotions during the crisis period.

Consider who you are sending emails to–crisis announcements, promotions or otherwise:

  • Do not send to your entire list, even with the crisis announcements, as the messages are not required by law in many cases. You should rarely, if ever, have a need to send to your entire list. Send to those that have engaged with your brand recently and apply thoughtful segmentation. If you do need to send to your entire list, try to stagger the volume in small batches and send in intervals throughout the day or over several days.
  • Do not send to email addresses that have been suppressed via unsubscription, hard bounced (invalid, etc), even when it’s a crisis communication.
  • Do not send to users who did not sign up to receive messages from you. 

Other deliverability recommendations: 

  • Continue sending from the same IPs for all mail streams during this time. Now is not the time to start anything new on the sending infrastructure, as that could impact your deliverability. 
  • Use a different email “From” address to segment mail streams to help your users decipher different messages from you. For example:
  • Publish pointer records (PTR) for the sending IPs 
  • Ensure your email is authenticated with SPF, DKIM validation and is DMARC compliant

By following these recommendations, you should be able to maintain decent deliverability. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want to speak to one of our experts. 

~ Evelyn