First the good news: none of your competitors know what’s going to happen to email marketing post lockdown. They are as in the dark as anyone. The government refuse to predict and most of their pronouncements are historical; interesting but not really what we want to hear.
A post lockdown marketing plan is probably under consideration by most companies and it would seem that those who get the answer right will have a distinct advantage. Is it just a matter of pot luck? The answer is probably – that word again – not, as we have plenty to go on for pointers as to how circumstances will change.
You’d think that for many, after being cooped up in their house for weeks, the first thing most will do is spend a few hours wandering the galleries of the local mall. Yet there seems to be an assumption than on-line trading will continue at a high level for some time post lockdown. The logic is persuasive. Coronavirus is unlikely to cease to be a threat for some months and crowded areas will continue to give a risk of infection.
If you think it probable that, for your particular sector of the market, current consumer behaviour is unlikely to change significantly in the short to medium term, there are some preparations you can make now. Have your customers experienced delivery problems? Don’t forget, they may well have accepted late or mistimed delivery as just one of those things one has to endure, rather like you have done. If so, now is the time to discover cause and, at the very least, put plans in place for a solution.
One thing I’ve noticed is that some SMEs are experiencing what, I’m told, is ‘technological shortfall’. Their computer systems can’t cope. If you’ve had this problem, it’s time to accept that it won’t go away magically once lockdown is lifted. Sort them.
It’s going to be difficult to work out a plan given that so many of the variables are interdependent; change one slightly and another has to be modified and so on. I’m telling you what you already know. I’ll go out on a robust limb here and suggest that nothing will return to the old normal in the medium term.
Some companies seem to be opting for inspiring messages across their digital platforms. It’s better than blaming what’s affecting us all, I suppose. I’m a supporter of consistency, but there’s a limit to how energised I can be before my morning coffee. Reality is underrated; so be honest.
Most of us like clarity. Five minutes spent trying to work out what the writer meant is five minutes wasted. Use simple language, ensure your message is identical across all platforms – we’ve recently seen sufficient evidence of the problems caused when it is not – and be positive.
All your plans should be based on the truism that we need to be flexible. This doesn’t only mean having alternatives, but also having tweaks to change for unpredicted circumstance. We’ll come back to this matter in the future. It’s in our plans.