If there’s one task which has proven rather tricky for many businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s marketing. And now we’re looking at our first COVID Christmas.
How on earth can you avoid hitting a nerve during what is arguably the biggest global crisis most of us have ever experienced by continuing to sell your stuff?
The year of creative marketing
Unless you’re a pharmaceuticals manufacturer or face mask designer, people really aren’t gonna give two hoots about your products at the moment, are they?
Nothing could be further from the truth. 2020 has been a year for creative marketing. No matter what’s going on in the world, you still have something of value to offer – or say.
Thankfully, you can lean on email to continue building brand advocacy during this tricky time, and I’ve got five non-product-salesy email marketing ideas that will put a smile on your audience’s face this COVID Christmas.
1. Swap presents for a donation
If you normally send out presents or cards to your customers or suppliers at this time of year, try swapping them for a charitable donation and announce it via email.
No one will begrudge the normal token Christmas gift from you if you instead send some money to a charity which is either particularly close to your heart or badly in need of funds after this year.
2. Run a silly competition
The Ice Bucket Challenge feels like a long time ago, doesn’t it? So, why not add a bit of COVID Christmas cheer with your own silly competition?
The goal here isn’t for the competition or challenge to go viral – you just want your audience to have a bit of fun. It won’t sell any of your products or services, either, but it will subtly build more trust with those subscribers.
3. Look forward
Let’s not dwell on what’s happening now or what happened yesterday. This year has been pretty crap for most people, but that’s why everyone would rather be looking forward at the moment.
Don’t mention the ‘c’ word. Simply send out an upbeat email update which talks about your plans for the future, be it product-related or simply what you’re looking forward to development-wise in the industry.
4. Run a survey
Chances are, your audience will have changed a little during 2020. Their buying habits, budgets, or needs might be different, and you need to know how they’ve changed.
To do this, send out a survey which asks specific questions related to those points above. Think about what you need to know to develop products and services for the future and turn that required knowledge into direct questions – you’ll be surprised by the response.
5. Interview the team
It’s time to shine a spotlight on your awesome team. They’ve probably been through it a bit this year, too, therefore why not let them take to the stage for your next email marketing campaign?
The trick here, again, is to remain positive, upbeat and forward-looking. Interview each person about what they’re looking forward to in 2021 and have a bit of fun with it, too. Light relief is much needed this COVID Christmas.
You’ll notice there isn’t a single product-related email campaign above. If you think you can run such a campaign now, go for it – you know your audience better than I do.
However, if you think nerves are still thin and you need to tread carefully, the ideas above should ensure that your brand remains within the minds of your subscribers.