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Here’s What Your Customers Want to Hear in a Crisis

How to master your messaging in this unprecedented health crisis: examples from Staples, Hatch, Paper Source, and more

It’s true. This reality is new to all of us.

Just like learning to ride your bicycle for the first time, you were probably nervous, scared, and unsure about it all.

But that doesn’t mean we have to be passive right now. Instead, we must pedal on and talk to our customers. Find out what they want to hear. What content engages them. What makes them feel good, what they want more of, regardless of the chaos outside.

We must stay relevant in our customers’ minds and their hearts.

But how can you communicate with them in the best possible way when there’s a deadly pandemic spreading globally?

Take a (bike riding) lesson below.

Online Streaming

Streaming right now is huge. So, what can your brand bring to the table?

Take, for example, ZEE5, the streaming video on demand website. They offer various types of current campaigns:

1) Informative – the impact of coronavirus on media consumption and what they’re doing to help. It’s the perfect example of a brand reaching out to their customer base to promote positive social media engagement amid the coronavirus pandemic.

2) #Stayhome, #Staysafe – recommendations on series to binge-watch.

3) Push messages – to customers along the lines of “While the gyms are closed, come see cooking shows for low-calorie recipes!”

And here’s another web push notification they sent to encourage self-quarantine with a charming, light message:

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Other ideas include sending out an email with a “best multiplayer video games” list or instrumental tutorials like “learn to play the piano online” to keep your customers engaged.

Sports Betting

With most major sporting events worldwide either cancelled or postponed – the online sports betting arena has taken a big hit. So, they have shifted their focus to either sporting verticals that still take place, such as table tennis or horse racing without crowds, or they cross-sell to other games.

Cross-selling is a great way to keep your customers satisfied and engaged. It’s super relevant for the online gaming vertical these days as high quality players are likely to migrate to casino, bingo, poker and any other platform you offer to play table games, arcade games, or even get in on the action with live dealer picks you send them.

While many thrill-seekers, looking for excitement, are turning to online gaming – regulators have started banning operators from directly speaking about coronavirus, as this could be preceived as taking advantage of a sensitive situation. So, choose your words wisely.

Stationery and Home Office

Staying at home for weeks or months (especially with kids) is tough. Brands that send out creative and inspirational ways to get through these long days together will be much appreciated by customers the “day after.”

Here is a great crafting essentials email from Paper Source with DIY ideas when at home.

We particularly liked the way the message was crafted into a checklist – making it very digestible and memorable for your clients. And, those who were engaged with it will probably go back and open it several times (as you do with any checklist).

Another way of standing out is by including your commitment to the local community in your informative emails. Below is an example of how Staples has incorporated social responsibility into its business. The company is showing how it’s helping small businesses and society in times of need. This certainly aids in brand perception.

Travel and Events

Being among the first industries to feel the negative impact of the pandemic, travel, and event companies must think outside the box. But we’re here to help!

Just letting your customers know that you’re there for them with a simple email, highlighting your cancellation policies, and general safety precautions is a good start.

See how does it below.

Then you could take it a step further.

Ticketmaster, for example, recently introduced “Live From Home” – a virtual hub of music for live streams, content from musicians, and more. It’s great in that it allows users to stay connected and entertained.

Travel and events company? Be sure to read more about how to communicate with your customers during COVID-19.

Fashion and Lifestyle

The fashionable maternity brand, Hatch, has found the perfect way to connect with its future mama customers during a crisis. It genuinely knows how to get into its customers’ shoes, who are likely to be hit hard with stress and worry.

They also give some optimism and reassurance with tips on how to take a break, find some space, and use ritual and “self-love” to stay mindful and centered during this time. Perfect for those soon-to-be moms.

These are all great, recent, and timely examples of how you can communicate with your customers, from various online verticals, in times of a global crisis.

Remember, just like learning to ride a bike, as long as you take the same step-by-step approach to the process —and push your uncertainty and nerves out of the way – you’ll be on the right track.

For more such ideas, best practices, analysis, and tips for #MarketingAmidCorona see:

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Dafna Sheinberg

Dafna is a creative marketing content writer and editor who produces strategic content for various online industries. With years of professional writing experience, she helps brands grow and increase profitability, efficiency, and online presence. Dafna holds a B.A in Persuasive Communications from Reichman University (IDC Herzliya).