There seems to be a general consensus that the current recession will continue even after the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, although an agreement between all experts does not necessarily mean it will happen. It follows that there will be a certain reluctance to spend. Email marketing is likely to be hit less hard than many other forms of marketing, but you should be planning now for what will happen when lockdown ends.
I'm not going out on a limb when I say there will be pressure on marketing budgets, and campaigns, as well as investment generally, and as ever, it is how you respond which will define how successful you are. You may already have a plan, leaving the question as to whether it is a simple matter of cutting back or perhaps opting for Plan B, even when you haven't got one.
You will probably be thinking about prioritising the resources, or already have done so. It's where you go from here that matters. One option might be to concentrate on those gaps in the markets that you have not previously bothered with before due to lack of profitability. In a recession, cash flow alone might be enough.
Specific to email marketing is the data returns we get from our campaigns and if we want to do better than our main competitors, we need to exploit to the limit what we know about our subscribers. The information we currently have might not be accurate. The needs and desires of your subscribers will almost certainly have altered to a degree; you need to discover the extent of the change and what they want now.
Customers will almost certainly have changed preferences in the current Covid era. Using email marketing campaigns, you must discover how they have altered. Do not work out logically what they are likely to be as this is little more than informed guesswork; you need to do something better.
In the past, when you've used split email marketing lists, you have been searching for that elusive small percentage that will increase your ROI. Now, however, there is another purpose.
One rather obvious way of discovering how preferences have changed is to compare the returns with those from a time before lockdown. Split your email marketing list identically to the way you did in a January email marketing campaign, going so far as to use a similar product. Accept that it will be impossible to be exact. Close will be close enough as you will repeat the test a number of times until the results are clear.
You should also accept the returns. They will probably change significantly, although this means those companies who merely guess are likely to be way off. You will know.
At the start of the 2008 recession, a marketeer was on a news programme almost bubbling with enthusiasm, much to the annoyance of the interviewer. A statement of his has stayed in my mind. He said the disruption of recession always provided opportunities for those willing and able to grab them.