Pandemic E-mails Matter.

I wanted to share some marketing email headers and texts I’ve received over the past week. (This is from Monday, 3/23/20 -Tuesday, 3/31/20).

A digital illustration of a woman buying items online.
Illustration Source,

In times like these, we can tell a lot about a business.

Things like:

  1. Their financial situation
  2. Their hired talent
  3. Their (real) commitment to their customers

Pay attention to the way you feel after reading each header.

👎 “We’re in this together sale!”

Are we in this together because you want/need my money right now?

👎 “We’re starting to feel the (Passover) holiday at [Business Name].”

Are you? Because I’m not…

👍 “Stuck inside? Here’s to Home Cooking. Free Shipping…”

This is good but borderline. I don’t love being reminded that I’m stuck inside, but yes, I am. And come to think of it, I need another pot. Oh, and they’re still shipping, and not taking advantage of the situation by charging extra for it now. Click.

👍 Book Store: “Things to learn at home. Free Delivery Worldwide.”

Thank you. Short and to-the-point. This shows me the value they give right now, without reminding me that there’s a pandemic and I need to keep busy. And without the urgency. Because we all know that already. And the consistency builds my appreciation for them, thus my trust as a customer. Click. Share with a friend. (And not because they asked me to).

Towards the end of the week, I started seeing a lot more urgency.

Lots of use of the words “Deadline”, “Last Chance”, “Last Call”, “Ends Today!”

We overuse these headers in general. During pandemic times, they’re even more counter-productive. They won’t help us build transparency and trust. And they aren’t likely to help with sales, either.

Customers are smart. They/we know this pandemic isn’t going to be over for a while, and that you are going to be running more sales. Using a thesaurus for sales words and switching it up will get old REAL fast.

And like you, customers are scared. And particularly in uncertain times, they/we want to buy from someone strong. Triggering our panic won’t make us want to spend our money. It’s more likely to have the opposite effect.

Consistency and transparency will win panic and over-selling every time. Think about how you want to be remembered after we beat this - because we will! 💪

Business-Minded UX Strategist | Product Manager & Interface Designer. | Products & People. Wait. 🙅‍♀️that, 🔄it. Thank U.