Conferences and trade shows have been canceled. In-person client meetings are out of the question. Even our own offices are off-limits as employees shift to working from home at the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO).
These are all critical steps needed to stop the spread of COVID-19 in its tracks. However, working from home introduces new challenges for growth leaders and owners trying to keep a business afloat, specifically:
- How do we build relationships with new customers online, without the events and meetings we rely on?
- How do we make sure our current customers continue to find us relevant when they are looking to trim costs?
- What tools should we be using to stay competitive in our markers?
Here are three marketing strategies you can use to grow your business during this pandemic.
1. Move meetings and events to web conferencing
Of course, when you can’t meet in person, you can meet online. Zoom is well known for being a reliable option for web conferencing. You can simply invite your guests to a Zoom call to meet online instead of in-person.
However, for customer calls, I prefer a lesser-known competitor called Whereby. Unlike Zoom, Whereby does not require any installation, so you don’t have to ask your client to download any software before joining. This creates a better, frictionless user experience for the customer.
2. Engage with customers by using email
While you might not be meeting potential customers at events, you do know exactly where they are now: Home, glued to their phones.
Email is the best channel to reach new customers. On average, little over 21% of emails are opened. This is more than twice the engagement rate on Facebook, where a post is shown to less than 10% of your total followers.
To ensure higher deliverability and effectiveness, you can use an email automation platform to manage your email outreach. Personally, I use Hubspot because I like how it syncs with my other marketing channels (company blog, website, ads).
You can also easily create different lists of lead-types based on the information you know about them. For simpler but still strong platforms, both Mailchimp and Constant Contact work well and are affordable.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is on everyone’s minds, I would recommend showing empathy and acknowledging it in your outreach. Some subject lines you can use for high-open email rates include:
- What we’re doing in response to COVID-19
- What this means for the industry
- How we can help you given the current situation
3. Humanize emails with videos
The longer we practice social distancing, the more customers will inevitably crave human connection. While the average text-focused email open rate is 21%, an email with “video” in the subject line has an 80% open rate. That’s because humans are visual and respond to video.
Just take a look at these video marketing statistics. When it comes to your potential customers, it turns out 72% of people prefer video over text when learning about a product or service.
Video does more than just capture attention. You can use video to convey emotion, establish trust, and build a human relationship online – all of which have never been more relevant than right now. Email campaigns with video have been proven to generate more than 200% revenue than their plain text counterparts.
Sendspark offers a video communication platform to easily record and send personalized videos to customers. You can send Sendspark videos to:
- Introduce yourself “personally” to prospective customers
- Check up on prospective customers in your pipeline
- Update customers on your plan for COVID-19
Sendspark works well with any email sending platform – from the marketing powerhouses like Hubspot and Mailchimp to everyday email clients like Gmail and Outlook. You can create your video in Sendspark, and just copy and paste a video preview into any email draft for fast, personal communication at scale.
I may be biased about Sendspark because I am its co-founder. But it’s also because Sendspark is the only platform that gives you the ability to easily create beautiful, branded videos for an external audience using just the webcam on your computer.
Some of the measures we’re taking now are painful for business owners. A global pandemic is serious business and we all need to do our part in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.
While the measures we’re taking now may feel short-term, the tools and practices we adopt now will likely transition into permanent fixtures of our lives. We now have a unique opportunity to build an online world we’re excited to live in the long-term. It is more important than ever to build meaningful, human connections into our digital culture.
Bethany Stachenfeld is co-founder and chief operations officer of Sendspark and she believes video is the future of digital marketing. Feel free to send her a video to share your thoughts on this article.