It’s been all of three weeks of quarantine, and companies are telling us to play board games with our families. To take time and reflect. To Netflix & Chill. To BUY NOW.
Companies are going about this email communication in so many different and bizarre ways that there should be a bingo card. And it’s not surprising. Profit-driven enterprises are not typically adept at speaking frankly and openly with customers, even in the best of times. So for every Lyft, which outlined a concise and specific plan for its workforce and the community (bravo)…
…there is a glut and influx of this type of thing – the non-official WordPress theme of COVID-19, on sale NOW.
From B2B to eCommerce to consumer brands, businesses are finding it challenging (if not utterly impossible) to have sincere and open dialogues with their customers and client base. If you want a comprehensive list of these attempts, there is an entertaining roundup of good, bad, and ugly emails over at Slate and Adweek. These approaches, as you’ve likely seen in your own inbox these days, range from thinly veiled sales pitches to opportunistic soapboxes to genuine care and leadership. But there is no playbook for this, which is why so many companies (even great ones) are losing their way at times.
The truth is that people (yes, including consumers) are seeking assurance and guidance right now. They want to know that companies they love will be around beyond next week and not shuttered forever. They want offers for help that are – get this – actually offers for help, and beneficial services (including paid ones) that provide real value during this time. Companies that communicate often, and with purpose, will build a lot more goodwill than those offering unsolicited advice to Netflix & Chill or spend even more time with family, if that is somehow humanly possible.
Even if there’s no 100% perfect way to navigate this scenario we are in, we’d like to gift companies with a boilerplate version of the letter we’re sending to our network ourselves, to use as-is or adapt. It’s part of a broader communication strategy (happy to share that game plan too) but we want to ensure you’re covering your bases at least once, and showing your customers and clients that you care about them.
Just contact us with your email and we’ll get it out to you tomorrow. ✋✉️