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All Articles Sending Out Marketing Emails in a Crisis

Sending Out Marketing Emails in a Crisis

A modern workspace with a computer displaying marketing email analytics.

In times of trouble, it's more important than ever to be thoughtful about the marketing emails you send.

Many people are inundated with messages from companies, and it can be tough to tell which ones are worth paying attention to.

While it's impossible to know exactly what will happen during a global crisis, one thing is for sure - your customers still need you. We've put together a list of tips for sending out marketing emails during difficult times. By being thoughtful and understanding about the situation, you can avoid overwhelming your subscribers with messages and maintain a positive tone throughout your communications.

1. Understand your subscribers

The most important thing you need to do as a business owner is to understand your subscribers, and this is especially true during a global crisis.

Before sending messages to your list, consider why they're receiving your emails. Are they subscribed to your newsletter for marketing or news updates? Are they customers who need information about your product or service? Or are they a mix of both?

Once you know who your subscribers are and what they want from you, it'll be much easier to determine the type of email to send and the content to include. Understanding your subscribers also should help you to determine everything from the tone of your message to the level of detail you include.

2. Don't bombard your subscribers with emails

It's important to be considerate about how often you're emailing your subscribers during difficult times. If you send too many messages, you run the risk of overwhelming them and coming across as tone-deaf which can lead to unsubscribes. On the other hand, if you go too long without emailing, your subscribers may forget about you entirely.

If you do need to send out more frequent emails due to the crisis, make sure each message has a clear purpose. This could be something like providing updates on how your business is being affected or letting customers know about changes to your product or service.

The best way to strike the right balance is to think about the content of your email. If you have something important and time-sensitive to share, send an email. If you don't have a timely message, it's best to wait.

Your subscribers will appreciate getting concise, actionable information from you rather than a barrage of messages with no clear goal.

3. Timing is everything

The timing of your email can be just as important as the content itself.

If you're emailing about a sale or promotion, make sure it isn't coming across as insensitive. In times of crisis, people are often more focused on what's happening in the world around them and may not be interested in your latest deals.

Similarly, avoid emailing too soon after a tragedy. If you're planning on reaching out to your subscribers after a natural disaster or another major event, make sure to give people some time to process what's happened first.

The best way to determine the right time to send an email is to think about how your message will be received. If you're unsure, err on the side of caution and give yourself some extra time to think about it.

4. Keep your tone positive

It's important to maintain a positive tone in your marketing emails, even during difficult times. No one wants to be bombarded with negativity, so make sure your messages are upbeat and optimistic.

Focus on the good things happening in your business, and avoid any references to the current situation that could come across as inconsiderate. It might not be the right time to sell, so avoid coming across as sales-y or pushy.

Your goal should be to provide value and build relationships with your subscribers, not make a quick buck. If you keep that in mind, you should be able to find the right balance for your tone.

5. Avoid political references, unless it aligns with your brand

In general, it's best to avoid making any political references in your marketing emails about the crisis. Unless your brand is known for taking a stand on political issues, steer clear of anything that could be seen as controversial.

The same goes for using humor. What might seem funny to you could come across as insensitive to your subscribers. If you're unsure, it's best to avoid jokes altogether.

There are always exceptions to the rule. If you have a strong opinion on the current situation and it aligns with your brand values, you might choose to include a political reference in your email.Just make sure you're prepared for the potential consequences before you hit send.

6. Make sure your email content is relevant and helpful

When crafting email content during a crisis, always ask yourself if it's relevant and helpful to your subscribers. If not, ditch it. No one wants to receive an email that's off-topic or unhelpful, especially in a crisis.

Your goal should be to provide value to your subscribers, whether that's through helpful information, entertaining content, or both. If you can do that, you're more likely to keep your subscribers engaged, even during difficult times.

7. Personalize your messages

Personalized messages are always more engaging than generic ones even in normal times. If you have the data, you should take the time to personalize your email content with your subscribers' names and make sure the content is tailored to their interests.

During a crisis like a recession or pandemic, it's even more important to personalize your content. People are dealing with a lot of uncertainty, and they'll appreciate feeling like you understand their specific situation.

To personalize your emails, segment your email list so you can send more targeted content to specific groups of subscribers. For example, if you have a tech company, you might segment your list by industry, so you can send relevant information to people who are interested in that sector.

You can also segment your list by past behavior, so you can send different types of content to people who have responded differently to your emails in the past. For example, if you have an eCommerce store, you could segment your list by customers who have purchased in the past 3 months and those who haven't.

The more relevant and personalized your content is, the better your chances of keeping your subscribers engaged.

Of course, personalization isn't always possible. If you don't have the data you need to personalize your messages, start trying to collect it now. It is valuable information to have and can help you stand out from the competition, even during tough times.

To get started, create a freebie/lead magnet funnel that collects the data you need from your subscribers. This could be something like an ebook, video series, or email course. As people opt-in to your freebie, they'll also give you the information you need to personalize your emails.

If you don't want to create a freebie right now, consider adding a short survey to your next email. This could be a one-question survey that asks for subscribers' first names or a more detailed survey that asks about their interests.

8. Respond quickly to queries and concerns

If you receive any queries or concerns from your subscribers, make sure to respond as quickly as possible. This shows that you care about their experience and want to address any issues they may have. It's also a good opportunity to build relationships with your subscribers and turn them into loyal fans of your brand.

9. Thank subscribers for their loyalty and support

Even though things may be tough, take a moment to thank your subscribers for their loyalty and support. This is a great opportunity to show your appreciation for their business and let them know how much you value their relationship with your brand.

A quick thank you note can go a long way in making your subscribers feel appreciated, especially during tough times. It's also a good way to earn customer trust and positive sentiment that can last long after the crisis has passed.

10. Keep marketing efforts going even after the crisis has passed

It's important to keep your marketing efforts going even after the crisis has passed.This will help you maintain the relationships you've built with your subscribers and keep your brand top of mind.

Even if things are slow, don't stop emailing your list altogether. If you do, it will be much harder to get people engaged when you start emailing again. Instead, try to send out at least one email per week, even if it's just a quick update on what's going on with your business.

If you can, use this time to focus on relationship-building and creating valuable content that your subscribers will appreciate. This way, when things pick back up, you'll be in a great position to continue growing your business. Plus, you'll be better positioned to rebound quickly once things start to normalize.


During difficult times, it's important to make sure your marketing emails are well-crafted and relevant to your subscribers. By following the tips we've outlined, you'll be able to ensure that your messages resonate with subscribers and help you maintain relationships with them. Personalize your content whenever possible, respond quickly to queries and concerns, keep messaging positive, avoid making any political references, and make sure your content is relevant and helpful. And don't forget to thank them for their loyalty and support!