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Understanding the value of email during COVID-19 and beyond

Why COVID 19 Needs Email

Email isn’t dead and the COVID-19 crisis has proven this. 

Customer communication became a higher priority than ever before, as companies around the globe realized how severely the crisis would impact their operations. 

Interestingly,  rather than turning to instant messaging, chatbots, or any other newer technologies, most organizations chose to communicate with their customers via the old stalwart, email. No surprise to me, as despite being nearly 50 years old, email continues to evolve and still offers a myriad of advantages.

Let’s take a fresh look at those advantages, which clearly illustrate why email is the perfect platform for  COVID-19 and will continue to be a vital tool for business communication for some time to come. 

Ubiquity And Trust

Ubiquity and trust

One of the most important advantages email has over other communication platforms is ubiquity.

It’s estimated that there are more than 4-billion email users around the world. And while there are obviously variations according to age and occupation, most people check their email multiple times a day.

While the numbers vary, study after study shows that most people would prefer organizations to communicate with them via email than via text, phone calls, direct mail, or social media – regardless of age and socio-economic background.

Email As A Medium

An evolving medium that continuously delivers value

Email has been able to play this role due to its ongoing evolution. What started out as a simple text-based medium has become increasingly interactive. So, when it became clear that COVID-19 would be a global crisis, organizations sent out emails that delivered their message in a way that not only looked authentic, but felt it too.

They were able to do so with a high degree of personalization and a guarantee that their messaging was reaching their customers at the right time.

Of course, not every organization would have achieved this. Those that did, however, would’ve gone a long way to ensuring customer loyalty for the duration of the crisis, as well as its aftermath.

Email Is A Reliable Touchpoint

A regular and reliable touchpoint

It’s vital that organizations keep communicating through the course of the crisis. 

The organizations that communicate most effectively during the crisis will be the ones that customers go back to first when the dust settles.  But, they also need to plan for the aftermath, so maintaining regular communications with customers will be key.

Organizations can stay top of mind by informing customers of how their plans are adapting to changing circumstances, and how they’re assisting in the fight against COVID-19. This will help ensure their long-term survival.

Authentic, relevant, and hyper-personalized communication will be more important than ever. Customers will be looking for reassurance and organizations need to provide it.

Email As Part Of The Mix

Email as part of a mix

Many of the same qualities that brought email to the fore in the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis will again underline its value as businesses begin to reopen.

It’s important to remember though that email has a specific role to play and should always form part of any organization’s communication strategy rather than its entirety.

Email messages have to be executed properly – in a way that speaks to the individual customer’s wants and needs.

We can help you leverage the power of email to boost your brand and garner customer loyalty

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Ross Sibbald

Ross Sibbald

Commercial Director, South Africa

Ross is the Commercial Director at Striata for the African region. Ross is focused on leveraging the power of digital communication to achieve the desired results for his clients.

Ross began his career as a lecturer educating the next generation on marketing strategy. He was deputy HOD in the marketing department at the Durban University of Technology and also lectured at private colleges and various Business Schools. Keeping abreast of the market, Ross managed an IMM franchise (3 years) during his tenure as a lecturer.

Before joining Striata, Ross was a partner and director for an online property valuation company. He then joined Striata in 2010 as an Email Marketing Strategist, and was promoted to Head of Email Marketing in 2012. In March 2014, Ross moved to ABSA where he was acting Head: Digital Commercialize. His focus was on managing the various Commercialize teams with the goal of increasing the Bank’s digitally active customer base, increasing online sales via digital channels, driving revenue opportunities across digital channels and taking innovative digital products to market.

In Sept 2015, Ross returned to Striata to head up its newly formed digital communications agency.

Ross holds an Honors degree in Marketing (Technikon Natal).

Read more of Ross' blog posts here or connect with him on the following social channels: