Coronavirus and Marketing Automation: Let's Be Careful Out There
I'm no stranger to writing about disaster preparedness and crisis management. I live in an area where we get hit with a hurricane every few years. And while we're in uncharted waters here with the COVID-19 Coronavirus, there are some things that marketers forget about doing in times of crisis.
I will leave up to the medical professionals to discuss what needs to be done to protect yourself from the virus, other than to say it’s a very fluid and dangerous situation, so please take is seriously.
That said, marketers and business owners, here's a list of items you need to review:
- Let’s talk about your tone: I received the below emails last Thursday (March 12), and they are completely tone deaf. The subject line for the email I got from Spirit Airlines says it all, "Never A Better Time To Fly." And while I certainly understand that Spirit still needs to fill seats on its planes, maybe it could have come up with a better subject line considering the times?
- In my favorite gaffe email of the day (and I'm not taking political sides here; in fact, I get emails from both parties), our president literally invited me to dinner.
- Which brings me to point No. 3. Please take a look at your marketing automation campaigns. It may be time to cancel some, tweak some of the copy in others, add some new ones, etc. We tend to set-em-and-forget-em, but unless you want to put a negative ding on your brand image, have a look at what you're sending out — especially in these unprecedented times.
I hope these concepts help. I wrote this quickly given the fluid situation surrounding COVID-19; there are many more things you can do as a marketer in times of crisis. Please be safe!
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Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.