Think twice before you send that Covid-19 notice
“Reputation systems do not stop for a crisis email.” Skyler Holobach’s Email in the time of COVID-19: A FAQ Page. Please take a moment to Skyler’s well laid out piece.
There is buzz in the industry that is causing concern on the mail-ops channels with regards to marketers rushing too quickly to send their entire network a Covid-19 notice.
For anyone not familiar, reputation systems are a reference to spam fighting networks and algorithms that the email industry employs to protect their users from spam/scam/fraud messages. Sending to addresses with which you have not engaged recently can degrade sender reputation which can have a long term impact on future emails.
Marketers should also be wary of virtue-signaling during this time. Brands that rush to market to recipients, either out of desperation or FOMO as they see others marketing too, may be putting their brand reputation at risk for a notification that doesn't need to be send over email.
Case in point:
For example, a Sonoma winery sent me a message intended to seem comforting but instead sounded tone-deaf: “Our doors will remain open, the live music will carry on, and our staff would love to say hello and treat you to a cup of coffee.” Nothing conveys how much your brand cares for customers like telling them to violate CDC instructions that save lives amid a global pandemic.
If you do decide to send a Covid-19 notice, consider:
Sending to your entire database may not be necessary in the first place. Take the example of a Veterinary Hospital notifying patients of a change in policy:
Only the patients with an appointment in the coming month need to receive an email notice of the change in policy. Future patients will surely check the website and/or SM channels for information before visiting. Of course, you can also send out another small batch of notices a week or two later if needed.