We’ve arrived at Fourth of July Weekend 2020. Normally at this time of year, our inboxes are flush with sales! and deals! for everything from new mattresses and cars to clothing blowouts and early back-to-school shopping.
But these days, the landscape is a little different. The U.S. reached a record number of new coronavirus cases in one day: 50,655. Businesses are being asked to be more accountable, and put their money where their mouth is when it comes to treating people — employees and otherwise — equally. Prior to financial intervention, McKinsey reported that 1.4 – 2.1 million small businesses could permanently close. And though U.S. retail sales in May surged 17.7% from the previous month — far above the projected 8% growth — there’s no guarantee Americans can keep up the trend.
So now, after sending so many messages about “we’re here for you” and “how to survive in the new normal” and “Black Lives Matter,” how are retail businesses supposed to act?
We say: continue to craft messages with meaning. The numbers over the past few months show that consumers found messages of value that were worth opening. Acoustic reports in their 2020 COVID-19 Email Marketing Benchmark Report that open rates rose from 14.4% in February to 19.8% in April, down a bit to 18% in May.
As retail email volume slowly continues to increase throughout the year as we find a new normal, consumers will be paying attention to how companies position themselves. This is also known as how companies tell their customers what they think of them and getting or keeping their business.
For the traditional holiday sale email to be a successful marketing strategy, it should actually morph into something that reflects the values of the society we find ourselves in today back to its customers. And, though possessions do rank highly among American’s values, the top three are actually much more personal: belonging, family, and relationships. Stay safe out there.