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Covid 19: how content reveals its importance in emails

Written by Colette Alcaraz on 1, April 2020

2 billion people today live confined to their homes, dependent on the technological equipment that allows them to work remotely, stay in touch with their loved ones but also with their favorite brands through email. Worried about the continuity of their activities, especially for those who make most of their business in stores, brands are forced to rely on their websites to try to reduce the bleeding. But most of them find that nothing can be done about it. Despite a promotional code. Despite good bargains. The content doesn't provoke any reaction. 

In these troubled times, when even in remote, it's time for introspection. Let's take the opportunity to rethink what we do and what we say. To tell a story that speaks to each of us. Before a very definite global review of our organizations at the time for balance sheets. 

How brands support containment with dedicated emails

Several times a day, dozens of emails are sent to us to meet the specific needs of recipients in these troubled times. 

More editorial content, a selection of products reviewed according to indoor or limited outdoor activities, themes related to remote and all the elements necessary for its successful application: the brands seem to adapt to this very special situation. 

Others continue to push their commercial offers as if nothing had happened. However, despite the brands' efforts to offer free delivery and extended returns, recipients cannot consume as they usually do. Because they don't want to in these uncertain times. Because most carriers have gone out of business. Because nothing is as it used to be. 

Beyond the state of mind and the restrictions due to the period, the contents of emails are also totally disconnected from the daily life of the recipients, who have more time to pay attention to what they read. Knowing everything about the care of one's garden or house when some are locked in very small spaces quickly adds to the frustration. Much more so than "normal times".  

This is an opportunity to rethink your content and talk to each of your recipients.

In our articles, we have often talked about the reflexes (which we all have, don't worry) to compare one's emails to those of our direct competitors. Sometimes even to do a little more than just get inspired to design your own emails. 

Despite the fact that you attach your visual identity to your own email content, you do pretty much the same as everyone else. A name, a first name, maybe the promotion of a few specific products. Bad luck, these have already been bought by your recipients... 

Led by your merchandising team, you prepare an email content on a selection of cameras with a few dedicated items as a bonus. No doubt the photo enthusiast will see this as a sign. For me, or anyone already unable to use their phone to take a picture, there is little chance of success. All the more so in these times we are going through. This doesn't mean that the recipient will not be interested in the photo one day, but contextually, this content theme doesn't speak to them. 

The Covid 19 pandemic makes us reconsider one thing: the particular attention we pay to the other. This unique recipient, who cannot be satisfied with being classified in a group just because he shares some similar demographics. This recipient who is not only waiting to receive information relevant to who he or she is, but also according to a specific time of day. In short, see content that is similar to its recipient and that adapts to changing expectations, especially at this time. 

Only then will the recipient's perception of you change scale. 

It's time to say goodbye to Boring Marketing Messages...

By reading the same thing over and over again, no matter who sent the email, the recipients have turned their backs on you. The main reason: they are bored. Quite simply. 

No emotion comes out of brand messages. In any case, no "positive" emotion that would lead the recipient to want to see more. However, let's not forget that the purpose of email is to make the recipient interact so that he goes to your site, downloads an app and fills in an action. 

Only the Unexpected will make the difference thanks to the production of content created on the fly at scale, based on the context in which the email is opened and adapting each time the recipient returns to the email. In other words, every day, every hour of the day. This means that stocks will be systematically updated, that the content will also be adapted to the device, the OS, the weather at the time of opening in the recipient's city, etc. 

From the unexpected comes emotions, from emotions comes interaction, from interaction comes conversion. This is the power of highly emotional content.