If you follow email marketing best practices, you should have at least a couple of automated processes set up like welcome emails when someone signs up for your e-newsletter or receipts for online donations.

If you haven’t already, CHECK THOSE EMAILS to make sure they don’t come across as tone deaf to what’s going on in our world right now.

Unfortunately I am speaking from experience…

We have a lot of automated emails set up as there are many different ways people can join our community and each requires its own welcome series based on what they asked for.

And if you have been following our blog for the last several months, you know we are big proponents of email re-engagement campaigns.

While I was already in the process of going through all of our automated campaigns when this story occurred, in hindsight, I should have a better system in place regarding what should be looked at first during a crisis.

My Story:

One day last week I received a response to one of those re-engagement emails I hadn’t gotten around to editing yet. That email contains the following language:

When someone stops opening our emails it’s usually for one of the following reasons:

  1. You’re Too Overwhelmed for Professional Development.

I hope you are cringing as you read that!

And the response I received was:

How about…too overwhelmed with life in general and the 200+ work emails I get a day that I can’t get to…trying to work full-time from home in a condensed work space with half of the equipment that I usually work with and parent my kids full-time which includes homeschooling and all the other stuff that comes with the new normal and being isolated in our home 24-7…

And she was absolutely right. I was mortified!

I responded as soon as I stopped hiding under my desk with a short but very contrite email apologizing and telling her I would edit the email immediately (which I did). She was VERY gracious thanking me for the reply and telling me to take care.

So please, please, please, learn from my mistake and UPDATE THOSE AUTOMATED EMAILS!

You can still send automated emails (and other emails as well), but just be mindful of what they say and the tone they convey. While you don’t need to talk about COVID-19 specifically, your communications still need to show that you are aware nothing is “business as usual” right now.

Learn more with:

How to Be Relevant Now (And What NOT to Say) by our Kivi Leroux Miller

How to Avoid the Coronavirus Communications Hall of Shame by Peter Panepento of Turn Two Communications

How brands are taking extra precaution to avoid coronavirus insensitivities from Peter Adams of Marketing Dive

7 brands’ ads unfortunately timed to the coronavirus pandemic by Ilyse Liffreing